Much has been written on Streets.MN about the Southwest LRT project (or Green Line Extension if you prefer). Contributors have been arguing the strengths and weaknesses of the approved 3A (Kenilworth) and dropped 3C (Uptown/Nicollet) routings for years. 3A allows for direct interlining with the existing LRT lines (providing operational savings for Metro Transit) and will induce development at Van White. 3C would have served a dense, transit-riding area and support redevelopment in the Uptown and Lyn-Lake areas.
Given that a tunnel wound up being required for the project anyway, what we should be doing is building a tunnel in a location that combines the through-running capability of 3A with the dense neighborhood serving of 3C. A 3C-2 alignment option tried to do this, but didn’t score well against either 3A or the original 3C (relabeled 3C-1).
A routing option exists that is not much longer (about 2/3 mile) than 3A, is shorter (about 2/3 mile) than 3C-1, serves Uptown and dense nodes along Hennepin Ave, and still directly interlines with the Green Line, as shown in today’s map:
Of course, if we really wanted to go all-out, we could do something like this:
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