Who is Dan Patch?

May 15, 2013 at 7:54 am Leave a comment

There’s lots of interesting things to find when reading and researching transportation issues, but this one is noteworthy.

SF 174 would repeal a 2002 law. That’s all it says. So what is this law?

Chapter 39, Section 85 forbade the Met Council, the Commissioner of MNDOT or any regional rail authority from spending any money to study, plan, design or construct a commuter rail line between Minneapolis and Northfield. Apparently it was identified as a transit corridor in the Met Council’s 2020 master plan.

But you wouldn’t know that because this law also ordered the removal of all references to the line from any revisions.

This looks like the chronology of bills from 2002:

HF 137, introduced by five Republicans, would have allowed the construction of the line only after any residential property within 100 feet of the line was purchased.

HF 2851 contains the language that made it into the final omnibus bill, also sponsored by five Members, three of whom were authors on HF137.

It was finally HF 3618, an omnibus bonding bill, that made it law.

It’s not surprising that a bill would prohibit using the corridor (legislative NIMBY). But it’s a little Orwellian to remove all references. If that’s an acceptable practice, however, let’s have a bill removing all references to light rail from the Met Council’s plans


Entry filed under: Transportation.

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