Northstar Commuter Rail

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

Postby mulad » March 18th, 2015, 10:32 am

It is a good thing that they've recognized that this is an entirely car-oriented location right now. Transit-oriented development is possible, though fairly tricky since the site is hemmed in by a freeway as well as the railroad tracks themselves and two major at-grade highways. I'm annoyed that they have an asterisk pointing out how MN-610 doesn't have a full interchange right at Coon Rapids Boulevard -- there are nearby interchanges that allow plenty of freeway access. If this is to be a TOD plan, make it actually transit-oriented. Well, bike/ped access needs significant improvement too.

They're proposing a couple of small roadways to divide up the site a bit, though I think they could add a couple more (or at least make up a plan for more bikeways/pedways to make small blocks). I'd also really like to see a bike/ped connection under MN-610 right by the railroad tracks and/or at Evergreen Blvd -- that would put several more significantly-sized parcels within walking distance of the station.

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mister.shoes
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mister.shoes » March 18th, 2015, 8:58 pm

I'm confused. This plan is all light industrial. Where's the TOD?
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby kellonathan » March 20th, 2015, 7:48 pm

14' travel lane? Urgh, disgusting!
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mulad
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mulad » March 20th, 2015, 8:35 pm

Sigh. Such a pretty document, it distracted me from the content.

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby David Greene » April 21st, 2015, 10:16 pm

And here is why the state is screwed when people like this are in power.

http://theuptake.org/2015/04/21/conveni ... -newberger

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Tiller
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby Tiller » April 22nd, 2015, 5:51 am

David Greene wrote:And here is why the state is screwed when people like this are in power.

http://theuptake.org/2015/04/21/conveni ... -newberger
Well, that was quite the slip. "North Minneapolis" just happened to come to mind after "Prison".

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LRV Op Dude
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby LRV Op Dude » April 22nd, 2015, 9:18 am

Northstar Open House
Join the Northstar Line as it opens its doors to the community and provides tours of its facilities. There will be a non-stop, free train ride from Big Lake to Target Field Station and back (train leaves at 10 a.m.) along with lunch.
Saturday, April 25
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Metro Transit Operations & Maintenance Facility
19699 Co. Rd. 43, Big Lake

Questions? Email northstar@metrotransit.org
Blog: Old-Twin Cities Transit New-Twin Cities Transit

You Tube: Old, New

AKA: Bus Driver Dude

mamundsen
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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mamundsen » April 22nd, 2015, 9:48 am

There are two strange things about that comment to me...
1- the North Star DOESN'T go to North Minneapolis. I don't know of anyone that says Target Field is in North Minneapolis. North Loop, maybe...
2- this guy represents Becker and they would get a station. Why wouldn't this guy be for the extension???

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby acs » April 22nd, 2015, 9:52 am

1. This guy may have never been to Minneapolis because he's from rural MN and big cities are evil
2. He doesn't want blacks and minorities to be able to come to his town.

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby twincitizen » April 22nd, 2015, 10:08 am

His position is almost certainly at odds with the Becker Chamber of Commerce.

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby HiawathaGuy » April 22nd, 2015, 10:32 am

I seriously hope this guy continues to feel the heat from his asinine comment. His apology was hardly that, and it's clear he needs to be held accountable for his remarks.

I seriously can't stand that the MN GOP are using headline grabbing sound bites to make themselves look progressive...
"Tax Cuts"
"$7 Billion Transportation Package"

Sure these all sound great - but the proof is in the pudding.
Neither of these truly solve anything, and only endanger our state of repeating the errors of 2002-2010.

I hope the DFL can figure out a way to showcase these lawmakers for the fools they are.

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby David Greene » April 22nd, 2015, 10:46 am

Importantly, he "corrected" his statement to refer to "the city" rather than "North Minneapolis."

In his mind, we are all criminals and undesirables.

This is why we are *all* in the fight against racism together. Because in the end someone in power will just lump everyone together.

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby nate » April 22nd, 2015, 11:19 am

I, for one, think the idea of transporting prisoners to St Cloud on the Northstar is a wonderful idea.

1) It saves money and carbon emissions from having to put them in a truck and drive them up there.
2) It juices the ridership numbers of a horribly planned, lazily executed, albatross of a transit investment.

Win-win.

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mulad » April 22nd, 2015, 7:52 pm

Horrible rhetoric aside, it would really be good to review what the needs are for extending this to St. Cloud, especially considering the double-tracking BNSF is planning this year. In theory all we really need is a station in Becker and an upgrade of the Amtrak station in St. Cloud (although I'm sure someone wants to use the Lincoln Ave park-and-ride despite its unwalkable location -- a station on the other side of the Mississippi might not be bad either, but there should really be a shared Amtrak/Northstar station somewhere...).

