10.11.05

stp: PiPress op-ed on Snelling Ave bus barn

It just sits there, filled with gravel. The excellent University United folks have all the info you could possible need.

But, here's a recent PiPress opinion piece that seems to have its heart in the right place:

We're happy to report that the debate over how the bus barn site can be sold is now settled. For the longest time, some, including the Met Council, argued that it had to be a land swap because that was the only means by which to keep happy the Federal Transit Administration, which gave the Met Council huge subsidies for the property long ago. That no longer appears to be the case.
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City Councilman Jay Benanav agrees with developers and community activists like University United's Brian McMahon that 807 Hampden is a bad site for the bus barn.

"We're going to ask the Met Council to just sell the land and take that money and use it to reduce their bonding request for transportation from the state Legislature," Benanav said. "That money could even be used for light rail."

WHAT ABOUT LIGHT RAIL?

That's the other issue roiling the development of the bus barn site. There are plans in the works to build a Lowe's home improvement store and a Best Buy on the site. But McMahon, Benanav and others argue that the last thing the congested intersection needs is big box retail, which will only bring more traffic.

"That's a concern," said Benanav. "It doesn't mean it's a deal killer, but that area is already pretty congested."

We agree. A new transit study is the works that's expected to confirm that University and Snelling avenues is one of the busiest intersections in the state. It's also expected to include recommendations on what to do about it.
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Finally, what moves into the bus barn site needs to be decided with an eye toward the future, namely its impact on local traffic and its fit with light rail. Those are the questions that must be answered before anything can be done with the site.


The paper comes to the dramatic conclusion that "the discussion is important." I come to the dramatic conclusion that LRT needs to happen ASAP.

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