Well, we tried. And on Monday, April 29, according to a reliable source, the earthmovers will belch to life and scrape the Kenilworth Corridor clean.
Neighborhood associations and advocacy groups wrote to Gov. Walz last week (HERE) with an eminently reasonable request: suspend the Met Council's plan to begin cutting down trees in the corridor in the upcoming weeks for SWLRT, until full funding from the FTA is absolutely certain. His office replied that "the Governor does not have the legal authority to impose a moratorium on tree-cutting in the Kenilworth Corridor"
The area's six elected officials (but not the area's Hennepin County commissioner, Marion Greene) wrote to Met Council Chair Slawik last week (HERE) to "urge you in the strongest terms possible to delay clear cutting the trees in the corridor until all possible impediments to the construction of SWLRT have been resolved."
Slawik's response: no can do.
"As you are aware, last fall, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued the Council a Letter of No Prejudice (LONP), which allows the project to move forward with clearing and related activities in preparation for heavy construction. The work to prepare the area for construction of the Kenilworth tunnel and associated structures is a critical schedule element, and any delay would have significant ramifications to the project’s viability.
"... halting work on an area that we received an LONP to move forward with could jeopardize the project’s status with the FTA."
Sounds fine to us. (Read Slawik's letter HERE.)
If the Kenilworth alignment truly was the best route to serve the tens of thousands of people in south, southwest, and midtown Minneapolis, then so be it. But it's not the best route -- it's the WORST route because it completely bypasses them.
So get out there and savor our glorious, irreplaceable, park-like urban forest before Trail Closure and Clear-Cutting Day on April 29.