Letter to the Editor

Community activists provide information pertaining to Light Rail

For the last two years we have been very impressed with the articles in this paper regarding the proposed freight rail re-route.

Despite the excellent reporting, a St. Louis Park student who attended a public meeting Jan. 9, 2014 asked our elected officials if they could do more to help St. Louis Park students understand the re-route issue.

Although we are not elected officials, as co-chairs of the grassroots community organization, Safety in the Park, we are able to give you some background information, but more importantly we are able to direct you to websites so you can learn more for yourself.

It is widely believed, and we agree, that the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project will not only be a benefit to St. Louis Park, but also to the region in general.

It is not necessary for the freight trains to be moved from the current location along Hwy. 7 to the tracks near the high school for the project to move forward.

Yet, at the insistence of the City of Minneapolis the SWLRT project was put on hold last October to study ways to remove the freight rail from a wealthy and influential area of Minneapolis.

The relocation plans that would move the trains to the tracks near the high school are receiving the most attention.

Moving the freight to the train tracks near the SLP high school will mean an increase of 253 rail cars a day passing the school and because none of the reroute plans include mitigation for safety, the students at the high school, PSI and Peter Hobart will be at increased risk for being harmed by a freight train.

In the next two months decisions about the location of the freight and the SWLRT project are going to be made.

There is time for you to learn more, comment and help keep the students of St. Louis Park safe.

For more information visit Safety in the Park on Facebook, go to www.Safetyinthepark.com or www. StLouisPark.org.

– Jami  LaPray and Thom Miller, Co-Chairs, Safety in the Park