I have a weird car phobia. I'm not sure why, but I utterly hate the idea of driving. Maybe it's because I know I have a habit of distractability, or maybe it's the fact that I really don't like things that go fast (I hated skiing, I use my brakes biking down hills, and I'm a poke on gocarts). So far, I've managed to avoid a drivers license thanks to decent public transportation. And being a one car household is nice, especially when that car is paid for and under warranty for another 5 years.
So needless to say, when I was told that because of the plans to pull down the railyard bridge in Columbia Park the #11 was going to be in trouble, I worried quite a bit.
For those who don't know the neighborhood, we're sandwiched in between University and the railyard. We're about 5 blocks wide and 5 blocks long. We have a lovely park at one end, and the other end is the Minneapolis boarder. Because we are so cut off, we have little through traffic, and mostly quite streets. And, for a transit lover like me, the #11 comes through it fairly regularly, stopping a block from my house, and goes downtown where you can hook up with pretty much any bus you need. It's not a frequent bus, like you can get on the big routes, but if you plan right it's usually mostly convenient, running every 20 minutes during rush hour and half hour off rush, Monday through Friday. It gets harder on the weekend, when it's only every hour. And, as I discovered one Saturday night, it doesn't go all the way home after 11pm, dropping me about two miles from my house at 12am after girl's night.
Still, it does the job, and really, it's all we have unless you count an express bus that runs 6 times a day M-F, three times in the morning and three times at night.
It didn't occur to me when they were making plans for the bridge that the bus would no longer be able to run. Luckily, someone who went to the meeting emailed me, and I was able to contact Jack Yuzna, who today sent me an email assuring me that the route, although it will be moved, will continue running.
This is a huge relief not just to me, but to many in my neighborhood. Many people here have more people than cars, or are trying to keep their costs down in ways that make the bus a good choice for them. And frequently the bus is taken by the elderly in my neighborhood, who would not have the ability to walk the 3/4ths of a mile it would take to get to Central, the next nearest route.
I'm told that there will be a public discussion about the detour, and I will continue to make sure that details of the meeting get out into the public. At this point, the most logical choice would be to reroute onto University, making a stop at 37th, then turn, perhaps on Lowry, although that still leaves out a lot of people on the other side of the bridge.
If you have rerouting suggestions, I would love to compile them to have to present once a public meeting is set. Ensuring buss access to our neighborhood is a huge priority to me.
However, just in case, I suppose I should work on getting over this car phobia and getting my license.