Riverview Corridor Streetcar

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kellonathan
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby kellonathan » September 29th, 2017, 12:22 pm

It's probably just my personal perception, but I don't feel the proposed stop locations at CP Spur is that much far from W 7th St, maybe except at Otto, or at Montreal---and considering the future developments near Davern St, Victoria Park and Schmidt Brewing, I believe the center of gravity is shifting closer to the river.

And add traffic from the future Ford Site development on top of the future traffic level on W 7th. I feel like putting a streetcar in mixed traffic on W 7th St deeply compromises its transit service reliability, and thus very shortsighted.
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby SkyScraperKid » September 29th, 2017, 7:52 pm

alexschief wrote:
September 29th, 2017, 7:55 am
I know I've written plenty about this, but it still blows my mind that even at the STUDY phase, we can't muster the political will to take even a single lane of traffic away from cars on West 7th. Could that parking not be moved into a ramp somewhere? It's absolutely wild. Car travel and car storage come over everything.

That said the CP rail line is simply too far south. Our transit lines and stations have been most successful when they run directly through neighborhoods. Putting this route on the periphery of the neighborhood would, I think, dramatically diminish the likelihood that people north of West 7th would ride it.
Let them build a streetcar line... then in 10+ years when car traffic is slowing the trains down to much THEN they can see about removing car traffic from the streetcar line. I think it's more of a phase in. Sure would be nice if it was a built out but progress is still progress. Remember when the blue line was only built for a 2 car LRT train? Everything is always upgradeable.

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Tiller
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » September 29th, 2017, 9:39 pm

alexschief wrote:
September 29th, 2017, 7:55 am
That said the CP rail line is simply too far south. Our transit lines and stations have been most successful when they run directly through neighborhoods. Putting this route on the periphery of the neighborhood would, I think, dramatically diminish the likelihood that people north of West 7th would ride it.
Well, in the southern portions of the route, the CP Rail Spur is more centrally located than West 7th, and the northern portions could also be well-served by an improved route 74. Using the CP Rail Spur also means a freeway cap over part of 35E Image

Image
SkyScraperKid wrote:
September 29th, 2017, 7:52 pm
Let them build a streetcar line... then in 10+ years when car traffic is slowing the trains down to much THEN they can see about removing car traffic from the streetcar line. I think it's more of a phase in. Sure would be nice if it was a built out but progress is still progress. Remember when the blue line was only built for a 2 car LRT train? Everything is always upgradeable.
The blue line was mostly built along a freeway, so there was plenty of space to expand the stations. If they plan on this only having single streetcar vehicles, then the station locations they choose could be in areas with no room for expansion without knocking things down. The Green Line, as another example, is limited to 3-car trains because anything more would block intersections such that our signaling system for cars AND transit would no longer work (quite literally grid-locking everything).

It also really depends on where they place the tracks in the street. It'd be a billion-dollar mistake to discover mixed-traffic streetcars don't work because of traffic (from the Ford Site, as an example), and then need to tear up the tracks after 10-20 years to move them.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby EOst » September 30th, 2017, 1:44 pm

Traffic from the Ford Site is not going to reduce West 7th to a crawl.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby alexschief » October 1st, 2017, 7:12 am

SkyScraperKid wrote:
September 29th, 2017, 7:52 pm
alexschief wrote:
September 29th, 2017, 7:55 am
I know I've written plenty about this, but it still blows my mind that even at the STUDY phase, we can't muster the political will to take even a single lane of traffic away from cars on West 7th. Could that parking not be moved into a ramp somewhere? It's absolutely wild. Car travel and car storage come over everything.

That said the CP rail line is simply too far south. Our transit lines and stations have been most successful when they run directly through neighborhoods. Putting this route on the periphery of the neighborhood would, I think, dramatically diminish the likelihood that people north of West 7th would ride it.
Let them build a streetcar line... then in 10+ years when car traffic is slowing the trains down to much THEN they can see about removing car traffic from the streetcar line. I think it's more of a phase in. Sure would be nice if it was a built out but progress is still progress. Remember when the blue line was only built for a 2 car LRT train? Everything is always upgradeable.
That is my hope as well.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby minneboom » October 2nd, 2017, 10:39 pm

There seems to be a lot of talk within the TAC and PAC about the "Y" option, which would serve both the Ford site, 46th Street Station, and the airport. If possible, this seems like the best route to put forward.

