Letters: Red Rock boondoggle shows county should stick to road planning
As a resident of Cottage Grove, I went to the October Red Rock Corridor Commission meeting to catch up on how the planning was coming. I learned that the corridor planners are yet again changing the corridor. A few years ago they decided to make it a "bus rapid transit" corridor with six stops on the way to St. Paul from Hastings. Then they spent $550,000 on a study to double the station stops and they approved it last January. Come to find out that this is now a long-term plan for the year 2040! The new near-term plan is to add a local bus route called Route 363.
Millions have been spent studying the Red Rock Corridor for over a decade. It is clear even the generous ridership predictions in multiple arrangements haven't gained the 2,000-plus riders a day to secure a federal funding match. So it appears they are giving up on the Red Rock Corridor for now and planning to build a bus route designed by Metro Transit. Route 363 is straight from Metro Transit's "Service Improvement Plan," yet it was deemed not worth the investment last year.
The Red Rock Corridor planners took this deceased plan and brought it before the Met Council for funding. They were denied on Jan. 18. When is the Washington County Board going to wake up and stop pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into building an unsustainable and not-worthwhile bus line? The county should stick to roads and leave bus planning to the state.