Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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acs
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby acs » August 24th, 2016, 5:11 pm

It's not looking good folks. 7 days is all we've got.

http://www.journalmpls.com/news/2016/08 ... t-funding/

kirby96
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby kirby96 » August 25th, 2016, 4:52 am

So all of a sudden it seems to me Dayton is hugely politically motivated to find some solution (any solution!) to keep this going. Otherwise this will be viewed as an absolutely massive victory for the Republicans, will it not? To kill a project of such magnitude? The Repub 'base' will easily overlook any downside to the failure to agree on a special session and play this as a huge strike against big govt, which I gotta think would set the tone for the future. "Look! It worked!"

DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » August 25th, 2016, 5:27 am

If there was ever a chance I would vote for the GOP it's gone now.

Clearly they don't want light rail, but most of them seem to also have no problem cutting transit funding in general.

I sincerely hope that Dayton and the Met Council figure out a way to fund this. I don't want to be an old man when they finally start construction.

fehler
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby fehler » August 25th, 2016, 10:09 am

The GOP won. Either the SWLRT goes down in flames, or the Met Council/Dayton finds some other source of funding, and the GOP and point and say the state funding was never needed.

I say fund it. The GOP will suffer the Trump Drag in November regardless of this issue, and by the time of the next two year cycle no one will remember who put what money up for this project. Who remembers what happened with the State Office Building? Daudt will be done in by his own poor driving habits then any voter-led ouster.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » August 25th, 2016, 10:11 am

The problem will be the same as the State Office Building though. Who remembers what happened with it? Doesn't matter, it becomes a Tweet-sized retort to any future spending or project and a conservative meme.

pannierpacker
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby pannierpacker » August 25th, 2016, 10:44 am

This funding deadline may kill what's in process but allow us to re-envison a better southwest line with the 3C option.

acs
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby acs » August 25th, 2016, 10:51 am

Sure it could, in 10 years and $5 billion more in costs. And you thought building it was an uphill battle now. How does that saying go? A bird in the hand....

kirby96
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby kirby96 » August 25th, 2016, 1:21 pm

fehler wrote:The GOP won. Either the SWLRT goes down in flames, or the Met Council/Dayton finds some other source of funding, and the GOP and point and say the state funding was never needed.

I say fund it. The GOP will suffer the Trump Drag in November regardless of this issue, and by the time of the next two year cycle no one will remember who put what money up for this project. Who remembers what happened with the State Office Building? Daudt will be done in by his own poor driving habits then any voter-led ouster.
I agree the GOP 'won', and I also agree to fund it. In fact, my point is that from a strictly political viewpoint, I think it's actually more critical at this point to find a way to fund it. Sure it gives the Repubs the 'it didn't need state funding' argument, but at least it ultimately sends the message that 'we still got what we want and your obstruction kept you from getting what you want'.

Also, the 'it didn't really need state funding' argument isn't nearly as sexy or sound-bite worthy as the 'we killed light rail' argument, so there's also a small victory in taking that away from them.

Silophant
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » August 25th, 2016, 1:38 pm

Eh, I'm not even totally convinced that not really needing state funding is a bad thing. It would be okay, in my book, to plan out metro transit projects without relying on outstate parochial interests for a relatively small, but crucial piece of funding.
If that means that from here on out we expand the rail system piecemeal, with smaller locally-funded projects rather than giant federally-funded moonshots that take ten years from start to finish and can get shot down in year nine by one determined used-car salesman... so be it.

There's obviously cons to that system as well, but are they worse than what we've got so far? I'm not sure.

kirby96
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby kirby96 » August 25th, 2016, 1:40 pm

Silophant wrote:Eh, I'm not even totally convinced that not really needing state funding is a bad thing. It would be okay, in my book, to plan out metro transit projects without relying on outstate parochial interests for a relatively small, but crucial piece of funding.
If that means that from here on out we expand the rail system piecemeal, with smaller locally-funded projects rather than giant federally-funded moonshots that take ten years from start to finish and can get shot down in year nine by one determined used-car salesman... so be it.

There's obviously cons to that system as well, but are they worse than what we've got so far? I'm not sure.

^and there's that.

