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.
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:
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."
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."