2.0 DATA SOURCES, AVAILABILITY, AND RISKS
2.1 Data Sources
As outlined in this section, elements included in the exogenous factors test plan are unemployment rates, gasoline prices, downtown Minneapolis parking rates, parking spaces and rates at the University of Minnesota, roadway construction, and non-typical weather conditions, traffic incidents, and special events. In addition, control corridors and regional data will be used to provide a comparison to changes in traffic, transit, and safety conditions in the I-35W corridor. The data for the control corridors and region-wide levels will be collected in the appropriate test plans.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Unemployment Rates. The Minnesota DEED tracks unemployment rates at the state level and at the county level. The information is posted on the DEED website. For the purpose of the Minnesota UPA National Evaluation analysis, the seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate and the not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates for the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) will be monitored. The not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates will be used for the MSA, as that is the only available data from the DEED. Data will be examined from 2000 to the conclusion of the UPA evaluation.
Table 2-1 presents the annual average state seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for 2000 through 2008 from the DEED. Table 2-2 contains the monthly state seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2008 through May 2009. Table 2-3 presents the not-seasonally- adjusted annual average unemployment rate for the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MSA. Table 2-4 highlights the monthly not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MSA for January 2008 through May 2009.
|2008 Annual Avg.||5.4|
|2007 Annual Avg.||4.6|
|2006 Annual Avg.||4.1|
|2005 Annual Avg.||4.2|
|2004 Annual Avg.||4.6|
|2003 Annual Avg.||4.9|
|2002 Annual Avg.||4.5|
|2001 Annual Avg.||3.8|
|2000 Annual Avg.||3.1|
|2008 Annual Avg.||5.2|
|2007 Annual Avg.||4.3|
|2006 Annual Avg.||3.8|
|2005 Annual Avg.||3.8|
|2004 Annual Avg.||4.3|
|2003 Annual Avg.||4.6|
|2002 Annual Avg.||4.4|
|2001 Annual Avg.||3.5|
|2000 Annual Avg.||2.7|
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and MinnesotaGasPrices.com Gasoline Prices. The U.S. DOE monitors gasoline prices by selected states, including Minnesota. Data on the weekly price of retail gasoline prices for various grades since 2000 are available on-line at the DOE website. Table 2-5 presents the regular conventional retail gasoline price per gallon for Minnesota from the first week in June 2000 to the first week in June 2008. Figure 2-1 presents the monthly average from the commercial Internet site – MinnesotaGasPrices.com. Data from both sources will be monitored over the course of the Minnesota UPA evaluation.
City of Minneapolis Downtown Parking Rates. The availability of parking spaces for commuters and the cost of parking influence mode choice. Current City of Minneapolis parking policies limit the availability of commuter parking in the downtown area to encourage use of transit and ridesharing. Discounted parking rates are also used to encourage carpooling in some corridors, including the I-394 and the I-94 corridors. Information on the City of Minneapolis Municipal Parking system is available on the City's internet site. Available information includes the location of downtown parking ramps and parking rates at these facilities.
|Date||Price Per Gallon|
|June 5, 2000||$1.58|
|June 4, 2001||$1.77|
|June 3, 2002||$1.35|
|June 2, 2003||$1.43|
|June 7, 2004||$1.92|
|June 6, 2005||$2.01|
|June 5, 2006||$2.81|
|June 4, 2007||$3.07|
|June 2, 2008||$3.85|
|June 1, 2009||$2.28|
*Chart found at http://www.minnesotagasprices.com/Retail_Price_Chart.aspx
Figure 2-1. Minnesota Historical Gas Price Chart – 2003 to 2009
The Minneapolis Municipal Parking system includes 17 parking ramps and seven surface lots in the downtown area. Figure 2-2 illustrates the location of the parking ramps. Table 2-6 presents the current parking rates for the municipal ramps. The costs of the first hour, daily, monthly, reserved, monthly carpool, and special events are shown. This information will be monitored throughout the course of the UPA evaluation.
Figure 2-2. Location of Downtown Minneapolis Parking Ramps
|Parking Ramp||1st Hour||Daily/Hours||Monthly||Monthly Reserved||Monthly Carpool||Events|
|11th & Harmon||$2.50||$8.00/4-12 Hours||$171.50||$210.00||N/A||N/A|
|11th & Marquette||$3.00||$9.00/2½-12 Hours||$142.50||$204.00||N/A||$9.00|
|A Ramp||$2.00||$9.00/4-12 Hours||$135.00||N/A||$20.00*||$7.00-$9.00|
|B Ramp||$2.00||$9.00/4-12 Hours||$130.00||N/A||$20.00*||$7.00-$9.00|
|C Ramp||$2.25||$7.00/4-12 Hours||$117.50||N/A||$20.00*||$7.00-$9.00|
|Government Center||$3.00||$10.50/3-12 Hours||$159.50||$204.00||N/A||$5.00-$15.00|
|Hawthorne Transportation Center||$2.75||$8.00/4-12 Hours||$130.00||N/A||N/A||$7.00-$8.00|
|Hennepin at 10th||$2.75||$10.50/5½-12 Hours||$197.00||N/A||N/A||$7.00|
|Hilton Hotel||$3.00||$12.00/5-24 Hours||$165.00||$220.00||N/A||$9.00|
|Jerry Haaf Memorial||$3.00||$9.00/2½-12 Hours||$149.50||$205.00||N/A||$5.00-$15.00|
|LaSalle at 10th||$4.00||$15.00/6½-12 Hours||$268.00||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Mill Quarter Municipal Parking Ramp||$2.00||$5.00/2-12 Hours||$77.00||N/A||N/A||$5.00-$20.00|
|Riverfront Municipal Parking Ramp||$2.00||$6.00/2-12 Hours||$72.00||$144.00||N/A||$6.00-$20.00|
|Vineland Place||$2.00||$4.00/1-12 Hours||$65.00||N/A||N/A||$7.00|
University of Minnesota Parking Spaces and Rates. Some of the existing and the new bus routes in the I-35W corridor provide service to the University of Minnesota. The number of parking spaces available at the university and parking rates may influence the use of these bus routes. Information on parking spaces and rates is available from the University of Minnesota Parking and Transportation Services. Parking facilities at the University include those oriented toward faculty and staff, on-campus student housing, commuting students, and the public.
