Rush Line Corridor BRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » April 19th, 2016, 9:56 pm

I got a lot of good answers out and good input in tonight; I feel pretty good about this line's prospects.

The ridership forecasts that'll come out in a month or two will be important, though they also intend to run the Met Council's ridership model for the whole Riverview-Rush corridor, towards the end of the process, if they're both the same mode (which would then imply interlining).

As for the 54 extension, I specifically asked about that. It should hopefully be done by later this year, but it could also wind up rolling out early next year. The [Maplewood Mall] extension is currently waiting on some work at the Arcade-Maryland intersection, having to do with the signaling and geometries required for the buses to make that turn. Metro transit was working with St Paul and MN/DOT, I think, to figure out what needs to be done, how to pay for it, and how to, ideally, do it along with other construction.

As for the ROW constraints, several of the officials/planners seem to have reached the same conclusion I did, that there would be a shared-ROW in the St Paul portion (running in the outer lanes), and a dedicated ROW north of there.

Additionally, it sounded like a nice chunk of the concerns about ROW impact would be mitigated if only 2 car trains are needed, as opposed to 3 car trains (also depending on the size of the LRVs). So the degree to which a lack of ridership and a lack of ROW affect the line will trade off. You won't have to deal with both to their fullest extent.

The city of St Paul, like what was mentioned in the Riverview thread, really wants to minimize new tracks through downtown. They suggested cutting South from 7th St (or even further north depending on where the line enters downtown) through the farmers market/lowertown to get to the existing Green Line tracks. I can't imagine that's feasible. St Paul will have to give ground somewhere.

I'd say figuring out the downtown routing will definitely be the most controversial aspect of this line. There seems to be a general consensus about the rest of the line among most of the various actors, waiting on the ridership and cost estimates, of course.

mamundsen
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1101
Joined: November 15th, 2012, 10:01 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mamundsen » April 19th, 2016, 11:01 pm

Which of the 4 remaining routes seems most likely?

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » April 20th, 2016, 2:22 am

Given the resistance of the parks/backyard crowd to the RR ROW/Swede Hollow, the general sentiment that transit on WBA "makes sense" because "that's where the places people go are" (or some variation of that theme), and the fact that both ridership and the potential places for development are greater for WBA, the latter of which weighs on officials and the business community, I'd expect for WBA between Maryland and 694 to be chosen, and for the RR ROW/61 to be chosen north of 694. Depending on the ridership/cost projections, it'll either be aBRT or LRT. They'll go for LRT if reasonably possible given the projections. The 2 alternate stations north of 694 are also likely. The city of White Bear Lake asked for them to be studied to help them redevelop that auto-centric strip of dealerships in the future.

mamundsen
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1101
Joined: November 15th, 2012, 10:01 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mamundsen » April 20th, 2016, 6:56 am

When you say 694, do you actually mean Beam Ave (just south of the mall)? Would it be alternative 3 at this link:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/6977a0_1812006 ... 3f60e2.pdf

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » April 20th, 2016, 7:32 am

Yep, 694 is basically shorthand since the interstate is more prominent as a landmark than Beam ave, but Beam is where it'd move from WBA to the RR ROW (or hwy 61). Option 3[A] is my best guess.

Vagueperson
Landmark Center
Posts: 279
Joined: June 17th, 2014, 7:13 am
Location: Payne-Phalen, St. Paul

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » April 20th, 2016, 8:04 am

Travel time according to Google Maps between Union Depot and Downtown WBL:
by bike: 1h 15m
by car: 19m
by bus: 47m (via the 265, which bypasses most of the city on 35E, every 30 minutes or so)
by bus just to Maplewood Mall: 42min via 64 and 41min via 61 & 80)

according to alternative 3 at that link: 46m (RRROW -> WBA -> Phalen Corridor

This would easily beat current bus times if taking a similar route, though with the 54 extension that might not be the case. It matches the highway connection between the two, so it would be a better quality service for local trips, and local commercial destinations, which is what I'm highly in favor of, but it would not be a major improvement for end to end trips besides frequency.

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » April 26th, 2016, 7:21 pm

http://m.presspubs.com/white_bear/news/ ... l?mode=jqm
The Bruce Vento Trail extension was on hold while planners waited to hear about the future of rail through White Bear Lake. The project is now chugging forward.
Sounded at first like some tea leaves to read about avoiding the trail, but it turns out it's to make a federal funding deadline.

Vagueperson
Landmark Center
Posts: 279
Joined: June 17th, 2014, 7:13 am
Location: Payne-Phalen, St. Paul

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » April 27th, 2016, 8:35 pm

I'm glad to see this. For some reason it seems strange to me that the trail is planned to go just where the train was once proposed to go. If the trail was originally a place holder of sorts, now it is considered a permanent asset whether the line is built or not, and I'm very glad for that.

