(Poll) Do You Want Light Rail in Golden Valley?
The City Council talked about the proposed Bottineau Line this week, and you've got a chance to weigh in with your thoughts later this month.
Could the fourth spoke of the Twin Cities metro light rail system eventually come through Golden Valley? Or instead of a train, will a bus be the selected mode of rapid transportation?
These matters were brought up at City Hall on Tuesday evening during a regular work session of the Golden Valley City Manager and the City Council.
Members of the council listened to a presentation given by Hennepin County, the proposed Bottineau Corridor, and while a myriad of options were discussed, no decisions were made.
Mayor Shep Harris told Patch last month that many people aren't aware of the Bottineau plans.
"Does it cut through the eastern part of Golden Valley or through north Minneapolis? Do residents even know?" he said. "Some decisions are going to be made that have serious impact, and residents simply haven't made their voices heard. I would feel much more comfortable getting more public input before putting any official word from the city out there."
The county presented the following two plans, and noted that you can have your say about these plans at a town hall meeting on Jan. 23:
If a light rail system is designed and built, it could take on several possible routes.
- First, the most northern destination could be either Brooklyn Park or Maple Grove.
- Second, the route through Golden Valley could be either parallel to the existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) north-south line with a station at either Golden Valley Road or Plymouth Avenue.
- The line would then follow Highway 55 into downtown Minneapolis.
- The line would enter Golden Valley near North Memorial Hospital, go down West Broadway to Penn Avenue, proceed south to Highway 55 and then east into downtown Minneapolis.
“Whether to choose a light rail or a rapid commuter bus system is contingent upon what current studies show as the potential rider ship,” said Joe Gladke, manager of the engineering and transit planning department of Hennepin County “If it eventually concludes that high ridership is to be expected, then a light rail system would be the best approach.”
The Bottineau Corridor, as a light rail system, could tie into and be an extension of the existing Hiawatha Light Rail, which currently runs from downtown to the airport and the Mall of America.
Funding for these projects is broken down to 50 percent from the federal government and the other 50 percent from a combination of funds from the State of Minnesota and special tax revenues from Hennepin County.
The City of Golden Valley and other municipalities where the corridor would run are not funding partners.
Once built, the Metropolitan Council and the county would share in the operating costs.
“There are still a lot of unknowns beginning with the status of the federal transportation bill in Congress,” Gladke said. “There are also a lot of communities around the country seeking federal funding for similar systems.”
After the meeting, Gladke told Patch that an “optimistic” projection would be that the plan would go through the required economic impact studies, funding allotment, engineering, final design and what would probably be three years of construction and then be operational by roughly 2019.
“But that’s if everything went forward without a hitch,” he cautioned.
An open house to present the overall potential plans and options is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23, from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Theodore Wirth Ski Chalet.