The Jan. 9 editorial regarding the planned Central Corridor light-rail line along St. Paul's Cedar Street contains a number of points on which most of us can agree: the potential benefits of light rail for St. Paul and our overall community, the desire to move ahead with this important project as expeditiously as possible and -- I am happy to note -- the value of Minnesota Public Radio and its offices, performance spaces and recording studios. We are proud to bring to downtown St. Paul, to the Twin Cities and to a worldwide listenership of 16 million (including nearly 800,000 in Minnesota) news, entertainment and cultural offerings. Where MPR parts company with the paper, though, is on the notion that the only way forward with this important project is if MPR accepts all the risk that this project will not cause severe harm to our activities and mission. "Trust us" seems to be what is asked of us, a proposition we cannot unconditionally accept when the stakes are so high. Our experts tell us that the noise and vibration of a 265,000-pound train with its 103-decibel safety warning horn running 12 feet from our building will cause severe harm to our ability to produce high-quality audio programming. Whether it's Yo-Yo Ma or Ray LaMontagne in our recording studios or a public affairs meeting in our "Forum" space -- they all need a professional audio environment. Our experts also tell us that they are extremely skeptical that any mitigation will be effective in stopping this harm. If they're right, then "trust us" is tantamount to "goodbye" to the special qualities that have made MPR a destination for listeners and artists alike. At the same time, we recognize the importance of this project and the desire of many in this community to see it move ahead. That is why we wrote to Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell last week with a reasonable offer of a way forward: Give us by March 1 a detailed description of the mitigation proposed for Cedar Street. Allow us 60 days for our experts to evaluate that plan. Commit that, if our experts can demonstrate a reasonable case that mitigation will not work, the council will explore other routes through the downtown area. This is a sincere offer that we believe provides a way forward for everyone. Contrary to the rhetoric around this issue, our concerns are not coming "out of the blue"; we've been talking about these issues for five years now. And consideration of alternate routes is not a threat to the project; Rep. Jim Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has assured us on this point. Ours is a proposal that allows two parties with good intentions and many shared goals to meet in the middle of the street to settle their few -- but important -- differences and to avoid a lengthy dispute that will be a waste of resources for everyone. We very much hope the Met Council will see our offer as such and respond favorably.