Big take-aways from today’s public comments segment of the Transportation and Infrastructure committee meeting (watch it online):
- The Northland Chamber will debate support for the starter line in September, but cautioned support would diminish unless the northern terminus remains Vivion Road (updated 7/25/08).
- The Clay County EDC) will support the starter line if the northern terminus remains Vivion Road.
- Councilman John Sharp again urged extension of the starter line south to 63rd along Bruce Watkins (which is dedicated ROW).
- The Sierra Club supports the starter line.
- Several men in suits who think they know better complaining about Union Station.
- A letter from Union Station president Andi Udris stating his support for light rail and the inclusion of Union Station as a transit hub (we’ll admit we didn’t see that one coming).
- Dennis O’Neill hates light rail and conveniently forgot to mention the transit-dependent 6th District will be served by Troost BRT next year… oh, and some huge TIF project as big as the Power & Light District.
- The Regional Transit Alliance supports the starter line.
- Councilman Ed Ford poignantly noted how far we’ve come when you see Crown Center and Union Station duking it out to see who will become a light rail stop.
Thankfully, committee chair Russ Johnson directly addressed two main concerns during the meeting: Union Station and the “tourist” label being lobbed by Councilmen Sharp and Terry Riley.
- Union Station will be served, exactly how is “wide open” until more design work is complete and won’t be formalized before the November election.
- While the starter line route hits tourist destinations, the study area — by no coincidence — contains more job and population density than any other place in the metro and both are expected to grow in the near future.