Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

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twincitizen
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » February 18th, 2015, 4:00 pm

St. Paul is holding open houses for station area planning:

http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=5435

PDF: http://www.stpaul.gov/DocumentCenter/View/77020

OPEN HOUSES

Wednesday February 25th, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Dayton’s Bluff Rec Center gym
800 Conway Street

Thursday February 26th, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Grace Lutheran Church (enter from south parking lot)
1730 Old Hudson Road

acs
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby acs » February 23rd, 2015, 1:22 pm

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/b ... -park.html

Gold line TOD from opus... what a joke.

mattaudio
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » February 23rd, 2015, 1:25 pm

"The proximity to the Woodbury retail amenities coupled with unparalleled visibility from the freeway distinguishes this site as one of the last remaining freeway frontage developments of this density in the metropolitan area."
YEAH BABY!

twincitizen
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » May 26th, 2015, 12:17 pm

Washington County Board is pissed that they didn't get $3MM to continue work on the Gold Line: http://www.startribune.com/legislature- ... 304946921/

Tcmetro
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » June 11th, 2015, 8:01 am

The CAC meeting materials for the June 2nd meeting have been posted, and a lot of info about the alignment is included.

http://thegatewaycorridor.com/documents ... erials.pdf
  • The new Kellogg bridge will likely be a mixed traffic segment, and will not include transit lanes.
  • From 3rd to Wilson, there are two alternatives in consideration. One is a dedicated busway along Mounds, the other is a mixed-traffic segment along Maria.
  • The busway will run along Hudson Rd, which will become a one-way.
  • The busway will run under the new Hudson/Etna/61 roundabout, with a station.
  • The station at White Bear Ave will actually be two blocks east, at Hazel St.
  • The station at McKnight will be appx. 1 block west, in front of the Cub Foods, with a park and ride and local bus transit center.
  • The 3M station will potentially have a skyway link to the office complex.
  • The busway will bridge over Century, operating in mixed traffic along Hudson past Tanners Lake. Just before Greenway Ave, curbside bus lanes will begin, and transition back to a busway at Hadley Ave.
  • East of 694 options are still under consideration and will be decided upon later this summer.
Some thoughts of mine on the presented alignment:
- Need for pedestrian bridges to south of 94 at Sunray Station, as well as some sort of pedestrian connection south from the Etna Station.
- Replace Hazel Station with stations at White Bear and Ruth St. These streets eliminate the need for a separate pedestrian bridge, and White Bear is an important East Side bus line.
- Add a station at Hadley with a new bridge (ped or general traffic) to access the large apartment complex south of I-94.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby acs » June 11th, 2015, 8:23 am

Ah yes, BRT creep. We wouldn't want to buck the trend and make hard decisions now would we? Too bad this will end up costing as much as a short LRT line when all is said and done.

twincitizen
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » June 11th, 2015, 10:36 am

Gotta wonder what the cost breakdown is between the two counties (boundary is Century/MN-120, the eastern edge of 3M campus). Many of us have wondered the same about the cost breakdown on Southwest (east of Shady Oak vs. west of Shady Oak). How much of the massive costs of transit projects is weighted toward the outer halves of these lines? In the case of the Gold Line, the answer is kind of irrelevant since it has been Washington county pushing this project all along. St. Paul and Ramsey County would just as soon go back to pretending the east side doesn't exist. In a way, Washington County is doing the east side of St. Paul a huge solid by pushing this project. So at least there's that. It's just too bad the Washington County part of the line doesn't go anywhere useful. Going through undeveloped Lake Elmo instead of near Woodbury's existing job and retail districts is a huge mistake. Off-peak ridership on this line is going to be a major disappointment, east of SunRay anyways.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » June 11th, 2015, 11:38 am

Tcmetro wrote: [*]The new Kellogg bridge will likely be a mixed traffic segment, and will not include transit lanes.
So, what justification is there for a new Kellogg Bridge, then? Ugh.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » June 11th, 2015, 11:47 am

I kinda wondered how that would all shake out. If logic follows, the current 4-lane bridge is broken, and engineers would obviously want to replace it with a new 4-lane bridge. Exclusive lanes for BRT would mean a 6-lane bridge, which would be preposterous and waaaay too expensive. So expensive that no one ever got around to actually proposing a 6-lane bridge before someone politely informed Gold Line planners that it would never happen.

