Rapid growth in the southwest metro area is putting more demands on our existing roads and transit systems. By 2030, cities in this area are expected to add 63,000 residents and 79,000 jobs.
The Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) Green Line is a proposed extension of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line that would connect Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and St. Louis Park to downtown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota and downtown St. Paul. For more information about the entire LRT project go to www.swlrt.org.
An open house will be held for the public to learn and provide feedback on proposed station locations in Hopkins and Minnetonka.
Before finalizing station locations, project designers and engineers would like to know which of the options being considered for station locations would enhance connections to existing neighborhoods and promote future development opportunities. They need to determine the locations of where station platforms will be built, the roadway, pedestrian, bike and bus connections to the stations and the locations of park-and-rides.
Hopkins is the proposed site for three transit stations, which would have a significant impact on future development in the city. A station area planning study was completed in 2010 for each of the suburbs that will be connected by the SWLRT, including Hopkins.
In Hopkins, station area planning occured around and within a ½ mile radius of the station locations at Blake Road, in Downtown Hopkins and at Shady Oak Road. For more information, download the following sections from the final Station Area Planning Document:
If you would like to view the entire document for all 12 proposed stations in the southwest metro, please contact Kersten Elverum at 952-548-6340.
The planning approach focused on the development of station area plans that build upon county and municipal planning work while searching for new and creative planning that supports and enhances LRT. Public involvement throughout the process was critical to maintaining the unique identity of Hopkins and ensuring that LRT will be successfully embraced as an amenity for the southwest region.
In 2009, three Master of Urban and Regional Planning students from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota completed a study of 8th Ave S as a connector between the future Downtown Hopkins LRT Station and Mainstreet. The study was given the award for Outstanding Student Project by the Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association.
That study in particular highlighted the need for a “pedestrian seductive” experience along 8th Avenue South through streetscape improvements, active first floor uses, and circulation options from the station throughout Downtown.
Visit the Southwest Transitway Study Web site.
Since June 2006, the City of Hopkins has partnered with Hennepin County and heard from residents through open houses and community meetings in order to determine the best methods for development of light rail transit in Hopkins. The findings are compiled in the October 2007 Hopkins Station Area Plan Final Report 4.5MB, now being used as a guide for further Station Area Planning.