Over the last two weeks, Golden Valley Patch has published multiple articles about various issues surrounding the Bottineau Transitway and the D-1 alignment, which would bring the light rail through Golden Valley.
There was no shortage of reader interaction.
On Nov. 29, Patch summarized various comments made by residents who attended the Nov. 28 public hearing about the Bottineau Transitway.
Patch user Andy Snope said:
The impression I got from last nights meeting was that people were in favor of light rail however "not in their back yard". The ironic thing about that attitude is that those same people have no problem with the route that cuts a neighborhood in half and razes over 100 homes in North Minneapolis.
Sheila Bahl disagreed and said that most residents don't automatically support the D-2 alignment, which would send the train through North Minneapolis:
It is absolutely not true that the people who oppose the D1 allignment automatically support the D2 down Penn Ave. I and most of the other residents with whom I have discussed this issue, think that the D2 route would also be just awful for people that live there and that is why we would like Hennepin County to look at another possible route. We would hate to see that neighborhood divided.
In an effort to educate readers on the differences between the two proposed alignments, on Dec. 4, Patch published an article that compared the two paths.
Candace Oathout said that the project costs too much without enough benefit to the community:
We have an aging population that is already struggling with mobility. Why is it desirable to make it more difficult for them to age in place by limiting their travel modes to ones that are less convenient, harder to navigate and don't provide door to door service?
Bus rider Kelly L agreed with Candace:
As a transit user; a stop at GV Road with no park and ride, really? If would offer no benefit unless you could walk or get dropped off to the stop. It would benefit our major employers who employor over 11,000 people, such as Allianz LIfe, General Mills, or Honey Well unless you took the existing 14 route. There are no coffee shops nor retail stores located there. Is there space zoned for this anyway?
With clear public interest in the light rail, on Dec. 5, Patch published an article that drew attention to an unscientific survey conducted about Bottineau which showed support for the project.
Bill Wilcox thought the survey provided useless information:
The survey means nothing. The group that funded it even admits that it's not scientific, and the group has an obvious bias. Taking this to actually be a representative sample of Golden Valley residents' opinions makes as much sense as taking a poll from Foxnews.com or MSNBC.com and pretending that it's representative of the general population.
Andy Snope, a survey supported, disagreed:
A poll was done to gain the feel of support by Golden Valley residents. If the resident supported the Light rail project then they were asked to attend the public hearing or contact the council to voice there support. Yes, there was an effort to get supporters to participate in public opinion, that does not dismiss that there were a certain number of people who supported the light rail plan and a certain amount who didn't, those findings were recorded.
If the City Council passes a resolution of support for the locally preferred alternative, the project will launch into the preliminary engineering phase. On Dec. 7, Patch published an article that explained the process and cost of the next project phase.
Kasia expressed concern, and a desire to have other routes examined:
So Golden Valley is going to pay millions of dollars to study the light rail project that will go through our parks and communities, lower our property values, and leave us no better off transportation wise? Why isn't there a better option? I have a map with some of the options I would like to see: saveminneapolisparks.wordpress.com