Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman
Yesterday I was in St. Paul and snapped these pictures near University and Snelling. While it can be unfair to judge a project before it's complete, these pictures do give us an idea of what LRT could look like coming down Penn or Oliver. Is this really a good fit in NoMi?
LRT does cut off plenty of cross streets. Even on a commercial corridor like University Avenue, I'm not so sure this is a good idea. Along a residential corridor, the effects would be even more dramatic. I've been reading up on walkable communities, and believe the LRT would either decrease walking along the corridor or it would increase pedestrian accidents. Yes, people can walk an extra block or few to the handful of designated crossings, but will they really? I can think of any number of scenarios, from a tired grandmother to an anxious kid to a scrapper with a baby carriage full of stolen copper where people will cross wherever they think is convenient. And we certainly don't want grandma or the grandkids to get hit by a train.
So I encourage neighbors to take a hard look at the University Avenue corridor. That's what we'll have in NoMi if any of the D2 options come to pass. LRT can do many excellent things to revitalize a community, but I don't think those fit along the D2 route here.