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » May 17th, 2016, 5:09 pm

New PDFs on the rushline website:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/6977a0_0adbb51 ... f1863c.pdf

http://media.wix.com/ugd/6977a0_d7442fd ... 128cfa.pdf

There's a meeting (TAC/PAC) this Thursday (May 19th) at 2pm at the Maplewood community center. I hope I can make it because there's something I want to bring up. I'll post a bit more when I'm home since my phone is almost dead.

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » May 17th, 2016, 10:21 pm

Google Earth [Pro] is wonderful for map making, waay better than switching between 4-5 different maps to do something.
Here's a modified version of the downtown alignment I suggested a while back:
https://imgur.com/a/H9Xoa
Image
Riverview > W 7th St > 5th St > Central Station > Minnesota St > Kellogg Blvd > Sibley St > Union Depot Concourse. The red circles are for measurement only, except for the easternmost one, and have radii between 90-100ft (above our LRV's minimum turn radii; some of those turns can probably have larger turn radii). The red circle (double balloon loop/siding thing) east of the Union Depot Station has a larger radius, and is there to provide operational flexibility.

After that eastern-most red circle, the tracks split, with one set running under the freeway and around to the back of the OMF (which will probably need to be rearranged/retrofitted). The other set of tracks is a flyover parallel to the freeway, bridging over the OMF and everything else. It comes back down to grade right after E 7th St, and then continues along the Option 2 downtown routing towards White Bear Lake. The old green line tracks can be turned back in some form, perhaps in such a way that they can still be used in an emergency.

Image
Buses can be rerouted via Cyan, and the "Minor Bikeway" in St Paul's bike plan can be rerouted via Pink (both from Minnesota St).


If someone wants to play with this in MyMaps or Google Earth Pro (which is free and better), here's a direct download link for the .kmz file. It has most current/pending major transit lines.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/yy4 ... 7.kmz?dl=0

Vagueperson
Landmark Center
Posts: 279
Joined: June 17th, 2014, 7:13 am
Location: Payne-Phalen, St. Paul

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » June 14th, 2016, 3:21 pm

A member of the PAC told me it is expected Swede Hollow will be removed from the map at the July meeting. Will be interesting to see what other routes have been eliminated.

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
Posts: 853
Joined: January 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » July 13th, 2016, 2:01 pm

So there's a pdf with a bunch of public feedback on the rushline website, and one of the things mentioned I haven't thought of before. Would metro transit run a bus replacement service (like when there's maintenance on one of our current LRT lines) once a year when the white bear parade happens? Has there been precedent for this elsewhere? I guess they'd store a few extra vehicles in the OMF and run the rest, particularly if Rush and Riverview are interlined. I haven't actually thought about what metro transit does with bus service during parades at all before. I'd guess there's a rider alert and reroute.

/somewhat of a tired stream of consciousness aside from the questions

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1544
Joined: September 29th, 2012, 10:41 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby talindsay » July 13th, 2016, 3:22 pm

Pretty sure they didn't stop the Blue Line for Holidazzle, and I know they didn't stop it for the Medtronic Mile race when it was on Nicollet. I think they just time the parade to have breaks when the trains come through.

Vagueperson
Landmark Center
Posts: 279
Joined: June 17th, 2014, 7:13 am
Location: Payne-Phalen, St. Paul

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » August 10th, 2016, 10:07 pm

New materials for PAC and TAC meetings in August on the website: http://www.rushline.org/

It's appears to me that options 2 and 8 seem most likely for the "downtown" routing. Both follow Phalen Blvd, but option 8 interlines with Green Line tracks at 12th street. It's unclear whether option 2, coming in on E 7th, would allow for interlining with the Riverview Corridor, but it seems 8 would not. Option 2 could also be BRT.

The latest documents also seem to recommend that Swede Hollow be eliminated from continued evaluation.

Vagueperson
Landmark Center
Posts: 279
Joined: June 17th, 2014, 7:13 am
Location: Payne-Phalen, St. Paul

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » August 10th, 2016, 10:42 pm

It looks like they are recommending no further study on options 3 (dedicated guideway option), 6, and 7.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1350
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tcmetro » September 5th, 2016, 4:34 pm

Some updates from the Meeting Packet for the 8th:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/6977a0_efe7b21 ... 4b202c.pdf

- PAC is going to ask to remove DMU. DMU is considered unable to interline with LRT or easily deviate to Maplewood Mall.

- Downtown routing Option 8 comes out with best ridership. This is the Phalen-Olive-University-12th alignment. It will tie into the Green Line at 12th/Robert and will share the 10th, Central, and Union Depot stations. If this is the chosen option, I guess through-running with Riverview is dead. Also, East siders will have to transfer to a bus to get to Metro State, which is unfortunate. The Olive St routing also skips the Mt. Airy public housing, leaving residents to the 68 and 71 buses.

