Anti-LRT protest on Green Line's opening day was a bust

LRTProtest2.jpg
All screengrabs via WCCO
Occupy Wall Street it wasn't...
Steve Ellenwood blames it on the rainy weather. Others would probably identify different scapegoats. But whatever the reason, the anti-LRT protest Ellenwood organized for the Green Line's opening day was a dud. (Read the backstory here.)

When we spoke to Ellenwood last week, he said he hoped up to 200 protesters would turn out Saturday. In reality, dropping a zero from that number would get you in the ballpark of how many showed up, and that's being generous.

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The screengrab at the top of this post gives you an idea of the turnout. Here's another that gives you a sense of the demographics and messaging:

LRTProtest.jpg

Ellenwood, a Republican who lives in Woodbury, acknowledges the turnout was "smaller than what we were hoping for, and it was raining too."

"But I think we made our point as well as can be expected," he adds, citing the fact that the protest was covered in one form or another by just about every media outlet in town.

The protesters gathered at the Victoria Street station on the cusp of Frogtown in St. Paul.

"The only message was, stop transit expansion. There's no business case," Ellenwood tells us. "There's no environmental case and we don't have the money for it. Basically we just held the signs up as [trains] went by, but it started downpouring after two trains went by."

SteveEllenwood.jpg

Ellenwood says Green Line riders and bystanders were cordial.

"People waved at us," he says. "One of the bus drivers from Metro Transit honked at us, along with a person driving by. We definitely got recognized and noted for what we were doing."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



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85 comments
midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

There are as many people in the picture as I see at many occupy protests, anti war protests, and animal rights protests, yet I never see commie pages calling those protests a bust.

Ryan Thompson
Ryan Thompson

Dunno, Star Tribune did the event so you'd have to get those details. For nearly a billion dollars, think of all the bus lanes, bike paths, HOV lanes that could be put in. Just saying.

Rich Hall
Rich Hall

What time of the day? Have you ever been on i94 during rush hour? How many cars were used, one per potential rider? Prob not. How about bikes... Was it a 6 year old and his pregnant mother riding their bikes? Of course not.

Gregory Roth
Gregory Roth

They are protesting on opening day? Isn't that a little too late?

Nathan James-swap
Nathan James-swap

Geez, and I thought all the city people had bikes??? Isn't that the trend right now. I guess the new trend will be taking the train, or at least it better be before more " rich white males in affluent neighborhoods " start making a bigger stink about it.

Ryan Thompson
Ryan Thompson

Heck, they had a car, train and bike leave at the same time and the train came in last.

Ryan Thompson
Ryan Thompson

It cost $100 million per mile and takes 54 minutes from end to end. How is this a real benefit?

dekay5555555
dekay5555555

So, a three car train can hold around 600 passengers.  Being generous, I will say that for every three passengers there would have been two automobiles on the road.  400 automobiles vs 3 train cars.  Yet some Dum Bass on here thinks that it is hypocritical since it runs on electricity that may have been generated using coal.

Craig Viknx
Craig Viknx

of course since trains take cars off the road it is cheaper then road building

Patrick Tice
Patrick Tice

Mick Bliss there are a lot of people in Woodbury who would like to see mass transit benefit the entire metro. Most of the households in my neighborhood have at least one member with a post graduate degree. I think we are reasonably rational about this and other issues.

BrianFromEarth
BrianFromEarth

These folks are just completing their high school diplomas. The school board discovered they were all 2 credits short of graduating, due to an accounting error back in '64.  Conveniently, they were all able to sign up for debate team, but all the "good" topics were already taken, so they were stuck with the "Anti-Progress" position. They did their best trying to defend this loser opinion, and all received their credits. Shortly after the photo was taken, they threw their signs in the trash and all piled on the train for a free ride downtown. Several in the group were heard to exclaim "This is FANTASTIC " and "at least our diplomas are legit now".

Derek Martinez
Derek Martinez

They should shut it down because of the will/opinion of 20 people who will likely never use it. Where do these people and their logic (or lack thereof) come from? Wow.

Zoua Vangg
Zoua Vangg

I see money wasted on football stadium!!?! Smh

Justin Irvine
Justin Irvine

Better public transit = more money available to businesses they may not have had access to

liberal
liberal

Typical Republicans. Always mad about all the wrong things. You'd think they would get tired of looking like the idiots they are at some point.

Get a life, Teabaggers. Seriously. You've been brainwashed. Shut off Fox, Alex Jones, Rush, Hannity, Drudge, and all of those other morons you listen to and turn your brains back on before it's too late for all of us.

