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by mulad
March 8th, 2019, 10:30 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Public Transit News and Current Happenings
Replies: 2223
Views: 208218

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

A significant problem with Lexington is that there's very little retail along it, except for just a few intersections with other major streets. That probably depresses the transit travel demand a lot. I still really wish that Metro Transit could have picked a different vehicle type from the ones the...
by mulad
March 6th, 2019, 10:42 am
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail
Replies: 119
Views: 13852

Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

Looking at this more closely now that I'm writing a message to my representatives, I see that my main objection is to the points in Section 1.2., which limits studies to evaluating DMUs and requiring that they be able to run on the SWLRT line. Section 1.3 only requires studies to evaluate quiet zone...
by mulad
March 2nd, 2019, 9:49 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail
Replies: 119
Views: 13852

Re: Dan Patch Intercity Regional Passenger Rail

That bill is pretty restrictive, likely making requirements that are impossible to meet with the ways FRA/FTA rules have worked in the past. That certainly shouldn't be impossible from a technical perspective, since European rail systems allow "tram-train" operations, but it's not something that's r...
by mulad
March 1st, 2019, 2:53 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)
Replies: 701
Views: 53108

Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Interesting note in here that Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL) would like to see a bigger bonding bill than the governor, in the range of $3 billion rather than $1.3. https://www.minnpost.com/state-government/2019/03/the-billion-dollar-bummer-why-some-minnesota-lawmakers-are-so-conflicted-...
by mulad
March 1st, 2019, 12:59 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northstar Commuter Rail
Replies: 718
Views: 84268

Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

The Camp Ripley extension would be studied with Tim O'Driscoll's bill, HF 856 / SF 1083. He seemed pretty supportive of extending Northstar at the beginning of the hearing last Friday, but then basically made a complete 180 in further comments. He said there were nine communities north of St. Cloud ...
by mulad
March 1st, 2019, 11:24 am
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northstar Commuter Rail
Replies: 718
Views: 84268

Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

[Argh, I'm writing a long post again...] I went up to St. Cloud last Friday to testify at the hearing, though it took me all day and I only got to speak for three minutes. I did submit a written version that was about twice as long, though, so maybe someone read that. I was kind of hoping to post so...
by mulad
February 28th, 2019, 11:18 am
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)
Replies: 701
Views: 53108

Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

The governor's proposed budget was released this week: https://mn.gov/governor/budget/ Is this mostly a "bonding bill"? I've really only been looking at the transportation section. I'm not sure how much is usually directly appropriated vs. being paid through bonds. I've mostly been focused on the $1...
by mulad
February 27th, 2019, 7:48 am
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Saint Paul Union Depot
Replies: 372
Views: 61963

Re: Saint Paul Union Depot

Well, this is a little odd to post, but an episode of Lifetime's My Great Big Live Wedding was broadcast from Union Depot last night. I grew up going to school with the groom, Rob Ronnenberg, and briefly met the bride, Jen, a few years ago (though I figured they were already married). She has cystic...
by mulad
February 26th, 2019, 4:46 pm
Forum: Suburbs
Topic: Bloomington Central Station & South Loop Development
Replies: 181
Views: 33443

Re: Bloomington Central Station & South Loop Development

It's under "LX" ("Lindau Mixed Use") zoning with an "AR-17" (Airport Runway) overlay, and the height rules for that defer to the "2004 MSP Zoning Ordinance." Looks like LX zoning sets minimums rather than maximums, saying that at least 60% of a building must be 25 feet (and two stories) or more, if ...
by mulad
February 26th, 2019, 2:29 pm
Forum: Suburbs
Topic: Bloomington Central Station & South Loop Development
Replies: 181
Views: 33443

Re: Bloomington Central Station & South Loop Development

I'd be disappointed (though not surprised) if that plan was accepted without being amended. The site is 14.35 acres, or about 625,000 square feet, and the eventual plan would be to add 614,000 square feet of interior space. I mean, yay for achieving an FAR of about 1, but that's a pretty big plot of...
by mulad
February 25th, 2019, 4:45 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors
Replies: 266
Views: 30411

Re: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

Reminds me that I have a fairly ancient blog post and map that did a first-pass analysis of existing freeway interchanges to say whether it would be relatively easy or hard to add bus stops. A regular diamond interchange is pretty straightforward, but designs that fold ramps around or are missing on...
by mulad
February 22nd, 2019, 6:46 am
Forum: Suburbs
Topic: Coon Rapids
Replies: 2
Views: 513

Re: Coon Rapids

Taking the Northstar this morning, I see that there's finally an apartment building going up next to the Coon Rapids station.
by mulad
February 16th, 2019, 9:05 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Jefferson Lines
Replies: 1
Views: 537

Re: Jefferson Lines

From this 2014 MnDOT Intercity Bus Study , I see that your route is partially subsidized through the FTA's Rural Area Formula Program, S. 5311(f). Figure 2-3 on page 2-10 maps out some data for the stops that are under the subsidy program, but not the ones that are on the non-subsidized portion of t...
by mulad
February 15th, 2019, 4:00 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northstar Commuter Rail
Replies: 718
Views: 84268

Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

It would probably be best to transition to DMUs over the long term, though I wouldn't necessarily recommend jumping into that quite yet. Okay, revisiting the numbers a bit, you could probably manage something close to the existing schedule by splitting the current Northstar fleet up into five active...
by mulad
February 15th, 2019, 10:34 am
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northstar Commuter Rail
Replies: 718
Views: 84268

Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Metra has a few lines that end in cities of 5,000-10,000 people, so I think having a line that stops in Becker on the way to a bigger city/mini-metro is perfectly fine. It's harder to make a case for Clear Lake, though that town gets a lot more car traffic than you'd expect since it is near the only...
by mulad
February 15th, 2019, 7:16 am
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northstar Commuter Rail
Replies: 718
Views: 84268

Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Here's a link to Wolgamott's HF1179 bill: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF1179&version=latest&session=ls91&session_year=2019&session_number=0 The as-introduced version appropriates $850,000 from the general fund for "assessment, analysis, and review" (whee... more study), and a co...
by mulad
February 14th, 2019, 6:16 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northstar Commuter Rail
Replies: 718
Views: 84268

Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Here's something more practical in the near term: Rep. Dan Wolgamott has introduced HF 1179 to fund extending Northstar to St. Cloud. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, though he announced on Twitter that there will be a public Transportation Committee hearing in St. Cloud at noon next Friday...
by mulad
February 11th, 2019, 10:10 am
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northern Lights Express
Replies: 355
Views: 41730

Re: Northern Lights Express

Not much detail, but a government affairs representative from Amtrak visited Duluth over the weekend talking about NLX. https://www.fox21online.com/2019/02/10/talks-continue-for-duluth-minneapolis-rail-line/ I guess we typically don't hear much from Amtrak about this line, though I'd heard many year...
by mulad
February 11th, 2019, 6:42 am
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northstar Commuter Rail
Replies: 718
Views: 84268

Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

It did occur to me as I was falling asleep on Saturday night that there could be some malicious intent behind that proposal. It's possible that it was some anti-immigrant/anti-semitic/anti-who-knows-what dogwhistle that just blew right past me -- I'm often not very attuned to such things. Hopefully ...
by mulad
February 9th, 2019, 5:32 pm
Forum: Transportation
Topic: Northstar Commuter Rail
Replies: 718
Views: 84268

Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

I agree that extending it to Camp Ripley alone doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I don't think it hurts to look at extending Northstar to points beyond St. Cloud, though it would make more sense for that to be operated as a "regional" service rather than commuter (thanks to Joey for mentioning that...

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