Before opening Target Field, The City of Minneapolis approached SIT to help find innovative solutions to traffic challenges the new ballpark would create. Specifically, SIT created an ideation project to address traffic, parking, and challenges to accessing events in the new ballpark. SIT included representatives from the City Council, the Metro-transit police, traffic control agency, police reserves, SHE, Metro Police Department, local commercial complexes, AMPCO and others in the ideation session to ensure all relevant parties could contribute their ideas. The opportunity to discuss the traffic challenges with a cooperative and solution-oriented mindset allowed participants to create relationships for ongoing cooperation and gave each contributor a reason to follow through and implement the solutions.
During the project, the participants learned and applied SIT’s Task Unification thinking tool. They addressed physical elements (e.g. taxies, cars, traffic lights, skyways) alongside non-tangible elements (e.g. various types of data and information). The process generated several concrete ideas based on collecting, sharing, and communicating real-time information from multiple sources to streamline traffic, parking, public transportation, and pedestrian movement.
Two of the most notable concepts included the use of Variable Message Signs (VMS) and Roadway Closures. The local press praised the changes once the stadium opened and the baseball season began.