Thursday, January 14, 2010

Central Corridor Light Rail

Yet another opportunity
for foot dragging at
the University of Minnesota?

From MPR:

The Obama administration is changing a decision-making rule that has long rankled transit advocates. The rule change would allow the FTA to factor in livability as it awards federal money for a project and it could affect the Central Corridor light rail project.

After Secretary LaHood announced the rule change, FTA administrator Peter Rogoff singled out the Central Corridor project as one that would've been designed differently if livability factors had been considered.

"That project is specifically not building stations in a fashion that troubles us from a civil rights perspective because it is not going [to] adequately serve the African American community and the Asian community," Rogoff said.

Central Corridor planners did not originally include stations at Hamline, Victoria and Western avenues, locations popular with some residents.

Bell said he's not sure how adding livability to the federal transit funding formula might affect the Met Council's negotiations with the University of Minnesota over the U's worries about how light rail vibration and electronic interference will affect sensitive lab equipment near the line. University officials weren't immediately available for comment.

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