Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

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Tiller
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » March 4th, 2017, 4:02 pm

Vagueperson wrote:
March 3rd, 2017, 7:28 pm
Do any of you see major barriers or benefits to extending the Riverview corridor up East 7th to around Arcade Street? This would encompass the proposed first line of a St. Paul streetcar network. It would hit Metro State, which is just out of reach of the Gateway Corridor and might not be the route choice of the Rush Line.
It would add about 1.5 miles depending on the route.
If this was a thing that happened, It'd probably be a good idea to extend it the extra .5 mile to just south of the rail ROW to allow for a transfer to the Rush Line for those heading further north. 2 miles and 4 stations shouldn't cost too much. The short bridge over 94 and retrofitting/replacing the 7th St Bridge (or building a new small one adjacent to it) would probably be the most costly portions of it.

On another note, I recall there being a note from the St Paul streetcar study website:

"The City has completed work on the Streetcar Feasibility Study at this time. The City Council's resolution supporting the results of this study also directed that the Starter Line not be studied in more depth until the Ramsey County-led Riverview Corridor Study has made a recommendation."

Given what we know about the likely outcomes for the Riverview and Rush lines at this point, what might St Paul do with their streetcar study? Build a link similar to what Vagueperson mentioned, from Lowertown up E 7th St (which would overlap with the route 54 extension)? Maybe a new starter line on Payne Ave or Grand or something?

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » March 4th, 2017, 11:39 pm

Streetcars on Payne Avenue please! We'll need a new City Councilmember first. Rice Street would also be a great corridor and has a friendly council member already.

I agree that extending Riverview up for a connection to Rush makes sense. I was thinking that could happen at Arcade/Phalen. However, it seems you're suggesting it could happen at Earl. Currently Earl is not a suggested stop for the Rush Line, however it was of interest to Mike Rogers a while back. He thought that a stop at Earl would be good in order to have a bus connection between the Rush Line and the Gold Line at Earl and Hudson (Earl also has a traffic light at Maryland and could be designed to have a straight shot up to Lake Phalen). Unfortunately, Earl is above grade at both Phalen and 7th streets and doesn't seem like a great development spot.

As for Riverview on East 7th, Commissioner McDonough responded to the suggestion with "We are talking about it." I take that as a good sign. I have a great deal of respect for Commissioner McDonough.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby twincitizen » March 10th, 2017, 8:12 am

Jesus, they aren't going to make a route decision until September http://www.startribune.com/riverview-co ... 415827704/

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby talindsay » March 10th, 2017, 8:29 am

Seriously though, no reason to rush. The CTIB disbanding documents show Ramsey taking 70% of the cost (local match?) and Hennepin taking 30%; with Hennepin basically committing singlehandedly to pay for both Southwest and Bottineau, it's going to be a while before they can afford this one, and I know the CTIB at least was mulling doing this one without a federal grant. Even if it ends up being under $1B total (which is totally reasonable), that makes for a huge chunk of change right after the county's paid almost $1B each to Southwest and Bottineau. And Ramsey probably isn't in a rush to spend $700m themselves.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby twincitizen » March 10th, 2017, 9:58 am

True, there is no real reason to rush now, with the pending breakup of CTIB, not to mention the uncertain future with federal funding for transit. But on the other hand, this Alternatives Analysis was supposed to be complete a year ago.

My main criticism is that they should have separately studied the river crossings first, then started the full-scope AA. RCRRA is just lighting money on fire and holding pointless additional public meetings while they struggle to come to a decision on this. I would love to hear the backroom actual politics on this (i.e. which route does Commissioner Ortega support, which route does Commissioner McLaughlin support, etc.) because that is ultimately a huge factor in the decision on these LRT routes (e.g. Bottineau, Southwest)

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » April 4th, 2017, 12:21 pm

Does anyone have some information on this?
False information distributed about Riverview Corridor Project
On April 1, 2017, a third-party, not associated with the Riverview Corridor Transit Study, distributed information on official-looking letterhead advertising a public meeting on April 1 and stating the Riverview Corridor route had changed. There was not a meeting scheduled for Saturday, April 1 and the information in the flyer was false.

It has come to our attention that some neighbors acted on the information and attempted to attend the falsely advertised public meeting. The Riverview Corridor Transit Study team has gone to great lengths to seek meaningful public participation in our work to improve transit connections in Saint Paul. We value the time people choose to contribute to this work and take your ideas and concerns very seriously. We seek to be respectful of your time.
(quote from the Riverview website)

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby twincitizen » April 4th, 2017, 3:10 pm

I saw that too. Crazy.

Unrelated, but I never realized how drawn out the timeline for this project was. Project documents (which are more likely to be "best case" than "worst case") have construction starting in 2023 and the line opening in 2026 at the earliest. That's a damn long time!

Assuming Ramsey County will actually select a route and mode by the end of 2017 (as they are supposed to), they're planning for the project development and engineering process to take 5 years ('18-'22)? Mind you, this line is magnitudes shorter and simpler than Southwest (which at this point has taken a similar length of time, but that's with >2 years of unplanned delays). It's almost as if they know this thing is going to get hung up in court, etc. and want to be realistic from the get-go. That or the lengthy schedule has something to do with Ramsey County's funding ability. Recall, this line was to be up to 80% funded by CTIB, with less federal support than previous lines. Even with a sales tax increase (if CTIB manages to split), it will take Ramsey County some time to be able to fund this project. I suppose one benefit of the drawn out timeline is that we'll (hopefully) have a Democratic President by the time a federal grant agreement would happen (2022ish). On the bright side, Riverview's timeline is so lengthy that a one-term Trump administration is unlikely to cause it any delays!

