Cedar-Riverside reaches compromises on LRT station location

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A number of West Bank stakeholders are calling the proposed location of the Central Corridor light-rail transit (LRT) station a good compromise after business owners and community members lobbied for a station on or near Cedar Avenue.

The 300-foot-long station will most likely be located beneath 19th Avenue, between the original Blegen Hall spot and Cedar Avenue. Riders would access signal-controlled crosswalks to the platform on Washington Avenue via stairways or elevators from 19th and Cedar avenues and bus stops on Washington. Greenspace will be developed in the “trench” on the Cedar Avenue side of the station.

Laura Baenen, communications manager for the Central Corridor LRT Project Office, said the possibility of adding a Cedar Avenue elevator — at the urging of Ward 2 Council Member Cam Gordon — was discussed at a Dec. 17 community meeting. Although the design is not final, she acknowledged the positive response from community members and businesses.

The addition of an elevator was the deciding factor for Dania Partners, a group of Cedar-Riverside stakeholders concerned that a station away from Cedar Avenue did not adequately serve neighborhood residents and economic development along Cedar Avenue.

Tim Mungavan, executive director of the West Bank Community Development Corporation and a member of Dania Partners, said that the elevator “was what we were looking for.” The elevator creates an entrance on Cedar Avenue, he said, satisfying their concern that Cedar be more than a “back door” to the station.

Sharon Johnson, representing the Cedar-Riverside Business Association (CRBA), said that CRBA and businesses in general are pleased with the present location, and that the landscaping will make the area look more attractive.