Southwest LRT Open House – Event Summary

22 Apr

This was the summary from SOHer Mark Reuter who attended the recent Southwest LRT open house:

Due to the foul weather, turnout seemed to be quite small. Only three of us were there primarily for the Louisiana station. Staff and elected representatives from St Louis PArk, Hennepin County, the Met Council, Southwest Light Rail Transit planning office, TSAAP (station area planning), and MnDOT were on hand and leading discussions about each of the three SLP stations: Louisiana, Wooddale and Beltline.

Being that the meeting was about station planning, the primary questions revolved around concerns in the immediate station areas: traffic issues, redevelopment of the surrounding areas, noise, crime, etc. How would you get to the station (walk/bike/drive/drop off and what route would you take) and where would you go? The city council is going to be briefed about the results at their study session tonight and I’ll see if anything interesting is said that I missed.

The Louisiana station location seems to be a bit up in the air right now. The original plan called for it to be located on the current Cedar Lake Trail/CP Bass Lake spur line on the east side of Louisiana (ie just south of Sam’s Club). Station Planning is also looking at two other locations: one at the intersection of Oxford and Louisiana and the other where the switching wye crosses Louisiana. These two locations are closer to the major employer in the area, Methodist Hospital, and allow for more redevelopment right next to the station (since Sam’s Club isn’t going anywhere). Incidentally this also moves them further away from all of the apartments North of Hwy 7. The two new locations would also involve at-grade crossings of Louisiana. The original location would need stairs/elevators/ramps to reach the elevated station. The switching wye location would require a replacement southern connection for the freight rail to be built.

Comment cards are available for people to mail in more thoughts and concerns.

Also, the SLP Planning department is involved in forming a sort of advisory committee for the Louisiana area station which I offered to take part in. I’ll let everyone know what happens with that as well.

The website http://www.southwesttransitway.org will be updated at some point here with more information from the open houses.

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