FREE SPEECH ZONE | Central Corridor Parking: Fast and Loose with the Truth


Several years ago, at a meeting at the Hubbs alternative learning center on University Avenue Ave. in St. Paul, Steve Morris, Project Manager for the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority, presented a vision for the Central Corridor LRT line.  Morris stated that the proposed light-rail line on University Avenue would eliminate on-street parking ONLY where there is a platform (euphemistically called a “station”) or a left-turn lane.  Presumably, with the proposed stations a mile apart and left-turn lanes only at major intersections, most of the on-street customer parking would be preserved.  A computer-generated cartoon, that according to Morris “does give a pretty decent idea how the various pieces fit together,” provided further assurance that much of the current on-street parking would remain.

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Later that evening, Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter reiterated that parking would only be eliminated “where stations are located” and “if you have a left turn lane.”

The computer “simulation,” for which Ramsey County paid more the $30,000, neglected to visualize any of the 5 major access points along the line, including the 2 downtowns, the State Capitol complex, the University of Minnesota and the Snelling-Midway area.  As Dr. Bara Berg, M.D., points out, the proposed LRT route isn’t about serving public transit users or existing neighborhoods, but rather, it’s about further enriching already wealthy real estate speculators.

Years have passed since the “information” session took place at the Hubbs Center.  Current plans call for the elimination of 85% of the on-street parking on University Avenue.