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » April 4th, 2017, 10:31 pm

The flyer was clearly an April Fool's joke. Maybe they should have spelled it out at the bottom for folks, but I imagine most of those who were duped didn't read the whole thing anyhow.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » April 4th, 2017, 10:34 pm

twincitizen wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 3:10 pm
Recall, this line was to be up to 80% funded by CTIB, with less federal support than previous lines. Even with a sales tax increase (if CTIB manages to split), it will take Ramsey County some time to be able to fund this project.
I read that the senate passed a bill to increase CTIB taxing ability, so if CTIB stays there's the possibility of getting more tax money AND keeping Dakota's contributions. Maybe some self-funding would be possible after all.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby twincitizen » April 13th, 2017, 10:34 am

From Facebook: "Riverview PAC meets at 9 AM this Thursday, April 13 at Union Depot. Feel free to stop by to listen to study updates and discussion of the Most Promising Alternatives and Preliminary Concepts! Public comments are heard at the end of each meeting."

EDIT: whoops that was this morning. Here's the packet: http://riverviewcorridor.com/wp-content ... 170413.pdf

^Just me or are the packet links not working?

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby cooperrez » April 14th, 2017, 10:22 am

Thought about the street car option for this project or other street car lines, maybe Greenway line, using this technology someday here in Minneapolis/St. Paul:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/12/technol ... _tech_pool

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » April 14th, 2017, 2:01 pm

cooperrez wrote:
April 14th, 2017, 10:22 am
Thought about the street car option for this project or other street car lines, maybe Greenway line, using this technology someday here in Minneapolis/St. Paul:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/12/technol ... _tech_pool
I don't think that makes sense for new construction, only for use on existing tracks that don't have an OCS or other electricity supply. It should be more efficient to use electricity to directly drive the train rather than use electricity to split water, then use the resulting hydrogen to recreate water, which requires the use of more electricity to gather oxygen from the air (and purify it?).

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tcmetro » June 24th, 2017, 7:50 am

The meeting packet for July shows a recommendation by the TAC to reduce the number of alternatives to six. They are throwing out LRT and dedicated BRT. They are still planning for a tie-in to the Blue Line, so I would imagine that the Modern Streetcar just means regular LRT vehicles sharing lanes with all other traffic.

1. No build
2. Arterial BRT (same stops as existing route, but with minor upgrades - like the Rapid Bus lines)
3. Modern Streetcar - W 7th/Hwy 5
4. Modern Streetcar - W 7th/Ford Site
5. Modern Streetcar - CP Rail/Hwy 5
6. Modern Streetcar - CP Rail/Ford Site

http://riverviewcorridor.com/wp-content ... 13_rv1.pdf (It's big ~220 pages)

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Silophant » June 24th, 2017, 11:35 am

Man, that would be something if they did this whole study and settled on the aBRT that they were always planning to build, but 5+ years later than it would have been otherwise.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby BigIdeasGuy » June 24th, 2017, 12:56 pm

How is possible that using the CP spur between Randolph and the Davern only saves 1 minute compared to using W 7th? Especially if the streetcar is running in mixed traffic during that time. The CP spur adds .2 of a mile to the length but shouldn't more than made up for running in a dedicated right of way. Unless it's the "streetcar" is going run at like 30 MPH in the spur, which is a different problem in itself, the 1 saved minute isn't even logical.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby SkyScraperKid » June 25th, 2017, 9:29 am

Tcmetro wrote:
June 24th, 2017, 7:50 am
...so I would imagine that the Modern Streetcar just means regular LRT vehicles sharing lanes with all other traffic. ...

So that would mean, IF the city wised up down the road in 10 or say years when LRT mixed with car traffic becomes too restrictive, then they could remove the parking lane & switch car traffic over there and turn it into a LRT line? Or would the station configuration for the streetcar design prevent just that?

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » June 25th, 2017, 9:57 am

To have a mixed-traffic streetcar with parking on both sides, I'd think they would have the Streetcar in the outer, non-parking travel lane. The stations areas would be bump-outs into the parking lanes, with parking between stations.

Down the line, we could probably retrofit Riverview such that the lane it's in becomes a dedicated lane, and the parking lanes could become buffered bike paths (with floating streetcar/LRT stops).

It would mean less space for car travel, but whatev's ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » June 27th, 2017, 9:26 am

Tcmetro wrote:
June 24th, 2017, 7:50 am
5. Modern Streetcar - CP Rail/Hwy 5
6. Modern Streetcar - CP Rail/Ford Site
How exactly do these differ from the LRT option? Seems effectively the same to me.

EDIT: I guess dedicated lanes on W. 7th vs. shared?

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tcmetro » June 27th, 2017, 9:38 am

Yes, and probably one car trains vs two or three car trains.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » June 27th, 2017, 9:44 am

As St. Paul's downtown population continues to increase, I could definitely see demand for more cars/longer platforms in 20 years, if not sooner. Is the county taking that into consideration when looking into these options? Seems complicated to convert shared lanes with small platforms to dedicated lanes with large platforms, much more so conversion from aBRT to rail.

This is one of these routes that probably doesn't completely deserve full dedicated ROW and multiple cars to day (and maybe not even rail), but almost certainly will down the road. This is an example of the utter failure of federal transportation policy.

With that in mind, how unrealistic is it to consider that in the future we might extend along the CP spur all the way to SPUD for some kind of express/limited stop rail alongside aBRT/streetcar?


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