The following item is a letter dated May 22, 2015 from the Bryn Maw Neighborhood Association opposing the removal of the Penn Station from the SWLRT Project.
May 22, 2015
Commissioner Linda Higgins
Commissioner Marion Greene
Senator Scott Dibble
Senator Bobby Joe Champion
Representative Raymond Dehn
Representative Frank Hornstein
Mayor Betsy Hodges
Council Member Lisa Goodman
Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck
Metropolitan Council Member Gail Dorfman
Metropolitan Council Member Gary Cunningham
We are alarmed that the Southwest LRT Corridor Management Committee is considering the elimination of the Penn Station planned for the SW LRT. The Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association has a long record of supporting Light Rail, has been active in its support of the Southwest Light Rail Project, and has been adamant in identifying the importance of the Penn Station. As evidence of its support, the BMNA has passed resolutions in support of the Project as described in the DEIS and has opposed the negative impacts on the neighborhood of co-locating freight in the SW LRT corridor.
The BMNA has anticipated that the SW LRT will bring great benefits both for Minneapolis and the Bryn Mawr neighborhood. But we will realize those benefits only if the Penn Station is built. Without the development of the Penn Station, we would be burdened with all manner of negative impacts from the SW LRT without realizing its benefits.
Without the Penn Station, Bryn Mawr would lose its ready access to the Cedar Lake Regional Trail and would have difficult access to the SW LRT.
The neighborhood has done studies such as the Capstone Project which identified the development and transportation potential related to the Penn Station. Besides local development, the Penn Station would provide broader transportation access to downtown, Target Field, Mall of America, St. Paul and the western suburbs. That link would serve not only the Bryn Mawr neighborhood, but also residents living to the north along the Penn Avenue corridor.
Along with neighboring communities, we advocate for the improved mobility to jobs and activity centers in the Minneapolis Business District and along the length of the corridor for reverse-commute trips to the expanding suburb and employment centers that the Penn Station would provide.
We ask for your support and that you oppose the removal of the Penn Station from the Project. Eliminating the Penn Station would provide minimal help in reducing the Project’s $341 million burden but would be a great impact on the neighborhood.
Kevin Thompson, BMNA President
Lee W. Munnich, Jr.
Vida Y. Ditter