“Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance
Everybody thinks it’s true” – Paul Simon
Well, yes and no. Not everybody likes the sound of the southwest light rail project but most are coming around to support it. This is the current thinking of citizens in the Southwest, confirmed by Gail Dorfman, Hennepin County Commissioner, at the last Southwest Transitway Project Public Meeting. At Calhoun Square about 40 people gathered to listen to details and ask questions of Dorfman and Project Manager Katie Walker.
• Tuesday, Oct. 7 at the Hennepin County Government Center (300 South 6th St., Minneapolis, 612.348.3169). Open House 2:00 p.m.; Public Hearing 3:00 p.m.
• Tuesday, Oct. 14 at the St. Louis Park City Hall (5005 Minnetonka Boulevard, St. Louis Park, 55416). Open House 5:00 p.m.; Public Hearing 6:00 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Eden Prairie City Hall (8080 Mitchell Road, Eden Prairie, 55344). Open House 5:00 p.m.; Public Hearing 6:00 p.m.
More info at www.southwesttransitway.org.
From eight initial alternatives three were chosen to be reviewed for further action. Those three are:
LRT 1A: Downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie via the Kenilworth Corridor and the HCRRA property.
LRT 3A: Downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie via the Kenilworth Corridor and Opus/Golden Triangle area.
LRT 3C: Downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie via Nicollet Avenue, the Midtown Corridor, and the Opus/Golden Triangle area.
Only option 3C runs through Uptown. And three major issues with that are the Kmart area of Nicollet, the sharp turn at Lake & Nicollet and potentially controversial, the Hennepin Avenue bridge. This relatively new bridge has limited space underneath to accommodate light rail AND a bicycle trail on the Midtown Greenway. The Midtown Greenway Organization for this reason has issued a statement in support of only a streetcar and not a light rail train on the Greenway. If Uptown is to see a light rail stop these issues will need to be resolved.
The next step in the process for citizens is the scoping meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to give the public information about the history of the decisions that led to current options. The public can also provide feedback on alternatives for improving transit service in the southwest metro area.