Not to mention Blaisdell and 1st Ave are lined with (free) on-street parking throughout Whittier. I think you could still find select locations along Nicollet to include on-street parking bays, where maybe the wider sidewalk isn't necessary, or where cars and streetcars could share a lane. Looking at exclusive ROW for the entire corridor is a non-starter, but I think picking up bits and pieces of exclusive ROW is paramount. I'd start by extending Nicollet Mall to 15th.nate wrote:Businesses always want more, rather than less parking. That's what they do. I don't necessarily blame them.grant1simons2 wrote:No parking on Nicollet? Yeah good luck with that with it continuing to develop, even if you get rid of one side, you'd still have a large amount of complaints about parking spots.-Nicollet could be a two-lane, instead of a three-lane street, with expanded sidewalks and no parking, in order to give the streetcar a dedicated lane.
-The stations could be built long enough to allow the streetcars to run as two-car trains.
Streetcars are supposed to be one car, if you want to run 2 car then you get more into an LRT line.
We actually are not 100% sure that buses will continue to run on Nicollet, they could be re-routed and that has not been decided yet
The bigger picture is this: with less parking, the sidewalks can be much more generous, the streetcar can have its own lane and not block traffic (better travel time for trains and less frustration for drivers) and the platforms can be longer, (allowing two-car operations) I think that outweighs the loss of a few hundred parking stalls, even if I'm a business owner.
It is worth pushing for, IMO.
No matter what, as planning this major investment moves forward, we need to demand that the city look at things more holistically. I just foresee so many problems with laying track in the current 3-lane configuration in Whittier.
It's also looking like the budget is probably going to exceed $250MM, which would make it ineligible for Small Starts, so the starter line is going to have to be shortened even further. Part of me wishes they had chosen a starter segment that went from just north of I-94 (saving on a bridge deck replacement) to a further endpoint in NE. The Whittier portion really needs more comprehensive transportation planning, including what happens with Kmart, Blaisdell, 1st, 26th, 28th, etc. None of that is happening, and it really frustrates me.
Sidebar Q: how exactly does laying track down Blaisdell (29th to Lake) help reopen Nicollet??
A: It doesn't. (tho maybe we can eminent domain White Castle for an awesome transfer point / future redevelopment)