One paragraph in the Strib story pretty much sums up why the plan was approved as it was:
"This probably isn't the best line that we can build," said Council Member Tony Pistilli of Brooklyn Park. "But in reality it's probably the best line that can be built."It's good the line will be getting built, of course, but it's sad that we have to compromise on the design of such a long-term asset to the Twin Cities. Utility and cost are critical, but a little inspiration would be nice, too.
If you're curious as to what the hell is the Cost Effectiveness Rating, here's your answer (warning: PDF). Not everyone likes it.