Rush Line Corridor BRT

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Tiller
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » August 25th, 2015, 5:44 pm

(new post since it's too late to add this to the last one)

At this point the two main options are aBRT on White Bear ave and LRT roughly following the bruce vento ROW. There's no way they'd use Dmu's or BRT buses in the old railway corridor. And since aBRT doesn't qualify for federal or CTIB funds, it'll probably be Light Rail. The reason for aBRT on White Bear being an option (this idea has only appeared after feedback) is probably because of all the people that suggested putting something on White Bear. The aBRT and LRT should both happen, tbh, since they'd be complementary and serve different areas, intersecting a few times to provide transfers. Even the already eliminated BRT along I-35E to Forest Lake would make it as a stand-alone line, though it seems that this is more about deciding which mode/line gets priority, than the specific routing.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby froggie » August 25th, 2015, 9:02 pm

As good a time as any to repost this:

Image

Though it would be a very tight curve at the 4th/Broadway intersection, I believe it is possible for a through-running LRT line to continue down 4th St and avoid the OMF facility.

It would also be possible to relocate a through-running LRT line to the SPUD Concourse (and was designed for when SPUD was redone...I believe the plan was for LRT to use Platform 4, next to the intercity buses). But this would be much more expensive due to the need to tie back into the existing Green Line via some means.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Mikey » August 26th, 2015, 7:45 pm

froggie wrote:As good a time as any to repost this:

Image

Though it would be a very tight curve at the 4th/Broadway intersection, I believe it is possible for a through-running LRT line to continue down 4th St and avoid the OMF facility.
That is along the lines of what I've thought. Cross along Prince / Kellogg, then up and around Metro State to Phalen Blvd. It also sets up the future possibility to extend the Green Line through East St Paul along 7th, Minnehaha, etc
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby VacantLuxuries » August 26th, 2015, 8:56 pm

I get the desire for a one seat ride, but it seems far more practical to reuse the Union, Central, 10th and Robert stations before turning east onto University, and then south onto Lafayette to connect to E 7th. Still reaches the same place, doesn't over-complicate driving in Lowertown, and allows for stations at Regions and that whole complex of state agencies.

Besides, it would make things less painful for people switching from the Green Line to the Rush Line if they could do so outside of the slower downtown, much like someone transfers between the Blue and Green lines at Downtown East today.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Mdcastle » August 27th, 2015, 10:26 am

So the situation is:
Certain parties want / wanted to force LRT users to walk through Union Depot to justify the jillion dollars they spent restoring it.
For the actual LRT users, there is zero benefit of doing so (except maybe transferring out of the rain?)

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mattaudio » August 27th, 2015, 10:37 am

Mdcastle wrote:(except maybe transferring out of the rain?)
Even a transfer from SPUD to the current SPUD station on the Green Line would necessitate a 250+ ft. walk in the rain if you have to go to the far-side platform. I learned this the hard way during a huge downpour on opening night last year.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Mikey » August 27th, 2015, 11:28 am

Mdcastle wrote:So the situation is:
Certain parties want / wanted to force LRT users to walk through Union Depot to justify the jillion dollars they spent restoring it.
For the actual LRT users, there is zero benefit of doing so (except maybe transferring out of the rain?)
Yup.

It's funny how we complain about SWLRT and Bottineau skipping dense areas of Minneapolis, but the idea of running St Paul's LRT 80 feet down a bluff below downtown is somehow OK.

(for the record, I still support renovating SPUD tho... just not for LRT)
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby ProspectPete » August 27th, 2015, 4:26 pm

Mikey wrote:
Mdcastle wrote:So the situation is:
Certain parties want / wanted to force LRT users to walk through Union Depot to justify the jillion dollars they spent restoring it.
For the actual LRT users, there is zero benefit of doing so (except maybe transferring out of the rain?)
Yup.

It's funny how we complain about SWLRT and Bottineau skipping dense areas of Minneapolis, but the idea of running St Paul's LRT 80 feet down a bluff below downtown is somehow OK.

(for the record, I still support renovating SPUD tho... just not for LRT)

I am one of those parties who want people rappel 80' down the bluffs to catch the train. Or perhaps a better way is that the tracks can be elevated (sort of like Lake Street Station on Blue Line) and having the stops at grade or slightly below grade.

And yes for the record two *big thumbs down* on the SWLRT detouring around the density.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » August 27th, 2015, 5:10 pm

Mdcastle wrote:So the situation is:
Certain parties want / wanted to force LRT users to walk through Union Depot to justify the jillion dollars they spent restoring it.
For the actual LRT users, there is zero benefit of doing so (except maybe transferring out of the rain?)
I really don't get what the big deal is. You have plenty of these kinds of transfers in large cities. I mean, there's a point where the engineering and cost savings justifies not sharing a platform. That may not be the case here (probably) but what if it is?