There might be a need for another set of train equipment, but I think some good scheduling could allow the existing fleet to be used. Aside from stations, which don't need to be all that costly, the pricey items would probably be track access and new grade separations to bribe-- uh, er, make MnDOT happy. Cheaper options would include upgrading the grade crossings with 4-quadrant gates or median barriers to reduce the opportunity for cars to swerve between the gate arms, combined with some realignment of intersections on U.S. 10 to add a bit more queuing space on either side of the tracks.

A layover facility might be needed in St. Cloud so some trains could start there in the morning, but hopefully it could be a basic structure and major work could be performed in Big Lake.

In practical terms, St. Cloud would probably need some pricier addons to its station, such as a parking structure and a pedestrian bridge. Maybe making St. Germain Street an underpass would be a workaround for that.

Since BNSF is also working on tracks in Minneapolis and St. Paul proper, it would also make sense to delve into extending service to SPUD (though I think MnDOT still has an ongoing "high-speed" connector study between the two downtowns).

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby FranklinAveFixation » April 23rd, 2015, 8:32 am

mamundsen wrote:There are two strange things about that comment to me...
1- the North Star DOESN'T go to North Minneapolis. I don't know of anyone that says Target Field is in North Minneapolis. North Loop, maybe...
2- this guy represents Becker and they would get a station. Why wouldn't this guy be for the extension???
Besides outing himself as a racist-bigot, he furthers confirms the my suspicions that people like him view any public transportation as solely another form of welfare for "those people." They cannot comprehend the bigger picture here.

I think someone needs to introduce an amendment prohibiting any tax dollars going towards planning/constructing a Northstar station in Becker. :D

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby David Greene » April 23rd, 2015, 9:43 am

FranklinAveFixation wrote:[Besides outing himself as a racist-bigot, he furthers confirms the my suspicions that people like him view any public transportation as solely another form of welfare for "those people."
To be fair, transit advocates (particularly social-justice types) have used rhetoric that encourages that worldview: "not everyone can afford to drive," "we all need to be able to get around," etc. Not that those things are wrong, of course, but choosing which message to put forward is vitally important. The message needs to be tailored to the target.

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby mulad » April 23rd, 2015, 10:47 am

We don't need "to be fair" to Rep. Newberger here. He made an idiotic statement. In my viewing of the clip, he's also casting St. Cloud in a pretty bad light, so I'm just as offended for folks in that city as I am for anyone in Minneapolis.

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby FISHMANPET » April 23rd, 2015, 2:25 pm

David Greene wrote:
FranklinAveFixation wrote:[Besides outing himself as a racist-bigot, he furthers confirms the my suspicions that people like him view any public transportation as solely another form of welfare for "those people."
To be fair, transit advocates (particularly social-justice types) have used rhetoric that encourages that worldview: "not everyone can afford to drive," "we all need to be able to get around," etc. Not that those things are wrong, of course, but choosing which message to put forward is vitally important. The message needs to be tailored to the target.
Basically unrelated to this incicent in particular, but I've had that same though recently. A bunch of tweets from NOC showed up in my timeline about people speaking at the capital about how cuts in transit service effects them, and while I think the point they were making was important, I think it may do more harm than good in the eyes of legislators who view Metro area transit as poor buses for poor criminals. If you march the poorest and the most vulnerable in front of them while they talk about how important transit is to them, I think the odds are pretty good that legislators that aren't already on your side are just going to dig in deeper against the "welfare queens" or whatever stupid rhetoric, rather than come around and see transit as a useful investment.

And if you could somehow get an outstate Republican on board with Metro area transit, the way I'd think you're most likely to do is it to show that it really is an investment that returns real dividends. That in certain areas transit gives you better return (time saved, people moved, etc etc) than MOAR ROADS. In that context, is spending $10 a day to subsidize transit so someone can get to their $6 an hour fast food job a "good investment?" I mean, I think it is (and there's about 15 other layers of systemic garbage to unwind that results in that outcome) but again, is a Republican going to think it is?

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby xandrex » April 23rd, 2015, 2:29 pm

^I don't know you'll sell them on getting Middle-Class Joe from his South Minneapolis home to his downtown job either, though.

After all, this is America. If Joe is middle class, shouldn't he be driving a car? Like a REAL 'MURICAN!

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Re: Northstar Commuter Rail

Postby Silophant » April 23rd, 2015, 2:39 pm

That's horrifyingly reminiscent of a few conversations I've had with family members from SW MN. Like, I got a good downtown job right out of college and can afford a car, so why am I not living in the suburbs and driving it in everyday? Don't I want a lawn?


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