Bottineau Light Rail Transit: A Must for the Northwest Suburbs
On June 14, 2014, the Green Line officially opens to the public, connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul via light rail. While the Central Corridor is an important route on its own merit, it also joins the Blue Line (Hiawatha) as the foundation for a larger network of transit corridors connecting all areas of the Twin Cities. The Bottineau Transitway will serve the Northwest metro, connecting Minneapolis with the communities of Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park. The northwest suburbs are a robust and growing area of the Twin Cities, home to a number of large companies, such as Olympus, Baxter Pharmaceutical, and Access International, as well as several thousand Target Corporate employees. In addition, the area has about 1,200 acres of land poised for both commercial and private development. What is missing are transportation options.
Traffic backups and congestion plague many roadways in the Northwest suburbs – a problem I see firsthand in my own commute and often hear about from my constituents. Thanks to a recent Corridors of Commerce grant, construction on Highway 610 will finally complete a missing link connecting Highway 169 to Interstate 94. While this will help ease congestion, the Bottineau LRT will be an economic boon to the region. Many thousands of people already make the Northwest suburbs their home, and thousands more pour in daily for their jobs
Light rail transit is part of the answer to easing congestion. The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority is requesting $18 million in the 2014 bonding bill for environmental analysis and project development (including pre-design) activities. If funding comes through in every phase of the project, the Bottineau LRT could begin running in late 2019. The current Bottineau Transitway plans integrate the new line with the interchange at Target Field, which will provide convenient connections from the Northwest suburbs to nearly every corner of the metro via the Blue Line, the Green Line, and numerous bus and bus rapid transit corridors.
Investment in the Bottineau LRT makes economic, fiscal and environmental sense. It will provide a more fuel efficient mode of transportation, it would kick start investment in an area ripe for development, and it would improve transportation headaches for thousands in the region. Tell your elected official why you support the Bottineau LRT today!