Current Ward 13 Issues
Learn more about issues that affect Ward 13 and how we are addressing them.
- Penn Avenue South Paving Project
- 46th Street West Paving Project
- Upton Avenue Resurfacing
- 48th St/Washburn Ave
- 55th St/Upton Ave
- Flooding in the Fulton Neighborhood
Lyndale Avenue South Renewal - Creek to Crosstown
- Linden Hills CVS Proposal
- Lyndale Avenue South Reconstruction
- Property Taxes
- Teardowns and Infill Housing
- Lyndale Avenue/Minnehaha Creek Bridge Replacement
- 35W/Crosstown Redesign
Airport Update - February 2013
As many of you are aware, there were flight changes proposed last fall that would have a significant impact on Ward 13. Thanks to the many residents who worked hard to have their voices heard, your overwhelming response to this issue was heard and had an impact! For those of you unfamiliar with the proposed changes, here is a summary of the policy, timeline and current status.
The most recent Federal Aviation Policy bill requires the FAA to implement the next generation of airplane navigation, conveniently known as NextGen. The law requires FAA to implement NextGen at the 35 largest airports by 2025. The FAA states, “NextGen enhances safety, reduces delays, saves fuel and reduces aviation's environmental impact.” (http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/) A portion of NextGen is a series of departure and arrival procedures known at RNAV.
Under current departure procedures, airplanes leave the runway and are told to turn a specific direction, but the plane is still at the mercy of how quickly it can become stable in the air before making the initial turn, and the winds aloft, so the path of the planes can vary significantly depending on the type of plane, how heavily it is loaded, and the weather. Under RNAV, planes would take off and then all aim for a specific point that is a couple miles out from the airport. Therefore, the closer to the point the planes get, the more flights there are all flying a very similar path. Since the points would be the same every day, those paths are very predictable. This change is very good news for airports that have a freeway, rivers, industrial corridor or other land that does not have homes on it. The planes can be routed over these compatible land uses, lessening the impact of airplane noise on residential homes.
Since 2010, the FAA has been meeting with airlines and other airport users to solicit their input into where to place these points around MSP. In January and March of 2012, the FAA was on the agenda of the Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) to publically present where the points would be located, but just before the meeting, they withdrew their request to make a presentation. Finally in September, the FAA was ready to present the tracks. The MAC had planned that the community representatives of NOC would develop a plan for public notification (not input) of the tracks before the next NOC meeting in November and then implement the notification plan between November and January. However, at the meeting the FAA stated that they needed things to move much faster than that. They said that due to time constraints with their testing equipment, they either needed the MAC to show their support for the RNAV tracks as presented, without any opportunity for changes, or the implementation of the project would be delayed until the fall of 2014.
The City of Minneapolis and residents of Southwest Minneapolis immediately recognized problems with the RNAV tracks. Currently, flights take off from the south parallel runway (R 30L) and generally follow Crosstown 62. But the actual track the plane follows depends on how quickly it can turn and the winds aloft. The development of RNAV tracks was an opportunity for the FAA to put the flights in a very tight pattern over the Crosstown, or some other compatible land use. But instead, the FAA developed two main tracks for Runway 30L. One track over the Crosstown and was projected to handle approximately half of the flights. But the other half of the flights would have concentrated flights over a swath of residential homes in SW Minneapolis and Edina, aimed at a point just south of downtown Hopkins. The FAA said that they needed the two tracks because at the very busiest times at the airport, they would not have the capacity for all the flights that would be departing off of 30L. Spread out over a 24 hour period (or actually 16 hours - 7am to 11pm), there is plenty of capacity, but being a hub airport for Delta, MSP has banks of hours where a number of flights come in to MSP, the passengers catch their connecting flight and then lots of flights are trying to leave all at the same time. It is during these banks that there would not be enough capacity.
Residents and City officials from both Minneapolis and Edina strenuously objected to the lack of public process in developing the RNAV tracks. The MAC listened and asked the FAA to move forward with implementation of RNAV on most runways at MSP, but to delay in the implementation of the tracks for 30L and 30R.
At this point, the FAA is investigating whether they can implement RNAV safely on some of the runways while not implementing it on 30L and 30R. They plan to report back to the Noise Oversight Committee in March. The FAA has stated they currently do not plan to implement RNAV tracks for 30R and 30L, and as of now, do not have plans to revisit that decision. Obviously decisions can change, so the city is watching this topic closely. Proactively, the City is working on advisory information for the FAA about what a public process to notify residents of this proposed change should entail, in case the FAA decides to implement RNAV tracks on 30R and 30L.
As a result of the proposed RNAV changes, a group of representatives from several of the Southwest neighborhoods has formed an advisory team called MSP FairSkies Coalition: mspfairskies.com. This coalition of neighborhood board representatives intends to stay informed of airport issues, share information with residents and provide a cohesive voice on behalf of Southwest Minneapolis. Through their representatives, this group will provide updates to the various neighborhood boards to share with residents.
May 10, 2013 Update:
Consent Decree Amendment
The City of Minneapolis has long fought to have the Metropolitan Airports Commission protect Minneapolis residents from the detrimental impacts of the airport, including noise pollution generated by air traffic. As a result of that work, we have the most extensive noise mitigation program in the country; however, the City’s work cannot stop there since the airport will continue to grow in the future.
Currently, the MAC is working to finalize an expansion plan that includes a number of projects that prepare the airport for projected needs well into the future. Minneapolis City officials have been tracking the MAC’s proposed plans and pushing the MAC to extend the existing noise mitigation program and standards to any homes that may be impacted by the future airport traffic.
Today the City Council approved a measure that will spur the MAC to continue to address the impact of airport noise pollution on surrounding Minneapolis communities. The City Council approved an amendment to a 2007 court-approved settlement agreement in which the communities surrounding the airport and the MAC agreed that sound mitigation should be available to households out to the 60DNL (the measure of sound being experienced at a particular location).
The MAC proposed using estimates and 7 year projections to create contour maps showing where it thinks the noise will be in 2020 and had proposed mitigation for just those blocks. But, if between now and 2020, the flight patterns change and the noise becomes more intense elsewhere, there would be no way to compensate for that. So if certain blocks were not projected to reach the agreed upon threshold, yet residents found themselves living with that level of traffic, there was no method to provide relief.
The revised settlement agreement approved by the City Council today calls for this annual evaluation and states that if a property is at or above 60DNL for three consecutive years, then that property will be eligible for the same sound mitigation options as was required in the original settlement agreement.
Because the original settlement agreement was between the MAC and multiple jurisdictions, all of those parties must approve the amendment to the settlement agreement. The amended agreement must also be approved by the Court and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Throughout this negotiation process with the MAC, the City’s goal has been to preserve the most extensive noise mitigation program in the country, which is what our residents deserve.
Ward 13 Newsletters
The following pages have been recently removed from this site. If you would like a hard copy of the information that was posted, please call the ward office at 673-2213.
- Kenny/Lynnhurst Pipelining - 2005
- Lynnhurst Renovation Project
- Southwest High Parking Project
- 50th Street Traffic Test
- 54th St. Reconstruction
Last updated Jul. 17, 2013