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Tiller
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » October 3rd, 2017, 11:47 am

In one of the PAC meeting minutes the project team was insistent that you can't apply for federal funding with a "Y" alignment because you have to advance a single route/mode combination. What's the minimum and/or recommended cost threshold to apply for New Starts funding?

46th St to Sibley Plaza on its own would probably cost $350M, though I'm not sure if that's enough to apply for New Starts separately. It's probably weaker relative to its cost, too, which is why the TAC didn't recommend it. Thus even if it's large enough on its own for New Starts funding it probably wouldn't score high enough (medium) to qualify.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby WhoaCanyonero » October 3rd, 2017, 11:53 am

minneboom wrote:
October 2nd, 2017, 10:39 pm
There seems to be a lot of talk within the TAC and PAC about the "Y" option, which would serve both the Ford site, 46th Street Station, and the airport. If possible, this seems like the best route to put forward.
I am all for this. It completes the triangle, and preserves a faster connection to the airport/MOA from downtown St. Paul. I hope whoever is picked to develop the Ford site will have the imagination and wherewithal to creatively incorporate station(s) into the ultimate design of the site if this routing goes through. However, my main concerns are as follows:

1. How the politics of proposing the Ford Site/Ford Parkway routing will shake out. Neighbors for a Livable St. Paul and other Highland residents who wanted to stop the Ford Plan on the basis of increased traffic will lash out against anything that goes over the Ford Parkway bridge, shared lanes be damned. I bet they feel pretty burned by the Ford Plan, and the perception (rightly or wrongly) of another large project being 'shoved' down their throats will no doubt inflame even larger resistance than that of the Ford Plan.

2. How will the geometry of the connection to the 46th St. station shake out? That particular intersection seems near inhospitable with rail line coming from the east.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tcmetro » October 3rd, 2017, 12:09 pm

Boston's Green Line Extension is branched and is an FTA project.

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Tiller
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » October 3rd, 2017, 1:49 pm

Perhaps they were referring to the single-mode requirement, and thus plan on redirecting the 54 Bus to the Ford Site once Riverview is built.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tcmetro » October 3rd, 2017, 2:09 pm

That makes more sense. I'm not aware of any multi-mode projects that have been FTA funded.

I suppose a busway connecting Ford Site to W 7th could be funded locally, but the local streets themselves aren't very busy and could probably handle some bus improvements.

Similar, but somewhat different problem, happened in Austin. They used FTA (Small Starts, I think) funding for the watered-down BRT service on their main street. A few years later they wanted to go and build light rail, but FTA said that because the AA/EIS said that BRT was the best transit mode, they couldn't go back and rebuild.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 3rd, 2017, 2:39 pm

We could also rely on the New Starts model if the Ford Branch was my dream of Midtown-[Blue Line interline]-46th St-Ford Spur. That would be sufficiently expensive to qualify, but also much simpler than the rail options in crossing Hiawatha presented during the Riverview AA.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby minneboom » October 3rd, 2017, 11:42 pm

The City of Saint Paul is already looking at how rail could run along the CP rail to the Ford Site with the Reimagine the Railway study. Maybe it could just stop at the Ford Site and connect to the A Line.

https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/plan ... udying-new
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alexschief
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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby alexschief » October 4th, 2017, 8:03 am

Build the Riverview corridor as is, with a straight shot to the airport. Build the Midtown LRT Phase 1 from West Lake (Green) to Lake St. (Blue). Build the Midtown LRT Phase 2 from 46th Street to Sibley Plaza, so that Midtown ultimately runs from Hopkins to downtown Saint Paul. Problem solved.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Bakken2016 » October 4th, 2017, 12:04 pm

alexschief wrote:
October 4th, 2017, 8:03 am
Build the Riverview corridor as is, with a straight shot to the airport. Build the Midtown LRT Phase 1 from West Lake (Green) to Lake St. (Blue). Build the Midtown LRT Phase 2 from 46th Street to Sibley Plaza, so that Midtown ultimately runs from Hopkins to downtown Saint Paul. Problem solved.
^^^THIS, DO THIS!

