The recent Star Tribune article about opposition to the new light-rail alignment in Robbinsdale ("Suburb balks at route for Blue Line," Sept. 12) correctly characterizes that opposition as specific to this plan. City leaders and citizens were enthusiastic or accepting of the previous alignment, which ran along an existing rail corridor, not a road trafficked by car, foot, bicycle and wheelchair by everyone who runs errands in the city, as well as by emergency vehicles servicing North Memorial Health Hospital. The current alignment will force drivers wishing to avoid trains onto Theodore Wirth and Victory Memorial Parkways, and onto a small and crowded downtown corridor, creating more quality-of-life issues. It will also undo the construction currently underway to create a safe interchange for bikers and pedestrians where the parkways connect with Lowry Avenue N. and W. Broadway Avenue. This alignment does not serve New Hope or Golden Valley, and it will displace people from their homes and businesses whether it runs on Lowry or West Broadway, raising the question of why wider corridors like Hwy. 55 or 100 are not utilized instead.
A critical question to ask in the wake of climate catastrophes and the pandemic is why we insist on commuting so much. Human life and environmental health are served by creating communities in which people can live and work. Moving people out of their neighborhoods daily degrades the air that we breathe and compromises our land and our waters. Visionary leadership would be using infrastructure dollars to support and build up the kind of city that Robbinsdale already is: one with basic amenities like stores, banks, churches, restaurants and parks easily accessed without a car.
Spending money on transit will never do anything but increase transit. Why invest dollars on building more and more of the one place we all agree that we hate to be?
Janet Anderson, Robbinsdale
The article "Suburbs balk at route for Blue Line" is all too familiar. Its entire premise is that, as the Robbinsdale mayor said, that the line would cut the city "in half." After reading it twice, nowhere in the piece does anyone explain how a light-rail line will cut the city in half. Long article, no explanation. That happens a lot. Writers should ask and answer the obvious reader question in any article.
Curt Johnson, Edina
The logic of Robbinsdale's mayor is a mystery. If I might paraphrase using his exact words, Bottineau Boulevard already divides his city into two, distinct halves. It's a large, busy thoroughfare that can only be crossed in a few intersections over the course of several miles. Judging from what I see on the official Metro Blue Line Extension map, the addition of a light-rail line to the mix will do absolutely nothing to change that.
As a matter of fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that it will become easier than ever for pedestrians to cross Bottineau Boulevard at the site of the planned stations. That in itself may serve to bring the two halves of the city together rather than pushing them apart as the thoroughfare currently does. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Dale Jernberg, Minneapolis
What about the rights of the fetus?
In response to a letter to the editor published Sept. 12 ("In the land of freedom"): Is this really "the land of the free" if you are an unborn human baby? You have no choice over your conception or whether your parents will want you or choose to abort you. Because abortion is legal, an unborn human baby has no rights and is treated as less than a citizen, having no right to "life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness."
I was taught that my rights end where another person's rights begin. I shouldn't cut down my neighbor's tree if I don't like it. My neighbor has a right to grow a tree in their yard. I shouldn't drive my car on a sidewalk if the road traffic is slowing me down. Sidewalks are for pedestrians to safely walk. I shouldn't fire a gun just to see those around me jump or run. Others could get hurt or die.
Where does a mother's rights end and the unborn human baby's rights begin? Since I believe that my rights end where another person's rights begin, abortion is not an option. Even abortionists now admit that they are killing an unborn human baby when they perform an abortion. It is wrong for me to take the life of another person, no matter their size, gender or location of their body in relation to mine. The sexual act between a biological male person and a biological female person can result in pregnancy. That's biological science. Although pregnancy can be prevented using a number of different methods, they all have a failure rate, allowing for an unplanned pregnancy.
Donna Peterson, Hutchinson, Minn.
Every woman in this country should be concerned about the fact that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Mississippi case regarding abortion. The mere fact that they have agreed to hear it makes me fear the result.
In 1967, my 47-year-old mother was pregnant. She was desperate to abort the fetus, but, of course, abortion was illegal then. She tried lifting the piano and throwing herself down some stairs but was unsuccessful. One night, my parents went to a motel room in Detroit and met up with a man they had never met who did, indeed, perform the abortion. She ended up in the emergency room the next day but thankfully survived the procedure.
In 1985, I found myself in the same predicament. Although I was very fond of my partner, it was very early in our relationship, and having a child just was not feasible. I went to see my OB-GYN who confirmed the pregnancy, talked to me about my decision to abort, and made an appointment for me to have the procedure done in a hospital. Although it was an emotionally difficult decision to make, I suffered no physical effects afterward.
One must assume that should Roe v. Wade be overturned, there will always be safe havens for women to end pregnancies — as long as they are willing to pack a bag and travel potentially thousands of miles from home. Or perhaps they could go online, order a medicine that would accomplish the goal and hope they are getting the correct dose of the correct medication from a legitimate vendor. Or they could try other home remedies such as wire hangers, back alleys, anonymous motel rooms and the like.
The fact that women's bodies are legislated at any level is abhorrent to me. I know of no laws that rule men's bodies. Recently, the state of Texas enacted a draconian law restricting abortion. Abortion becomes illegal after six weeks (before many women even know they are pregnant) and denies abortion in the cases of incest and rape. We have fought too hard for too long and come too far to be cast back 50-plus years. I urge all like-minded women and men to take a bold stand on this issue.
No one is "pro-abortion." The correct term is "pro-choice."
Barbara Hanson, Bloomington
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