We Need to Stand With Golden Valley

July 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Only one city has enough sense to fight the proposed Bottineau Transit Light Rail Line, and that’s Golden e. Guest columnist to the Sun Post Robert Mattison wrote the following this week;

The Golden Valley City Council’s recent defeat of the resolution approving the Bottineau light rail line through Golden Valley is far from the end of the issue.

We wish it was. The vote by the way was 3-2 against with DFL hacks Shep Harris and Mike Freiberg (who is running for state representative voting yes)

This ill-considered plan will come up again and again. Let’s hope that the council members that wisely voted against it stick to their guns, and Mayor Shep Harris is true to his word and opposes it when it becomes even more obvious it is bad for Golden Valley.

Shep Harris? Don”t count on it.

All the municipalities along the proposed line have approved the Golden Valley route, as has the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which initially opposed it but bowed to political pressure. This pressure is now being applied full-bore to Golden Valley.  Hennepin County Board Chair Mike Opat, who represents the northwest suburbs that would be served by the line, has threatened that the whole project will die if Golden Valley does not knuckle under.

Stand up to this bully Mike Opat! Come on Golden Valley!

He is excited about the line serving commercial development in his district, including the Target offices in Brooklyn Park, and he won’t take no for an answer: in a recent Sun Post article he said, “I don’t consider [Golden Valley’s rejection] fatal to the project. It signals we have some work to do. We need to understand why Golden Valley can’t support it … and try to alleviate those concerns.”

In other words, who cares what a city and its residents think!

If Opat indeed doesn’t understand, let me help him out. The Golden Valley route would skirt Theodore Wirth Park and cut through the Mary Hills Nature Area, some of the best open space in our city, essentially ruining it for recreational use. Mary Hills is one of those rare places you can walk and quickly forget you are in a metropolitan area.

True, but remember the government can’t tax “open space.” So they want to ram rod light rail there and develop around it which is called Transit Oriented Development.

The project would add two tracks (for a total of three), with six or more trains an hour. It would also impact the adjacent neighborhoods, including Kewanee Way, which is right on the rail line. But, proponents say Bottineau light rail would be great for Golden Valley.

Not really. If you were to pick the worst places to put a light rail station in Golden Valley, the Golden Valley Road site would be high on the list. Few residents would use it, since it is a long way from everything light rail serves well: high-density housing, commercial and retail. In fact, it is closer to downtown Minneapolis than it is to downtown Golden Valley (where a light rail station would make sense).   And there will be no parking.

No, the proposed alignment looks like a good deal for everyone but Golden Valley residents. Riders from the northwestern suburbs will get downtown a little faster, and avoid what some consider a dangerous part of town.

Hennepin County and Minneapolis politicians would get a free pass: they won’t have to make some people in north Minneapolis angry, with the attendant baseless accusations – for instance, the silly comparison of the project to Rondo, a minority area in St. Paul that was virtually wiped out when Interstate 94 cut a quarter-mile wide swath through it.

Light rail in north Minneapolis would in fact provide people who really need transit options with a good one, and probably spur desperately needed development and higher property values, as the Hiawatha Line has in south Minneapolis.

We already have two light rails systems and a third on the way! How many do they need??

The D-1 route through Golden Valley is a bad idea for everybody. If the Golden Valley City Council forces the planners to come up with a better plan, it will have done a great long-term service.  Please let the council members know you support them as they resist being bullied to accept this fundamentally flawed proposal.

Let’s hope they kill the plan and we NEED to vote out the bully Mike Opat!!!!


Entry filed under: Brooklyn Park, City Government, County, Crystal, Golden Valley, Hennepin, Transportation.

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