- Options 3, 5, 6, 7 are requested to be removed. Options 1, 2, and 4 are BRT. Options 2 and 8 are LRT. Option 2 allows for interlining with Riverview, but it's hard to say one is better than the other.

- Ridership and cost estimates are as follows:
Alt. 1 Dedicated BRT from St. Paul to Forest Lake: 6000-6100 riders, $902m - 1.07 Bn
Alt. 2A LRT St. Paul to WBL: 6400-9500 riders, $1.15 Bn - 1.3 Bn
Alt. 2B DMU to WBL: 6500-6600 riders, $1.31 Bn - $1.5 Bn
Alt. 2C Dedicated BRT to WBL: 5300-5400 riders, $484m - 653m
Alt. 3A Dedicated BRT to WBL via White Bear Ave: 4800-4900 riders, $701m - $870m
Alt. 3B LRT to WBL via White Bear Ave: 6600-9500 riders, $1.53 Bn - $1.67 Bn
Alt. 4 Arterial BRT to WBL via White Bear Ave: 5700-6000 riders, $74m

Dedicated BRT (Alt. 3A) cost estimates could be reduced by $80m by mixing with traffic in White Bear Lake, along White Bear from Larpenteur to Maryland, along Maryland from White Bear to Phalen, and along E 7th from Phalen to Downtown.

The PAC is looking into cutting the Dedicated BRT portion between WBL and Forest Lake, because it is 70% more expensive with only 13% more riders, and because the express bus service on 35E is more efficient (not to mention MnPass and Bus shoulder lanes).

Alt. 2 is considering a Maplewood Mall deviation (along Beam, Southlawn, and County D) because it serves more jobs and more disadvantaged people.

Alt. 2 and 3 are considering using Hwy. 61 between Buerkle and Hoffman/WB Av to reduce noise impacts and constrained ROW. Alt 4 (Arterial BRT) is considering using Hwy. 61 between Beam and White Bear for better job access.

The big problem is that all of the alternatives (except for Arterial BRT) are not attractive in comparison to other projects in the FTA New Starts program. In order to be competitive, ridership needs to be higher and costs lower.

--

Looking at the ridership and cost info, the ROW alignments look a lot better than the White Bear Ave alignments for both LRT and BRT. The Arterial BRT line is really shining though, mostly because it provides access to existing activity nodes.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6194
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby twincitizen » September 6th, 2016, 10:15 am

I've been saying for a while that this line would never have enough ridership for LRT on its own. The only way they will ever be able to get LRT taken seriously by the FTA is by interlining with Riverview. And if the ridership in this segment is weak enough, it could have the unfortunate side effect of dragging down LRT for the Riverview segment (and that could be why Ramsey County has resisted merging the projects thus far, despite the obvious inefficiency of doing two separate downtown routing studies, etc.)

Theoretically, I suppose it could also be an extension of the Green Line, but that line is pretty long already, and extending it even further would probably go against all known transit operating practices (reliability, etc.)

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1350
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tcmetro » September 6th, 2016, 12:13 pm

To save money, I would imagine that cutting the line back to Maplewood Mall would be the most feasible.

The big problem with this line is that there are two large dead zones that aren't going to contribute a lot of ridership. Between Maplewood Mall and WBL, and between Maryland Ave and White Bear Lake. Even the Phalen Bl segment might not do so well as it's kind of running in the back of two neighborhoods, and in a trench, then accesses Downtown St. Paul through a primarily low-density industrial area.

Another big issue I foresee is running through backyards between Maryland and Hwy 36, and the likely displacement of the bicycle trail in that area.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4759
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » September 6th, 2016, 12:24 pm

twincitizen wrote:Theoretically, I suppose it could also be an extension of the Green Line, but that line is pretty long already, and extending it even further would probably go against all known transit operating practices (reliability, etc.)
Is that as much of a concern with dedicated ROY? If a bunch more stoplights were involved then I could see a problem but I've kind of assumed this would at least get preemption if not full grade separation most of the way.

Still, yeah, I don't think LRT is going to work, on its own or as part of another line. It's unfortunate. It seems to me like aBRT is the best option. Build ridership and then see if we can upgrade later.

masstrlk67
City Center
Posts: 46
Joined: December 23rd, 2014, 2:52 pm
Location: Northeast Minneapolis

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby masstrlk67 » September 6th, 2016, 1:37 pm

I'm kinda skeptical that a Maplewood Mall terminus would still give this line the political support it would need to get built. However, White Bear Lake's current transit service is so abysmal that maybe they could be brought in with new bus service connecting downtown WBL to the mall. Downtown WBL warrants so much more than just 4 weekday rush hour round trips on the 265.


Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests