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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Molnau and Bell: Working With Blinders On

Category: I-35 Bridge
Posted: 08/14/07 01:52, Edited: 08/20/07 13:48

by Dave Mindeman

Peter Bell, chair of the Met Council, was mumbling and grumbling recently about how the proposed light rail line would not be able to use the Washington Avenue bridge unless there was a costly upgrade to its structure. Another patch. "The budget will have to go on a diet" was the phrase he used.

Yet, he and Molnau send a letter to Pawlenty saying the new bridge must take light rail off the table. No cost comparisons, no discussion, no hearings, no evaluations whatsoever.

Obviously, everybody wants this bridge up and running as quickly as possible, but if we can integrate an already existing light rail plan into a more viable state of the art traffic/transit combination and solve an existing roadblock (the Washington Avenue Bridge), doesn't that deserve a look?

Yet, Molnau and Bell arbitrarily make their own decision and assessment based on perceived delays..... delays that President Bush has promised to expedite. (Obviously, no guarantee he will keep a promise like that, but at least there is leverage).

We need leadership that WANTS to discuss options, not dismiss them out of hand. We still have a patchwork mentality.

And we still have a lot of things that need to be fixed. We won't get many opportunities to truly integrate traffic and transit in a cost effective manner. If that can be done here, why not?
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Restrictions on Minnesota Bridge is OUTRAGEOUS!

Category: I-35 Bridge
Posted: 08/13/07 18:28, Edited: 08/20/07 13:49

by Dave Mindeman

I am SPITTING MAD! I was sympathetic to MNDOT before this latest "restrictive" bridge building press release; but if they are going to push the bridge project through without light rail or at least an option for light rail, they need to be investigated to the hilt.

This is Molnau... I'm betting money on it. Using an excuse about speed is just a bunch of pure unadulterated hogwash. I don't care what kind of restrictions are put on that federal money...there is always a way to get this done if you really want to.

If they build this bridge without some incorporation of future tranist options, then the whole fricking bunch should be fired!
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Minnesota Bridge Project Without Light Rail? Profoundly Stupid!

Category: I-35 Bridge
Posted: 08/13/07 16:41, Edited: 08/20/07 13:53

by Dave Mindeman

And so it begins.

Light rail, again, gets cut out of the project. Peter Bell and Carol Molnau were just letting us know that Federal funding rules do not allow the inclusion of light rail in the project.

Hogwash. It is extremely difficult for me to believe that some of that "red tape" that our President said would be cut for this project can't be dispensed with in making a case for light rail inclusion. As I said before, Carol Molnau, light rail public enemy #2 (behind Phil Krinkie), should not be involved in any forward thinking project involving this bridge.

The Hiawatha line is up and running; the Northstar project, (if we are to believe current rhetoric) will be accelerated. So, if we are going to build a new bridge in the heart of the transportation hub of the metro...why the hell do we leave out light rail? or at least enough space for a future light rail project? Will we ever get to common sense on transportation?

If Fed funding won't allow it, then why can't a state supplemental be involved or a waiver be attatched? Can't anybody think ahead? It is this type of backward, bureaucratic idiocy that has kept our infrastructure and mass transit options locked up in limbo land.

To invoke one of our governor's axioms: This is profoundly stupid!

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