In response to letters from the President of the University of Minnesota, former U of Mn Regent, Peter Bell, currently Chair of the Metropolitan Council now endorses Central Corridor on Washington Avenue at grade.
Now maybe someone will seriously consider getting private cars off of Washington Avenue if it is such a safety and congestion trap (which of course it would be were cars, buses, trucks, light rail, pedestrians, and bicyclists trying to simultaneously use that space). The price would be much lower than a tunnel (some paint, some bollards, and a "Do Not Enter" sign for starters).
Think about it this way, construction is effectively going to close Washington Avenue to traffic anyway for some period of time, just keep it closed.
This not too technical link might help some university officials rethink the issue.
From Induced Demand to Reduced Demand
The I-35W Bridge collapse provides another example. 140,000 trips crossed the Mississippi River Bridge before the collapse, according to MnDOT's Nick Thomson (presented at a seminar at the University of Minnesota), only 90,000 can be accounted for on other crossings.
Should Washington Avenue really be carrying traffic through campus? Should campus have a major thoroughfare in its midst?