There has been a lot of discussion regarding light rail transit in Eden Prairie and the southwest metro area for the past twenty years. Now that the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) line has moved into the preliminary design and approval phase, Hennepin County and all of the cities along the line (Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie) are being asked by the Metropolitan Council to provide what is known as “municipal consent”.
This particular milestone offers the public an opportunity to weigh in on the physical design components of the project plans. An example of this input would be about where the tracks should go and where the stations should be placed. Not surprisingly (and understandably so), the public wants to weigh in on all things transit and transportation-related. People have raised concerns related to the cost of constructing transit, the costs of operating transit, including the federal and state government’s role in all of this. There are others that feel light-rail transit is an absolutely necessary alternative mode of transportation that defines a modern metropolitan area.
I can understand why someone with strong feelings on both sides of the light rail transit issue would desire that their respective Mayor and City Council vote in a way that aligns with their views and opinions of light rail transit. Fortunately or unfortunately- that is not what a municipal consent request is. It is only an opportunity to weigh in on the location and design of the stations.
Our City Attorney, Ric Rosow, provided an excellent overview of what our City Council will be asked to consider at their July 14 Council meeting as it relates to municipal consent.
Watch it here-