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?