Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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BigIdeasGuy
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby BigIdeasGuy » April 5th, 2014, 7:46 am

First I think I need to point out that getting the state to commit $160m isn't a slam dunk at this point. In the current Minnesota Republican party by voting for LRT you are asking for a serious primary challenge, there are also plenty of greater Minnesota DFLers who are just fine not giving more to Minneapolis and St. Paul either. And quite frankly it would only help Governor Dayton win reelection if he comes out against the line. All this adds up to the fact that getting the state money is going to be like threading a needle, doable not easy. I also think I need to point out that if the Republicans take either the House or the Governor's office, SWLRT funding is DOA at the capital and now there is a $160m hole someone has to fill.

Second, I've heard from a little birdie that the SLP city council is still pissed off over something (I'm pretty sure it's Minneapolis not doing exactly what they wanted and making the city council actually you know do their job) and they are going to have a "big" meeting ripping Minneapolis and asking for a laundry list of items. How SLP could be pissed off over anything is beyond me, they got every thing that they wanted and didn't give up a thing. Quite frankly SLP came into the process and never acted in good faith and were basically a child throwing a temper tantrum the entire time. How they have the balls to now come back and rip Minneapolis and ask for more is pure narcissism plain and simple. And there is no way around it.

Third, I were advising Mayor Hodges at this point here is what I would suggest.

1. Get the everyone on the same page, everyone from the Mayor's office, City Council, Parks and Rec Board, everybody and make sure there isn't an millimeter of daylight between your public statements.
2. Go to the residents of Kenilworth and apologize for the outcome, you did every thing you could but you lost, it happens. (Also this is the part where you are glad you aren't up for election until 2017)
3. Then go to the Met Council and cut the best deal that you can for municipal consent, I personally like getting Midtown done (in writing, with firm deadlines and consequences if those deadlines aren't hit) and Met Council approval and unwavering support on Nicollet-Central. If that takes losing a tunnel so be it.
4.Then work with Barb Johnson to whip a unanimous vote for municipal consent for SWLRT.
5.Once all that's done and you look the adult in the room turn both barrels on SLP and just unload on them continuously, mercilessly and relentlessly, dare them to with hold municipal consent and kill the line, call them out for acting like children, not negotiating in good faith.
6. Get the damn line built.

Sara Bergen
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Sara Bergen » April 5th, 2014, 3:26 pm

BigIdeasGuy wrote:Second, I've heard from a little birdie that the SLP city council is still pissed off over something (I'm pretty sure it's Minneapolis not doing exactly what they wanted and making the city council actually you know do their job) and they are going to have a "big" meeting ripping Minneapolis and asking for a laundry list of items. How SLP could be pissed off over anything is beyond me, they got every thing that they wanted and didn't give up a thing. Quite frankly SLP came into the process and never acted in good faith and were basically a child throwing a temper tantrum the entire time. How they have the balls to now come back and rip Minneapolis and ask for more is pure narcissism plain and simple. And there is no way around it.
I disagree with this. SLP has not gotten everything it wanted. We will still have three stations co-located with freight trains. Co-location in Kenilworth is "win" in that the reroute and its negative impacts (xcel substation move, moving hwy 7, closing roads, compromising safety of students, moving all train waits to hopkins and mnkt, etc) are likely not going to happen, but we are still stuck with co-location at all of our light rail stops, which isn't awesome. There are also still some serious design flaws with the Belt Line station, and possibly the others too but I am not as familiar with them. In my mind we avoided decapitation but still are losing a hand. I was really suprised to hear Hodges say this at the CMC--she just sounded so petulant.
BigIdeasGuy wrote:Third, I were advising Mayor Hodges at this point here is what I would suggest.

1. Get the everyone on the same page, everyone from the Mayor's office, City Council, Parks and Rec Board, everybody and make sure there isn't an millimeter of daylight between your public statements.
2. Go to the residents of Kenilworth and apologize for the outcome, you did every thing you could but you lost, it happens. (Also this is the part where you are glad you aren't up for election until 2017)
3. Then go to the Met Council and cut the best deal that you can for municipal consent, I personally like getting Midtown done (in writing, with firm deadlines and consequences if those deadlines aren't hit) and Met Council approval and unwavering support on Nicollet-Central. If that takes losing a tunnel so be it.
4.Then work with Barb Johnson to whip a unanimous vote for municipal consent for SWLRT.
5.Once all that's done and you look the adult in the room turn both barrels on SLP and just unload on them continuously, mercilessly and relentlessly, dare them to with hold municipal consent and kill the line, call them out for acting like children, not negotiating in good faith.
6. Get the damn line built.
This is awesome. If you are not going to email this suggestion to Wagenius (the real Mayor), do you mind if I do? I will give you credit, of course. Right now we need to give mpls every opportunity to ferret its way out of the corner Hodges has backed it into.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » April 5th, 2014, 9:21 pm

