City Council Hearing Prompts Opposition to Minneapolis' Light Rail Plans
James Linbeck's op-ed against the Southwest LRT project in Minneapolis argues that politicians are passing the project off under false pretenses. "This is about federal money, not about bettering the community," according to the op-ed's intro (echoing a similar argument by Bill Lindeke in May). Especially dismaying, according to Linbeck, "was the strategy of presenting the project as an economic-development plan for underserved populations in Minneapolis, even though most everyone knows that the primary purpose is to serve Eden Prairie. Astounding!"
Linbeck pulls a few other choice anecdotes from the city council hearing as well as proposing an alternative plan for transit in the region: "If Minneapolis wants to improve transportation for underserved communities, why don’t we make that the real planning priority? For instance, we could design a nation-leading network of streetcars, deluxe ones that travel along dedicated lanes with priority at intersections. Make them free to ride so that people on tight budgets could get around more easily and with less stress."