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Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Local leaders are touting a plan for Bus Rapid Transit down I-35W, from Minneapolis to Burnsville and points south. These dedicated bus lanes would be in the median of the freeway, allowing for high-speed access between downtown and the Burnsville Transit Center, with the possibility of an extension to Lakeville.

The Twin Cities is one of the most sprawled metropolitan areas in the country, if not the world. While some people see this as a good thing, by nearly every metric that comes to mind it is not (yet more proof of this is a study that shows that sprawl is linked to health problems). One reason we have so much sprawl is a lack of public transit, so anything that improves public transit is great in my book.

BRT along this corridor is something that I would like to see go forward. If it is built, however, I hope they build it with LRT in mind. Should this transit route become popular and overwhelm the buses, then a conversion to LRT may be a good idea in the future. Way back more than ten years ago, the reconstruction of I-35W contained plans for LRT in the median. That project was shelved, but there's no reason not to have a comeback.


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