Rerouting the Southwest Light Rail Debate in Minneapolis

The planned Southwest LRT connection between Minneapolis and St. Louis Park is troubled by controversy and a ballooning costs. One writer recently tried to redirect the conversation about the light rail line.
May 5, 2014, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Bill Lindeke argues in a recent editorial that the ongoing debate about the planned Southwest LRT connecting Minneapolis to St. Louis Park is all wrong. To redirect the conversation, Lindeke frames the Southwest debate according to what it is "NOT about," and then what Southwest "IS about."

According to Lindeke, the Southwest Light Rail debate has almost nothing to do with bikes, as some have suggested recently, and more to do with the broken nature of federal funding—and its effect among local politicians. Here's more details on the latter point: "Most everyone admits that the project as a whole is borderline absurd. If given a blank slate, nobody would decide to spend hundreds of millions to build tunnels through a forest. And yet it’s probably going to happen anyway! And why? Because there’s so much Federal money on the table. Cities and politicians are extremely reluctant to turn away $700+ Million in Federal funding (and for good reason)."

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Published on Monday, May 5, 2014 in Minneapolis Post
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