Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

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HiawathaGuy
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » September 7th, 2018, 3:22 pm

VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 3:12 pm
I wish at this point Met Council would be willing to take a step back and say "You know what, we screwed up assuming BNSF would cooperate, let's not waste any more time fighting with them and come up with a different plan."

Terminate in Robbinsdale, let Target pay for the expansion north if they really want their campus connected by rail.
I think it's more that it'll take at least another 10-15 years to get anything to Robbinsdale, if they 'start over'... That might be our only option forward, but I can't blame Met Council for wanting to keep trying to work with BNSF.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 7th, 2018, 3:37 pm

If it's going to take 10-15 years, better to get on that now instead of spending another 1-3 years banging our head against the wall. Maybe with a bit of luck, we'll have a governor and legislature that lets us get some meatier transit taxes and plan another Bottineau without having to genuflect to the changing demands and whims of the FTA.

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » September 7th, 2018, 3:52 pm

VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 3:37 pm
If it's going to take 10-15 years, better to get on that now instead of spending another 1-3 years banging our head against the wall. Maybe with a bit of luck, we'll have a governor and legislature that lets us get some meatier transit taxes and plan another Bottineau without having to genuflect to the changing demands and whims of the FTA.
Do you have any examples of any regions/cities that do this currently?

DanPatchToget
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » September 7th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Can BNSF please provide an explanation of how the Blue Line extension is inconsistent with their passenger principles? This is a spur line used by one freight per day (well two if you count a UP freight for a short stretch) serving small local industries (and once in a blue moon the Monticello Nuclear Plant). Why are they so protective of this line?

Is this revenge for the county blocking their planned track connection with Canadian Pacific in Crystal?

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » September 7th, 2018, 4:07 pm

DanPatchToget wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 4:03 pm
Can BNSF please provide an explanation of how the Blue Line extension is inconsistent with their passenger principles? This is a spur line used by one freight per day (well two if you count a UP freight for a short stretch) serving small local industries (and once in a blue moon the Monticello Nuclear Plant). Why are they so protective of this line?

Is this revenge for the county blocking their planned track connection with Canadian Pacific in Crystal?
I think you're on to something! I think things will eventually work out - it just sucks that it has to be so dumb! That and it's even more dumb that Met Council didn't think this might be an issue years ago!

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 7th, 2018, 4:14 pm

Seattle and Los Angeles. They're raising their own funds for projects so they don't need to meet federal matching funds requirements. If we want to get serious about our transit system, we need to stop participating in a system where we start planning under the rules of one administration, and hope the one in power ten years later still wants to fund the project.

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » September 7th, 2018, 4:25 pm

VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 4:14 pm
Seattle and Los Angeles. They're raising their own funds for projects so they don't need to meet federal matching funds requirements. If we want to get serious about our transit system, we need to stop participating in a system where we start planning under the rules of one administration, and hope the one in power ten years later still wants to fund the project.
Thanks for this info! I wish the metro would be far more independent from the Legislature's whims with regard to Transit. Here's hoping that change will start to happen.

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Re: RE: Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2018, 4:35 pm


HiawathaGuy wrote:Thanks for this info! I wish the metro would be far more independent from the Legislature's whims with regard to Transit. Here's hoping that change will start to happen.
The metro can only be as independent as the legislature allows us to be. Other tham property taxes, we can't just raise funds on a whim. And we don't want to fund transit with property taxes.

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DanPatchToget
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Re: RE: Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » September 7th, 2018, 5:03 pm

David Greene wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 4:35 pm
HiawathaGuy wrote:Thanks for this info! I wish the metro would be far more independent from the Legislature's whims with regard to Transit. Here's hoping that change will start to happen.
The metro can only be as independent as the legislature allows us to be. Other tham property taxes, we can't just raise funds on a whim. And we don't want to fund transit with property taxes.

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Are you saying Twin Cities residents don't want to fund transit with property taxes, or we shouldn't raise transit funds with property taxes?

While BNSF is being a big thorn in the you-know-what, why is it the Met Council started these negotiations how recently? Hasn't this project been in planning for over a decade, and not once did they notify BNSF of their plans?

Korh
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Korh » September 7th, 2018, 5:12 pm

Didn't we already try to raise our own funds with the CTIB which if I remember correctly ended up crashing and burning.

Joking aside if a second attempt where made I feel that instead of full sized counties deciding to join or not, letting individual cities might work better for a few reasons.

With regards to BNSF, getting a small bit of revenge the met council might be the most likely as the only other reasons I can think of being a possible increase in taxes due to additional development in their ROW or an actual interest in their own passenger service using the line are both more unlikely. But if I had to defend them a little, the met council in both this case and the swlrt seems a bit aragent in they can just plan whatever line and assume the railroad companies will have no complaints/concerns. And if one or two pops up their plan of action seems to be ignored it for as long as possible and hope it goes away and if that fails determine its to much money to pick a new route so spend millions more trying to bribe the railroads in the form of additional infrastructure and what not to be able to use said route.

