Northstar Commuter Rail

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Silophant
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby Silophant » December 1st, 2016, 10:24 am

jebr wrote:
So I may be really enthusiastic (maybe too much so?) for this idea. I drew up a couple of options that came to mind with a quick look of the map, paired with a bit of knowledge from the couple of turns I've done in Anoka. It's available on Dropbox here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dfkp2y7f5fab6 ... s.pdf?dl=0

Let me know if either of those options sound appealing to anyone else. I'd be more than interested in going with a group of people on one of those options.
Sounds fun! I'd be in, depending on which weekend it ends up being.

jebr
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby jebr » December 2nd, 2016, 12:53 pm

Would there be a preference on when to do this? Right now my next weekend that would be free enough wouldn't be until mid-to-late January, which can often be the coldest parts of the year. Would it be better to pick a date in, say, late February or early March?

SkyScraperKid
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby SkyScraperKid » February 23rd, 2017, 12:13 pm

where can I find updates about development near the stations such as Rasmey station. I thought a few new developments were going through recently.

gopherfan
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby gopherfan » February 23rd, 2017, 1:04 pm

Coon Rapids has a proposal in the works, not sure if this was posted yet or not. The latest I heard is the developer may build all at once instead of two phases, pretty ambitious!

https://youtu.be/Ig8QF4QBkR4?t=5m32s
http://www.ci.coon-rapids.mn.us/CivicAl ... px?AID=690
http://www.ci.coon-rapids.mn.us/Documen ... /View/3821

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Vagueperson
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby Vagueperson » February 23rd, 2017, 8:33 pm

If they're worried about all the new car traffic they should build it without all those parking spaces.

grrdanko
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby grrdanko » February 23rd, 2017, 9:05 pm

Vagueperson wrote:
February 23rd, 2017, 8:33 pm
If they're worried about all the new car traffic they should build it without all those parking spaces.
According to the City of Coon Rapids traffic counts Northdale Dr has about 15000 cars per day. Even if this development produces 2 car trips per day per unit that's only a 5% increase in traffic.

It feels like suburban city councils use "traffic" as an alternative word for people we don't want.

mamundsen
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mamundsen » March 17th, 2017, 1:53 pm

http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local ... /99308308/

BIG NEWS!!!!
On Friday, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that supplemental budget proposal would fund a six-month demonstration of the Northstar line to St. Cloud.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » March 17th, 2017, 2:21 pm

Finally. In the original proposal it called for stops in Becker and Clear Lake, but I'm guessing there aren't enough funds to construct stations there? Would be nice if the Northstar could also serve the St. Cloud Amtrak Depot in addition to the East St. Cloud Park & Ride.

mulad
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mulad » March 17th, 2017, 8:41 pm

Hmm. I was busy earlier and didn't have time to thoroughly read the article. Maybe it got updated with more details, but this is sounding less great than it did at the beginning. I knew $3 million seemed a bit low for a budget -- Northstar needed $13.2 million in support in 2015, so (potential cost efficiencies aside), you'd expect a 6-month demonstration that nearly doubles the route length to need somewhere north of $6 million even before considering how much it would take to talk to BNSF and get them to provide track access.

It now looks like this would only be a single daily round-trip. The article says one inbound trip to Minneapolis in the morning and one outbound trip in the evening, which makes it no fun for Twin Citians, and somewhat redundant with the existing Empire Builder and Northstar services (though obviously the Empire Builder goes to St. Paul, and Northstar ends in Big Lake). It's very hard to demonstrate anything with that level of service, so I'd expect ridership to be quite low -- we'd probably be lucky to get 100 people per direction per day due to the low frequency of service, but that's just a guess I'm pulling out of thin air.

I don't think it really works to demonstrate anything with less than about 4 round-trips per day. This feels a lot like a test that's designed to fail, unless whoever attempts this does a very good job of setting expectations beforehand.

Interesting that this could be an Amtrak train. Even if it was using Northstar equipment, I wouldn't be surprised if it ran under the auspices of Amtrak, since they have special status that allows them to request track access at lower prices and run trains without needing massive insurance policies that other parties do.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » March 17th, 2017, 8:49 pm

Well thats just great. Here I was hoping that the five roundtrips (and one reverse commute trip) that already exist would keep going to St. Cloud. Even three of the regular trips plus the reverse trip I would be happy with.

I'll remain positive but I wouldn't be too surprised if this doesn't go well and people automatically think its a failure and should be cut.

Korh
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby Korh » March 17th, 2017, 10:04 pm

This is interesting, always thought it was a little bit of a waste to have the line never getting to st cloud. Since it looks like at the moment 1 roundtrip a day I imagine that its going to use one of the weekday trains so if your coming from st. cloud you don't have to hop on the northstar link then catch the train at big lake and vise versa on the commute home, although I have a felling they might do something different on weekends.

Honestly I might of preferred it if in exchange for a shorter demonstration period we got a 2 roundtrips one in the morning and one at night but that's just me.

David Greene
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby David Greene » March 20th, 2017, 10:11 am

People interested in this should get in touch with Anne Buckvold. She's been spearheading grassroots organizing for extending Northstar and she's built an impressive following. She has regular meetings with Knobloch and other legislative players.

I think it would be helpful for her to hear about concerns like those that mulad is talking about. Get her to push for a bigger demonstration! I'm planning to talk to her but it would be helpful for her to hear from others.

mulad
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mulad » March 26th, 2017, 4:23 pm

Annoyingly (to me anyway), the St. Cloud Times editorial board is arguing that the $3 million test plan is fine. They do say in the title of their editorial that some threshold of success has to be defined, but they decline to take a stab at what that would be. Well, I guess it should motivate me to actually put an article together about this, if I can find the time/energy as my company moves to its new site...

http://www.sctimes.com/story/opinion/20 ... /99493824/

DanPatchToget
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby DanPatchToget » March 27th, 2017, 8:18 am


MNdible
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby MNdible » March 27th, 2017, 8:39 am

If you'd told me eight years ago that I'd agree with most of the things in an Annette Meeks OpEd piece, I'd have said you were crazy.

mattaudio
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mattaudio » March 27th, 2017, 8:55 am

"The constraints on the existing operating budget don’t allow any expansion of bus service into high-demand areas throughout developing areas of the region. Instead, we have a system that annually digs itself into a huge fiscal hole..."

I agree with Annette Meeks, we need to cut expensive and money-losing transit beyond the beltway to unwalkable land uses, and instead focus on core transit routes that serve the crush of new walkable development in the core cities. That must be what she's referring to, right?

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 27th, 2017, 2:38 pm

I think she wants us to spend more money on expanding cul de sacs.

TroyGBiv
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby TroyGBiv » March 29th, 2017, 1:47 am

MNdible wrote:
March 27th, 2017, 8:39 am
If you'd told me eight years ago that I'd agree with most of the things in an Annette Meeks OpEd piece, I'd have said you were crazy.
Read her history... she is anti transit... though she talks about buses - her history is also anti bus... the Met Council really went down hill while she was there...

TroyGBiv
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby TroyGBiv » March 29th, 2017, 1:48 am

min-chi-cbus wrote:
March 27th, 2017, 2:38 pm
I think she wants us to spend more money on expanding cul de sacs.
Ha!

gopherfan
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby gopherfan » May 4th, 2017, 11:39 am

Updated images of Riverdale Station Flats, it goes before the Coon Rapids Planning Commission Thursday May 18.

http://www.coonrapidsmn.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=953
http://www.coonrapidsmn.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4982
http://www.coonrapidsmn.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3821

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