Ben Becker’s Comments on Southwest Light Rail

The following letter-to-the-editor from Ben Becker regarding SWLRT was published in the April 15, 2014 issue of the StarTribune:

Newspaper Unhelpfully Chooses Its Villains

I am very disappointed that the Star Tribune is positioning Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and the City Council as the only things standing in the way of the Southwest Corridor light-rail project (“Lack of leadership threatens SWLRT,” editorial, and “For Minneapolis, LRT hits deal or no-deal time,” front page, both April 13) and trying to boil down the issue to the NIMBYs, when the real problem is that the current plan provides no transportation benefit to residents. The route runs through one of the least-dense, most-affluent areas of the city.

The editorial mentions the need for public transportation that more efficiently moves people to jobs throughout the metro area. Metro Transit already provides an exceptional system serving the areas along the route. In the past seven years, every workday, I have ridden the bus from either Minnetonka, St. Louis Park or Uptown to my work in downtown Minneapolis, and to evening classes at the University of Minnesota, and I have found it convenient, on time and efficient. Many of my co-workers ride the bus from Eden Prairie and the other cities around the proposed light-rail line, and they are not disappointed in the service.

Ben Becker, Minneapolis