Thursday, November 17, 2005

Screw it, build more highways, I give up

This afternoon, I was excited; I was all set to go to my first Central Corridor Coordinating Meeting at the Brownstone building from 3:30PM to 5:30 PM. Last night I had worked feverishly to finish my GIS lab so that I could make it to the meeting instead of going to my lab section. I even endured the bus ride from campus to find the damn brownstone building. Guess what happened when I got there, you guessed it, they canceled the meeting!!! Now I should have seen this coming, all through the summer and fall the Central Corridor Coordinating Committee (CCCC) had been canceling meetings one right after the other. I had already sent an angry email to Steve Morris on a previous occasion and it had absolutely no affect so I am not going to do that now.

Instead I suggest just building highways. That’s my recommendation to TLC. Stop advocating for LRT in the Central Corridor. Build a huge bypass over University Avenue, an elevated highway similar to the double decker highways found in California or the Nimitz Highway on the island of Oahu. The Central Corridor Coordinating Committee canceled the meeting without even telling anybody, they didn’t even make a note of it on their website. I think it’s pretty embarrassing when an organization can not capitalize on momentum and even keep the diehards (such as myself) interested in a project.

The momentum I am referring to is the ever increasing success of Minnesota’s first LRT system the Hiawatha line. If the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) and the Central Corridor Coordinating Committee (CCCC) can’t keep people interested in the project and having the public not wanting to attend their meetings because they know they are going to be canceled, how do they expect anyone to take them seriously? If these organizations continue to keep the public uniformed about their meetings and when they will be held, if they will be held at all, people will continue to lose interest in projects such as the Central Corridor, and the Twin Cities will never have their transit system.

I am sorry to buy into the rest of the “can’t do” that America is facing right now. It seems we can’t win the war in Iraq, we can’t fight terrorists, we can’t properly fund education, we can’t build a stadium for the University of Minnesota Gopher Football team, and we can’t fund transportation. Instead we are cutting everywhere and making sacrifices.

I hope that the people in charge of the RCRRA, the CCCC and the Metropolitan Council all wake up soon and hear the sound of transit federal dollars heading to other cities and the business community that follows those dollars out of this state to areas with less congestion problems as well as residents that might have lived, worked, and raised their children in the Twin Cities. If we don’t act, we will lose all of these to other cities like Denver, Vancouver, Portland and other transit oriented cities.

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