A round up of all the development this group has already talked about to death. Little new.

http://www.startribune.com/local/west/254057881.html

David Greene
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » April 5th, 2014, 10:04 pm


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Anondson
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » April 5th, 2014, 10:15 pm

Yeah, pretty grotesque how much is getting done by insiders with buddy access.

Silophant
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » April 5th, 2014, 10:31 pm

Sara Bergen wrote: Wagenius (the real Mayor)
Really?

Chauncey87
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Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Chauncey87 » April 8th, 2014, 9:49 pm

Dayton calls Minneapolis tunnels for Southwest LRT the 'only option'

"Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday said a plan to run the Southwest Corridor through tunnels in the Kenilworth corridor of Minneapolis is flawed but the “only option” for the light-rail line to advance.

His comments came on the eve of a crucial Wednesday vote on the plan by the Metropolitan Council, the agency overseeing the project. “There does not appear to be any other viable alternative to what the council will be considering,” Dayton said in an interview with the Star Tribune. “It’s the only option for the line to go forward, and I support the line going forward.”

Dayton said if Minneapolis officials continue to oppose the tunnel option, the Met Council must decide if it will proceed without the city’s consent. But, the governor said, a protracted dispute would likely doom the project, bogging it down in many months of negotiations and lawsuits."

http://www.startribune.com/local/254469331.html

Just build this, get it done. I really couldn't care less how this line impacts north Minneapolis primarily because it is being billed as SW LRT. I am not sure many of those who are posting about starting from scratch, add extra time for more (redundant) my word studies, or dump the cash into trollies. Are really aware that these funds are locked in for only SW LRT, these funds have an expiration date, and if for what ever reason the entire line gets reworked to add pie in the sky ideas like having it go into uptown before SLP. Would create years of extra delay. This line will be "fast" and a smooth ride from EP. Will remove tens of thousands of cars from already crowded freeways. On top of that really give these cities a chance to increase the walk ability of there respective cities. So what is wrong with that? If it has to take a couple tunnels fine, who cares? The gun has been cocked for so long on this project I am starting to think some people are getting to scared to pull the trigger.

Another article

Southwest Light Rail is an investment in equity

"We are glad that Julie Sabo is raising important questions about transit equity for underserved communities. But she is mistaken in arguing that Southwest Light Rail is not an equity line.

The Southwest Light Rail line is an investment in equity, even if it does not address all of the disparities that our disadvantaged communities have faced. There is no magic train or perfect alignment that can fix the decades of disinvestment experienced by communities of color in the region. But if we let perfection be the enemy of the good, how much longer would our communities wait for investment?"

http://www.minnpost.com/community-voice ... ent-equity

Sara Bergen
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Sara Bergen » April 8th, 2014, 10:05 pm

Wow, that response article on MinnPost (responding to Sabo) was one of the most convincing I have read. I had no idea there were all of these development plans in place.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » April 9th, 2014, 6:34 am

It's not convincing at all.... it makes the claim that north siders are walking distance from the Van White stop. And it makes the claim that having a transfer from Penn Ave buses to SWLRT is critical, but the same transfer would be available at West Lake or elsewhere in other scenarios. And it makes the claim that someone is going to put 5,000 jobs and 3,000 housing units in the Bassett Creek valley because they've planned it that way, even though most of the demand and development effort that was planned for Bassett has already headed to other parts of the city such as DTE.

Sara Bergen
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Sara Bergen » April 9th, 2014, 7:15 am

Sara Bergen wrote:Wow, that response article on MinnPost (responding to Sabo) was one of the most convincing I have read. I had no idea there were all of these development plans in place.
This is my favorite passage:

"Finally, Sabo wonders if there would be a “smarter, equity based use of 1.5 billion transit dollars.” The decision is not between building the rail and building something else. It is between investing $1.5 billion dollars in economic development, including a substantial amount in underserved communities, or investing zero. Half of the project is paid for by the federal government, but we are competing with other cities for this money, and it can be taken away."

