Jan 29 Open House Devoted To Planning LRT Transit Stations

A community open house in North Minneapolis on Thursday, Jan 29 is the next major opportunity for the public to get involved with preparing local neighborhoods for the METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT). The open house will be held from 5:30–8 pm at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave. The presentation begins at 6 pm. Parking is available in front of the building and in an overflow lot directly across Plymouth Ave.

The event is organized by Hennepin County, the Cities of Minneapolis and Golden Valley, and several community organizations. It will focus on the latest information and planning efforts around the four proposed southernmost stations on the METRO Blue Line Extension. Two are located in Minneapolis (along Hwy 55 at Van White Blvd and at Penn Ave), and two are in Golden Valley (one at Plymouth Ave near the Theodore Wirth Park Chalet and one at Golden Valley Rd). The 13-mile line is scheduled to open as soon as 2021 and will connect North Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park to downtown Minneapolis.

The station area plans include ways to make it easier for people to walk and bike around the neighborhood, to local businesses, and to LRT stations; enhancements such as lighting, landscaping, signage and art; and opportunities to ensure appropriate future development. Each plan covers an area within a half-mile radius (about the distance of a 10-minute walk) around a proposed transit station.

Public Participation Is Essential

The open houses are part of a planning process meant to help maximize the benefits of LRT and promote vibrant neighborhoods surrounding LRT stations. An earlier open house in November 2014 drew more than 150 people. Ideas and comments collected at that event–and through community engagement efforts since then–have been used to help inform and shape the newest versions of these station area plans as the entire LRT project moves forward.

Participation from community members is essential to creating station area plans that meet community needs and reflect local characteristics, desires, and preferences. Information collected Jan 29 and through additional community outreach afterward will also help shape preferred plans. Final plans for the four station areas in Minneapolis and Golden Valley should be complete in late April. Meanwhile, planning for station areas along the rest of the Bottineau LRT line in Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park is also underway.

For more information on station area planning, call 612-348-4454 or email bottineau@hennepin.us. For information on the METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT) project, visit BlueLineExt.org.

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