Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

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Tom H.
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Riverview Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tom H. » July 17th, 2014, 12:17 pm

At yesterday's CTIB meeting, the new Program of Projects was approved. Among other things, it contains Riverview LRT budgeted at $779M, with an 80/10/10 funding split among CTIB/State/RRA. If you trust these estimates, it's supposed to open in 2026.

Does this mean that LRT has been chosen as the LPA for this corridor? I don't remember hearing any announcement to that effect, but I could be wrong. I know that the PoP is just advisory, but it seems to be presenting Riverview LRT as though it's the next LRT in the pipeline after Southwest and Bottineau.

Also, if this project moves forward with no federal dollars, how does that affect the design process? It would certainly remove a lot of the hassle of the FTA approval process, and allow us more flexibility since we wouldn't need to meet certain federal requirements.

holmstar
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby holmstar » July 17th, 2014, 12:52 pm

From the document:
Phase 1 CTIB Transitways
The following projects have been identified as CTIB’s Phase 1 Program of Projects:
• Southwest LRT
• Bottineau LRT
• Orange Line BRT
• Gateway Exclusive BRT (if selected as the LPA)
• Robert Street Arterial BRT (if selected as the LPA)
• Riverview Light Rail (if selected as the LPA)

The Board respects the alternatives analysis process and does not intend through this
document to influence the outcome or minimize the importance of the process by using specific
modes in its analysis. The analysis to identify transitway projects for inclusion in Phase 1 will be
revised from time to time to reflect modes and alignments as they become selected LPAs. Cost
estimates and timing will be updated as project information is refined.
It does appear that they are proposing that the CTIB cover the vast majority of the cost of riverview and robert street in order to improve federal project ratings as a whole.

MNdible
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby MNdible » July 17th, 2014, 1:07 pm

I thought that all of the funding that the CTIB would generate had already been spoken for after Bottineau and the BRT lines. Has the sales tax been performing better than scheduled, allowing them to forecast some additional funds beyond their original conservative estimates?

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby HiawathaGuy » July 17th, 2014, 1:11 pm

MNdible wrote:I thought that all of the funding that the CTIB would generate had already been spoken for after Bottineau and the BRT lines. Has the sales tax been performing better than scheduled, allowing them to forecast some additional funds beyond their original conservative estimates?
The pdf document is a good read. Looks like they project a modest 4% annual increase of the sales tax. Perhaps someone who's better with numbers than me can explain it better.

twincitizen
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby twincitizen » July 17th, 2014, 1:47 pm

Fascinating document. Thanks for the share. Hard to believe we didn't have a Riverview Corridor thread. The B-Line should start operating in 2016, which will build ridership in the corridor beyond the existing bus routes. I think there's a lot of building to be done before you could justify building LRT in the corridor.

Someone correct me if wrong, but did St. Paul essentially "hand off" the planning process of their 7th St Streetcar to Ramsey County at this point? I swear I've read something to that effect. Praise jeebus they are actually talking to each other, rather than continuing to study two different rail projects in the same corridor. The Riverview Line could take shape as a hybrid streetcar/LRT...that'd be pretty cool. Sections of exclusive and shared ROW where necessary, depending on the context.

David Greene
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby David Greene » July 17th, 2014, 2:00 pm

Midtown LRT is nowhere in the document. It's going to need a huge political push to happen.

acs
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby acs » July 17th, 2014, 2:04 pm

Yet Robert street aBRT is. Lol wat?

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby HiawathaGuy » July 17th, 2014, 2:16 pm

David Greene wrote:Midtown LRT is nowhere in the document. It's going to need a huge political push to happen.
It's almost as though that's politically toxic or something... SO frustrating!

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 17th, 2014, 2:34 pm

Are there even any planning documents out there for the Riverview Corridor yet? A quick 2 page Google search yields nothing, and the RCRRA page has no link to a project page either (http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/rail/projects.htm)

Ramsey Co defines it as DTSP to the MOA. Would I be crazy in thinking at least a spur up to the Ford site redevelopment would be a good idea? I know the distance/number of stops to run the MOA line all the way would make splitting destinations a challenge.. just a thought.

Also, definitely frustrating to not even see Midtown on there. Considering the 3A route was given so much weight by planners due to the natural ability to run rail in the Greenway and connect Green/Blue/Uptown, you'd think they'd kinda sorta try to get it in the 10+ year plan...

talindsay
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby talindsay » July 17th, 2014, 2:52 pm

David Greene wrote:Midtown LRT is nowhere in the document. It's going to need a huge political push to happen.
No, it doesn't belong in the CTIB document - Minneapolis isn't talking about having CTIB fund it. They don't need CTIB on board to make it happen. They just need Metro Council to add it to the regional plan. CTIB only has jurisdiction over the sales tax income; they have no role in transit planning except the de facto power that comes from controlling the largest local pot of funds (which, don't get me wrong, is huge but irrelevant to Midtown).
Last edited by talindsay on July 17th, 2014, 3:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby HiawathaGuy » July 17th, 2014, 2:56 pm

talindsay wrote:No, it doesn't belong in the CTIB document - Minneapolis isn't talking about having CTIB fund it. They don't need CTIB on board to make it happen. They just need Metro Council to add it to the regional plan. CTIB only has jurisdiction over the sales tax income; they have no role in transit planning except the de facto power that comes from controlling the largest local pot of funds (which, don't get me wrong, is huge but irrelevant to Midtown).
Thanks Tom, that makes more sense.