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby talindsay » October 5th, 2017, 10:41 am

alexschief wrote:
October 4th, 2017, 8:03 am
Build the Riverview corridor as is, with a straight shot to the airport. Build the Midtown LRT Phase 1 from West Lake (Green) to Lake St. (Blue). Build the Midtown LRT Phase 2 from 46th Street to Sibley Plaza, so that Midtown ultimately runs from Hopkins to downtown Saint Paul. Problem solved.
I'll third that, but I also think Met Council isn't taking Midtown LRT seriously because it doesn't involve suburbs.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 5th, 2017, 11:22 am

Wouldn't extending it to St Paul fix that issue? (I kid)

But also, simply running the train out to Hopkins would get SLP and Hopkins on board, doubling the frequency of that rail line between West Lake and Hopkins. It would only cost a little more (1-2 train/sets and <$1m a year in ops) to do it. Given a the eastern extension, it would also double the frequency of transit going from any of those stations to downtown St Paul. Plus, the Midtown-Riverview route might even be faster than SWLRT-CC given Midtown's grade separation (I think I've said this before, but using estimates and actual schedule times for those routes, West Lake to downtown St Paul would be 40 minutes).

But yeah, this has more to do with how *much* Midtown serves Minneapolis than how *little* is serves the suburbs. It's almost 100% Hennepin County not being on board, and the recent change in sales tax funding does little to help that.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby alexschief » October 5th, 2017, 11:56 am

talindsay wrote:
October 5th, 2017, 10:41 am
alexschief wrote:
October 4th, 2017, 8:03 am
Build the Riverview corridor as is, with a straight shot to the airport. Build the Midtown LRT Phase 1 from West Lake (Green) to Lake St. (Blue). Build the Midtown LRT Phase 2 from 46th Street to Sibley Plaza, so that Midtown ultimately runs from Hopkins to downtown Saint Paul. Problem solved.
I'll third that, but I also think Met Council isn't taking Midtown LRT seriously because it doesn't involve suburbs.
I think (as RBY mentions), that you can partially solve that problem by starting the Midtown LRT route from the Shady Oak operations and maintenance facility. That way, your route hits the most TOD-able of the SWLRT stations and ropes in the County Commission's sixth district in addition to the third and fourth.

The link to Uptown and the dense labor pool in South Minneapolis should be worth a lot to these towns and further down the SWLRT line. Uptown is still growing and the Mosaic development, Graves Hotel, and SoN staying on the same lot suggest that in the future Uptown will to be a destination not just for living, shopping, and eating, but also for business. I'm sure downtown Hopkins in particular would also love to have a direct link to the Uptown market, with its significant population of young people entering into raising family age and potentially looking to settle in a suburb with a ped scale downtown.

I'd probably find more skepticism in the suburbs than on this forums by saying this, but it's absolutely true that projects primarily in Minneapolis can still have benefits to the suburbs. That's part of what the fiscal disparities regime and the Met Council are about, and I'd hope that the benefits to serving the metro's densest neighborhoods with a relatively simple route like the Midtown trench would be obvious to all.

The additional benefit would come by planning the second phase into the Ford Site. I think it's really up in the air as to what goes there, but for many of the same reasons, Ramsey County should be ecstatic about the possibility of a direct route to Uptown and South Minneapolis, and Minneapolis could have good reasons for wanting to be directly connected to the Ford Site.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby nate » October 5th, 2017, 1:13 pm

Given the awesome expansion possibilities on this line, it seems like a real mistake to build it out to operate in mixed traffic and only accommodate 1 car trains.

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Re: Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » October 5th, 2017, 6:35 pm

I can't picture how this gets to DT StP. Can anyone post a map of the suggested route?


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