Sunday, April 13, 2008

Extortion in Virginia

This is rich. Apparently Norfolk State University signed a deal a few years ago that would allow light rail to run through campus. A few years later new leadership has moved into the presidents mansion on campus and apparently doesn't like the idea. Instead of going with the original agreement, the University is resorting to extortion.

Norfolk State University wants the city to purchase its president’s home and build a parking deck near campus. The requests are part of a wish list submitted to the city in a letter dated March 26. They are some of the most expensive ideas offered by NSU to resolve an impasse with the city and Hampton Roads Transit over the light rail line under construction next to the campus. No price tags are available for the university’s proposals. However, city officials said the items are not in the project’s $232.1 million budget.

But good for the Mayor, he's not buying it.
Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim said he wouldn’t support the request under any circumstances. “I don’t think we could use public dollars for that purpose,” he said.
It seems recently that there have been a lot of anti-transit campus sentiment. The purple line in Maryland comes to mind, worried about vibrations through campus from light rail and most recently the dumbfounding move by the University of Minnesota who didn't get their tunnel through campus due to our favorite cost effectiveness measure. Now they want a rerouting that would kill the line's federal funding. Something tells me that these folks know nothing about the benefits of a line through campus for students. All over the country there are college campuses that thrive on transit connections. Unfortunately these situations above will have to be forced.


TryRail said...

At least USC seems to be welcoming the construction of the Los Angeles Metro "Expo" line, which will have a station right on the doorstep of the campus's southern edge.

arcady said...

tryrail: are you serious? USC fought tooth and nail against that station, and I think still refuses to pay for it. USC also tried to demand complete grade separation through the area, without offering to pay for it. The only universities that I can think of that are not against transit are the one that already have it, in places like Boston.

Ivan said...

Originally USC was opposed to the Expo line, but that opposition has been significantly reduced with the university's students and neighbors being openly supportive. USC President Steve Sample has been openly negative but the support of Metro Expo by a significant portion of the University community has marginalized Dr. Sample's opposition.

For a more complete discussion see

sjc02005 said...

I go to the Claremont Colleges in Southern California, and recently representatives from the gold line expansion committee talked to our associated student council, and we voted to support it (well the preliminary plans, at least). The most negative reactions--and there weren't any strongly negative reactions--to it were because of transit racism, not anything about roads or light rail vs. buses. A step forward?

Gold Line Expansion