Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4631
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby David Greene » December 11th, 2017, 3:58 pm

tmart wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 11:15 am
As far as the corridor goes, I can see the arguments against this particular project, but it's still pretty staggering to me that there's now zero rail service, existing or planned, serving Southwest, Central, Uptown, or Northeast. A north-south corridor seems like the biggest no-brainer in the state to me, at least in terms of potential if not logistics.
Just pointing out that aBRT plans exist for both Hennepin and Lake St., both of which serve Uptown. And don't forget the Midtown LRT. There's an official study and everything. Dunno if that falls under your definition of "planned," though. I could argue it either way.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2698
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 11th, 2017, 4:01 pm

^...But that would have been the case if the city used the special taxing streetcar TIF district of 8 parcels to fund its share, right? The city would have committed a certain amount of dedicated revenues, then worked with the Met Council to find other local dollars to then apply for federal matching funds.

I'm asking about the necessity to use a special TIF district enabled by legislature with very strict requirements rather than a more permissive method. Is it simply because the city didn't feel like the political challenge *increasing* the taxes of neighboring properties compared to the easier route of diverting *new* taxes (thanks to redevelopment or value increase) via TIF?

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4631
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby David Greene » December 11th, 2017, 4:02 pm

SamtheBusNerd wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 11:56 am
Agreed. I think a Broadway/North Loop streetcar should be a much lower priority, especially since North is about to get two significantly more useful ABRT lines.
That might make sense from a purely utilitarian viewpoint, but for an equity-minded city council, it's terrible politics.

Even with the aBRT lines, there's still a gap along the Northside's most important commercial corridor, particularly when one considers connections to the larger network and regional destinations. I don't see why, say, the Midtown LRT should be prioritized over W. Broadway, whether streetcar or something else. We need both and we shouldn't have to choose.

tmart
Metrodome
Posts: 68
Joined: October 6th, 2017, 10:05 am

Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby tmart » December 11th, 2017, 4:29 pm

David Greene wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 3:58 pm
tmart wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 11:15 am
As far as the corridor goes, I can see the arguments against this particular project, but it's still pretty staggering to me that there's now zero rail service, existing or planned, serving Southwest, Central, Uptown, or Northeast. A north-south corridor seems like the biggest no-brainer in the state to me, at least in terms of potential if not logistics.
Just pointing out that aBRT plans exist for both Hennepin and Lake St., both of which serve Uptown. And don't forget the Midtown LRT. There's an official study and everything. Dunno if that falls under your definition of "planned," though. I could argue it either way.
aBRT fits under my definition of "planned" but not under my definition of "rail." :D

Midtown is a great project, and perhaps unusually likely to actually get built, but not it's not the north-south use case I was talking about. I'm saying it's weird that nobody seems to be making the case for a high-capacity permanent guideway connecting these neighborhoods to downtown (and to each other), and circulating north-to-south within Downtown.

SamtheBusNerd
City Center
Posts: 29
Joined: August 20th, 2015, 10:54 am

Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby SamtheBusNerd » December 11th, 2017, 6:21 pm

David Greene wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 4:02 pm
That might make sense from a purely utilitarian viewpoint, but for an equity-minded city council, it's terrible politics.

Even with the aBRT lines, there's still a gap along the Northside's most important commercial corridor, particularly when one considers connections to the larger network and regional destinations. I don't see why, say, the Midtown LRT should be prioritized over W. Broadway, whether streetcar or something else. We need both and we shouldn't have to choose.
I'd have to disagree. We do realistically have to prioritize right now since we don't have the funding to support all these projects at the same time. LA/Denver levels of funding would be great but aren't likely anytime soon.

Both ABRT routes cross Broadway, would serve more Northsiders, and connect to many of the same major destinations as the #14/streetcar. The #18 serves thousands more riders, most of whom are also low-income, transit dependent, P.O.C. From a regional connections perspective I could see the argument for a better/more frequent #32 on Lowry but a streetcar on Broadway wouldn't actually be an improvement in mobility any more than running the #14 as a frequent bus. And the development argument is problematic whether you believe a streetcar works as a development tool or not.

I think there's an idea that any investment in North is automatically more equitable than an investment in South. I don't think that always holds up. There's large high density areas of low-income folks and P.O.C. in South who also have bad transit service (but actually use it more) who are recieving a lot less focus at the moment but need investments just as badly.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4631
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby David Greene » December 11th, 2017, 10:14 pm

SamtheBusNerd wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 6:21 pm
David Greene wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 4:02 pm
That might make sense from a purely utilitarian viewpoint, but for an equity-minded city council, it's terrible politics.

Even with the aBRT lines, there's still a gap along the Northside's most important commercial corridor, particularly when one considers connections to the larger network and regional destinations. I don't see why, say, the Midtown LRT should be prioritized over W. Broadway, whether streetcar or something else. We need both and we shouldn't have to choose.
I'd have to disagree. We do realistically have to prioritize right now since we don't have the funding to support all these projects at the same time. LA/Denver levels of funding would be great but aren't likely anytime soon.
We don't have the funding? Why not? We just doubled our transit sales tax! All of our existing rail projects approved by the feds got that approval with a transit funding stream significantly less than what it is now. Where is that extra money going? AFAIK neither Bottineau nor Southwest have had significant budget increases since the sales tax increase.

I think we have the fuding. What we lack is the political will.
SamtheBusNerd wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 6:21 pm
Both ABRT routes cross Broadway, would serve more Northsiders, and connect to many of the same major destinations as the #14/streetcar. The #18 serves thousands more riders, most of whom are also low-income, transit dependent, P.O.C. From a regional connections perspective I could see the argument for a better/more frequent #32 on Lowry but a streetcar on Broadway wouldn't actually be an improvement in mobility any more than running the #14 as a frequent bus. And the development argument is problematic whether you believe a streetcar works as a development tool or not.
I suppose that's true, especially with a much improved (aBRT-level) #14. Unfortunately, no one is talking about that. Not many are talking about rail either but at least it has some visibility. I'm defintiely open to options. Something should be done along W. Broadway.
SamtheBusNerd wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 6:21 pm
I think there's an idea that any investment in North is automatically more equitable than an investment in South. I don't think that always holds up. There's large high density areas of low-income folks and P.O.C. in South who also have bad transit service (but actually use it more) who are recieving a lot less focus at the moment but need investments just as badly.
I agree. When I talk to people about Midtown I point out all of the equity arguments for it, and there are a lot! That's why we shouldn't have to choose.

The Heights
Block E
Posts: 4
Joined: December 9th, 2017, 10:54 pm
Location: Columbia Heights

Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby The Heights » December 16th, 2017, 9:33 am

Hopefully Central and Nicollet will be on deck for aBRT now that the alternative mode is dead. Selfishly, as a Columbia Heights resident it always annoyed me that a short streetcar route was blocking improved transit on the rest of the corridor.

Central had the highest score after excluding routes built/in process (and Lake, which hopefully will be some form of rail), and Nicollet was third.

I know these were studied as separate corridors, but since together they make a strong north/south spine, I wonder if there would be any merit to operating them as a single route. Seems like it wouldn't add costs since they both end on the mall, and I'm sure there are users who would value a single seat ride through downtown.
Joe

DanPatchToget
Landmark Center
Posts: 247
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby DanPatchToget » December 16th, 2017, 11:18 am

And what was their plan for the streetcar tracks crossing the Canadian Pacific tracks? Would be a huge pain to grade separate it. Certainly it can be done, but at what cost in terms of money and disruption? Too bad its not easy to just have the streetcar tracks cross the freight tracks at-grade as was done with the original streetcars.


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