Peter Wagenius Apologizes on behalf of Mayor Hodges
Peter Wagenius, Senior Policy Aide to Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, apologized at the final Southwest LRT public hearing on June 18—final for this round. The SWLRT budget is approaching $2 billion. It is the largest public works project ever proposed in Minnesota.
In an effort save the project proponents are slicing stations, suburban parking, landscaping and public art. The “equity” argument, providing transportation for predominantly black American Northsiders to suburban jobs, was abandoned months ago to bussing riders to a downtown LRT stop.
Wagenius focused on reneged promises by the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County Commission to remove freight rail co-location with the proposed LRT trains. The heavy freight rail currently transports ethanol which puts the LRT, and businesses and residences along the route, in the blast zone.
Wagenius asserted that the LRT plan as it now stands is not the same project that Minneapolis City Council members approved in August 2014. Council President Barb Johnson along with members Lisa Goodman and Cam Gordon voted 10-to-3 against municipal consent, then priced at $1.65-billion.
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