The following letter by East Isles Resident Harriet Horwitz was submitted on August 19, 2014 to Mayor Hodges and Members of the Minneapolis City Council.
SWLRT: A 1990 PLAN FOR THE WORLD OF 2030?
Nobody WANTS to be the lone man in Tiananmen Square.
Nobody WANTS to be a “Profile in Courage”.
Nobody WANTS to step in the path of ‘the jaggernaut of time”.
Nobody WANTS to say out loud “The Emperor has no clothes.”
And NOBODY wants to say that Southwest LRT is a plan wrong for the times and wrong for the City of Minneapolis.
Attempting to social engineer 2030 lifestyles through 1990 goggles (made even foggier by $1.6 billion federal incentives and private financial pressure) makes no sense.
You know this:
DENSITY: “The Happy City” by Charles Montgomery (2013) has researched elements of a livable environment: Walkability, close to workplace, green space, interactivity. How does SWLRT benefit the people of Minneapolis?
(IN)FLEXIBILITY: Fixed-track transit cannot adapt or adjust to fast-changing science or society. Computers (and maybe drones) will reduce the need for longer travel and therefore, ridership.
Aging population (and I’m one of them) will not be served by stops that require blocks of walking.
The upcoming 55-mile per gallon fuel efficiency requirement to be achieved by 2025 will reduce incentive to abandon autos.
Innovations such as mini-cars, car-sharing, self-driving autos and whatever-the-near-future-brings will make rail inflexibility undesirable.
LAND USE: The City and People of Minneapolis are most proud of our parks and recreation. Every tree lost in a storm or killed by a bug is cause for headlines. We’re tops in biking and beauty. Risking any of this is betraying the citizens’ trust. And can we ‘trust’ engineers? We’ve seen too many mistakes.
Yes, developers have made land investments based on much-anticipated LRT. But these are speculations, not entitlements. If LRT does not fulfill their plan, such is the game.
ONE INDIVIDUAL STANDING ALONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
BUT 14 PEOPLE OF COMMON SENSE AND COURAGE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR GENERATIONS.
Please vote against SWLRT.