Light Rail Anger on the Left, Part 2

Report from the Field

Of late, I have been following the struggles of the Southwest Light Rail project, as the regional government Met Council tries to quiet NIMBY opposition to its latest mass transit project, which is meant to take commuters from downtown Minneapolis through the southwestern suburbs.

In Part 1 I focus on the efforts of state Democrats to quell intra-party opposition to the train’s routing, using your tax dollars, of course.

Tonight, the Met Council visited the suburb of St. Louis Park, hoping to quiet critics of a plan to reroute nearby freight trains to accommodate the light rail service.

The Star Tribune declared the locals “skeptical.”  Pat Doyle reports,

A new search for ways to reroute freight train traffic to make room for the Twin Cities’ biggest light-rail line came under fire Thursday night by St. Louis Park residents who opposed earlier plans for moving the freight to their city.

I had hoped to swing by and take in a bit of the meeting, in person, but I couldn’t even get into the packed parking lot.  My man on the scene filed this report from inside the building.

We had between 200 and 300 people in attendance, not counting the hockey game going on elsewhere in the building.
It was an interesting meeting.  This evening’s event was conducted town hall-style, instead of the table talk format used for Tuesday’s Kenwood (Minneapolis) meeting.
St. Louis Park is united that they do not want the reroute.  Quite a few Minneapolis residents also spoke against the reroute and a few even were for the co-location alternative with an elevated or relocated bike trail.  For its part, the Met Council has dismissed that alternative even though it is the least expensive option.

Stay tuned.