Regional leadership needed to save Southwest light rail

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 14, 2013 - 5:52 PM

If lakes are protected, the advantages for Minneapolis are clear.

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aarghmebuckoNov. 14, 13 8:09 PM

The headline says regional leadership is needed. Minneapolis is fairly parochial , especially it's politicians. The met council has proven that it can not provide regional leadership. It's time the Itasca Group or Greater MSP provide civic leadership to fill the void of political leadership.

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cjkmyersNov. 14, 13 9:29 PM

The Editorial Board is incorrect on the St. Louis Park issue. The four trains are going through St. Louis Park REGARDLESS of the route. St. Louis Park does NOT agree to NEW rail corridors being created in St. Louis Park.

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jdlellis1Nov. 14, 1310:36 PM

The reality is that without due diligence, decisions were made and the decisions made were poor. The tragedy today is that no politician has the guts to recognize previous choices were bad and go back to the drawing board. No what will happen is that of the poor choices, which I believe are two) a compromised solution will be crafted. Think about it, two poor choices compromised into a third poor choice. Someone, explain the logic.

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JMJohnnyNov. 14, 1311:01 PM

The one sure way to eliminate environmental risks to the lakes is to avoid the tunnels entirely and run the SWLRT at grade through Kenilworth. The money saved can then be applied to the connecting Midtown streetcar line or to higher and better county and suburban transit needs. The fact that co-location can be done at-grade for $35 million - or even less - without taking any Minneapolis homes and the fact that the four additional freights will be hardly noticed in Kenilworth once the LRT is implemented should be sufficient to avoid the tunnels, independent of the latest round of consultant opinions. And there is nothing petty about the concerns voiced by St. Louis Park officials over rerouted freights. It is one thing for the four daily freights to roll quietly through Kenwood on a flat, relatively straight track profile and quite another thing for those same freights to scream and grind up a half mile grade in central St. Louis Park and then around one or two curves. Even Kenwood folks, a couple miles away, will hear and feel that, so you can imagine what it will be like in the transit oriented mixed use development zone planned for the Louisiana Station area. The Editorial Board made a compelling and articulate case for the benefits of the SWLRT endeavor. Let's hope Minneapolis officials and Governor Dayton are buying it and not the $160 million shallow tunnel story.

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honeybooNov. 14, 1311:13 PM

Kill this project before literally BILLIONS are wasted.

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mnpls123Nov. 15, 13 6:41 AM

Just say no Mpls. If the SW burbs want low wage workers, let them invest in their own low income housing. Dumbest reason for building the train I've heard yet.

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fanofcaribouNov. 15, 13 7:15 AM

mnpls123, you conveneintly missed the other part of that equation. Minneapolis wants the people to of the southwest suburbs to come to Minneapolis for work and entertainment. Both ends of the line will reap benefits as will all of the stops in the middle.

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cav1234Nov. 15, 13 8:06 AM

So one argument for Minneapolis is to help send downtown workers to Eden Prairie. In the unlikely event employers who choose to locate in the outer ring suburbs are deciding to build their facilities in the middle of areas suffering from labor shortages, requiring the public to pay a billion dollars to transport workers from the city out to those suburbs, a more compelling answer is to encourage the employers to put their facilities closer to where the workers are. Facilitating urban sprawl, which another article in the paper is simultaneously decrying, and rewarding bad labor market choices with what amounts to a massive public subsidy, are not values Mayor Hodges has indicated she shares. As likely, the labor market shortage argument is a make-weight one.

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cav1234Nov. 15, 13 8:14 AM

Better yet, what Minneapolis wants is people who work and recreate in Minneapolis who also live in and are invested in the city. Pay property taxes her too. Mayor Hodges has set goals for population growth in Minneapolis. We have an urban unemployment problem. The Mayor values urban develolment and not transportation policies that encourage urban sprawl. The southwest already has an excellent bus commuter system. Spending billions to make it easier for people to work/visit the city while living far away is a formula that contributes to a hollowed out urban core, not a growth strategy for Minneapolis.

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wryreaderNov. 15, 13 8:15 AM

The Strib editors miss the point that mass transit needs to go where people live, so they can actually board the train. This line needs to be about more than the outer suburbs. It needs to reach Uptown, where 100s of thousands of people who depend on transit live.

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