Regarding the June 27 editorial “Rapid buses boost Twin Cities transit”: I believe that instead of arterial bus rapid transit, it would be more productive to institute midday express services where only rush-hour express service is available. Specifically, midday express service between the Maplewood Transit Center and downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis via Rosedale. I presently volunteer in Linden Hills from White Bear. While the use of Minneapolis morning express service would be practical, midday return takes over two hours with three transfers (if all connections are made).
To me, Metro Transit is completely worthless. Half-hourly midday express service could use otherwise idle equipment and would not require additional capital investments. It would also eliminate deadheading some equipment for rush-hour service. Prepay stations would not be needed.
Putting bus rapid transit on city streets over existing routes like the A Line is a complete waste. The buses get hung up in local traffic, while express buses on freeways get to use the shoulder to bypass standing traffic.
When it comes to sports stadiums, the Twin Cities are big league. When it comes to good metro-area transit, we’re strictly bush league.
Russ Isbrandt, White Bear Lake
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Describing the A Line as a “marginally better transit experience” depends on your point of view. For those of us who connected to bus Route 84 along Snelling Avenue and now find that the A line stops are two to three blocks away from our connecting lines, this is not an improvement. While it’s not a significant walk for the able, it is a considerable difference for those less able to walk. Oh, and those fabulous new signs that tell of the next bus arrival? Not so good when you arrive at 7:15 a.m. and it is showing 10:15 a.m. arrival time from the day before because the sign is stuck and not working. Out of order for close to 24 hours? Not acceptable. And for the young man who was running to catch the A Line with his toddler on his shoulders in time to touch his Go-To Card to the post, only to turn and have the bus driver shut the door in his face, I’d say it isn’t even marginally a better experience. The drivers tell you it is because they are not supposed to wait, but this wasn’t even close. This was just plain rude bus-driver behavior — again, not acceptable — and even free Wi-Fi won’t increase ridership with experiences like this.
Terri Fishel, St. Paul
GUNS AND THE COURTS
Corruption has been defined, and guess what might qualify?
The recent Supreme Court ruling on the definition of political corruption presents a great opportunity for advocates of gun control (“Va. case may limit political prosecution,” June 28). The ruling “narrows what constitutes criminal corruption” by defining it as “official acts” that “must involve a formal exercise of governmental power and must be something specific.” Doesn’t a congressional vote on gun control constitute a “formal exercise in government power?” It is certainly “something specific.” The NRA payments to each of our Republican members of Congress — all of whom voted against keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists or the mentally ill — is clearly documented, as are the frequent threatening phone calls from the NRA to members of Congress telling those leaders they will be replaced by an NRA supporter if they fail to vote as the NRA wants. I implore those who lost children in the horror of the Sandy Hook massacre to initiate an anti-corruption lawsuit against all NRA-bought-and-paid-for politicians and push it up to the Supreme Court, to stop the insidious systemic government corruption perpetrated every day by the NRA.
Ellen Glatstein, Minnetonka
Not true civil disobedience? Thoreau would beg to differ
A June 27 letter writer stated that the House Democrats’ “sit-in” last week did not deserve the label of civil disobedience. Henry David Thoreau would disagree. His essay “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” set the standard for civil disobedience in America. Thoreau said that civil disobedience is the active refusal by individuals to obey certain laws and demands of government because conscience tells them that not to do so condones a wrong of government. He said nothing about needing an oppressed group to qualify.
The Republican majority has used House rules to exclude all House members from the right to vote on a bill. Having failed to get fairness by following the rules, House Democrats felt that conscience offered no other moral recourse. As Thoreau said, they believed they had a duty of civil disobedience. The sit-in broke the rules of a government body. They believed the majority was abusing the rules.
Sure, it was done for publicity. That’s one purpose of public civil disobedience: to focus public attention to achieve corrective action. This is exactly what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi did. They had read Thoreau.
Also, the Democrats’ protest was not without some personal risk. They could have been forcibly subdued and ejected by the House sergeant-at-arms for disorderly conduct. Instead, Speaker Paul Ryan called a House recess, avoiding the bad publicity of forcible ejection that would have helped the protesters’ cause.
This was not a childish tantrum. This was a case of serious adults seeking fairness in government.
Robert D. Sykes, Edina
Saturday’s Target Field match was an sample of what’s to come
Last Saturday evening, soccer — the world’s game — was played for the first time at Target Field. Thousands of people representing every imaginable demographic, ethnic background, faith and walk of life arrived by foot, bicycle, car, bus and train. It was wonderful — and a harbinger of things to come as soccer helps to define our evolution as a truly international community.
This international “friendly” match featured Club León, one of the great teams from soccer-obsessed Mexico, and Minnesota United FC, our own professional club destined for Major League Soccer, the top tier in the U.S. The event displayed the allure of the most accessible and popular sport in the world — played outdoors by gifted athletes on natural grass during a beautiful Minnesota evening.
The game fulfilled its promise: competitive, exciting and displaying what makes soccer so popular, and the fastest-growing major sport in America. There was nonstop partisan chanting from supporters of both teams. Flags, scarves and banners were continuously waved, and fans sat transfixed by the quality of play and the athleticism showcased on the field. In the end, the visitors deservedly prevailed against a very credible home team in a match that could easily have ended equal.
For the last month, millions of fans have filled stadiums across the U.S. for the Copa America Centenario, the world’s oldest international soccer tournament, featuring national teams from our sister nations in the Western Hemisphere. At the same time, millions from all of Europe — Iceland to Italy, Northern Ireland to Ukraine, and all nations between — are packing huge stadiums in France for the Euro 2016 tournament. We had a glimpse of both worlds — and the passions around a sport that brings so many people together — at beautiful Target Field on Saturday night.
This was a night of many emotions, experiences and perspectives — and a shared joy among people who call Minnesota home while claiming the world as their heritage. Perhaps best of all, it was a timely reminder of what our diverse community represents, and a view toward the future Minnesota that we all desire.
William W. McGuire, Wayzata
The writer is the owner of Minnesota United.