Bill Knowles, a consultant and pitchman from Salt Lake City, visited the Twin Cities twice. Mr. Knowles’ visits were sponsored by the banks, insurance companies, government agencies and other vested interests (lobbyists, consultants, contractors etc.) (sometimes called “stakeholders”) comprising the Central Corridor Partnership.
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During his first visit, where he spoke at University United on University Avenue in St. Paul, after making his pitch for LRT, Mr. Knowles responded to questions. One questioner asked: “What were the factors that Salt Lake City (used) to determine to build (LRT) parallel to the freeway (along the rail corridor) rather than a corridor like University Avenue?” Knowles responded: “It’s where the existing railway was and it was the quickest and cheapest way to put it together…The obvious was there.”
Salt Lake City, the 35th largest market in the country, has multiple LRT lines. The Twin Cities, the 13th largest market, have one line? Apparently, in the Twin Cities, the obvious has been ignored.