More than 600 North Loop residents sign petition opposing Blue Line route

More than 600 North Loop residents sign petition opposing Blue Line route

More than 600 North Loop residents sign petition opposing Blue Line route

More than 600 North Loop residents have signed a petition asking Hennepin County, Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council to reconsider the latest proposed route for the light rail Blue Line Extension.

Matt Bruns lives in the 918 Lofts, which he says would be within 15 feet of the Blue Line under the Met Council’s preferred route.

“So, from our bedrooms, from our living rooms and listening to the trains and having people sit on a train and look into your bedroom window at 11 at night or 5:30 in the morning is an invasion of privacy,” Bruns said. “It’s also not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.”

Aileen Johnson, a North Loop resident for 15 years, said she does not want the Blue Line to go up 10th Avenue to Washington Avenue and then 21st Avenue because the route would push vehicle traffic off 10th Avenue and onto other streets in the neighborhood, making it more dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“We need more honest, open dialogue about how this route was chosen,” Johnson said. “We will have a very precarious situation when it comes to just ordinary walking.”

This map shows two proposed routes for the Metro Transit Blue Line extension. The route outlined in blue would follow Interstate 94 up to West Broadway, while the other route, in green, would continue through the North Loop neighborhood on 10th Avenue and over to Washington Avenue. (KSTP)

Johnson and Bruns, along with the others who signed the petition, think the second option of running the Blue Line extension along Interstate 94 to West Broadway would be more efficient and safer for North Loop residents.

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“It doesn’t disrupt our flow of traffic and it allows us to expand designated bike lanes and off-street bike lanes and slow some traffic on that stretch. But also the greater project — the light rail — can continue,” said Bruns.

Hennepin County and Metro Transit issued the following joint statement:

“The staff-recommended route was developed based on several years of robust engagement with thousands of residents, businesses, and stakeholders. This option will best serve the entire North Loop neighborhood and transit users across the metro. It is more accessible, safer, and serves the most people, businesses, and destinations. It would also require purchasing less private property. We have heard many strong opinions from North Loop residents about this project, including many who support the recommended route and some who do not. Hennepin County and Metropolitan Council will continue working closely with 918 Lofts residents to address their concerns.”

Hennepin County and Metro Transit