I don't think too many people would advocate for separate platforms solely to drive traffic through SPUD. Maybe a couple politicians but in reality, politicians take the easiest option, not the option to justify some spending that's already happened. They already spent the money. They don't need to justify it. If the easy and "justify" options end up being the same, it's coincidence.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Mdcastle » August 27th, 2015, 5:37 pm

I'm referring to the Green Line stopping short of Union Depot as much as proposals for the Riverview and Rush Lines to extend into it. Isn't the best possible outcome all of them go to the Depot or none of them so you don't have to walk the steps and out front to transfer?

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby LRV Op Dude » August 27th, 2015, 6:01 pm

Mdcastle wrote:I'm referring to the Green Line stopping short of Union Depot as much as proposals for the Riverview and Rush Lines to extend into it. Isn't the best possible outcome all of them go to the Depot or none of them so you don't have to walk the steps and out front to transfer?
Thats why the Green Line should have gone onto the Depot instead of in front.
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Mikey » August 27th, 2015, 6:36 pm

That would have required running it along Kellogg instead of 4th, or added two more sloooooowwwww turns. The only mistake was building the maint building too close to Broadway
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » August 27th, 2015, 7:45 pm

Mikey wrote:That would have required running it along Kellogg instead of 4th, or added two more sloooooowwwww turns. The only mistake was building the maint building too close to Broadway
There is literally nothing wrong with running it along Kellogg.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mulad » August 27th, 2015, 7:52 pm

I've always been a bit worried that something will flood Kellogg next to the depot's train deck, but I'm not sure how often that's happened in the past.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » August 27th, 2015, 9:05 pm

Mdcastle wrote:I'm referring to the Green Line stopping short of Union Depot as much as proposals for the Riverview and Rush Lines to extend into it.
Except that's not what you said. You said that "certain parties" deliberately kept the platforms separate to drive traffic through SPUD.

As to the Green Line, it's a perfect example of politicians doing what's easiest.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » August 27th, 2015, 9:06 pm

Tiller wrote:There is literally nothing wrong with running it along Kellogg.
Says who?

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Mikey » August 27th, 2015, 9:11 pm

Tiller wrote:There is literally nothing wrong with running it along Kellogg.
No, but it would be skirting the edge of downtown . If anything, it could have gone down 5th - but that would put it further from SPUD
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » August 28th, 2015, 12:23 am

The phrase "There is literally nothing wrong with X" is a somewhat hyperbolic/ironic meme, but in seriousness, I would run it along part of Kellogg. The current route could be kept, but turn onto Kellogg right after Central station, and run it to the Depot. It's sort of silly to rebuild it and then run the trains around it, especially considering the interlining we are currently trying to achieve. Considering the small size of St Paul's CBD, a downtown circulator streetcar could make sense, with LRT being mostly used to restitch the rest of the city to the CBD, in spite of the freeways. Then we could consolidate the more regional LRT (and BRT) in the Depot, to make transfers easier, and provide intra-city transportation with the streetcar(s?), instead of spreading LRT tracks throughout downtown to try and maximize the service area.

Now, this is certainly from my current perspective, since the green line planning happened while I was still a kid (and to an extent even before then), but there seems to have been a lack of future-proofing here (not that that's a new phenomenon).

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby froggie » August 28th, 2015, 6:55 am

The problem with Kellogg is that, once you get near SPUD, Kellogg is at a lower elevation than the concourse. This would require some sort of elevated LRT track above the Kellogg/Sibley intersection.

Last month, in the Riverview thread, I had come up with 2 options for bringing the existing Green Line into SPUD, but both would be a bit expensive and require tight turns and approvals.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mulad » August 28th, 2015, 7:28 am

One oddball idea I've had is to use the alignment of 2nd Street, which descends the bluff underneath Kellogg Mall Park and runs on the south side of the Ramsey County Government Center and the old Post Office. Rather than descending all the way down, the tracks could level off at the same altitude as the train deck.

Kellogg is currently being reconstructed just west of Wabasha, where it turns out to really be a bridge sticking out from the bluff. This makes me wonder how hard it would be to tunnel the ~2 blocks from where Exchange Street South emerges onto Kellogg over to where the bridge section is. While it would feel like a tunnel, the alignment would mostly be bridges. This would have a benefit of being able to run through the area without stopping,


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