Ward 8 Update Newsletters August 10, 2015

8th Ward News from Minneapolis Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden
Visit us at www.minneapolismn.gov/ward8

August 10, 2015

City Takes Action to Address Increase in Airport Noise Complaints

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Over the last month or so, we at City Hall started to hear from more constituents complaining about airport noise. In some ways the complaints mirrored last summer when the summer conditions (a high number of planes flying at lower altitudes) were made worse by the over-use of certain runways.  But, there was also a big increase in complaints about early morning and late night flights.  The City contacted the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) about these concerns and Dana Nelson, MAC Noise Manager, looked at the data and confirmed what residents were observing. The number of nighttime operations was up.

Increase in Nighttime Operations
When talking about airport data, there are different definitions of “nighttime” but this information was based on 11:00 pm to 6:00 am time period. The data showed that most of the increase in nighttime operations was the result of arriving planes. Airlines were scheduling more flights during the nighttime hours than they did before.

Night arrivals at the airport were up 15% compared to last year.  Since many nighttime arrivals come in over Minneapolis, our residents are impacted disproportionately by this problem. The increase in arrivals over Minneapolis, specifically, was 24%. The theory behind Minneapolis getting arrival noise at night is that we are spared the louder operations (departures) which use the other end of the runway.

Action by the NOC & MAC
Minneapolis shared our concerns with our MAC Commissioners and with other communities around the airport.  Other cities, like Mendota Heights, were also having a problem as a result of nighttime flights. At the Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) meeting on July 22, the committee took an action to advise the MAC of this problem and to ask MAC to communicate with airlines operating at MSP and remind them about the airport’s desire to limit the number of flights scheduled at night. This request, and the overall topic of increased noise and complaints, went to the MAC in August via the Planning, Development & Environment committee where we expect further exploration of what can be done.

Runway Use Efforts
Another effort underway that may have potential to help with nighttime noise is our work to change how runways are used.  The airport has a program in place called the Runway Use System (RUS) and the idea behind it is the FAA Control Tower should use runways where less people will be impacted by noise, whenever possible.  So, if they can avoid departing or arriving planes over Minneapolis, they should do that. You helped the Noise Oversight Committee to communicate with the MAC about the importance of this issue. The FAA Control Tower has agreed to work on it, starting with early morning flights and then looking at late evening flights. 

Altitudes
Some residents have said they believe airplanes are flying lower.  MAC staff looked at a couple previous years data compared to this year. They looked at the altitude of airplanes as they passed Remote Monitoring Tower (RMT) locations. The gist of their conclusions was that there isn’t a clear trend or change for departure altitudes. However, departing planes are always lower on average in the summer due to warmer and thinner air. So, some residents may be picking up on seasonal changes.  At some locations, the planes can be several hundred feet lower in July than January. Also, the planes being used at MSP tend to be larger than in the past so a larger plane at the same altitude is going to be experienced differently.

The Process
Every 5 years, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) updates their Long-Term Comprehensive Plan (LTCP) for the airport.  Each plan looks ahead 20 years and identifies what MAC expects to happen at the airport, such as the number of passengers and planes. MAC is currently working on the 2035 LTCP. 

After the initial community engagement, the draft LTCP will be published for a 45 day comment period. The plan is expected to be adopted by the end of 2015 or early 2016.

Share your views
If you want to share your views, here are some other options:

·         Make a complaint by calling the hotline 612-726-9411

·         Make a complaint or submit a question for MAC staff here.

·         Find your Commissioner and reach out to them using this web form.

·         Contact your City Council Member – we welcome your observations and comments!

Your complaints help all parties, including the City, better understand the biggest concerns you have and identify changes and trends.


Update: 38th Street Bridge over 35W

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The City is moving forward with needed safety improvements near the 38th Street bridge over 35W. Recently, the City evaluated traffic at the intersections of 38th St and Stevens Ave and 38th St and 2nd Ave. These evaluations provided the basis for some planned safety improvements, including striping and bollard installation at both the 38th St and Stevens intersections (which has the highest traffic and accident counts) and the 38th St and 2nd Ave intersections.

The proposed lane striping will help align the vehicles on Stevens and move the vehicles away from the curb to improve sightlines at the intersection.

The painted curb extensions are an interim style of curb extension implemented using paint and vertical, flexible delineators. Curb extensions may have the following benefits:

  • Increased pedestrian visibility at intersections through improved sightlines
  • Decreased pedestrian exposure to vehicles by reducing exposed crossing distance
  • Reduced vehicle turn speeds by physically and visually narrowing the roadway
  • Reduce illegal parking at corners, crosswalks, and bus stops

Based on the data obtained, Minneapolis Public Works has also requested a traffic signal for 38th and Stevens, as that intersection meets traffic warrants for a signal needed to improve safety for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The traffic signal installation will be coordinated with a project that MnDOT has proposed to re-deck the 38th St bridge. The bridge re-decking work will be coordinated with the larger 35W corridor project so exact timing is to be determined.  Public Works is working closely with MnDOT regarding a revised lane configuration of the 38th St bridge which is made possible by the re-decking project.  Traffic lanes are proposed to be narrowed, allowing for sidewalks to be widened with the overall bridge width remaining unchanged.  Public Works and MnDOT will be engaging with neighbors yet this year (2015) to further discuss the project.