Doug Farone
Doug Farone

And I bet they drove on taxpayers funded roads to get to the green line

Debra Roepke
Debra Roepke

Hahaa!! Just a bunch of narrow minded old farts that don't like progress.

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

Awesome, we needed another coal-powered form of transportation! Wait, you did not know Minnesota’s electric comes from coal. Silly you…thinking this is “green”

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

Huh, protestors getting flak from Citypages?

Erin Sayer
Erin Sayer

Lol a bunch of old crotchety men.

The Sooj
The Sooj

Sorry old republican suburbanites...progress is happening. Go back to your little rich suburb and cry about it! 

David Cummer
David Cummer

There's an expression: "Train gone. Sorry".

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

Go who lives in an affluent suburb complaining about transit between Saint Paul and Minneapolis? Makes a lot of sense. Makes about as much sense as me (I live in Mpls) complaining about bus routes in Duluth.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 You're wrong again, asshole. I drove by the Occupy protests downtown many times and there were a lot of people there. If you think this is a "commie" paper, why the hell do you read it? Just to troll the comments section? Please enlighten us as to what makes City Pages a commie paper. I'm betting you actually have no idea what communism actually is. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Yeah - or we can pay for a couple of more days in Iraq and Afghanistan for that 2 billion. If you really gave a shit about your tax dollars you should have been fuming over the trillions wasted on that little Republican excursion. For Minnesota's share of all that sofar - $41 billion, we sure could have done a lot. 

emmdee
emmdee

No, 90% of the people who are paying for it will never ride it. And it loses money every year. So, please, be an ignorant liberal...but don't accuse others of being logically deficient. Just because you like the idea of a little choo choo train doesn't make it a good idea.

emmdee
emmdee

terrible logic...I hope you don't vote.

emmdee
emmdee

@liberal There's no way you have a job in the private sector...

emmdee
emmdee

define 'progress,' please. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Yes coal, and nuclear, and wind, and solar, and hyrdo. Are you smarter than a 5th grader? I doubt it. 

Onan
Onan

I'm not sure where you got the idea that anyone thought the LRT was using green energy. The only thing touted as "Green" was the name of the line.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MNjoe I'm not wrong MNjoe you wonderful cheery man you. Just because there have been bigger protests does not mean there weren't many protests with much smaller turnouts. I come from a family of activists (animal rights, anti-corruption, anti-war and so on) and have been to many protests. Most protests are not what anybody would consider large. The protest pictured here looks about average sized to me.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MNjoe I'm not going to waste my time telling you what communism is. By the way what's with all the high school insults? Smoke another doobie and chill out with the "asshole" business before you give yourself a stress stroke.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MNjoe How do you know Ryan isn't fuming over Iraq and other wasted money? He may or may not be. You going on about war spending when we're talking about a LOCAL train line just makes you sound like a typical broken record loon.

liberal
liberal

@emmdee @liberal I don't, huh? Did it ever occur to you that you really don't know what the hell you're talking about?
BTW, I'll have a small fry with that Whopper, thanks.

privatesectortaxpayr
privatesectortaxpayr

@emmdee Teabaggers and "conservatives" (who don't even understand the meaning of the word) simply can't comprehend that people who live in the real world, work a real job at a privately held company, and pay their taxes like everybody else, could possibly support projects that lead to the betterment of our municipalities/state.  

Hate all you want, you will only hasten your death from high blood pressure or stroke.  I feel good about the future of my city and state.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 @MNjoe As usual, you avoid the question - what makes City Pages a commie paper? The very fact that you would say something so ludicrous is exactly what tells me that you, and most Obama-bashers, have no idea what communism or even socialism is, although you love to throw the words around as if you do. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 @MNjoe Yeah - broken record. You're sick of hearing how badly your party fucked this county up with those wars? And you little bitches are crying about a 2 billion dollar rail line that will be great for this city and it's people? Go fuck yourself. 

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MNjoe I don't have a party MNjoe. Again you go assuming shit. I've never voted for a Republican president, ever! Go scream at a wall about war spending, it will be as effective as you typing about it here. Most of us are tired of the blame Bush and Republicans whenever I disagree with something routine. Oh and Obama fixed the wars a few years ago so quit crying ; )

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 @MNjoe Then why are you whining about a train line? You don't like it? Tough shit - it's in and we'l be building another one soon. You don't like that? Tough shit again - move. Just quit your fucking whining. 

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MNjoe @midwestexplorer81 Where did I whine about the train line? My god you are an ignorant SOB. There is nothing separating you from the die hard republicans you hate, you behave just like them wishing to banish anybody you don't like from the land. You want to see an ignorant prejudiced person just look in the mirror joe.

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