Friday, December 4

Quotes About The University Avenue Light Rail

"Nate" on a blog by Mitch Berg called Shot In The Dark wrote about LRT on University Ave:

I lived in Midway for 5 years and still own a house there. I rode the 16 to work downtown weekdays. My daughter rode it to the U. I went to the LRT planning meetings at the Hmong Community Center and saw the fraud that is “citizen participation” when the outcome was locked in.

I have seen the grocery carts clustered around the bus stop at Simpson. Why are they there? Because that’s where Rainbow is. Single mothers with toddlers in tow shop at the big box BECAUSE ITS CHEAPER and ride the local bus home. Honestly, sincerely, believe me – that woman will not spend one thin dime at the new Caribou. She can’t afford it. Nobody living between Rice and Fairview can afford it, which is why it’s not there now.

As Mitch pointed out, there’s a tremendous difference between Hiawatha and University, both in the character of the neighborhoods and in the purpose of the public transportation. Hiawatha is intended to get commuters from Out There to Down Town. The 16 bus gets locals to the grocery store and home. They’re completely different needs. LRT works to ship people from end point to end point but that’s not how people ride public transit on University. If you want to get from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis you take the 94 Express bus on the freeway.

Used to be, Progressives asked people what they wanted then tried to deliver it. Seems that now, they tell people what they’re getting whether they want it or not.

(link mine)

Mitch Berg wrote on the same blog:
the “mission” of the Central Corridor is very, very unclear. Nate summed up Hiawatha’s pretty ably – move people, more or less quickly, from a burb to downtown. It does that mission more or less well, albeit at a 66% loss.

So what’s the “mission” of the Central Corridor? There are really two options: Provide commuter access to whisk people between the downtowns (replacing the 94 and maybe the 50 buses and cutting down on traffic on 94) or providing local transit along Uni (replacing the 16 and cutting down on local traffic along University)?


The Met decided to go for the worst of both worlds; to take the expense and disruption of building down a busy working street, but to build the ‘Sexier’, faster, heavier option that serves the purpose of a busy, working street vastly less well.

And they made that decision without meaningful public input, in a way that ensures the maxiumum deleterious impact on the neighborhoods and the budget, for reasons that make no sense as urban planning, as civil engineering, as economic planning, as traffic management, as anything.

One more good quote from Mitch Berg:
("Charlieq" wrote:) [Kim Huoy Chor]...has free wifi and it delivers in little red cars that look like street racers. This is an example of someone building a business to weather the construction...
(Mitch Berg wrote:) And I couldn’t be happier for them. But lots of those businesses with the signs on their windows worked plenty hard, too, and built businesses to weather life on University Avenue – no mean feat.

Dealing with life on Uni and Big, Upper-Middle-Class MPR-listening latte-drinking White Brother?

There’s such a thing as piling on.

I am an upper-middle-class, MPR-listening, fancy-food-consuming white person. But for crying out loud, we're not supposed to decide what every last corner of the earth is supposed to be like!!

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