Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Leaking money.

Question: How much money did Minnesota taxpayers need forfeit for water-proof light-rail tunnels? Answer: More than $87 million.
The new train tunnel at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport sprang a leak this winter that has ice forming near the rails, slowing northbound trains as drivers ease through the icy areas, rail officials said Tuesday.

He said the tunnel was not built to be waterproof because doing so would have been too expensive.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission spent $87 million to construct the tunnel and the stations at each terminal.
Minnesota's LRT has had some tremendous success. Not only has it snarled the already congested traffic everywhere it operates, but the crossing arms have shown themselves to be easily replaceable as the (understandably) irritated drive right on through them on a daily basis. As the LRT was designed by the lowest-bidding engineering firm, much time was spent trying to figure out how to get the LRT line to criss-cross Hiawatha enough times to look like a Twizzler, while provisions for parking were overlooked. As a result, city streets are over-run by parked cars and the drivers who leave their garbage behind, at the aesthetic expense of residents who enjoyed clean curbsides and places to park their Subaru's and Volvo's and the fiscal expense of waste removal. Don't foget the calls to police over suspicious activity and reports of break-ins.

These unattended parked cars are juicy targets for the crafty criminals who know the owner's won't return for hours, concentrating crime in areas it hadn't been before and unnecessarily making good neighborhoods more dangerous. While business-people park and ride the LRT to work downtown, thieves are riding the LRT from downtown to the businessman's car so they can go to work.

My suggested LRT slogan: Bringing everyone together, just not constructively.

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