Saint Paul Streetcar Study

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kellonathan
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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby kellonathan » February 21st, 2014, 11:54 am

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit? ... Q_q8p3SwKk

Something like this? Linking to one of my doodles I did on Google Maps...
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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby mamundsen » February 21st, 2014, 12:51 pm

kellonathan wrote:https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit? ... Q_q8p3SwKk

Something like this? Linking to one of my doodles I did on Google Maps...
Yeah, that is pretty much what I was thinking. I think this would be great! And it should be "easy" to build with the abandoned Ford spur. Not as much fighting like we have for SWLRT and Bottinneau (B-LRT? do we have a short code?).

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby mattaudio » February 21st, 2014, 12:58 pm

mamundsen wrote:Bottinneau (B-LRT? do we have a short code?).
TGTLRT

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby mattaudio » February 21st, 2014, 1:00 pm

A second revision of Riverview LRT, allowing for more urban connectivity without taking up nearly all the width on West 7th... LRT would go below ground into the cliff adjacent to the abutment for the high bridge. Then under Smith Ave to Downtown.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby Tcmetro » February 21st, 2014, 1:48 pm

For Riverview LRT, I've always imagined it running along the Green Line from Union Depot to 5th/Minnesota station to 5th St to Smith Ave to the Railroad tracks, then running along W 7th across the river, under a new 5/55 interchange (see the Denver LRT SW line for an example), then into the Hiawatha line to the Airport and MOA.

Stations would be: Union Depot, 5th/Cedar, Rice Park, Medical Center, St. Clair, Randolph, Otto, Elway, Sibley Plaza, Ft. Snelling South (adjacent to a new parking ramp), Terminal 1, Terminal 2, American Bl, Bloomington Central, 28th Ave, MOA.

I don't think that the Ford Plant spur would make a good route, because, for one, it's indirect, and two, it's not a very good terminus. It lacks regional transfers, doesn't connect to nearby Blue Line, is in a neigborhood that isn't a regional destination, etc, etc.

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mister.shoes
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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby mister.shoes » February 21st, 2014, 3:23 pm

Tcmetro wrote:For Riverview LRT, I've always imagined it running along the Green Line from Union Depot to 5th/Minnesota station to 5th St to Smith Ave to the Railroad tracks...
I really, really like this route out of downtown, with one exception: instead of Rice Park, put the stop behind Roy Wilkins. It'll better serve the Xcel Center. That said, what an elegant way to serve the most interesting areas of western DT STP without having to fight with the bluffs or ROW issues were the line to run down 7th. It'd be tight through the hospital, but that could be managed.
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Andrew_F
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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby Andrew_F » February 23rd, 2014, 11:20 pm

mattaudio wrote:A second revision of Riverview LRT, allowing for more urban connectivity without taking up nearly all the width on West 7th... LRT would go below ground into the cliff adjacent to the abutment for the high bridge. Then under Smith Ave to Downtown.
Interesting idea, but I have to imagine that the utility relocation costs would be astronomical.

I wonder whether the utility relocation costs for any downtown STP rail line would be outweighed by not having to go through limestone at all. I would guess with modern drilling technology that they wouldn't be, but it would still be interesting to see what effect the local geology would have.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby holmstar » February 24th, 2014, 10:57 am

Are you suggesting that there would be fewer utilities to relocate by tunneling through the limestone?

The utility companies operating in St Paul a hundred years ago were also aware that it is easy to tunnel through limestone, and that's why there is already a multi-layered maze of utility tunnels under the streets of St Paul.

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Anondson
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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby Anondson » February 24th, 2014, 1:04 pm

Steam tunnels going all over, even up to the RockTenn.

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Andrew_F
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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby Andrew_F » February 24th, 2014, 1:16 pm

holmstar wrote:Are you suggesting that there would be fewer utilities to relocate by tunneling through the limestone?

The utility companies operating in St Paul a hundred years ago were also aware that it is easy to tunnel through limestone, and that's why there is already a multi-layered maze of utility tunnels under the streets of St Paul.
No, I'm suggesting that not having to dig through limestone to create stations could make subway stations in downtown Saint Paul cheaper than elsewhere in the city. The question I was asking is whether or not that reduced cost would outweigh the increased cost of more complex utility relocation than elsewhere in MSP.

