Thursday, September 24, 2009

A response to: MN 2020 Central LRT article

University of Minnesota Shouldn’t Slow Central Corridor Down

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For some reason, MN 2020 wouldn't let me post this on its replies section, or at least it didn't show up after hitting refresh multiple times... So here's my response to the article and several other comments (three at the time of posting):

As a prior avid supporter of the Central Corridor (see posts tagged Central Corridor), I applaud the University's suit against the Metropolitan Council. However, it will not net the result that many transit supporters have discussed for many months now: The removal of LRT through Stadium Village with an alignment through Dinkytown.
While this would be too lengthy to discuss on this discussion panel, many of the Central Line's stakeholders including the University of Minnesota were promised a tunnel in choosing the current alignment, however, costs became prohibitive for a tunnel and an at-grade transit mall was selected and approved. All the while this was being negotiated, we had the 35W bridge collapse and be rebuilt "Transit Ready" so that it could carry some form of transit to be determined later, President Obama was elected and presented an administration much more favorable to investment in rail transit systems and transportation infrastructure than the previous administration.

Now, there is no shame (as stated by a commentator) on Bruininks for questioning the legitimacy of the ridership estimates of the Metropolitan Council who say that there will be greater ridership numbers through the current approved alignment. Personally, I would like to see what will happen to traffic counts for East River Road (a major bike/walk, slow traffic carrier) and all other roads once traffic is removed and replaced by trains. Also, The Vault (TCF Bank Stadium) is complete, if we want to bring people to the new Gophers' stadium via transit, why not run the train behind it and tie into the new biology corridor that is currently being planned, and then jog over to University Ave and run at-grade from there? This way, the businesses in Stadium Village do not have to give up there on-street parking through this tricky section of Washington Ave.
I want this project as much as any other transit supporter in the metro, however, people often preach "build once hurt once", or 100 year decisions have consequences on the built environment etc. This suit, allows us to take a breather, even though we are on the cusp of a final approval (or did we get that already?). I am not to the point of arguing in favor of the tax evaders of Minnesota, but the University of Minnesota is a major stakeholder along the line and should not be pushed around or intimidated by the council.
For those of us who desire a alternative alignment, it would be a losing effort, but if anybody has any resources to get it going again, you'd have my support.

-Update- Was requested to repost and submitted with no problems, be interesting to see if it stimulates discussion or results in rants. Thanks to Chris of Hindsight for the heads up.

-Second Update-

Important Message from the University of Minnesota on its relations with the Central Corridor: From the University's Youtube Channel

-I tried posting the video and it kept exceeding the margins, probably need to do some fiddling with settings regarding blogger. Plus its an older video from this summer and not really relevant to the current scuffle that will be over soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Vaults Home Opener - I got to be on Television

I was wondering what television news channel that photographer was from :-D
Last night after the Kare 11 news broadcast, my girlfriend got a text from one of her cousins saying: "Where you and Drew @ the Game, I think we just saw Drew on the news". Sure enough, at the three minute mark of the video posted below is yours truly screaming go Gophers into the Camera...

The Photojournalists view of the Game

-Update, After watching it, I didn't know that they included me twice for the Rouser: My Favorite part of any Gopher Game has always been the Rah at the end!!

There has been a lot said for the historical significance of the Gophers returning to campus. The Gophers now have their own home to defend at the University of Minnesota; the best slogan by far has been: "Stadium Village, now with a Stadium" that was on all of the students who had bought season tickets. This game was completely sold out and an announced attendance of 50,508 people. Kristen and I were able to attend thanks to our friends (also alumni) who had to attend a wedding.

Kristen and I took some pictures and Video at the game which I hope to post soon along with an attempted reflection of my Dad and I's trip to the Wind River Range of which photos can be seen on Flickr:


It was a great weekend to be a Minnesota Sports fan; The Gophers won a tough victory over Air Force and have great momentum into their next battle with Cal; and the Vikings had a great game with Farve and Adrian Peteron's 64 yard touchdown run that was straight out a video game.