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Proposed St. Paul Rail Route Faces Opposition in Minneapolis

March 01, 2017 10:46 PM

An already busy street near Minneapolis' blue light rail line could get a lot busier with an added light rail or street car.

The Riverview Corridor project released new documents in January outlining alternatives for the proposed rail route that is supposed to connect downtown Saint Paul to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

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Instead of staying on the St. Paul side of the river, one of the alternate routes features a "light rail or modern street car" on 46th Street in south Minneapolis that would connect passengers to the blue line to take them to MSP, according to new project materials posted on the Riverview Corridor website.

The problem, according to residents along 46th Street, is that they found out about the new alternative plan just eight weeks ago.

Vern Atwater has been in the neighborhood for almost three decades. He and six other households have displayed large, red banners that say "No Tracks on 46th Street" for traffic to see.

"Talk about blind-sided," Atwater said during an interview at his home Wednesday. "Frankly, I think it's an insane idea."

Atwater said he and a neighbor measured the distance from the edge of the curb where the tracks are proposed to the outside wall of their homes. The distance was just 22 feet.

He said aside from the promixity to the houses, the route wouldn't help to serve the neighborhood.

"We're very well served with bus service already," Atwater said. "Then to have the addition of some sort of train go by which they're going to have to sound bells or whistles or something every single interestion. The quality of life is just going to vanish."

The Riverview Corridor project managers have scheduled a community meeting Thursday at the Dowling Elementary School to address this neighborhood specifically.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m., with a presentation slated to begin at 6:15 p.m.

Credits

Kirsten Swanson

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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