Actually, it is difficult to tunnel through limestone and easy to tunnel through sandstone. Most of downtown Saint Paul lacks the limestone layer between the sandstone and the overburden that the rest of the populated parts of the Twin Cities have, which is a big part of what made it especially inviting to 19th century tunneling.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby holmstar » February 24th, 2014, 4:07 pm

While the limestone is harder, it still not that hard. I doubt it would make much difference to a tunnel-boring machine.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcars

Postby froggie » March 12th, 2014, 2:52 pm

Since someone mentioned it last month, I didn't run my Riverview line through the Ford plant because I envision streetcars serving the Fort plant area instead:

http://www.ajfroggie.com/roads/minnesot ... r/ford.png

http://www.ajfroggie.com/roads/minnesot ... elling.png

(A "Ford" line running along 46th St/Ford Pkwy between Hiawatha and Snelling, and a "Snelling" line)

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcar Study

Postby at40man » July 9th, 2014, 1:33 pm

I'm surprised no one here has posted this before me! Anyway, Saint Paul streetcars are in the news again: http://www.twincities.com/News/ci_26112 ... t-projects

I actually think this line is a bad idea since it essentially would operate in its own little bubble. I don't understand the push for this, as opposed to repurposing the old Ford Plant ROW that could also serve to connect the Union Depot to the MSP airport.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcar Study

Postby mulad » July 9th, 2014, 1:57 pm

Eh, I like short lines quite a bit when they're in destination-rich environments. 7th Street is one of the oldest transportation corridors in the region and has a bunch of stuff along it because of that. Signs still say "Fort Road", bringing up the history of it as a connection between Saint Paul and Fort Snelling. Bill Lindeke posted this map on Monday, showing that the corridor had been in use in the 1870s and 1880s with horse-drawn streetcars and cable cars:

https://streets.mn/2014/07/07/map-monday ... cablecars/

The West 7th segment in particular would be nice to get built, since a few other routes have branched off of it due to geography. But I suppose that really means we should have bus lanes on 7th between downtown and, say, Randolph. I guess the Washington Avenue Transit Mall shows that buses and streetcars could share right-of-way.

Anyway, there's supposed to be a city council meeting on the topic tonight at 5:30 at St. Paul City Hall.

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/266423701.html

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcar Study

Postby at40man » July 9th, 2014, 3:10 pm

Well, I am not against transit along this corridor by any means. I just think that using the existing Ford ROW that largely runs nearby and parallel would accomplish the goals of improving transit along 7th AND and connecting up Union Depot with the MSP airport.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcar Study

Postby mulad » July 9th, 2014, 3:23 pm

Well, there's a cliff separating the neighborhood from the railroad tracks, extending from downtown to St. Clair. I've been favoring the idea of having streetcar/LRT service from downtown to Randolph on surface streets, then using the rail corridor farther south.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcar Study

Postby mulad » July 9th, 2014, 6:09 pm

The resolution to do the study passed 6-4 [Edit: Er, 6-0? I thought I heard 4 as the opposition number, but there are only 7 on the council and Dan Bostrom left before the vote was taken], but an amendment was added to hold off on it until the Ramsey County study of the revived Riverview Corridor is done. We'll see how long that one takes. I'm not sure if that will have any effect on the B Line bus service.
Last edited by mulad on July 9th, 2014, 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

acs
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Re: Saint Paul Streetcar Study

Postby acs » July 9th, 2014, 6:21 pm

mulad wrote:The resolution to do the study passed 6-4, but an amendment was added to hold off on it until the Ramsey County study of the revived Riverview Corridor is done. We'll see how long that one takes. I'm not sure if that will have any effect on the B Line bus service.
Wow, that's awesome. I'm glad they are recognizing the duplicative nature of the three projects.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcar Study

Postby nickmgray » July 10th, 2014, 2:13 pm

It would be nice to have a LRT triangle between the airport and the two downtowns, but I honestly think that a street car line would serve a lot more people who live in the city rather than being a commuter line for those who are trying to get in from the suburbs. I know there are advantages to both options, but I think the city of Saint Paul needs to choose the option which helps their residents the most rather than catering to the needs of those who live elsewhere.

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Re: Saint Paul Streetcar Study

Postby mattaudio » July 10th, 2014, 2:26 pm

I think we keep getting hung up on the streetcar/LRT thing, and we end up doing the worst of both. We get the commuter-style park&ride nature of LRT along with the immense cost and over-engineering. And when we plan streetcars we still spend a lot of money but miss out on obvious synergies and options that could make the service more reliable. I'd rather see a sort of hybrid system, in between what we have. The Green Line is probably the closest example, a LRT line with dedicated ROW but serves walkable nodes. Now if we can find a way to do it with less footprint in some areas while spending the money to do things like grade separation in other areas, it would be a winner.

I think Riverview could be a winner, especially since we now have the CP rail corridor with little/no use that parallels and is walkable to the nodes on the corridor west of Randolph.


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