Meanwhile the reduced 3-lane configuration on the existing bridge is working just fine, is it not? At least for the near-to-medium term, it would be ok to continue using the current set-up on the current bridge, would it not?

Can someone Streetmix the current config please?

EDIT: ah, http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_ ... ffic-after
Two lanes will run westbound; one will run eastbound. An additional lane will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. Currently, two lanes run in either direction.

For now, the city wants to rebuild the 32-year-old bridge, an undertaking roughly estimated to cost from $30 million to $40 million, Mazcko said.
By comparison, repairing and strengthening the cantilevers would cost about $8 million.

Replacement would allow the city to build a bridge to better handle future needs, Mazcko said.
"Right now, the bridge carries cars. It doesn't do a good job of carrying pedestrians or bicyclists ... and it doesn't have anything for bus rapid transit," Mazcko said. "So it would really be remiss to, in my opinion, just spend $8 million to address part of the problem when you could ... address all of them for today and in to the future."
Seriously though, if BRT is going to run in traffic lanes on a presumably 4-lane new bridge, why the hell would you replace it instead of just fixing it? And if the existing traffic pattern is fine (perhaps not ideal, but fine), we've improved conditions for bikes and peds for free.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » June 11th, 2015, 11:53 am

Recall "Infrastructure Opportunists and the Kellogg Bridge"
https://streets.mn/2014/09/25/infrastruc ... gg-bridge/

Image.

Obviously the left scenario is a huge stretch. But the right scenario would work just fine. Remember, this bridge has less traffic than the two-lane Smith Ave High Bridge, a bridge which also never has congestion.

If there's anything that causes "congestion" on the Kellogg Bridge, it's the eastbound/uphill queuing to the stoplight at Mounds Blvd. That's why I'd suggest a dedicated uphill BRT lane (doesn't matter which side it's on) with its own preempted signal phase for eastbound buses at the top of the hill. If anything, you could retrofit the easternmost two piers (the ones that straddle I-94) to allow for full bridge width for turn lanes approaching Mounds -- for relatively cheap.

There's no reality under which this bridge needs to be replaced.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » July 17th, 2015, 11:10 am

The Gold Line alignment east of 694 is being finalized. There are two options along 4th St; one is a median busway, the other is a busway on the south side. It appears the better option will operate south of I-94 between Settlers Ridge Pkwy and Manning Rd, with the Manning/I-94 terminal on the north side of the freeway.

The proposed stops are:
- 4th St/Helmo
- 4th St/3rd St (Guardian Angels)
- Hudson Blvd/Keats Ave (north of I-94)
- Hudson Rd/Settlers Ridge Pkwy (south of I-94)
- Hudson Blvd/Manning Rd park and ride (north of I-94)

http://thegatewaycorridor.com/documents ... erials.pdf

I hope that Met Council and Lake Elmo enforce strict TOD requirements around the station areas, because the current situation really doesn't warrent BRT (let alone a local bus) east of Inwood/Radio.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby intercomnut » August 18th, 2015, 3:33 am

From Finance & Commerce, they've finalized the eastern end of the route pending public comment. The route generally stays north of 94, turns right at Settler's Ridge Pkwy and crosses 94, turns left on Hudson Rd, then left on Manning and crosses BACK over 94 to get to the proposed Manning Park and Ride.

http://finance-commerce.com/transit/201 ... teway-brt/

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby stp1980 » August 19th, 2015, 8:09 am

Wow. Just wow. Really? This thing is going to meander along frontage roads. Outside of 494/694 there nothing to support about this 'line'. It could be an aBRT and cut off at a logical point. Again too many planners playing SIM city gives a bad plan.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » August 19th, 2015, 8:37 am

"Regional equity" strikes again

Sent from my phone

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mulad » August 19th, 2015, 9:08 am

What drives me batty is that Woodbury as a whole is pretty underserved by transit. It's hard to say how well it would work if they introduced lines through more of the city just because everything is all sprawling and podded off (and apparently an attempt to add transit to the city failed a decade or so ago, though I've never seen what the route layout was like). This alignment just skims the northern edge of the city, when it wouldn't be hard to run a few normal local/express lines that actually hit some population (as spaced out as it is).

