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Hennepin commissioners wonder where transit hub will go

With Target Field set to open in Minneapolis next year, Hennepin County commissioners are faced with finding a spot near the stadium for a transit hub to handle light rail and commuter trains.

Finance and Commerce writer Bob Geiger notes the the old Great Northern Depot would come in handy now.

"Without the old depot, Hennepin County board members now must plan a $130 million, intermodal hub – including several light-rail transit (LRT), commuter rail lines and possibly high-speed rail service from Chicago – in a crowded area already occupied by, among things, parking garages and the new Target Field baseball stadium," Geiger writes.

“We don’t want to be creating a railroad spaghetti junction here,” said commissioner Peter McLaughlin, during a Thursday briefing. “There’s going to be a lot of stuff going on there.”

County officials don't expect congestion problems right away when Target Field opens for business in April – at which point only the Hiawatha LRT line and Northstar Commuter Rail line will serve the area. But they expect 40 percent of fans attending Target Field games to travel by LRT, more than double the 15 percent that currently ride light-rail to ball games. And congestion will surely increase when the Central Corridor LRT line connects downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

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Comments (3)

Wow, talk about lack of foresight...

Actually, it's more like lack of information in the article. The plan all along has been to place a "grand central" of transportation connections right next to the Twins stadium. That way, fewer people will drive their cars to Twins games. The County Board and the Metro Council now have to figure out how to make it easy for people to switch from one train to the other without getting run over. This doesn't need a building -- LRT riders board their trains outdoors. This does need planning for a transit plaza of some sort. Buy some more land!

Commissioner Peter McLaughlin led the planning of the Hiawatha LRT, voted for the Stadium tax, and is a member of the Counties Transit Improvement Board. After years of involvement on these issues, his insight is "There’s going to be a lot of stuff going on there." Gee, like transit stuff?