City Council Preparing Working Families Ordinances for Vote in 2015

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The City Council and Mayor’s office are preparing workplace policies that will apply to employers throughout the city.  The Council is acting to ensure that workplace standards are keeping pace with the needs of workers and the industries that are growing in our city; the goal of these ordinances is to continue to keep Minneapolis as economically strong and competitive as possible.

Earned Sick and Safe Time (often called Paid Sick Leave)
Every year in the United States, workplaces lose $250 billion in productivity — but 72% of that amount, or $180 billion, is because people come to work sick instead of staying home. And research shows that on average, one sick employee on the job will create one more sick employee.

In Minneapolis, 42% of workers lack access to earned sick and safe time. And once again, racial disparities are at work. For example, 63% of white workers have earned sick and safe time, while only 32% of Latino workers do. The lack of earned sick time is also a public-health crisis: a report from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that 79% of workers in the food-service sector in Minnesota lack it, and shows that 3,000 cases of food-borne illnesses in a decade were traced to sick food-service workers.

Cities and states that have enacted earned sick and safe time have found that it has a positive effect on business profitability, reputation and employee morale, that jobs have grown in the sectors where it has been applied, and that there has been little to no evidence of negative impacts on the economy. A common method for accruing paid sick time is that an employee earns an hour of paid sick every time she works set number of hours. 

Fair Scheduling
Unpredictable scheduling practices, particularly affecting early career and low wage workers, have been identified by national experts as needing minimum standards.  More and more, many workers have nonstandard schedules (outside of Monday-Friday daytime hours), have schedules that can change in number of hours and time of day worked on a week to week basis, and may have shifts cancelled after they come to work.

Unpredictable work schedules can make access to quality child care extraordinarily difficult, as most licensed facilities require full time care and provide care only during regular daytime hours.  Unpredictable work schedules can also impact an employee’s opportunity to take educational classes, care for family, and pay the bills -- affecting the economic security of many families.

Fair scheduling laws typically set minimum standards for giving advance notice of schedules to employees, with incentives and penalties for changing schedules, canceling work shifts at the last minute, and other standards as needed.

Enforcement and Preventing Wage Theft
Any new laws will need to be properly enforced, and employers and workers will need education on how to comply with new minimum standards for safe and sick time and fair scheduling.  The City will need to support compliance efforts and fair enforcement, as well as seeking how the city can enhance efforts at the state and federal government levels to address wage theft with appropriate and strong penalties for unpaid wages, overtime, and other benefits.


Slow Roll Twin Cities: Southside Ride

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On Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., join the North Minneapolis Bicycle Advocacy Council, Council Member Elizabeth Glidden's OfficeMajor Taylor Bicycling Club co-founder Anthony Taylor, the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, and friends for a slow-paced group ride through South Minneapolis.

We will meet at 3800 3rd Ave S (corner of 38th St and 3rd Ave), the site of Anthony Taylor’s new development project - a bike center that will focus on bridging the racial cycling gap and contribute to the vitality of E 38th Street. 

Join us for a casual group ride through Minneapolis neighborhoods, visiting some fun Southside locations along the way. Hope to see you on Wednesday, Aug. 12!


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Playground Opening

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On August 22, 2015, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Legacy Council along with community partners and members of our beloved community will cut the ribbon and celebrate the grand opening of the first African-American inventors & civil rights-themed playground in the country. The playground is in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Minneapolis at 4055 Nicollet Avenue South.

The ribbon-cutting will be preceded by a march, rally, and program, and will be followed by entertainment and all kinds of fun activities at the park.

Schedule for Sat, Aug 22:

·         10:30am: GATHER  at the east parking lot of Sabathani Community Center (310 East 38th St.)

·         11:00am: RALLY  at Sabathani and line up for the march (van/bus seating available)

·         Noon: MARCH  from Sabathani to the park  (distance is about 3/4 mile; about 30 minutes)

·         1:00pm: LISTEN  as we are welcomed to King Park with drumming, ritual, & short speeches

·         1:30pm: CELEBRATE  as the playground is opened with a formal ribbon-cutting

·         2-4pm: ENJOY   free entertainment, games, exhibitors, an art sale benefitting the park, food and ice cream for sale, face painting, and more fun for all ages

The playground will include: pre-school play equipment themed around African-American inventors; sensory play along a walkway & woven into other elements; and unique & challenging elementary-age play equipment themed around African American history & the civil rights movement. In addition to being fun, this playground can educate today’s families and future generations. 

For more information, email kingparklegacycouncil@gmail.com; or contact Legacy Council program chair, Mary Merrill Anderson, 612-229-9709; or Legacy Council co-chair, Sandra Richardson, 612-327-7010, srichardson7@comcast.net.

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