Lori Sturdevant: And, as always, obstacles in the transit path

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 22, 2009 - 2:22 PM

Does a complicated decisionmaking process get in the way of building the infrastructure Minnesota will need?

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wbgleasonNov. 21, 09 6:02 PM

The intransigence of the U has passed the point where they can deny it any longer, as even a great supporter of the U, Phyllis Kahn, has pointed out. The claim that the U is only interested in protecting research is simply not true. They have recently asked to be reimbursed about $2 million for their own consultants, and ca $20 million for lost parking lot revenue and free-fare for students traveling between stations on-campus. If President Bruininks had truly been on-board with light rail from the beginning we would not be in this confrontational situation. Leadership does, indeed, matter and it is long past time for a change of leadership in Morrill Hall. The current leadership been increasingly inept in dealing with questions related to the public good and priorities at the U. Hubris of "top three public research university in the world [sic]" propaganda has led them to lose focus on our land-grant university mission. There have been no tuition increases at Ohio State in the last three years. There are models other than a high-tuition, quasi-public, university despite claims to the contrary by this administration. W.B.Gleason (U of M grad and faculty member)

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pdxtranNov. 21, 09 6:06 PM

Now most people drive between downtown Mpls and downtown St. Paul on I-94. The Central Corridor will send more people through your neighborhood and give your businesses greater visibility. You will need LESS parking, not more. During the construction period, the smart businesses will market themselves to the construction workers.

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hahaha99Nov. 21, 09 6:30 PM

Lori, I typically agree with you, but on this one you are dead wrong. The best thing that could happen is for this version of the Central Corridor to die a quick death. The original plan for the CC was a line down/near I-94 to provide a quick link to the downtowns, which would be great. But this CC plan is wrong on many counts: (1) it WILL NOT decrease commute times along University Avenue, (2) University Avenue businesses will be devastated during the contruction period, (3) most on-street parking on University will be eliminated, creating even more financial problems for those businesses, (4) MTC bus routes will be decreased, (5) traffic on University will be even more impossible, especially at University and Snelling when traffic lights are changed to allow LRT to pass (have you ever tried to turn left from northbound Snelling to westbound University during rush hour or during the Fair?), and (6) MTC bus routes more than adequately serve University, the LRT IS NOT needed.

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mprhodesNov. 21, 09 7:19 PM

hahaha99: The "original plan" for a line down I-94 would really be what some people mistakenly take the current plan for: just a way for suburban commuters to zip through poorer urban neighborhoods. The current, excellent, alignment is about the best thing that could happen to University Avenue, including for its present neighbors. For the most part, your reasons for opposing the Central Corridor, and your support for an I-94 alignment, shows your deep misunderstanding of the purpose of light rail, which is to lay the framework for more sustainable future development in the city -- NOT to shuttle suburban commuters from ever farther subdivisions. That said, business impacts during construction do need to be mitigated, and the three additional stops do need to be built.

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davehougNov. 21, 09 7:49 PM

Or would you rather have a bus stop every few blocks? Who cares to lug groceries to the nearest train station?

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ParisPeasantNov. 21, 09 9:44 PM

I do not have a car. Some of the bus stops on University (particularly toward Snelling) are unfortunately so creepy that I avoid them. There is a lot of drug trafficking, also fights (always great to see women with kids in strollers take a swing at each other), and threats, and even with no danger, general unpleasantness, drunkeness, and disgusting language (and if you're a woman as I am, harassment). I end up walking farther to avoid trouble anyway - also to avoid certain stops were lots of people congregate to get on/off. Ever ridden a bus that "stops every few blocks"? I recommend the 21 in Minneapolis. Try it and see how much fun it is to take an hour to get anywhere with on an inching, crowded bus. When I lived in Minneapolis, the light rail was fantastic and I never took a bus down Hiawatha again. The LRT will finally make University Avenue a pleasure to walk down (and yes, I walk in the winter).

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pdxtranNov. 21, 0910:20 PM

and I took the bus to my part-time teaching job every day for a year--and it was COLD in those years, lots of below zero temps (down to -30°) and one two-day period when we got three feet total accumulation of snow. So I tend to think that anyone who complains about the temperatures we've had in the past six years is a bit of a wimp.

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fosen0Nov. 22, 09 7:42 AM

arguing over this is embarassing. That point passed months ago. The only thing its demonstrating is that the pay for a lawyer should be $1 an hour when sueing another part of state government

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mn2niceNov. 22, 09 9:10 AM

Never in my life have I seen a more irrational, pedagogical intransigent attitude from a major educational institution than that being displayed by the University of Minneosta toward the Central Corridor LRT project. If they are so afraid the LRT will hurt their precious research equipment, the simple solution is to move it to another area of the campus. It is time the U took the best interests of the people of the Twin Cities to have this project move forward with expediency to heart, rather than delay it any further. Their precious reputation has already been tarnished by their attitude. Just get on with it already!

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gstimmlerNov. 22, 0912:05 PM

Just get a list of the lobbyists and manufacturers. Is sure doesn't help the average commuter!

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