Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
EOst
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby EOst » March 20th, 2017, 3:13 pm

It is getting harder and harder to see this line as anything but an unmitigated disaster for bicycles in Saint Paul. That LPA means serious negative impacts on basically every segment of the route.

mamundsen
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mamundsen » March 20th, 2017, 8:59 pm

I wonder a few things that I don't see summarized on the full draft LPA. There should be a new summary of the items that were evaluated!

1. What will the total travel time will be...???
Downtown option 1: 25 minutes from Phalen Village to Union Depot
North of 694 on 61: I see 24.5 min Phalen Village to WBL DT.
Total travel time around 50 min.

2. What is the cost from Depot to Maplewood Mall for Rush Line vs Depot to Maplewood Mall for rt 54 extension. Which will be the better service? Seems like we are throwing two improvements in the same corridor to me and Rush Line will cost about 10x more for a services that might be no better than rt 54.

Vagueperson
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » March 21st, 2017, 6:12 am

They've promised to maintain a trail throughout the corridor. I'm for improved transit over keeping the trail undisturbed. However, I will keeping a close eye on the design. I'm guessing this will eliminate the bike lane shoulders on Phalen Blvd, but I presume it will maintain the multi-use path.

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Tiller
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » March 21st, 2017, 10:33 am

EOst wrote:
March 20th, 2017, 3:13 pm
It is getting harder and harder to see this line as anything but an unmitigated disaster for bicycles in Saint Paul. That LPA means serious negative impacts on basically every segment of the route.
Well it's unmitigated except for all the mitigation that has already been discussed and the mitigation that will be added in as this is actually designed. If the bike trail on Bruce Vento (as an example) was just going to go away, you might have a point, but they're mitigating the impacts by co-locating the trail. The RRA owns and specifically bought the trail for future transit use, so the trail can deal with the impacts because we don't have the money to dig another tunnel under a bike trail because "impacts".

I can give you like a block of Jackson St where there's not enough room for transit and bikes, but transit should get the ROW first because 1) it'll be easier and cheaper to build the alternative bike infrastructure 2) far more people use transit 3) biking is almost universally transportation of choice, while many people have no choice but to use transit (good luck to any disabled or elderly people biking to their doctor's appointment on those bike shoulders).

EOst
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby EOst » March 21st, 2017, 11:43 am

Tiller wrote:
March 21st, 2017, 10:33 am
Well it's unmitigated except for all the mitigation that has already been discussed and the mitigation that will be added in as this is actually designed. If the bike trail on Bruce Vento (as an example) was just going to go away, you might have a point, but they're mitigating the impacts by co-locating the trail. The RRA owns and specifically bought the trail for future transit use, so the trail can deal with the impacts because we don't have the money to dig another tunnel under a bike trail because "impacts".
I understand what you're trying to do here, but "unmitigated disaster" has an idiomatic meaning distinct from the bare adjective "unmitigated." Unlike that adjective, which can simply mean "no mitigation at all," the specific term refers to something which has no *positive benefit* for the thing in question. For example, although the Bruce Vento mitigations will result in milder impacts (Latin mitigāre = to make gentle or mild) than simply removing the trail altogether, the mitigations will in no way make the trail better. In fact, they'll make it unambiguously worse. Those impacts may or may not be enough to make me oppose the project, but I'm sure as heck going to pay attention to them.
I can give you like a block of Jackson St where there's not enough room for transit and bikes, but transit should get the ROW first because 1) it'll be easier and cheaper to build the alternative bike infrastructure 2) far more people use transit 3) biking is almost universally transportation of choice, while many people have no choice but to use transit (good luck to any disabled or elderly people biking to their doctor's appointment on those bike shoulders).
1) I live a mile from this stretch of Jackson, sit on the neighborhood transpo committee, and help run a certain advocacy group. Believe me when I tell you that there are no "easier and cheaper" alternative bicycle routes into downtown from the north. The handful of alternatives that do exist have profound problems; Western is more than a mile out of the way, Rice is unlikely to have bike lanes in the near future (tho fingers crossed), and the Gateway trail extension--while nice to have--is a deeply shitty bike route with extremely limited access. Jackson is the route, and that's why the Bike Plan included it despite numerous difficulties.

2) You clearly didn't think this argument through. There are more SOV drivers than transit riders and cyclists combined, but that doesn't give you permission to ignore their needs in favor of car lanes.

3) a) There are plenty of "non-choice" (whatever that really means) bike users; and b) everyone deserves the opportunity to get around their city safely and efficiently, whatever method they choose.

More generally: I refuse to accept that my neighborhood has to have its main bike route downtown severed in the middle so Maplewood commuters can get to their P&Rs two minutes faster. Even if you prioritize transit over bikes--and hey, that's your right--you still have to weigh the trade you're making. Killing bike lanes on Jackson for bus lanes used once every ten minutes is a terrible trade.

David Greene
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » March 21st, 2017, 11:50 am

EOst wrote:
March 21st, 2017, 11:43 am
I understand what you're trying to do here, but "unmitigated disaster" has an idiomatic meaning distinct from the bare adjective "unmitigated." Unlike that adjective, which can simply mean "no mitigation at all," the specific term refers to something which has no *positive benefit* for the thing in question.
That's an interesting definition, not in line with the way I use it at all. I usually mean "this is going to make things really much more terrible, to the point of destruction." "No positive benefit?" That's not a disaster, much less an unmitigated one.

mamundsen
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mamundsen » March 21st, 2017, 12:01 pm

Eost, saying this line is for "Maplewood commuters" does not seem fair. I doubt this will be used heavily by Maplewood Mall P&R's as the 265 would be much better (23 min only on 265, 30+ on RL). Unless they decide to kill the 265...

