Rush Line Corridor Task
By Victoria Reinhardt
There is a monster looming on the horizon of Ramsey County's future. This monster is large, loud, spews toxic fumes and crawls along very slowly. This monster's name is traffic congestion. I love my car, we all do, but that love turns more sour every hour I spend in traffic trying to ignore the fact that it will only get worse in the future. There are many things we can do to help slay this beast, like car-pooling or telecommuting, but I want to take this opportunity to tell you about a new solution coming to the Twin Cities.
Commuter Rail, a technology that predates automobiles, has come back in a new,cleaner, quieter and more comfortable form. Commuter Rail is not Light Rail like the Hiawatha corridor in Minneapolis or Heavy Rail like the Subway in New York. Commuter Rail utilizes existing Freight Rail lines to move passengers. You may remember the demonstration of the Flex-liner that was held in St. Paul last year.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is conducting a study of possible Commuter Rail corridors. After Phase I of that study, the St. Paul to ForestLake corridor- which runs through portions of St. Paul, Maplewood, Little Canada, Vadnais Heights, City of White Bear Lake, and White Bear Township in Ramsey County - was one of the seven recommended for further study. Phase II of the report is due to the legislature in early 1999. Copies of the preliminary report are available from the Minnesota Department of Transportation at 296-1613.
In order to make sure that our local voices are heard we have formed a Task Force including Ramsey, Washington and Chisago counties. The task force is madeup of local officials and citizens and is meant to provide a forum to address issues about the corridor. It should be noted that the corridor task force is focusing on a corridor that goes beyond Forest Lake up to Rush City and it is
The mission statement adopted by the task force at its' November 9, 1998 meeting is: To provide a community forum to address the technical, land use,environmental and financial issues associated with making reliable, convenient transit service available in the corridor. With that mission statement we identified four main goals for the task force:
The next meeting of the Rush Line Corridor Task Force is scheduled for February 8, 1999. For more information please contact me at 266-8363 or Victoria.Reinhardt@co.ramsey.mn.us.
Author: Commissioner Reinhardt
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