The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Minneapolis fights back

January 29, 2014

Minneapolis residents don’t agree, however, with that alternative. While it is the potential reroute of the freight rail that is causing turmoil in St. Louis Park, a whole separate concern is being raised by Minneapolis residents in the Kenwood neighborhood––the light rail itself.

Minneapolis residents fear the noise and disruption that the light rail could potentially cause, as opposed to the infrequent freight trains that currently pass through the area. “A light rail going through the neighborhood 100 to 200 times per dayis drastically different than the infrequent freight trains using those tracks right now,” said Susan Eich, Minneapolis resident, and BSM parent.

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I’d like to see the deep tunnel option happen. It won’t disrupt our homes with noise, or cause other issues that other proposed options would cause…Why say an option isn’t feasible before it has been thoroughly investigated?”

— Stuart Chazen

Minneapolis residents like Eich also worry that the passing light rail could cause disruption to the serenity of the lakes in the area––a one of the city’s greatest assets. “Being someone who lives by Lake of the Isles, the lakes are the most used and valuable park in the city. Running light rail trains through there would drastically affect that,” she said.

Minneapolis resident, Daniel Dennehy, is similarly concerned. “It’s a pristine area and once it’s gone it’s gone,” he said.

The City of Minneapolis also has an extensive line of bike trails, which would be disrupted in a co-location of the freight rail and light rail. “The bike trails are really heavily used. Minneapolis is one of the largest biking cities in America. You’re talking about a city that has a great reputation for bike commuting and that being disrupted as well,” Eich said.

LaPray notes that there are potential solutions to the biking trails concern. “In London, they have elevated bike trails. That could be an asset to our lakes and biking system. But that hasn’t been thoroughly evaluated,” she said.

The elevated bike trails are not the only option that has yet to be thoroughly investigated. Minneapolis resident Stuart Chazen, alongside numerous other Minneapolis residents, would prefer a deep-tunnel co-location, instead of the currently proposed shallow tunnels. “I’d like to see the deep tunnel option happen. It won’t disrupt our homes with noise, or cause other issues that the shallow tunnels and other proposed options would cause. We need to look into all of the options, and this hasn’t really been looked into. Why say an option isn’t feasible before it has been thoroughly investigated?” he said.

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