To the Editor:
As one who has used the current Blue Line fairly extensively, I have a number of concerns about this project. Building this line using the County Road 81 corridor will be a disaster for Robbinsdale and will provide little if any real benefit for our citizens.
Let’s talk first about construction. We have just recently refreshed and upgraded County Road 81. Construction of light rail in this corridor will require a good portion of the road to be rebuilt again. The investment we have made in that road was to last us for many years to come. Instead, we are throwing away decades of our current investment. Also, the construction will have a major impact on traffic in and through our city and on Robbinsdale businesses. Downtown Robbinsdale will be a mess. In short, construction will be a nightmare.
Once the line is in operation, other problems will surface. County Road 81 will have fewer lanes, or narrower lanes, or both. Current turn lanes may be lost. Residents will be subject to increased noise levels. All of us will have to live with unsightly power lines down the middle of our city. There will be train/auto/pedestrian accidents. Crime has been a problem on the current Blue Line and it will not go away.
So, are there benefits which make it worth the cost in dollars, disruption and risks? The benefits are so minuscule as to not even come close to being “worth it.” Ridership will be low. The idea that with the light rail there will be fewer cars on 81, thus mitigating the traffic disruption, is laughable. CO2 impacts will be so small as to not even register.
In short, it is only ideology that is driving this project forward, not reality. This is a 19th century solution to a non-existent problem.
Citizens of Robbinsdale, make your voices heard. Let your City Council member and the mayor know that you do not want this monstrosity running through the heart of our city.