Eat Street Wrecking Subway

I don’t quite know whether to file this one under, “Things that may never happen” or “Interesting notes from the life of a city,” or “Holy cow, everyone look!” But it’s one of those three. To wit: Did you know that there’s a plan afoot to run light rail under Nicollet Avenue, roughly from the Midtown Greenway bike-path to Franklin Avenue? Yes, there are plans for a subway, a subway, a subway!, for, as far as I can tell, 9 blocks, in Minneapolis. This is LRT Alignment 3C, viewable online.

What, you say, that’s the craziest thing you’ve ever heard? The Whittier Alliance, the organization that serves the Whittier Neighborhood (west of I-35, east of Lyndale, from downtown to Lake Street) is way ahead of you. They came out against this plan last May, noting that, among other things, that the plan would kill parking on Nicollet, would cost a bazillion dollars, would likely render Nicollet un-driveable for years, possibly forever, and would make the K-Mart permanent. (Click on the ‘Light Rail Task Force’ links for more.)

Oh, and the Whittier Alliance is worried that the subway would supersede a much more useful streetcar. To which I say: A streetcar??? Is that in the works? Because that would be terrific—from, say, the Central Library to the Cub Foods near Highway 62, straight down Nicollet. Sounds great. I feel like I’m living in an alternate city. I never heard of any of this. It all came to my attention because I got an e-mail about a meeting, this Monday, March 9 at 6 p.m., at the Whittier International School. There, the Southwest Transitway will be discussing an alternate light-rail route, down either First Avenue or Blaisdell Avenue.

I called up the Whittier Alliance to see what the heck any of this means and they told me to come to the meeting; the Southwest Transitway people will be able to answer any and all questions.

I guess my questions are, in order: There’s a subway planned under Nicollet? Really? Seriously? Are you kidding? Really?

And for my follow up: How many months would it take of Nicollet being dug up before we stopped calling it Eat Street and started calling it Starve Street?

After watching a mere re-paving project annihilate LynLake, the mind boggles. As of this writing, the Lyndale and Lake repaving project, killed, by my count, JP’s American Bistro, Machu Pichu, La Bodega,Vera’s Coffee Shop, and that wine-bar near It’s Greek to Me.

I’d say anyone interested in food in this city has a lot to lose: A subway under Eat Street? Really?