Tuesday, May 20, 2008

U of M Route Choice Crashes and Burns

Instead of going straight through campus, the University of Minnesota wanted the Central Corridor to go around. They even had Governor Pawlenty hold up State Funding for the project so they could study the route that would kill ridership. Well the study is back and like everyone said it would, it tanked:

The University of Minnesota's preferred route for the Central Corridor would fail to pass — big time — a key scoring index needed for federal approval, according to records obtained by the Pioneer Press today.


The Washington Avenue route, which would cost $909 million, is 23.80. The U's Dinkytown route, which would cost between $889 million and $894 million, would have a CEI of between 28.25 and 28.44, according to the U's study, which notes that 23.99 "is recommended by the FTA to be considered for federal funding.
The University is still going to try and lobby to change the CEI measures but good luck with that. How many other cities have tried to change it and failed. This is just another example of even smart people building for cars. And from now on, they will get much more pushback.


Cap'n Transit said...

Okay, that's "the U"s preferred route, but what about the students? If I were a student, I'd want the light rail to run right through campus - and I'd be pissed as hell if the administration were spending so much money to fight it.

Cap'n Transit said...

Okay, it looks like the student government has the same perspective as the administration: all about cars, and nothing about the convenience of student users of the system. How lame.

ian said...

Houston had the same problem. METRO considered putting the University Line through TSU along a road through the university that had been closed to vehicular traffic to create a pedestrian thoroughfare. TSU was scared rail would destroy their grand pedestrian vision for the campus (which I'm all for) without pausing to consider for a moment that 1)this is done all the time in other cities, 2)those lines tend to be extremely popular and well-used 3)BECAUSE they complement the urban, pedestrian environment.

METRO also considered running the line through TSU's neighbor, the University of Houston, which also fought the idea because of similar fears of a threat to the pedestrian environment. Do these people have even a basic understanding of either pedestrians or light rail? They go together like. . .NO, it's the other way around! PEAS AND CARROTS go together like RAIL AND PEDESTRIANS! :)