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This coverage is made possible by a grant from The Saint Paul Foundation.

Minneapolis council committee doesn’t like either proposed transit route

City Council committee members selected the route they don’t like, as opposed to the route they really don’t like.

There are two choices for a new mass transit route through north Minneapolis, and on Tuesday, City Council committee members selected the route they don’t like, as opposed to the route they really don’t like.

The council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee is reviewing plans for the Bottineau Transitway Proposal, which is about to enter the draft stage of its Environmental Impact Statement. 

As currently configured, the transit corridor would enter Minneapolis from Golden Valley or Robbinsdale and head downtown. 

The key question concerns how much either route will serve north Minneapolis, rather than just letting suburban riders pass through on their way into the city.

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 “We need to restore the streetcars that were on West Broadway,” said Council Member Don Samuels, who represents the area.

Agreeing, Council Member Robert Lilligren said: “We need this part of the city to be better served by transit. None of these alternatives serve north Minneapolis very well.”

The route council members really don’t like would come down Penn Avenue for a mile and would require acquisition of all the single-family homes on the west side of the street. Also, e West Broadway, where there are hopes of economic development, would be reduced from four lanes to two lanes.

The committee voted to tell the writers of the Environmental Impact Statement that this route, “while promising some economic development, divides and in other ways negatively impacts the neighborhoods in north Minneapolis.”

Instead, the committee selected the route that bypasses the neighborhoods in terms of service and is asking for a study of the possibility of streetcars on West Broadway and rapid transit buses on Penn and Fremont avenues.

Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board has drafted a letter — to be discussed today — that would approve the route that would take the houses on Penn. The letter says that would be less disruptive to area park land.

Plastic yard waste bags

Come April 9, Minneapolis residents will have to pack their yard waste in paper or compostable plastic bags, just like everyone else in the state.  The city also will pick up yard waste in 33-gallon reusable plastic bins.

The changes come at a time when many people still have plastic bags of leaves left over from last fall, when pick-up service ended before some people stopped raking leaves.  

“This will cause surprise among our residents,” said Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy. “We were given extra time [by the state] because of the size and complications of our system.”

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Educational efforts are in the works. Residents should look for information in their mailboxes and for tags placed on garbage cans.  Residents also should get those leftover bags to the curb as soon as the city begins yard waste collection to beat the April 9 deadline.

Two Cities blog, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul City Halls, is made possible in part by grants from The Saint Paul Foundation and the Carolyn Foundation.