It is almost axiomatic that the brunt of large public works projects are more likely be shouldered by poorer neighborhoods if only because the government must pay for the seizure of private property through eminent domain and will tend to try to find the least expensive alternative.
All the same, those burdened by governmental incursion “for the greater good” are and should be entitled to due process, fair compensation, and recognition of their sacrifices and contribution. So ruled U.S. District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank (D. Minn.), holding last week that the Rondo neighborhood had a point that the Light Rail Project failed to appreciate fully the harm caused it by this significant public work. The MPR story is here. Judge Frank’s order is here.