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2018, 7:29 pm

We shouldn't use property tax to fund transit because it's one of the most regressive taxes we have.

The CTIB story is a long one but basically the only way to get it through in 2008 past Pawlenty and get buy-in from counties other than Hennepin was to ensure that any funds raised would be shared. Years later the additional 1/4 cent was made available but CTIB had to disband to get it.

CTIB was never loved by anyone, especially transit supporters because it was yet another layer of politics to go through to get anything done. Still, it did provide some incentive for a regional approach which is what we really need. But things like aBRT and Midtown LRT would have never qualified for funding because they are too local in nature. They have a better shot when were only dealing with one county.

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Vagueperson
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Vagueperson » September 7th, 2018, 7:46 pm

a regional approach? I'd rather scrap these commuter lines and focus on upgrading transit in the urban core of MPLS & StP. We don't need to encourage sprawl.

Oreos&Milk
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Oreos&Milk » September 7th, 2018, 7:51 pm

Just turn it into a BRT line. Bottineau Blvd already runs most of the route already, plus much of the lower part is also part of the proposed broadway rapid bus line. the Bottineau BRT line could complement the Broadway line nicely, as Bottineau could even service SOME of the Broadway line stations to allow better reverse direction commute and expresslike service.

It's a great quick fix, long term we can monkey around and keep trying to come up with long term plan, but gotta focus on implementing improvements faster, even if they are not as sizeable. It's not like were expecting to see Trump helping fund these LRT lines. We gotta Make Twin Cities Great Again ourselves!.

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2018, 9:36 pm

It would be really, really bad to do SWLRT and abandon Bottineau.

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BigIdeasGuy
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby BigIdeasGuy » September 8th, 2018, 6:12 am

Also when is the last time a railroad cared about a locality it's located in? I've never heard of railroad of cooperating with a community when it doesn't benefit them. And at the end of the day they really don't have to because of rules in place at the federal level

DanPatchToget
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » September 8th, 2018, 11:11 am

This is when I wish all of our rail lines were state owned and operations were contracted out to private companies.

mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » September 10th, 2018, 8:32 am

I'm not sure if this negotiating tactic is made more difficult by the line currently serving a nuclear power plant... but why not just threaten to buy out the railroad's customers? This isn't a main line, it's an industrial spur. It doesn't take too many shippers getting picked off before the line is a dud for BNSF.

That said, this is an indictment of how horrible our transit planning process is. And we have to wait for all of these things to line up into place before building anything at all. How much of an equity win would it be to build the extension down Olson to Penn and Van White? Or figure out a way to get it to Robbinsdale?

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 10th, 2018, 10:47 am

We shouldn't use property tax to fund transit because it's one of the most regressive taxes we have.
I'll bite. How is this more regressive than sales tax (what we currently use in part) and vice taxes?

CTIB failed because it was kneecapped by the legislature to be useless. Raising less money than individual counties were allowed, and most of that going to expensive projects in Hennepin and Ramsey. Of course the outer counties were going to get shafted and eventually want out.

If CTIB had been allowed from the start to raise what they needed to fund every projected transit project in the seven county metro over twenty years without federal funding, we could have built SWLRT by now because we wouldn't have bothered spending years applying for a grant that we might have yanked out from under us anyway. It still would have been expensive at $1.4 billion, we still would have built stupid tunnels to appease Kennilworth millionaires, but it would be done by now and we'd have moved on.

At the first sign of trouble with BNSF on Bottineau, the Met Council could have (maybe they wouldn't have, given how they've appeared to make dumb decisions and double down on them afterwards, but they could have) shifted resources to replanning the route down Broadway. Or even just to the other side of Bottineau, coordinating with the road reconstruction to account for the problem instead of assuming they could talk or buy their way out of it.

But we can't make those decisions when we're locked into a ten year process because the feds have the project by the shorthairs. Fixing this requires fixing how we fund transit here. Yes, that involves a friendly legislature and governor and that's something we need to work toward. But if we don't, this is going to keep happening.

amiller92
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby amiller92 » September 10th, 2018, 1:11 pm

David Greene wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 7:29 pm
We shouldn't use property tax to fund transit because it's one of the most regressive taxes we have.
People like to say this but I'm not sure it true empirically or even rhetorically.

We invoke the notion of the little old lady on a fixed income who after 50 years has a big property tax bill, but even that scenario describes someone who owns at least one assets that has appreciated substantially and thus is not actually poor. Meanwhile, renters may implicitly pay at higher rates but only for a portion of the building's value.

It's more regressive than income taxes. I'm not sure it's less regressive any any of the rest.


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