First Ward December Newsletter

Ward 1 News from Minneapolis Council Member Kevin Reich
Visit us at www.minneapolismn.gov/ward1

December  2015

CONTACT INFORMATION

Kevin Reich
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-673-2201

Email:
kevin.reich@minneapolismn.gov

Neighborhoods

Audubon Park
Columbia Park
Como
Holland
Logan Park
Marshall Terrace
Mid-City Industrial
Northeast Park
Waite Park
Windom Park

City of Lakes

Council Member's Message

Trains have been an integral part of Eastside Minneapolis for nearly all its history. Our neighborhoods grew up around the railroad tracks in the early days of our City and we are home to one of the busiest rail hubs in the nation, including several hundred contiguous acres of rail activity at the Northtown and Shoreham Yards. The railroads provided employment for the first residents of Eastside Minneapolis and they remain a visible symbol of a vital economy as they transport goods and materials across our nation.

That said, significant increases in rail activity and recent high profile accidents involving trains transporting crude oil and ethanol have made all of us more aware of the proximity of rail lines to our homes, schools, community gathering places and businesses.

Last month I brought forward a resolution urging legislation at the State and Federal level to enhance rail safety. Some specific actions the resolution calls for include additional funding to improve at grade rail crossings, increased funding for grade separation projects to reduce public safety response time, and safety standards tailored to densely populated areas.  We have also requested better emergency management coordination between the railroads and the City of Minneapolis and asked for improved communication processes.

The purpose of this resolution was not to stop the general commerce and activicty associated with railroad operations, but to insist that they be undertaken with the best technologies, best practices and best safety techniques in place. Nor is it intended to favor one community over another. Our dense urban population simply puts more people at risk and that needs to be acknowledged  and the City desires a more direct role in the planning equation.

Citizen involvement has been key and the Minnesota chapter of Citizens Acting for Rail Safety (CARS) play a central role. Their work on behalf of their fellow citizens bringing this issue forward for a dialogue at the national level is much appreciated. Click HERE to read the complete text of the resolution.

Kevin Reich Signature