David Greene
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 25th, 2016, 2:53 pm

Silophant wrote:Eh, I'm not even totally convinced that not really needing state funding is a bad thing. It would be okay, in my book, to plan out metro transit projects without relying on outstate parochial interests for a relatively small, but crucial piece of funding.
If that means that from here on out we expand the rail system piecemeal, with smaller locally-funded projects rather than giant federally-funded moonshots that take ten years from start to finish and can get shot down in year nine by one determined used-car salesman... so be it.

There's obviously cons to that system as well, but are they worse than what we've got so far? I'm not sure.
That's exactly what I've been thinking. Back when the DFL was in full control, there were proposals floated to get the state out of metro transit funding so the counties/cities could make their own decisions. It was pretty strongly opposed by Dibble and possibly Hornstein as well. I never really got a straight answer on why except some speculation that they wanted some state skin in the game so legislators could influence decisions. I thought then it would blow up in their faces and it did, though I'm not sure Dibble or Hornstein would be sad to see SWLRT die. Generally I like their takes on transportation but their non-action on SWLRT (either for or against) is just irritating. I understand they're walking a political tightrope but I wish they would at least be a little more forthcoming on exactly what their views/plans are around it.

That said, I don't think SWLRT is going to die. It could be delayed and delayed pretty significantly but I think even that is unlikely. I think Dayton is committed to funding it. It may come down to local officials.

talindsay
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » August 25th, 2016, 4:25 pm

I think the DFL has fought against putting it entirely in local hands for the same reasons we have state aid to cities, CSAH funding, etc. - remnants of the "Minnesota Miracle", where divergent interests statewide come together to fund things that aren't directly in their interest can do a lot to build a cohesive sense of statewide unity.

Of course, the last fifteen years have shown that the basic underlying belief in that principle has eroded enough that continuing to try and bolster it isn't doing much for us. Minnesota is an oddly non-federalist state - almost all the power sits in the state's hands directly, with very little power federated to lower levels of government.

Personally I think it would be better to get permanent permission from the state for the Metro to self-fund transit, even though it would mean not getting funding from the state. But both sides in St. Paul are, to steal a Bushism, "skeptible" because currently the only power they really have over metro transit planning is power of the purse, and so their tiny 10% contribution keeps them in the driver's seat.

phop
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby phop » August 25th, 2016, 6:25 pm

Sounds like it's happening.

https://www.minnpost.com/politics-polic ... rt-funding
The plan unveiled Thursday would have the Met Council financing $91.75 million in certificates with the CTIB financing another $11.75 million. Those certificates wouldn’t be sold until next summer, giving the next Legislature an opportunity to come up with a different funding plan. One strategy could be a proposal made by Dayton in 2015 to let the counties that make up CTIB — Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington — increase the local transit tax from 0.25 percent to 0.75 percent with the proceeds going to cover the regional and state share of SWLRT and other regional rail and bus rapid transit projects on drawing board.

In addition to the COPs, the plan calls from Hennepin County Regional Rail to up its share by $20.5 million and CTIB increasing it’s share by a comparable $20.5 million.

The plan would require three votes next week: from the Met Council, the Hennepin County rail authority and CTIB board.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » August 25th, 2016, 6:50 pm

After the three bodies make their votes next week, is there anything that could be done to stop this short of the existing lawsuits?

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » August 26th, 2016, 9:13 am

Of the three bodies, CTIB might be a struggle. I can't imagine Matt Look happily going along with this.

sad panda
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby sad panda » August 26th, 2016, 9:42 am

I see CTIB being the easiest to get approval - Hennepin county alone counts for 47% of the vote.

David Greene
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 26th, 2016, 10:11 am

Yeah, I'm not worried about the votes. I don't think Dayton would have had a big public media event if the votes weren't there. Opat may try to extract some kind of guarantee on Bottineau so we don't go through a similar mess again. That wouldn't necessarily be bad thing.

Qhaberl
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Qhaberl » August 27th, 2016, 7:08 am

So is the votes and everything goes through as planned, are they still anticipating to start construction next year? I believe that is the current plan? I am super excited about the development potential around the stations.


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Silophant
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » August 27th, 2016, 12:24 pm

Speaking of the CTIB vote, does Dakota County get a vote on this still, or are they already out as far as votes go?

talindsay
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » August 27th, 2016, 9:35 pm

I don't believe they've actually withdrawn, right? The funny thing is that if bonds are issued for this while Dakota is still a member, they're bound to contribute their share on those bonds. As long as Hennepin and Ramsey vote for it, then all the counties are bound, so really it doesn't matter how they vote.


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