I haven't seen this articulated this forcefully and straightforward in any other recent article about SWLRT.

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » April 9th, 2014, 7:30 am

There are some choice quotes in this article about not building the northern tunnel.
http://www.southwestjournal.com/news/sw ... light-rail

Not building the north tunnel not only saves $55-60MM (likely less after additional mitigation measures), but preserves the 21st St Station.

If this is what we're going with, the shallow tunnel option (rather than single track, move the trail, etc), then it is absolutely unquestionable that we need to build the 21st St Station. Most importantly, to extend the Route 2 to the station, and less importantly to give the Kenwood neighborhood all day transit service. I say less importantly because I think transfer riders from the extended Route 2 will greatly outweigh walk ups from a narrow stretch of Kenwood.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » April 9th, 2014, 7:39 am

Sara Bergen wrote: It is between investing $1.5 billion dollars in economic development, including a substantial amount in underserved communities, or investing zero. Half of the project is paid for by the federal government, but we are competing with other cities for this money, and it can be taken away.
Yeah. Half the money is coming from the Feds. Half. You act like, if this line fails, not only will we be losing the $750M that the feds will invest in the misrouted travesty, but that the $750M of local money will just be set on fire or used for another giant-ass bridge to nowhere.

I do support this project, albeit reluctantly, but all these people acting like it's going to be a flawless slam-dunk super-victory for the Northside, because a bus to Van White or Royalston will be a couple minutes quicker than the same bus to Nicollet or Target Field are being ridiculous.

talindsay
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » April 9th, 2014, 8:29 am

Heh yeah, a light rail line through some of the more affluent neighborhoods in the metro (preferably hidden from view so they don't have to see poor people) being sold as an "equity" project because one station is marginally within the arbitrary borders of what we've chosen to call "the north side" is absurd. It's hard to fathom how asking north siders to crowd on to a bus so they can board a light rail line outside downtown instead of inside downtown is going to dramatically (or even significantly) alter anything for the north side. Honestly, $750m in local money could be spent just about any way with more impact - divide it up and use it for homeowners on the north side to repair and improve their properties, as government grants and it would have dramatically more impact. OR, if transit equity is your bag, use it to build a transit line that's ACTUALLY IN North Minneapolis.

Despite its flaws I want this line to go forward, as I've expressed numerous times in the last 113 pages. But to claim a line through white, affluent suburbs is about "equity" is absurd.

acs
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby acs » April 9th, 2014, 8:57 am

I do think we should scrap the north tunnel to save the money. Part of me also wants to still scrap the 21st street station just as a big middle finger to Kenilworth. They don't deserve any benefits.

pfreyre
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby pfreyre » April 9th, 2014, 8:58 am

If they don't build the north tunnel, the 21St Station will make a nice stop right by the beach, you could even market it as "take the train to the beach". However, I'm sure the Kenwood residents will not appreciate a large influx of people getting off here... and the beach has had a shady history based on what I recall.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » April 9th, 2014, 9:21 am

Exactly, Silophant. We may be better off not worrying about federal money and building a system that serves us better. Keep in mind the reason why city leaders and transportation officials across the country were enthralled with building urban freeways, ripping apart our neighborhoods in the process, was because the feds were paying 90% of it through the Federal Aid Highway Act. And now some cities are thankful, in retrospect, to the politicians and citizen groups who stood up to those projects, even if it meant losing federal money.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » April 9th, 2014, 9:39 am

mattaudio wrote:We may be better off not worrying about federal money and building a system that serves us better.
We may be better off waiting for a system that, someday in the unknown future, may better serve some people, but maybe not others, maybe. Or maybe won't get built at all.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » April 9th, 2014, 9:46 am

Correct.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » April 9th, 2014, 9:59 am

I also can unequivocally state that this is correct. The hypothetical project that exists in my mind is definitely better than the current SW LRT proposal, and there is a possibility that it may or may not be built.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mullen » April 9th, 2014, 10:30 am

as long as the city can get assurances something will happen in midtown greenway corridor i can support. and i think definitely something will happen. the only issue that bothered me in all of this was the st louis park 180 on the freight reroute but that's murky and i have no idea who is right. also how the tunneling will affect the lakes. but there are smart people who say it will not be an issue.

have to take the long view and look at this in regional context. the core cities can be very self obsessed almost to a fault. and i say this as lifelong south mpls resident.


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