Monday April 12th 2021

Keep citizen journalism alive!



Better Days Are Coming



There are two big pieces of news this month. One isn’t transit-specific but will have a major impact in the next few months on transit, and that is we seem to be turning the corner on the coronavirus pandemic. Masks may soon become historical relics, as forgotten as they were after the 1918 flu. In addition, our transit service will probably return to normal soon, though “normal” may not be the same as what it was before. Ironically, for many of us it may be even better. The suburban commuter market tanked during the pandemic due to many office jobs being done from home instead. Quite a few companies may find the work-at-home model to be cheaper as they won’t have to rent, buy, or maintain as much office space. In addition, some companies are pulling out of downtown Minneapolis due to uncertainty about the safety of doing business there. Personally, I find that sad, but the implications for transit are actually good. That is because there will be less need for rush-hour-only bus routes that run empty to and from the garage and only carry passengers one way, usually from the suburbs to downtown in the morning and back to the suburbs in the evening. The resources no longer needed for such routes will be able to be used to provide better all-day service in inner-city areas like Phillips. 

The other big piece of news is more directly relevant to Phillips residents who have reason to visit the North Side, including the northern suburbs. The Blue Line extension to Brooklyn Park ran into a snag last year because BNSF was unwilling to allow it on their right-of-way. The Metropolitan Council released a report recently proposing new routing that doesn’t need to use railroad property. Instead, it will go down Bottineau Blvd. through Robbinsdale and Crystal. This really isn’t good news for those suburbs, as the new line will be a couple of blocks east of their primary business centers. However, North Minneapolis gets an upgrade: instead of going down Highway 55, the new proposed route is via either Broadway or Lowry. Broadway is the main business center of North Minneapolis, and Lowry has the widest right-of-way, which means the least destruction of nearby properties. Either would be good.

Share this with your friends:
  • email
  • Print
  • PDF
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks

Leave a Reply