COMMENTS of the WEEK — Tank cars and streetcars

Articles on transportation questions in the Twin Cities provoked further questions in comments by readers last week.

Conrad deFiebre, asked Where the oil trains run (through Minnesota), including the Twin Cities, on their way to refineries from North Dakota. That was in a blog we republished from Minnesota 2020, “a progressive, non-partisan” local think tank. The blog supplied two maps, and at least one reader wished strongly for more detail:

sgitis - Even after clicking to enlarge, the map is illegible. I'm guessing the highest number of trains/tank cars travel in the Central Corridor between Minneapolis and St. Paul, past the Amtrak station. How many tank cars are passing thru the Frogtown, Midway and St. Anthony Park neighborhoods in St. Paul?

Meanwhile, in E-DEMOCRACY — A streetcar named Density, five writers offered five perspectives on the relation between public transpiration systems and population densities in the Twin Cities. That brought this comment from a regular Planet reader:

Bob Roscoe - As for Ms Becker's comments about the Hiawatha Line, density in the form of multi-unit housing has happened along the east side of the line in many locations. And given limited life of miscellaneous industries nearby, future medium density housing can happen here. But also an important measuring stick is that every passenger in those light rail cars takes people off the streets where auto traffic has increased and become slower.

… As for density, more people living in cities is unavoidable and more environmentally sustainable. The objective should be, as seems to be emerging in the Twin Cities, to minimize conversion of single family house tradition neighborhoods to higher density, and use zoning tools to increase density in unused industrial and commercial land and other areas along main traffic arteries, where retail and other amenities can provide multi-uses that can work well with street car routes.

Thanks to these readers for sharpening the focus on important questions. Remember, reader comments are the lifeblood of community conversation in the Daily Planet. Join in. Agree or disagree. Praise or criticize. Be brief, be civil, be heard!

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    Anthony Morley's picture
    Anthony Morley

    Anthony Morley (anthonymorley at tcdailyplanet dot net) is a retired editor, reporter, teacher, principal and priest.