Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Worried About Aesthetics?

Now this is a doozy. The University of Minnesota continued its obstructionism today by being the lone no vote on the alignment decision. After being given an extra week and much deference, they continued to play the opposition. However it seems that its possible that it could be something other than the well being of students or worries about damaging medical equipment.

Hausman described the U's continued opposition as the "ultimate in carelessness and possibly arrogance." She went on to say the U might face ramifications at the Capitol when seeking funding from lawmakers in the future. "The sense of many is the U is simply accustomed to getting their own way," she said.

She related a conversation with University President Robert Bruininks in which he expressed concerns about the "aesthetics" of the light rail line through campus.

"It's an insult to Minneapolis and St. Paul to assume only the university cares about aesthetics," Hausman said.

Wow. After all that and even now hiring a $500,000 a year lobbyist I hope they come up with a better reason than aesthetics to oppose it. I can kind of understand the sensitive equipment argument, but I think its grasping at straws since they haven't really given anything specific. The Portland Aerial Tram had to be cantilevered off of the cliff side because of the sensitive microsurgeries that take place at OHSU.

But then again, Houston's light rail runs straight through the largest medical center in the world. And I'm sure subways in Boston and New York as well as transit around the world runs by similarly sensitive equipment. In Oakland people and heavy buses drive about 40 feet away from the MRI machine located in a trailer. In any event, it seems like blatant obstructionism. But it also seems like its about to come to an end.

1 comment:

kenf said...

What is it with these "M" Universities? Similar silliness is coming down at the University of Maryland with the Purple line. The student body, the state transit administration, the local town (College Park, MD) want the same preferred route. But the University President and a few others are opposed.