Thursday, April 18, 2013
Hennepin County officials will host the open house from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.
Hennepin County officials are hosting a Southwest LRT station area planning open house at the St. Louis Park Rec Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18. The meeting is meant to engage the public in planning work around proposed light rail transit (LRT) stations for the Southwest LRT line, which is set to open in 2018. For each of the 17 stations along the route, initial concepts have been put together to show options for pedestrian, bike, bus and vehicular connections, in addition to future land use and development opportunities. The meeting is free and open to members of the public, with attendees able to see initial station alternatives and provide their reaction and comments to further guide planning efforts. Community members…
Monday, January 28, 2013
The Pioneer Press reported that some east metro legislators say their regions are being left out of rail plans. Patch wants to know what you think.
Most of the recent debate over rail has been between those who want to spend more money on light rail and those who prefer spending the money on roads and buses. On Sunday, though, the Pioneer Press had a look at a light issue that hasn’t garnered as much attention: Is the east metro getting its share of rail projects? The paper notes that St. Paul’s only rail line right now is Amtrak and that the city is on track to add just one light rail line, the Central Corridor Light Rail line running between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minneapolis, on the other hand, could someday be the starting point of the Hiawatha, Southwest, Bottineau, Central Corridor and Northstar lines. Some east metro legislators say that’s not fair. State officials and …
Thursday, January 3, 2013
A look at the details for the four light rail projects closest to completion.
Whether you like it or not, light rail is the talk of the metro at the moment. Businesses along the Central Corridor have another year of construction to look forward to. St. Louis Park residents are protesting the proposed relocation of freight rail in respone to the Southwest Transitway project as supporters continue to seek the necessary funding. In Golden Valley, residents are waiting to see what their City Council will do when it comes to supporting a resolution that would send a light rail train through their community. Many Golden Valley residents urged the City Council to vote no on the resolution that would allow more studies to be conducted about the Bottineau Transitway’s locally preferred alternative (LPA). Meanwhile, the …
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Whether an increased sales tax or a new taxing jurisdiction, advocates say a reliable funding stream could insulate transit from political winds.
The Southwest Light Rail Transit project hasn’t had an easy time securing state funding over the past couple years. It faced stiff opposition from Republicans, with the former transportation committee head promising to stop the Southwest LRT "in its tracks." DFL wins in the 2012 Election bode well for the project, but there’s no way of knowing how long that will last. With the line years away from operation, and the Bottineau Transitway moving forward, some light rail advocates are questioning whether transit should rely so much on state funding. That was the question brought up multiple times Tuesday during a meeting with national and local development experts about making the most of Southwest LRT. Instituting a reliable revenue stream, …
Thursday, November 8, 2012
‘The Freight Rail Re-Route would not survive a vote by the free citizens who would pay for it (with their property values). Nor, I daresay, would the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project.’
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Editor’s Note: On Saturday, former Senate District 46 candidate Paul Scofield attended a meeting of several neighborhood associations that included discussion of the Southwest Light Rail Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the freight rail issue in St. Louis Park. He submitted this guest column to Patch afterward. The hazards faced by St. Louis Park and the neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed Freight Rail Re-Route are a consequence of bad decision processes. These decision processes are bad because they are anti-democratic and unaccountable to the citizens impacted. These decisions are being made at the Federal, Regional, County, and City level, with little or no accountability to citizens whose property values are already …
Friday, November 2, 2012
With Hopkins High School so far from the planned light rail line, School Board Director Kris Newcomer questioned whether students would actually be able to use LRT to travel to courses offered at the University of Minnesota.
One of the benefits of the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit line, promoters say, is that west metro high schoolers could use the line to take college classes at the University of Minnesota. School Board Director Kris Newcomer was skeptical, though. Hopkins High School is about four miles from the nearest station. At a joint meeting with the City Council on Tuesday, she wondered how the students are going to get there. The discussion centers on Southwest’s green line extension,which would allow riders to get all the way from Eden Prairie to the University of Minnesota and on to St. Paul. That’s a perfect fit for the state’s Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program, light rail advocates say. That program allows high school juniors and …
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
‘We are on the verge of finally creating a comprehensive transportation system that links the entire Twin Cities region together.’
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Editor’s Note: The following guest column was submitted by Dan Duffy, principal with Daniel K. Duffy Architects, Inc. in Minnetonka. Duffy served on the Southwest Transitway Policy Advisory Committee and currently is a member of the Business Advisory Committee. In 2002, I was asked to represent the business community on a group asking how to best serve west metro transportation needs. Ten years later, support for Southwest Light Rail is strong and growing. Why? Because we have some of the most important economic development opportunities in the region and state. Projected job growth here requires more transportation if we are going to serve those employees and maintain our quality of life. That, in turn, means investing in both better …
Friday, October 12, 2012
Officials are seeking input on the draft environmental impact statement released Friday morning.
The Southwest Light Rail Transit Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is available for public comment following publication in the Federal Register on Friday. The DEIS will be used to judge the impacts of the proposed Southwest LRT project and is the primary document for review by federal, state and local agencies and the general public. It documents: The DEIS is available for review at http://www.southwesttransitway.org. Hard copies are also available. A list of locations where those copies are kept is included at the bottom of this article. Public input on the DEIS will be used to inform preliminary engineering, which is scheduled to begin in early 2013. The public comment period will last 60 days. The deadline to submit comments …
Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Minnesota senator said it’s a shame the Legislature didn’t approve the money.
Sen. Al Franken said the Minnesota Legislature’s rejection of Southwest Light Rail Transit funding could have ramifications at the federal level. "It's certainly not good, and it definitely affects the federal side of things," Franken told Patch in a brief interview Thursday during a tour through the Lake Minnetonka area. Gov. Mark Dayton asked the Legislature to set aside $25 million for Southwest LRT. Lawmakers rejected that, and the project needs at least $14 million more to continue preliminary engineering. Rail advocates say a state commitment is necessary to assure the federal government that Minnesota is on board. Failure to set aside the money could put the project behind others across the country. But some opponents are wary about…
Friday, May 11, 2012
TwinWest Chamber President Bruce Nustad issued a statement on behalf of five metro chambers.
(The following news release comes from The Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Edina Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and TwinWest Chamber of Commerce.) The Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Edina Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and TwinWest Chamber of Commerce have been working together to secure state support for the Southwest Light Rail Transit line that would serve Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. On behalf of the state’s five largest local Chambers of Commerce, TwinWest Chamber President Bruce Nustad issued the following statement: “The business community is disappointed…