Informational meeting on Southwest Transitway set for Sept. 27

Hennepin County and city of Minneapolis officials are holding a meeting Sept. 27 at Whittier’s Salem English Lutheran Church to update residents about proposals for the Southwest Transitway.

The Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority is working with community leaders in Minneapolis and Southwest suburbs on a study examining options for a transit line that would connect Downtown, Southwest and several suburban communities, including St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie.

Community leaders launched the study in January 2005 and are expected to be completed with their work this December.

Leaders are looking at a variety of transit modes for the transitway, including one enhanced bus line, two possible bus rapid-transit (BRT) lines, which use high-speed express lanes to move riders through stations similar to LRT stops, and eight possible light-rail transit lines (LRT).

As for the various LRT scenarios, a couple of options are under consideration for the line’s path through Southwest. One proposal would have a LRT line enter Minneapolis from St. Louis Park at a station on West Lake Street northwest of Lake Calhoun. Then the line would head north through the Kenilworth Corridor, which includes the Cedar-Isles-Dean, Kenwood and Bryn Mawr neighborhoods, and enter Downtown near the Lyndale Farmers’ Market.

An alternative proposal would have LRT trains head east toward Midtown from a station on West Lake Street. At Nicollet Avenue, the line would then head north via a tunnel to Franklin Avenue and then into Downtown.

The Sept. 27 informational meeting at Salem English Lutheran Church, 610 W. 28th St., will be held from 6:45-8 p.m.

For more information on the Southwest Transitway study, go to www.southwesttransitway.org. Comments on the proposed routes can be sent to [email protected] or Southwest Corridor, Hennepin County Transit, 417 N. 5th St., Minneapolis, MN 55401.