Sometimes I Wonder Why…
by Candace Oathout
Why do we have a National Planning Association promoting a cookie cutter approach to remaking the landscape of America? We see the same two and three story attached townhouses being built in every community coast to coast. We see the same “traffic solutions” being put into place in every city and town no matter the differences in terrain, climate, or existing character of individual communities.
Do we really think creating the sprawl of density along transit corridors that destroy first and second ring suburbs is a good idea?
- Corridors take private property
- Destroy mature landscaping
- Divide neighborhoods in Kenwood, St Louis Park, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Crystal to name a few?
- Demand more development and density in established, fully-built-out communities
- Cause cities and towns to lose their character as they fall victim to the sprawl of urban density
In the realm of transportation we have the Metropolitan Council who’s planning and actions are:
- Promoting loss of affordable housing in first ring suburbs
- Creating unsafe driving conditions on local neighborhood streets
- Increasing conditions dangerous to pedestrians, bikers and drivers as they negotiate in street tracks and at-grade crossings. There have been 12 fatalities since the Hiawatha line and the Green line have started operating.
- Causing negative effects to existing residents, noise, traffic congestion
- Promoting gentrification of neighborhoods
- Train tracks that are in many places less than 100 feet from the residences along the rail corridor.
- Creating congestion caused by trains passing through residential neighborhoods every 7.5 minutes for 6.5 hours on week days.
In Crystal, for example, there are two heavy rail lines and the proposed light rail line that intersect in the area of West Broadway and Douglas Drive. The current heavy rail lines cause major traffic backups on both Douglas Drive and on West Broadway when their 100 car trains rumble through, stopping all traffic circulation for 10 to 20 minutes straight. This happens several times day and night. What will happen when light railcars (passing as frequently as every 7.5 minutes) are added?