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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 8:03 am
by Vagueperson
Can you elaborate on the significance of this? I don't know enough to understand the implications.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 11:38 am
by mulad
From my perspective, this means it would be a cheap stretch of track to be bought up by Ramsey County and Washington County (or whatever other governmental unit might want to) for the purpose of becoming part of a commuter rail line. The tracks could be rehabilitated to keep good service for the existing customers, yet the traffic is obviously low enough that there isn't much congestion to worry about on that particular stretch (aside from the need to upgrade tracks to support sufficient speed). Unfortunately, there aren't great existing paths to link this stretch to an interesting passenger station -- The simplest thing would be to add a junction between Minnesota Commercial and Canadian Pacific tracks in Little Canada, which would allow service to Saint Paul Union Depot.

The line that connects this stretch of track to the rest of Minnesota Commercial's network leads from White Bear Lake toward Minneapolis mostly following County C. It ends in Roseville -- an abandoned segment is now the Northeast Diagonal Trail. Unfortunately it would be a challenge to rebuild that sufficiently to connect to Target Field, though I'm observing that the removal of that extra highway exit from I-35W to Stinson Boulevard has freed up some room that could allow a track to snake down next to Johnson Street before crossing over I-35W at an old rail alignment between Hennepin. Pretty expensive no matter how you slice it, though.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 1:19 pm
by phop
One possibility is that the right-of-way is purchased by a public entity and converted to a bike trail in the short-term (extension of the Hardwood Creek trail or something).

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 2:00 pm
by David Greene
phop wrote:One possibility is that the right-of-way is purchased by a public entity and converted to a bike trail in the short-term (extension of the Hardwood Creek trail or something).
That certainly worked out well for Southwest. I think governments now will be very reluctant to put bike trails where they feel there's a good chance for a future transit corridor.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 2:14 pm
by xandrex
^Wouldn't that kind of depend on if there's a pinch point? The bike trail for SWLRT gets in the way in just a tiny fraction of the actual length.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 2:35 pm
by David Greene
If it wasn't the pinch point it would be something else. Do you honestly think there wouldn't have been a huge fight over 3C from bike advocates? I mean, even with SWLRT the by far cheapest option was to reroute the bike trail but that was off the table for a reason.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 2:45 pm
by xandrex
That's kind of the point though, no? It was never about the bikes, it was about sending the train through a wealthy, SFH-filled area that has many of the region's best-connected folks. The bike trail just provided added protection - wealthy homeowners AND the city's bikers? Nearly untouchable.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 2:48 pm
by twincitizen
I think we just hashed this out on the previous page of this thread:
twincitizen wrote:I think it's way too early in the process to make any claims about what Ramsey County will or will not do, or what influence the residents directly abutting the ROW will have on the decision making process.

Remember, Hennepin County punted on the SW co-locate/relocate thing. The county technically chose/preferred freight rail relocation to St. Louis Park, but they definitely left the door wide open to co-location. It wasn't until after the project was handed over to the Met Council that it was finally decided that relocation of freight wasn't going to happen. Only then did it become a "should we move the bike trail" thing, to make at-grade co-location possible. I thought it was pretty well accepted theory around here that it was never about the bike trail anyways. Plenty of bike advocates were saying "move the trail, spend the money elsewhere!" It was always about ROW-adjacent folks not wanting LRT and freight to be co-located at grade. It is still all about that, as evidenced by the Park Board's ongoing actions. SWLRT's controversy was never reallyabout the bike trail.

Let's not get our stories confused here.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 2:56 pm
by David Greene
Fair point. But I still contend there would have been major opposition to 3C from bikers. MGC pretty much declared it a non-starter.

Even if SWLRT wasn't about the bike trail, it still leaves public officials with a lot to think about.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 3:03 pm
by mulad
In this Rush Line corridor, the tracks are very close to Highway 61, which makes the character of the route much more like the Hiawatha corridor or some parts of the Northstar route. It's a tight fit, but for different reasons (I wonder if the highway has inched closer to the rails over the years).

Anyway, here's something fun from a little Google Streetview sightseeing: White Bear Lake station, even including a platform of sorts.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 3:12 pm
by David Greene
mulad wrote:Anyway, here's something fun from a little Google Streetview sightseeing: White Bear Lake station, even including a platform of sorts.
We were in WBL the weekend before last and drove right by there. I'd love to see LRT to WBL happen but I'm pretty skeptical about ridership. WBL is kind of like a hidden Stillwater, shopping-wise.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 3:29 pm
by FISHMANPET
Hoping for LRT to WBL so I can take my car into the dealer for recall service and take the train to work.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: February 24th, 2015, 8:09 pm
by up north
Maybe it's just because I mostly grew up there, but I've always thought downtown White Bear was a hidden gem.

Man I wish they had this line when I was growing up.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: August 24th, 2015, 12:22 pm
by Tcmetro
Options have been narrowed down to:

- Dedicated BRT to Forest Lake
- LRT/DMU to White Bear Lake
- Arterial BRT to White Bear Lake

http://media.wix.com/ugd/6977a0_1bed81b ... a922ec.pdf

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: August 24th, 2015, 12:37 pm
by grant1simons2
I really hope it isn't dedicated BRT to Flake town (Forest Lake). Living there for 5 years and seeing the locals views on transportation and cities really makes me not want them to get any of it. I mean they opposed a round a bout for 6 years.. It finally was built a year after we left. They were even mad at a bike trail bridge that would reduce the number of bike crossing at grade. It's totally ridiculous. Hugo is even worse.

I'd much prefer to see option B or C

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: August 24th, 2015, 6:39 pm
by matt91486
I think if they can make light rail interline in any constructive way, it would be a reasonable option for the corridor. That said, I wish that PDF had a more detailed map of proposed stations to have a better idea of what we were looking at. Like, would a station be sufficiently close to Maplewood Mall to be useful? The map on their site is a bit better than the PDF one. Am I correct in interpreting it as showing the station not quite reaching downtown White Bear Lake? That would sort of diminish the utility of going out that far, wouldn't it?

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: August 24th, 2015, 10:36 pm
by David Greene
FWIW, when I talked to the Riverview/Rush Line people at a display in downtown St. Paul several months ago, they indicated interlining the two is definitely on the table.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: August 25th, 2015, 8:31 am
by RailBaronYarr
It shouldn't just be on the table, it should be a key design feature that requires a case to be made against it. The modes and alignments should be evaluated in concert. There was such a push for interlining for Green Line/SWLRT, I can't imagine why this would be any different. My gut says LRT to WBL makes the most sense, but I agree it would need to meaningfully pass through the Maplewood Mall area to make it a line with much going for it between DT and the terminus.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: August 25th, 2015, 8:54 am
by matt91486
RailBaronYarr wrote:It shouldn't just be on the table, it should be a key design feature that requires a case to be made against it.
I absolutely agree with this. Transferring to the Green Line might already be annoying (maybe irrationally so, but still) for people if the stations are on opposite sides of the Depot; no need to add yet another barrier to people's use.

Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Posted: August 25th, 2015, 10:44 am
by David Greene
matt91486 wrote:I absolutely agree with this. Transferring to the Green Line might already be annoying (maybe irrationally so, but still) for people if the stations are on opposite sides of the Depot; no need to add yet another barrier to people's use.
I don't really agree that stations on the opposite sides of the Depot are burdensome. There are many hubs like that in NYC and people get around just fine.