White Bear Lake-to-Minneapolis Transit Corridor

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eluko
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White Bear Lake-to-Minneapolis Transit Corridor

Postby eluko » November 18th, 2012, 11:59 am

I don't know if its been mentioned yet, but it seems like this would be the perfect candidate for next LRT line once the Bottineau line is built. With all the industry and commerce along the ROW I'm surprised it doesn't get talked about more often.
I drew a map of a possible route through Northeast Mpls and Roseville that could potentially give it more business than previous plans would have. The biggest issue I can see is how it would exit downtown. It would most likely be Hennepin or First Av but if the trains could share the NW corridor tracks it could cost the project a lot less.

Thru Northeast:
Image

Thru Roseville:
Image

Up to White Bear:
Image

Any thoughts on the demand for this?
Are the cities along the route planning for or even want this?

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Nick
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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby Nick » November 18th, 2012, 12:29 pm

Biggest issue I see with this would routing it into Minneapolis instead of St. Paul's $250 million dollar empty Union Depot. Obviously Minneapolis makes more sense, but you know.

eluko
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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby eluko » November 18th, 2012, 1:20 pm

Nick wrote:Biggest issue I see with this would routing it into Minneapolis instead of St. Paul's $250 million dollar empty Union Depot. Obviously Minneapolis makes more sense, but you know.
You could maybe have a streetcar line down 61 but I don't see a light rail fitting into that part of St. