SWLRT: Mixing it up more than Bundt Cake?

It appears the Metropolitan Council’s marketing and planning team are working in tandem to sabotage the Beltline Station in St. Louis Park.


I’m not quite sure what “mixing up more than Bundt cake” means, or why it’s being used as a marketing slogan. Possibly because NordicWare, a nearby industrial facility, invented the bunt back. But, if the marketing and planning team are trying to imply there will be a “mix of use”, they are mistaken.

The new station plan will tear down three buildings and cover the football field sized site with open surface parking. Here’s a snapshot of the Council’s plan:


It is beyond disappointing that the Met Council is looking to build a large, counter-productive surface parking lot at the last stop before Minneapolis in an urbanizing inner-suburb. It strikes me as irresponsible planning and contradictory to the Met Council’s own goals of transit-oriented development.

The Met Council is also going against the wishes of the City of St. Louis Park, who is wanting to do the right thing. You can read St. Louis Park’s planning guidelines here (Warning: large PDF. Fast-forward to page 38).

If we want to have transit that is successful, it must build community and economic value. The Beltline Station should capture the value of transit through development and connect the neighborhoods on either sides of Highway 7. Parking lots do not do this. We need good, quality, mixed-use development around transit stations. End of story. Without that, we’ll have nothing but an another missed opportunity.

Call To Action: If you’re interested in making a difference, please contact the Met Council’s Southwest Community Works here or use the interactive forum here.

**Updated: – What could be? Good question. A big hat tip to Matt Steele who superimposed Lyn-Lake into the proposed parking lot. View image here: https://flic.kr/p/ouWy15.

**Updated: – Check out Matt Steele’s excellent post on this light rail station and the cost of auto-orientation. Read the article here: https://streets.mn/2014/07/28/swlrtbeltline/