Bottineau line: Most Promising Alternatives
Bottineau line: Most Promising Alternatives

I heard a nice presentation by Kim Zlimen on Friday concerning the proposed Bottineau Transitway.
Bottineau Transitway is a proposed line from downtown Minneapolis to the Northwest. Currently planners and decision-makers are evaluating technologies and rights-of-way. They seem to have two proposed alignments through Minneapolis, one along Penn Avenue (D2 in the figure) and another through Theodore Wirth Park (D1). If LRT, and that is the direction things seem to be going, the Penn Avenue alignment requires taking houses. There are alternatives (e.g. using Oliver Ave for one or both tracks) that were ruled out that did not require taking houses, but obviously required taking roadspace from parked (and moving) cars. To say those were too disruptive (by requiring people to park a block away), and that taking houses was not, is strange.
Maybe I am just cynical, but I think that the planners were cynical by defining the on-street alternative as requiring the taking of houses on Penn Avenue. In the context of a post-Rondo Twin Cities, house takings, especially in a poor neighborhood make that an unacceptable alternative, and thereby force the alignment through the Theodore Wirth Park.
In the end, if the aim is to serve suburban commuters to downtown, using the Park alignment is probably better for those travelers. If the objective is to serve transit dependent populations in North Minneapolis, this completely misses. The claim is that both objectives are important, but clearly there is a conflict here.
I suspect this is an application of the Overton Window, by framing the choices in a particular way to get the desired outcome.
This does clear North Minneapolis from LRT, making it more amenable to streetcars, which is perhaps the objective (… See, North is underserved by LRT, we simply must provide Streetcars).
[Alex Bauman also has a nice series of posts with another take at Getting Around Minneapolis: Bottineau-no for North, part I part II, and part III.]