More capitol requests?

A proposed $36 million center that would allow the University of Minnesota community to park and ride the coming Central Corridor light-rail transit line and give bicycle commuters a place to shower, repair and store their bikes, as well as connect the light rail with buses, is apparently a better means of creating jobs than thawing the current hiring freeze. According to a letter sent to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), President Bob Bruininks suggested such a transportation hub that would be located in the Stadium Village area. Though the letter isnâÄôt a formal request, the center was one of a number of infrastructure projects that construction could start immediately on if funding for higher education were to be included as part of the economic stimulus package. Yet a park-and-ride system usually works best in less trafficked area. Southwest Transit has numerous park-and-ride locations, most of which are in areas that traffic is less busy and riders are usually seeking to get to urban areas in Minneapolis and take the bus to avoid condensed traffic. The University community is already busy with traffic, yet Bruininks says that the idea of multiple transportation modes intersecting in one spot is âÄúexciting,âÄù when the project risks infeasibility because commuters are likely to already be close to their destinations, as Jason Cao , an assistant professor of transportation planning at the Humphrey Institute, says in a Daily report. It is for that reason we look at this tenuous proposal with scrutiny. The $36 million spent to fund the hub could better be used elsewhere, such as saving departments and faculty jobs at the University. The president should focus his efforts that are specific to the UniversityâÄôs current needs, and that is creating jobs that are at the University, not near it.