Information available from the University Parking and Transportation Services includes the facility name, the type of parking available (public or contract), the rate, and the number of spaces. Members of the Battelle team have obtained this information for the East Bank Campus, the West Bank Campus, and the St. Paul Campus. There are 192 separate parking facilities (some have only one or a few spaces), accounting for a total of 19,426 parking spaces at the university. While the Battelle team will continue to obtain information on all these facilities, those oriented toward commuting students are of primary interest. Table 2-7 highlights examples of the parking facilities on the East Bank Campus oriented toward commuting students.
|Facility Type||Type||Rate per Month||Capacity|
|East River Road Garage – Commuter||Contract||$127.25||75|
|Fourth Street Ramp – Commuter||Contract||$127.25||75|
|Gold Lot||Public||$3.75 per day||261|
|Maroon Lot||Public||$3.75 per day||479|
|Minnesota Lot – Commuter||Contract||$65.50||201|
|C58 – Commuter||Contract||$65.50||50|
|Gopher Lot – C77||Contract||$65.50||103|
|Lot 33||Public||$3.75 per day||237|
|Lot 37||Public||$3.75 per day||690|
Roadway Construction. Roadway construction is occurring associated with the Minnesota UPA projects and with other projects in the area. Information on major roadway construction projects will be obtained from Mn/DOT RTMC, the City of Minneapolis, and other communities in the I-35W corridor. This information will be examined along with the traffic and transit data obtained in other test plans to identify road construction that may influence travel patterns, bus routes, and other factors. This information will be monitored over the course of the evaluation.
The location of roadway projects that may influence travel patterns in the historical, pre- deployment, and post-deployment periods are highlighted below:
- I-35W/Highway 62 Crosstown construction (including HOT lane) – July 2007 to Fall 2010.
- Highway 100 from Highway 7 to Minnetonka Boulevard, addition of third lane – June 2006 to October 2006.
- Highway 77, pavement preservation – single lane from May 2007 to June 2007
- I-35W Bridge collapse and replacement – major rerouting of traffic from August 2007 to September 2008.
- Second and Marquette in downtown Minneapolis – construction of dual bus lanes from 2008 to December 2009.
Non-Typical Weather Conditions, Traffic Incidents, and Special Events. Information from the Mn/DOT RTMC will be used to identify major weather conditions, traffic incidents, and special events that may influence normal travel patterns, bus routes, and other factors. Examples of these types of occurrences include major snowstorms, events such as the Republican National Convention held in St. Paul in 2008, and other similar major events. Information available from the RTMC will be monitored over the course of the evaluation.
Control Corridors. Two control corridors will be used to compare changes in the travel patterns in the I-35W corridor. The two control corridors are I-394, from I-494 to downtown Minneapolis, and I-94N to I-694. Both corridors will be used to monitor traffic, transit, crash, and incident data. In addition, the MnPASS HOT lanes on I-394 will be used as a control for the MnPASS HOT lanes and the PDSL on I-35W. In addition, region-wide data on transit ridership, park-and-ride lot use, traffic, and crashes will be monitored. These data will be collected and analyzed in the Traffic System Data Test Plan, the Transit System Data Test Plan, the Tolling Data Test Plan, and the Safety Data Test Plan.
2.2 Data Availability
As Table 2-8 highlights, pre-deployment, and post-deployment data is available for unemployment rates and gasoline prices. Historical and pre-deployment data on the other exogenous factors are limited, but post-deployment data will be available on all of the elements in the test plan.
|Data Sources||Historical Data||Pre-Deployment Data||Post-Deployment Data|
|DEED Unemployment Rates|
|USDOE and MinnesotaGasPrices.com Gasoline Prices|
|City of Minneapolis Downtown Minneapolis Parking Rates||Not Needed|
|University of Minnesota Parking Spaces and Rates||Not Needed|
|Mn/DOT RTMC Roadway Construction||Not Needed||Some|
|Mn/DOT RTMC Major Weather Conditions, Traffic Incidents, and Special Events||Not Needed||Some|
|Control Corridors and Region-Wide Traffic, Transit, and Crash Data from Other Test Plans||Some||Some|
2.3 Potential Risks
There do not appear to be any significant risks associated with obtaining the information from the sources outlined previously. A potential risk is the reliance on the availability of updated data on the DEED, US DOE, MinnesotaGasPrice.com, and City of Minneapolis websites, as well as the ability to obtain updated information from the University of Minnesota and the Mn/DOT RTMC. All of these sources appear to provide regular data updates, however. Thus, no special efforts to address the low risk are recommended.