Residents should fight Southwest Light Rail as is


Listening to Mayor Betsy Hodges and others it seems that people who oppose Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) should just go home, put their heads in the sand and give up. I would not do that if I had my druthers. Why?

Because of this court case, RESIDENTS IN PROTEST—I-35E v. DOLE which was decided in the mid-eighties. What happened is a group of established citizens and residents of the Summit Hill area sued the Federal Government. Uncertainty of the outcome did not stop the RIP-35E group from filing civil suits in the courts. They won and got major concessions.

As the Star Tribune says today in its coverage of the SWLRT deal:

“Minneapolis officials long insisted they wouldn’t stomach a light-rail line next to freight tracks in a part of the city popular with bicyclists, hikers and canoeists.”

But what city officials actually did is not “stomach” this proposal, but break a promise to the residents of the communities that are impacted by the rail development. It seems that the state, Met Council, Hennepin County Board, the Mayor, and others are evoking and conjuring up their points as to why SWLRT should become a reality. This type of behavior was also done to place the road of 35 E below Summit Hill of St Paul. But people organized, but they also had one other thing, monetary resources.

The Kenwood and Kenilworth neighborhoods of Minneapolis, and others who want to fight on in regards to the SWLRT I encourage you to do so. Granted, you may be called names, may cost money and time, but you would be protecting your community.

Some one’s action of going to court and sue to block the project would definitely create uncertainty and upset a number of private and public sector entities, so what, is that not what we do in a democracy.