Crystal Light Rail Workshop
By Candace Oathout
There was a workshop Tuesday evening at the Crystal Community Center to collect information and ideas from residents concerned with the Bottineau Light Rail Station scheduled for Bass Lake Road and County 81. If you missed this workshop, there are still opportunities to make suggestions and report your concerns.
You can go online at bottineaustations.mysidewalk.com, then search for Crystal to add your comments and opinions. Please do this. We need to hear from all residents that will be affected by this project.
You can also call the Blue Line Extension Project Office at 612-373-5340 or stop by the office here in Crystal at 5514 West Broadway, Suite 200, Crystal, MN 55428.
The workshop was relatively well attended (about 60 residents). We need to hear from you, too.
We were challenged to answer three questions;
1. What do you see as the strengths of this project?
2. What are the weaknesses of the station area?
3. What ideas and visions do you have for the future of this area?
The strengths expressed were a commercial district within walking distance that offers many opportunities for updating and enhancement. An opportunity to make Becker Park a destination location for Crystal. It is currently underused and neglected.
Weaknesses of the area include the Bass Lake Road-County 81 intersection, increased traffic congestion, poor pedestrian access from Northeast Crystal, limited drop off capability due to lack of efficient access to and from the parking area and safety for walkers, bikers and handicapped transit users. All of the groups reporting after the exercise expressed similar concerns.
Most groups expressed interest in redeveloping the commercial area. There was similar interest in improving Becker Park. Some suggestions included creating a promenade along Bass Lake Road to West Broadway. Increased bicycle and pedestrian access through the park while maintaining green space.
There will be a follow-up meeting on Nov. 5 at the Crystal Community Center 4800 Douglas Drive Crystal, MN 55428. Make plans now to be there.