Public Input Meeting On Potential Station Locations For METRO Blue Line Extension Scheduled For Feb 26
February 18, 2015
The Metropolitan Council will host a community workshop Thursday, Feb 26, to gain public input on the benefits and impacts of two potential METRO Blue Line Extension station locations. The workshop will be held from 6 to 7:30 pm in the visitation hall of the Church of St Margaret Mary, 2323 Zenith Ave N, Golden Valley, MN. For those who may be new to the project or would like a refresher, general background information will be presented from 5:30-6 pm. Staff will also be present until 8 pm to answer any other questions.
Two station locations intended to serve Golden Valley/North Minneapolis residents were evaluated in the transit’s lines Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Golden Valley Rd and Plymouth Ave. Project designers and engineers want to hear from the public about their preferences and concerns with the proposed stations. Specifically:
- What are the potential benefits to your neighborhood? city? region?
- What are the potential impacts to your neighborhood? City? Region?
- What should the project team know more about?
Participants will have the opportunity to review and comment on station concepts. Public input will help inform a recommendation of which station(s) should move forward for further design.
The station area planning process should be completed by April. Municipal consent for the METRO Blue Line Extension is planned for mid-2016. Final engineering would take place in 2017 and 2018 with construction following, leading up to the line opening in 2021.
Bottineau LRT Planning Process
Planning for the METRO Blue Line Extension light rail line (formerly known as the Bottineau line) continues to move forward in anticipation of an opening date in 2021. To provide information to and get input from citizens, there were two open houses on the project in January. Watch your mail for more information in the coming weeks.
The City of Golden Valley is engaged in the planning process for the METRO Blue Line Extension in numerous ways. At a regional level, staff and elected officials work with Metropolitan Council and the engineering team, led by Kimley-Horn, to address issues ranging from the location of station stops to impacts of the proposed line on nearby residents, businesses, and the environment.
On a more local level, the City established a Bottineau LRT Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) in August 2013 to assist Hennepin County and the consultant team, led by SRF, in station area planning (get more information here). Through these efforts the PAC will make recommendations regarding station amenities, circulation for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians, and land uses and potential development opportunities in the area around the station platforms.
Current plans indicate station locations where Golden Valley Rd and/or Plymouth Ave cross the BNSF railroad tracks. Part of the station area planning process involves considering the potential for long-term future redevelopment around the station platforms. To get more input from residents, Golden Valley’s PAC hosted an open house Jan 7.
On Nov 12, 2014, Hennepin County held an open house to unveil the first preliminary concepts for the station areas. Residents were shown a range of options located on properties determined most likely to provide opportunities for redevelopment in the future. They could also create their own station area concepts on blank maps.
A majority of the changes suggested by the preliminary concepts would be voluntary. No private properties would be involved unless three conditions existed: 1) the City’s Comprehensive Plan and zoning map would allow for the proposed use, 2) there was an interested seller, and 3) there was an interested buyer, such as a developer. In addition, such potential changes, if they were to occur, would be a number of years away.
Transportation and land use studies along the Bottineau Corridor date back to the late 1980s, and the Bottineau Corridor has consistently been included in regional transportation system plans. Many different alignments and modes, including bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail transit (LRT), and commuter rail, have been considered and evaluated in corridor-specific plans and studies.
In early 2013, the Metropolitan Council amended the metro region’s Transportation Plan to include the Bottineau Transitway (get background information here), a dedicated light rail transit (LRT) corridor proposed to extend from downtown Minneapolis to northern Brooklyn Park. Now known as the METRO Blue Line Extension, the line will be an extension of the current Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT) into the northwest suburbs. The line will travel out of downtown Minneapolis, through Golden Valley along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Corridor, then into Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park, where it will end north of Hwy 610.