Maps of the Bottineau Transitway Line
Below is a map from the Bottineau Transitway project website. There were several routes considering during an early phase of planning, but the “Locally Preferred Alternative” was the route preferred by the agencies involved. It makes a path from downtown Minneapolis through Theodore With Park on its way to Brooklyn Park. The reason this route was chosen is because going through the parks costs less in construction, making the project more likely to receive funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as a part of their “New Start’s” program.
I believe that Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council may mean well by trying to secure federal funding for important infrastructure projects like light rail, but the calculation used by the FTA does not properly account for the loss of park land in its equation. This is an oversight that may cost us our parks!
(Click to enlarge photos)
Below is a detailed map from the Bottineau Rail line project website that highlights the route through Theodore Wirth Park. This “alignment” is part of D1. See the expanded view on the Bottineau Transitway website.
Below is a satellite photo of Theodore Wirth Park. It is almost the size of New York City’s Central Park. It is full of pristine trails for biking, running, hiking, and cross-country skiing. It is hard to believe you are in the middle of Minneapolis, until you catch a glimpse of the skyline from some high vantage point. Light rail would require trees to be cleared, fences, flood lights throughout the night, not to mention a possible park-and-ride within the park.