EOst
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby EOst » March 21st, 2017, 12:17 pm

David Greene wrote:That's an interesting definition, not in line with the way I use it at all. I usually mean "this is going to make things really much more terrible, to the point of destruction." "No positive benefit?" That's not a disaster, much less an unmitigated one.
Perhaps. Are we really that far apart? I think this project would make all of these bike facilities much worse (not to the point of destruction except on Jackson, but easily to the point of significantly reducing their desirability as bike routes) with no real positive impacts for bikes.
mamundsen wrote:Eost, saying this line is for "Maplewood commuters" does not seem fair. I doubt this will be used heavily by Maplewood Mall P&R's as the 265 would be much better (23 min only on 265, 30+ on RL). Unless they decide to kill the 265...
You may be right; I haven't looked at the ridership estimates broken down by station yet. That said, I don't think it's worth it for Vagueperson to get to Payne-Phalen 2 minutes faster either. ;)

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » March 21st, 2017, 12:33 pm

The plan says it will take 30 parking spaces on Jackson.
Image

Image

Jackson street bikeway will be in phases II and III this summer, which brings it up to University. It looks like there's plenty of space between University and Valley if they were persuaded to construct new lanes. It's the two blocks between Valley and Pennsylvania where things are pretty tight.

I was actually hoping for a bikeway on Pennsylvania https://streets.mn/2016/04/22/a-pennsyl ... east-side/, but that would probably not be possible unless the bus were in the car lane on that street. That seems like a hard sell, unless a station area plans requires more access by bicycle.

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Tiller
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » March 21st, 2017, 12:39 pm

The alternatives aren't merely geographic alternatives (though that's one kind), but alternatives in the same ROW. You could probably beef up the East sidewalk into a MUP by shaving a few feet of grass off the adjacent properties for the block in question, and continue the off-street bike path separate (or not separate) from the sidewalk south of it.

Vagueperson
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » March 21st, 2017, 1:24 pm

The land is owned by public housing and the City of St. Paul, in case the road ROW isn't wide enough.

Image

EOst
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby EOst » March 21st, 2017, 1:39 pm

The section *south* of Valley is the more constrained. The ROW is only 56' (vs 60' to the north) and it's flanked on both sides by very steep slopes:

Image

Current sidewalks are 4-6' wide. Maybe there's some space you can expand into on the west side, but I can't imagine there's room on the east without spending a lot of money.

I'd love a trail, though.

Vagueperson
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » March 21st, 2017, 2:57 pm

didn't realize the slope. I also like the trail idea, especially with the hill on Jackson - get the bikes off the street.

Vagueperson
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » April 4th, 2017, 10:27 pm

So, in addition to hoping that the Arcade Street stop can be in the middle of the Cub parking lot, I'm now hoping that instead of the Phalen Village stop being behind Cub it can go somewhere on Clarence to maximize the development on the NE corner of Clarence and Phalen Blvd.

Image

Image

Otherwise it seems like it will be next to a lot of park space that isn't used for anything and can't be developed.

EOst
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby EOst » April 28th, 2017, 3:23 pm

Went to last night's public hearing on Larpenteur. There were a lot of angry people.

Many or most of the people who spoke were homeowners near the Vento trail (though not all white or old). But I don't know if a single Maplewood resident (or even north of Maryland) who spoke in favor. Many indicated that they had only heard that the Vento trail would be torn up in the last few weeks, and some were leafletting their neighborhoods in opposition. Lots of very loud applause, although part might have been the acoustics of the space.

So, basically, a normal public hearing, but I bet the Maplewood city council is feeling some heat.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » April 28th, 2017, 4:23 pm

Maplewood City Council is hearing support from their major employment and shopping area (Maplewood Mall), but that would be a stop whether the Rush Line went on WBA or 61. Those routes obviously provide other challenges.

mamundsen
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mamundsen » April 29th, 2017, 9:51 pm

I wrote an email to info@rushline.org when the LPA came out asking some questions like giving a full breakdown of the details instead of forcing us to piecemail it together by adding the segment info. I'm fairly concerned with the response and the recent focus of news and postings about the line. It is ALL focused on the following:

"it will have a greater ability to generate economic development because of the permanence of a dedicated lane versus running in mixed traffic like Arterial BRT or regular route buses."

Will it? I don't see that being true of any type of bus service.

EOst
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby EOst » April 30th, 2017, 8:36 am

The busways in Pittsburgh have been not-horrible at generating economic development. But obviously it's still not rail.

Vagueperson
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » April 30th, 2017, 2:18 pm

I do believe well-developed station area plans, including zoning changes for transit-oriented development, will inspire at least modest levels of development. Payne and Phalen is ripe for development. Developers are already interested in 848 Payne and the Payne/Bush location. I've been told that the Arcade/Phalen area has already had interest as well at the southwest corner of Neid Lane and Arcade. Whether or not Seeger Square gets any redevelopment remains to be seen. Phalen Village also is slated for development at the NE corner of Phalen/Clarence, but the project has not moved as quickly as was previously reported/expected.
My point isn't that the bus line will create development out of nothing because it's so exciting, but I think it can push these other projects to completion, perhaps with lower parking levels, higher density and mix of uses. 10 minute frequency with a high-quality vehicle is important.

David Greene
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » April 30th, 2017, 8:39 pm

Frankly, I wouldn't want a busway next to a dedicated bikeway either.


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