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.


Chris Shields said...


Your comment didn't pop up on our wordpress interface. Try posting again, we appreciate thoughtful disagreement.

Andrew said...

Thanks Chris,
I'll try posting again, maybe it was too lengthy? Yesterday i was having problems with my Comcast connection as well, it kept dropping in and out, could have been a factor.