What’s Happening on Bottineau Boulevard? Breaking News!
By Jason Bradley
I seem to have an amazing tendency to focus on things as they are unknowingly happening in other spheres of life, and for some reason… the turnaround time is usually very short. Want an example? I often will think about a musician or band I like, but haven’t listened to in a while, start playing their stuff again, and find out they’ll be here in concert in the next couple of days, or they were just here. Like I said, there’s usually not a lot of time to react.
Well, the trend continues… If you read this blog regularly, you are probably aware that Community Solutions MN is holding a public forum on “What’s Going on With Bottineau Boulevard?”, tonight, May 9th, 2013 at 7 pm. (By the way, I highly encourage you to come to the Crystal VFW tonight for this event.) This event is now more appropriate than ever.
Last night, the Metropolitan Council approved Light Rail Transit (LRT) as the preferred mode of transportation for Bottineau Boulevard. According to an article at TwinCities.com (http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_23202003/met-council-supports-bottineau-light-rail-timeline-and) the Met Council approved the plan, amending their 2030 plan. The price tag is now up to $1 Billion (yes, with a “b”). They also say that “Funding would likely come from four sources: the Counties Transit Improvement Board’s transit sales tax (30 percent), the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (10 percent), the state of Minnesota (10 percent), and the Federal Transit Administration (50 percent).” Note: All of this is still your tax money. You are funding all of it.
Guest speaker at tonight’s public forum, Norann, Dillon, tried to get an opportunity to speak to the Met Council once she heard this was happening. She was denied the opportunity to speak to the Met Council. Wait until you hear that story tonight! This, to me, is telling. We still have time to have a reasonable discussion. Here’s where our opportunity lies: 1) They have no actual funding yet. 2) Construction may be as many as nine years away. 3) They are afraid of facing the people. That is why they wouldn’t let Norann speak. That is why they run such poor “open houses” that limit or restrict feedback. That is why they have not come to the neighborhoods where the greatest change is to be, and speak to the people that made an investment in a community, only to see that investment squandered.
That is why you need to be there tonight. The real public discussion must begin. One where we’re not dictated to by a bunch of appointed bureaucrats, but for neighbors to meet, unite, and discuss what this does to our community. The Metro Transit may have taxing authority by law, but seeing as we have no direct representation through appointment, you think they might operate with a little more restraint. This is what George Washington and his peers stood against, taxation without representation. Whether we are for LRT or against it, we deserve to have a voice and to be able to hold people accountable at the voting booth when we disagree.
Please, let’s start to move forward together tonight. May 9th, 7pm, Crystal VFW.
Entry filed under: Brooklyn Park, County, Crystal, Golden Valley, Hennepin, Met Council, New Hope, Osseo, Robbinsdale, Transportation. Tags: Andrew Richter, Brooklyn Park, Community Solutions MN, Crystal, CSMN, CTIB, event, FTA, Golden Valley, Hennepin County, Jason Bradley, Light Rail, LRT, Met Council, Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN, Norann Dillon, public forum, Railroad, Robbinsdale, taxation, Transportation.