Vote favors streetcar for W. 7th corridor
Line would connect downtown St. Paul with MSP, MOA.
Not so long ago, Crystal and Jordan Frank-Shannon decided to chuck their day jobs and invest their life savings in a small business called VanGo Auto Repair & Rental on St. Paul’s W. 7th Street.
There, they service imported autos and rent vintage Volkswagen camper vans for the “ultimate retro glamping adventure.” The tiny business fits smartly with the neighborhood’s quirky vibe — from the hipster Schmidt Brewery artist lofts to stalwart icons like Mancini’s Char House.
A new addition could be coming — a “modern” streetcar linking Union Depot in downtown St. Paul to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. On Thursday, an advisory group of elected officials and community members recommended the $1.2 billion streetcar option to run along W. 7th — an early, but significant, step in the transit-planning process.
Jordan and Crystal Frank-Shannon, shown with daughter Ivy, are worried that prolonged construction to install a streetcar along W. 7th Street will disrupt business.