Southwest light rail, for the sake of the North Side

  • Article by: Paul Slack
  • Updated: October 21, 2013 - 6:55 PM

The benefit of racial and economic equity is getting lost in the debate.

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davehougOct. 21, 13 6:18 PM

They could find work and seek better-paying jobs if they had access to transit that they currently lack = = = What would a billion dollars spent on the bus system look like to someone wanting to commute to a job???? Better than a single rail route I bet.

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rlwr51Oct. 21, 13 7:22 PM

This is the lamest reason I've heard yet to build this thing....I would call it grasping at straws, myself. What the North Side needs is jobs in the North Side. I would be in favor of taking that money (what is it, $1-6 billion?) and putting good paying jobs there and it would have a better "racial and economic equality" benefit that putting it into this rail line.

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ivaro3Oct. 21, 13 7:28 PM

I would like to expand on Rev. Slack's comments. I agree that equal access is important, and that the North Side needs special consideration. Having access to quick transportation could indeed help families that spend hours on the bus. But I do think that Dave Houg's point about expanding bus routes also makes some sense, though whether this is an either/or point with light rail, is up for debate. I would also ask Mr. Slack to expand upon white and black and consider latinos, Native Americans, Asians and poor whites into this issue. They all exist on the North Side also, and I know that because I lived there for 15 years. There is too much black and white emphasis, I think, and other groups are forgotten too often. This isn't the 60's or 70's anymore, and all groups need to be considered. Finally, I hope the churches are doing their part to try to break the chain of poverty, and get people to make the right and hard choices that have to be made in order to get out of poverty. Having less children and at a later age, more emphasis on education and making people see the difference it makes on income, dealing with family issues and drugs, mental health, or whatever it takes; that has to be part of the solution also. That said, the original point about helping the North Side is a valid point with the light rail, and I am glad the Reverend has brought it up and written this article.

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greenedOct. 21, 13 8:20 PM

Very good points about how the North side is more than black & white. I'll just note that Rev. Slack only mentioned black & white when talking about a specific measurement of disparity. Throughout the article he speaks of people in need without respect to any specific race or ethnicity. His points about the suburban communities along this line are right on. This line will bring equity to North Minneapolis and to every community in the corridor. I know Rev. Slack personally and I know that he very much considers ALL people when it comes to equity and justice.

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jbpaperOct. 21, 13 8:29 PM

If there is such a large demand for transit from people who live in Mpls and work in the Southwest suburbs, why are most of Southwest Transits bus routes one way (into Mpls in the morning, out of Mpls in the afternoon)?

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TheDarkOneOct. 21, 13 8:58 PM

Kenilworth is in South Minneapolis. Bryn Mawr is in South Minneapolis. At best this configuration will serve the very periphery of North Minneapolis at Royalston. How many folks are realistically going to ride from the North Side to a high tech job in Eden Prairie? It belongs in Uptown...

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ruphinaOct. 21, 13 9:55 PM

davehoug- if it were only ONE Billion. The cheapest option is 1.2B and the most expensive is close to 2B. Bill G.

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ruphinaOct. 21, 1310:03 PM

The biggest problem I have with the article is the racism of the author whining for "racial and economic equity". If you are not of color but happen to live along the 3 stations, can you still take the train? And of course- the whole problem with his attitude is the phrase "economic EQUITY". NO such thing- what we need is equal economic OPPORTUNITY. Re-read the article and substitute opportunity for equity and just leave out the word racial every time and see if it isn't a much better article. Bill G.

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arspartzOct. 21, 1311:13 PM

People with job skills but who lack access to transit would have a world of opportunities open to them if we built the three proposed stops. They could find work and seek better-paying jobs if they had access to transit that they currently lack.

Why not live closer to the job?

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mpls25Oct. 22, 1312:36 AM

The SW Light rail doesn't even go to North Minneapolis. Already a number of transportation options are available. Why would taking a bus to a light rail station in South Minneapolis make getting a job in Eden Prairie so much easier?

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