I feel like this is a problem with how it was originally set up as a "corridor" study, throwing darts out as far as Eau Claire and staying close to the I-94 corridor the whole way. But once it was decided that going to Eau Claire or even Hudson was too far, the center of gravity of the whole project should have shifted to see what could be done to really put transit close to Woodbury residents.

Right now, they only get a couple express lines that reach the northwest corner of the city. I've had a couple of ideas, such as having three or so lines that ran mostly east-west through the city at different latitudes and converged at 3M, which is one of the main bases of employment for city residents. You could also make a transit grid relatively easily, though I'm not sure there could be frequent enough service for that to work adequately. I believe around 10% of workers who live in Woodbury have jobs within the city, so something that just lets people get from their homes to Tamarack Village or Hudson Road along the south side of I-94 would help a lot.

Any new developments in the Twin Cities should be considering transit and how to connect it in a meaningful way, but this line seems to just be getting used as an excuse for development in Lake Elmo.

The highway itself acts as a pretty significant barrier for any pedestrian traffic, so you can't draw a typical 1/4- or 1/2-mile ring around the proposed stops to get a walk shed.

I'm really unhappy about this line. If we want to build it, just cut it off at 3M or maybe just after it crosses I-694. The current plan east of there needs to be tossed out.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » August 19th, 2015, 9:22 am

Agreed, this has no business going east of Radio Dr/Inwood.

However, this is Washington County's baby and always has been. Ramsey County is just along for the ride. If Washington County hadn't joined CTIB, this would look like a pretty decent highway BRT route to connect downtown, the east side, Sun Ray, and 3M. The big Catch-22 is that it would get built at all without Washington County pushing for it, and the east side of St. Paul would get nothing. I was actually semi-supportive of this project until they completely ****ed up the eastern segment routing. This should be on the Woodbury side of 94, serving existing retail/office jobs, not serving imaginary non-existent development on the Lake Elmo side.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » August 19th, 2015, 9:37 am

Woodbury's transit system was a set of circulator routes (301-304) that connected with the express routes (351, 353, 355) during peak hours. Additionally, Woodbury had a dial-a-ride bus that became part of Transit Link. The circulator routes, IIRC, were discontinued with the 2005 service cuts.

As for Gateway BRT, I think that some sort of local transit option should be set up soon in order to get residents accustomed to it in advance of the Gold Line opening. Woodbury is also quite large, and the retail corridor could probably serve a feeder bus to the Sun Ray Transit Center.

Otherwise, I think that the line east of 694 is hard to justify. It really depends on the whims of the planning department of Lake Elmo and the developers. At least the busway is relatively cheap to build there, as the land isn't heavily developed yet.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby EOst » August 19th, 2015, 11:56 am

I have a hard time getting worked up about this. The CTIB share for the entire Gateway line is only around 170 million; I can't imagine the tail east of 694 is more than half that cost. If the transit tax is bringing in ~100 million a year, and Washington County accounts for about 6% of that, that's a subsidy of what, maybe 20 million? That doesn't seem like a terrible price to pay to keep Washington in the CTIB when it results in a decent routing west of 694, especially since I can't imagine the CTIB spending it on anything better otherwise.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » August 19th, 2015, 12:58 pm

Disregarding the politics of it, wouldn't it be better to boot Washington from CTIB and use that $20m subsidy for a $20m aBRT line instead?

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby EOst » August 19th, 2015, 1:08 pm

I don't know if that question can really be answered without thinking about the politics. Certainly an aBRT line would do more good for more people, but I think there are political and optical benefits to keeping exurban counties like Washington "in the transit fold" which outweigh that. If we need the support of exurban legislators to ever increase or extend the CTIB tax (and we do), the long-term benefits of not alienating them are probably worth more than having any one aBRT line a few years sooner.


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