By JAY CLARK
MINNEAPOLIS (July 24, 2012) — Around 40 North Minneapolis Laotians gathered at the Harrison Neighborhood Association offices on July 19, to vote on their priorities for the proposed Bottineau Light Rail Transit for North Minneapolis.
The vote was organized by Lao Assistance Center.
On June 16, 28 North Minneapolis Laotians rode on the Hiawatha LRT to the Mall of America. After the trip, the Laotians wrote down what they liked about the LRT, and what would make the LRT better for north Minneapolis.
On July 19, Lao Assistance Center put these ideas on sheets, and hung the sheets up on the wall. The Laotians then each received three dots, walked up to the sheets, and put the dots on the ideas they most wanted to see implemented on the Bottineau LRT.
Here are the top vote getting ideas the Laotians have for improving the Bottineau LRT in north Minneapolis, with votes received in parentheses.
• Access to Lao language and train schedule in Lao (19)
• More security cameras at stations (16)
• More seats and space for waiting at the stations (15)
• Heaters at stations during winter (12)
• Laotian and Asian art at the stations (12)
• Bathrooms at every station (11)
• Access to parking and grocery stores (11)
• Safety video on board train (7)
• Jobs for Lao residents during construction (7)
• Signs saying how many minutes before train arrives (3)
• Doors close too fast (1)
Other ideas included:
• More quiet around curves
• Strobe lights when train entering station
• Rough platform surface during winter, heaters to melt snow
• Word ‘caution’ and wider yellow strip where passengers board
• Schedules on wall
• Announcement when train entering station
• Ability to talk to driver
• Safety belts
• Ability to talk to real person for help
• Longer stops at stations
• Handles for short people
After the discussion and vote, the Loatians enjoyed a lunch of beef laab, papaya salad, sticky rice, and Laotian eggrolls.