Whether headed to work or school or to meet up with friends, we make decisions on how to get there — by driving, carpooling, walking, biking or using public transit.
A new 10-part podcast series called “Here to There” delves into how we get to and from our destinations and looks at policies, technologies and social factors that affect our choices, said Leili Fatehi, co-founder of podcast creator Apparatus, a Twin Cities public policy consulting firm.
The series explores the complex connections between how we commute and how we live our everyday lives while touching on the current state of Twin Cities commuting and where it could go next.
The 30- to 40-minute programs focus on rethinking transportation in the Twin Cities to make biking, walking and transit options easier and to address the ways transportation decisions fundamentally impact finances, health and quality of life, Fatehi said.
“We want to change the paradigm for transportation planning and policy,” Fatehi said.
Each podcast tells the story of a commuter who shares how mobility options affect his or her life. That’s followed by a in-depth discussion with an expert from the field of policy, technology, advocacy or thought. So far, four episodes have been released on the relationship between biking and health, the use of electric cars, solo commuting vs. public transportation and planning transit for the large and rapidly growing population of active seniors.
None of the podcasts will answer all the questions or provide all the solutions; they are meant to get the conversation about accessibility, affordability, sustainability and equity started, said Jessica Treat, executive director of Transit for Livable Communities, a nonprofit transportation advocacy group partnering with Apparatus.
“Not enough people think about the interconnective options and how bikes and transit take cars off the roads that you’d otherwise be stuck in traffic with,” she said. “These are things we need to and should be talking about. It will help keep the conversation going and get more people thinking about it.”
So far more than 2,000 people have listened, and others have taken a survey and shared their commuter stories at heretotherepodcast.org.
Hwy. 169 causeway update
We are six months into the rebuilding of the Nine Mile Creek bridge on Hwy. 169 between Bren Road and Lincoln Drive/5th Street on the border of Minnetonka and Edina, and readers have asked how things are coming along.
The Drive went to the construction site and caught up with MnDOT project engineer Curt Kallio, who said things are right on schedule for the anticipated opening in late October.
“It’s about half done,” he said of the new 3,000-foot expanse being put in over marshland.
Since January, crews have demolished the old bridge, drilled more than 6,000 holes and filled them with concrete to stabilize the soil and fortify the foundation. Columns will support the platform, which will be covered with fill, and the roadway. Retaining walls have been put in place. It may not look impressive yet, but it will really start taking shape when concrete work starts in August.
Follow news about traffic and commuting at The Drive on startribune.com. Got traffic or transportation questions or story ideas? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @stribdrive or call Tim Harlow at 612-673-7768.