talindsay
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby talindsay » July 17th, 2014, 3:04 pm

I made a length addendum to my above post but then I saw HG's response and decided I should put my lengthy addendum in a separate post:

A lot of comments here reflect confusion on what the CTIB is and how it relates to the regional transit picture. The CTIB is *NOT* an officially-recognized part of transit planning in the metro area. Their listing Riverview LRT on their program of projects does not suddenly make it a priority for the region, and their prioritization of projects doesn't reflect what the region will do. That power is held by Metro Council, which is the governmentally-designated body for regional planning on transit (among other things) to the federal government. They write and approve the thirty-year plans and update the annual documents. They decide who is allowed to ask for federal transit dollars by their control of the regional plan.

The CTIB was set up to control the money by a state legislature that's leery of the power wielded by Metro Council - by controlling the "granting" of funds from the transit tax, the CTIB can make sure that Metro Council doesn't step too far away from what they want. BUT, the law also explicitly says that CTIB can't fund something that Metro Council hasn't written into the plan and identified as a priority; the same is not true in reverse. If Metro Council wants to advance a project that CTIB isn't funding, they can do so, but CTIB has NO LEGAL POWER to advance a project that Metro Council doesn't want.

So far, in the six years that CTIB has existed, decisions have been unanimous and both CTIB and Metro Council have largely been breathing through the same nostril. But that was easy, because up to now they had a bunch of little projects and the Central Corridor light rail line, which anybody who's paying attention would support. What's really going on here is that we're seeing CTIB use their program of projects to propose a more ambitious agenda than what we're hearing from Metro Council, which is good - with the power of the purse they have a lot of power to influence what Metro Council chooses to plan - but it doesn't actually change anything until Metro Council chooses to engage.

twincitizen
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby twincitizen » July 17th, 2014, 3:17 pm

We do have a dedicated CTIB thread...which is where I will relocate much of this discussion.

Regarding the lack of information available on the current status of the Riverview Corridor, here is probably the most recent update: http://finance-commerce.com/2014/01/riv ... ing-ahead/

The reason there's a lack of current information is because the Ramsey County board (acting as RCRRA) just voted in January to fund a new Riverview Corridor study, which will pick up where St. Paul's recent streetcar study/decision left off. All the previous study done on Riverview Corridor many years ago is basically in the trash can.

Tcmetro
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby Tcmetro » July 17th, 2014, 3:28 pm

IIRC, Ramsey County picked the consultant for the Riverview Line just last month. I wouldn't expect any public meetings and a website and whatnot for a few more months.

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby HiawathaGuy » July 17th, 2014, 3:39 pm

Tcmetro wrote:IIRC, Ramsey County picked the consultant for the Riverview Line just last month. I wouldn't expect any public meetings and a website and whatnot for a few more months.
That Finance & Commerce article states this: "Rogers said the RFP should go out in early February, and a consultant could be selected by April. The study is then expected to take 18 months to complete."

Tcmetro
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby Tcmetro » July 17th, 2014, 3:42 pm

^ You're correct. AECOM was selected as the consultant at the April 22nd RCRRA meeting, and the study began on the first of May.

http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/NR/rdonlyres ... Agenda.pdf

mattaudio
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby mattaudio » July 17th, 2014, 3:58 pm

Anyone have copies of the old Riverview studies? Did they ever talk about using the CP Ford Spur?

Tcmetro
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby Tcmetro » July 17th, 2014, 4:00 pm

They completed one study, determined that BRT on W 7th was the best course of action, and then used the funds to bailout the bus system in 2002.

David Greene
IDS Center
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby David Greene » July 17th, 2014, 9:18 pm

talindsay wrote:
David Greene wrote:Midtown LRT is nowhere in the document. It's going to need a huge political push to happen.
No, it doesn't belong in the CTIB document - Minneapolis isn't talking about having CTIB fund it. They don't need CTIB on board to make it happen.
Really? That's the first I've heard of this. Where's the money coming from?

twincitizen
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Re: Riverview LRT

Postby twincitizen » July 18th, 2014, 7:28 am

That's not completely correct... Minneapolis isn't even the lead agency on Midtown. Metro Transit did the AA. Support for Midtown will have to come from Minneapolis AND especially Hennepin County...it's their property after all. It doesn't matter if it's CTIB $ or just HCRRA money, but obviously there will have to be a large local commitment. Politically speaking, CTIB money for Midtown is unlikely due to "regional equity". I think we're going to be waiting a long time on Midtown rail for political reasons, not technical ones. The best case situation is probably enhanced bus on Lake Street by 2020.

I want Midtown as bad as anyone, but just for fun, can anyone name a current elected official that is even talking about it? I can't. Someone needs to put this line on their back and carry it.


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