Group files Suit over Southwest LRT

A group of Minneapolis environmental activists, concerned residents, and lawyers gathered at the Hennepin County Government Center to unveil a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the Federal Transit Administration.The Lakes and Parks Alliance is challenging the legality of votes by the Metropolitan Council and the Minneapolis City Council to approve what could become the most expensive public project in Minnesota history.KFAI’s Rico Morales has a report. Links to audio below.Group Files Suit Over Southwest LRTOil Trains Cause Concern Continue Reading

A Southwest Light Rail explainer

August 03, 2014, back seat of a Toyota 4Runner, Highway 169, Central Minnesota:

“So what’s going on with that train stuff?”

“Ah, it’s kind of a long story at this point.” Continue Reading

SWLRT West Lake Station: Avoiding future regrets

I’ve appreciated the blogging about Central Corridor coulda-woulda-shoulda’s. Other than signal-timing, I think it’s fair to say they mainly relate to pedestrian needs. Well, pedestrian needs have gotten short shrift to date for the SWLRT West Lake Station (also future Midtown terminus) – although it may not appear that way at first glance. Continue Reading

The North Minneapolis-Southwest LRT connection

The Southwest Corridor will dramatically improve the transit connection between North Minneapolis and the southwest suburbs. Today, if a Northside resident wants to travel to Hopkins, a one transfer bus ride is available during rush hour every 20 minutes, and it takes 46 minutes to get there from the corner of North 7th Street & Olson Memorial Highway. During off-peak hours, that same trip takes three buses and about an hour. Travel to Minnetonka and Eden Prairie is even less convenient. Light rail transit (LRT) will shorten the trip to Hopkins to 23 minutes, with 10 minute frequencies and much more availability during many more hours of the day. That opens up all sorts of employment opportunities for Northside residents. Continue Reading

OPINION | Equity missing from new Southwest Light Rail plans

Last week Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) was glad to see a plan moving forward to build the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT), but deeply disappointed in the lack of equity in the plan as it currently exists.The current SWLRT includes no mention of equity, and it remains unclear how this project will benefit the Northside communities it’s running through.NOC, along with the People’s Transit Coalition, put together a community benefits agreement that was crafted by engaging the community around what they want out of this $1.6 billion project coming through their neighborhood. This document was crafted with the needs and wants of community at the center, including a clear call for better shelters and other amenities in north Minneapolis and reduction in fare.This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Insight News. Check out the links below for other recent Insight News stories:Have Black girls been overlooked: Why are 40 percent of Black females dropping out?Twins players and stadium on display for All-Star gameThe current SWLRT plan has committed to 24 new shelters in north Minneapolis this year, as part of a total of 75 to 100 new shelters by end of 2015. This moves them from meeting 54 percent of the need – by their own definitions – to about 74 percent in Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty (RCAP). There was no mention of how many of these shelters were already planned in advance of the current proposal, nor any mention of how to cover 100 percent of stops that meet the RCAP threshold.As the transit organizer with NOC, I ride the bus every day asking people what they want to see from such a huge investment in the transit system they use daily. Continue Reading

Southwest Light Rail agreement draws criticism

The Metropolitan Council and the city of Minneapolis have announced a tentative agreement regarding the configuration of the Southwest Light Rail Project. The project’s path through the city of Minneapolis has been controversial, and the mediated agreement requires approval from a number of cities and government agencies before construction can begin. After the deal was announced yesterday, opponents weighed in as South West Light Rail Train advocates moved quickly to meet deadlines for getting federal money. Rico Morales filed this report. [Audio below]Find the original post here. Continue Reading