Midtown corridor would have beaten Kenilworth hands down.
A Midtown routing would just be better
As a daily rider on our light-rail system’s Hiawatha line, I pass the Lake Street station and wonder why the proposed Southwest line’s project leaders don’t revisit the option of using the Midtown Greenway as the corridor into downtown Minneapolis, instead of the controversial Kenilworth route. The line could connect at the West Lake Station onto the Midtown Greenway traveling east, then merge with the Hiawatha line north of the Lake Street station and continue into downtown. Benefits include:
• No expensive tunnels.
• No reroute of freight trains.
• A reduced environmental impact.
• More of a two-way light-rail service for higher-density neighborhoods in the city to jobs located in the southwest suburbs.
• Existing bike trails can be moved alongside, similar to the situation with the Hiawatha line.
• Direct service for southwest suburban commuters to downtown stations at the Metrodome, Government Plaza and Nicollet Mall without walking from Target Field or transferring to another line.
• The Midtown Greenway route would boost commerce in the city, with stations serving businesses at Hennepin Avenue in Uptown, Lyndale Avenue, the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage campus, and Chicago Avenue for Abbott Northwestern and the Midtown Global Commons.
• The construction impact and the overall project cost should be greatly reduced, because the Midtown Greenway was originally built for rail.
It’s time to end the impasse on the Kenilworth corridor and explore other more viable options.
Bob Malmgren, Minneapolis
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Explain again why we are putting a rail line for commuters through a park, in a tunnel, and not down a commercial corridor where there are more people than squirrels? Oh, that’s right — it was too expensive. Imagine how vibrant Eat Street would be 20 years from now with light rail? And imagine the Midtown Greenway lined with apartment buildings and a train right there on an existing, abandoned rail bed. Instead we are going to bury a train in a park.
Steve Oakley, Minneapolis
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