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Monday, January 11, 2016

Lake Elmo Kicks Gateway Corridor out!

 Since last year when the Lake Elmo city Council unanimously voted in support of allowing the Gateway Corridor/Gold Line to come through their city I had begun warning them about the facts of the Corridor and what it would do:

Lake Elmo Will Have to Accept Major Development with the Gateway Corridor/ Gold Line


Mailed every resident of Lake Elmo who'd attended council meeting
The "slow growth" majority of the Lake Elmo city council made up of Anne Smith, Julie Fliflet, and Julie Lundgren were initially shy to believe the evidence I shared. They assured me they had the Gateway Corridor planners promised they'd not force anything on them.  Things like high density housing, low income housing, and box store shopping centers.

In a last ditch effort I turned to the Lake Elmo voters and mailed every single resident of Lake Elmo who had attended a city council meeting over the last two years a copy of my article above. It's to these voter's credit for listening and speaking up to their city Council. Thankfully they were able to change their Council's mind.


At the January 5th Lake Elmo City Council meeting they voted 3-2 to kick the corridor out (Mayor Pearson and Coulcilor Bloyer voting for the corridor). Councilor Anne Smith sent me an e-mail stating 
"Hey Matt,
You are uncharacteristically silent.  The vote is over. Gold line is out.

 With the corridor out of Lake Elmo this likely means the Corridor will again be studied to pass on the south side of I-94 on the Woodbury side that has more congested and winding roads. The Woodbury side was initially ruled out as an option for the corridor for this very reason. Add to that the fact it cost tens of millions more to transform the roadways to accommodate dedicated shoulders for the corridor there.

Added costs for the nearly half a billion dollar corridor was not an acceptable option, nor was making the corridor stray even further from it's intended purpose. That is to be a Bus "Rapid" Transit corridor (BRT). Winding down back roads and stopping every block with a stop light in addition to stopping at all the stations adds a significant amount of commute time... Especially if the corridor is competing with the express bus routes (park and ride) that already serve the area and are promised to not be affected with the opening of this corridor. Why ride a bus that can barely get over 30mph when you can ride direct in your car or on the express bus route direct to the inner city?

The Pioneer Press is even covering the undeniable controversy with this unpopular route stating:
"At $485 million, it's a bus line that would be more expensive per passenger than any light-rail line in the state. It would be the state's second-most-expensive transportation link per passenger ever built -- exceeded only by a bus line from Apple Valley to the Mall of America."

Is the $485M St. Paul-to-Woodbury Gold Line bus worth it?

Would the Gateway Corridor even be practical on it's back road path? Grocery shop at the Sunray shopping center and by the time you get home your frozen food is melted and your produce is bruised from the shuffle (and better not buy more than a couple bags).... it makes no sense and at one of the latest Open Houses for the corridor about a hundred senior citizens and local residents spoke up as reported by AlphanewsMN:

Why this is all very important to stop:
The bill to Quadruple the metro sales tax to fund unsustainable transit projects like the Gateway/ Gold Line and Red Rock Corridor passed the Senate the 2015 session with 3 of our Washington County Legislators: Katie Sieben, Susan Kent, and Charles Wiger. Thankfully it didn't pass in the House. The bill is tabled until the 2016 session.








 -Matt Behning

Read more on our related coverage:
Contact your State Representatives through "who represents me:" http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/districtfinder

Contact our County Commissioners and tell them we need to get out of the CTIB tax:
fran.miron@co.washington.mn.us 
gary.kriesel@co.washington.mn.us 
lisa.weik@co.washington.mn.us     
karla.bigham@co.washington.mn.us