Here is the link to the SWLRT Supplemental Draft EIS
The following is a recap by Sally Russe of the June 18 public Hearing for the Southwest LRT Supplemental DEIS.
Recap of SWLRT Hearing for the SDEIS
It was a good, civil meeting. Lots of people spoke about returning to the drawing board, pointing out the very flawed process and lack of honesty and transparency regarding rail and co-location. There were people from all over, (St.Paul, Powderhorn Park, North Mpls) as well as CIDNA, Bryn Mawr and Kenilworth. Over 30 people spoke, none in favor of the current route as it stands now, for safety, financial, and environmental reasons. There was a lot of talk about rail, in fact, the explosions and other hazards (I confess I was late but heard a recap and was present to hear other speakers); abetting the many environmental issues (groundwater, soil and the lake) will be prohibitively expensive. People also brought up the Penn Avenue stop, the 21st Street stop, equitably/non-equitability and a host of other things.
July 21 is the deadline for sending in opinions.
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
The following letter-to-the-editor by Arlene Fried and Harvey Ettinger was published in the June 18, 2015 edition of the Southwest Journal.
Criticism for the Commons
We are writing regarding the Journal’s June 6 article about the newly minted concept design for the two block area downtown now being called the Commons.
Not everyone in Minneapolis is enamored with the Commons. Some of us are of the opinion that the Commons is not really a public park and that the process creating the Commons was flawed.
In a democracy, we expect that a project as expansive and expensive as the Commons be subject to certain tenets of good government. We expect that prior to entering into any agreements regarding the creation of a signature park, there be transparency, citizen participation and full accountability. In creating the Commons, the City violated all of these tenets. Your article ignores the criticism this has caused.
Responsible and balanced reporting looks at the comprehensive picture–not just the design. We are disappointed that your article failed to provide a balanced perspective.
Bryn Mawr Resident and
Co-founder of Park Watch
East Lake of the Isles Resident
and Member of Park Watch
Thursday, June 18, 2015 at
The following article by Dylan Thomas was published in the June 4, 2015 issue of the Southwest Journal.
The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the June 13, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune.
Minneapolis Park Board Requests Public Input on Funding Improvements
Photo by: Aaron Lavinsky
Minneapolis parks top national rankings, but park commissioners want to make sure they continue to reflect the needs of their communities. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Minneapolis Park Board is holding a series of public meetings about what if any improvements voters want — and would be willing to pay for.
Residents will be asked about the programming at the 47 recreation centers, as well as the suitability of outdoor park areas ranging from playing fields to wading pools.
A key item will be a park-specific look at the maintenance of neighborhood parks.
To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune
Heads-Up for the June 17, 2015 Park Board Meeting
5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. The meeting will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza. Visitors to Park Board meetings can find at the back of the meeting room the agenda book with all the printed materials for the meeting
5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers can call 612-230-6400 before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting to sign up or they can sign up at the Board meeting prior to the start of “Open Time”
6:30 P.M. PUBLIC HEARING for Accepting the Non-Appointed CAC Recommendations for Trail Improvements Along Minnehaha Parkway at Lyndale Avenue Bridge
Listed below are some agenda items of interest:
–Authorizing the Formation and Charge of an Appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for RecQuest
–Amending Professional Services Agreement No. C-38847 with Herfort Norby Related to Professional Golf Course Design Services for Construction Documentation and Administration for Revisions to the Wirth Golf Course Back-9 in the Amount of $53,844.50, for a New Contract Total of $69,444.50.
–Revising the Charge to and Composition of an Appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet Master Plan and Improvements in the Chain of Lakes Regional Park
–Resolution Regarding Trail Easement Along Graco Property
–METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau) Light Rail Transit Project Update
–Accepting the Non-Appointed Citizen Advisory Committee Recommendations and Approving the Concept Plan for Trail Improvements Along Minnehaha Parkway at Lyndale Avenue
View Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast Cable. You may also view live meetings online on the Channel 79 webpage: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/79
Regular meetings are typically re-telecast on Channel 79 on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5 p.m. Telecast schedules are subject to change.
The Park Board’s website is www.minneapolisparks.org The phone number is 612-230-6400.
Co-founder of Park Watch
June Meetings for Citizen Input on Park Board Funding
Here are the June meetings, which all begin at 6 p.m.
A complete schedule is available online at: http://tinyurl.com/nzt4nhc
June 16: Folwell Recreation Center. Parks discussed: Creekview, Webber, Folwell
June 22: Harrison Recreation Center. Parks discussed: Bethune, Harrison
June 23: Linden Hills Park. Parks discussed: Linden Hills, Pershing Field
June 25: Kenwood Community Center. Park discussed: Kenwood
The following commentary by Adam Platt, executive editor of Twin Cities Business, was published in the May 3, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune. (There is a reference to this commentary in a June 10 Star Tribune commentary by Kim Crockett titled Southwest LRLT: It’s Not Too Late to Back Away. That commentary has been posted on Park Watch.)
Light Rail as Engine: Churning or Not?
Star Tribune: Jim Gehrz
The Blue Line was built along Hiawatha Avenue using right of way that had been cleared for road expansion. That was the easiest and cheapest way to locate the train, but not the ideal strategy for promoting development. The proposed Southwest line — troubled as it is — is more promising on that front given its proximity to underused land and the corridor’s affluence.
Existing lines are popular. Proposed lines are not. So it’s a good time to assess what we’ve learned.
To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune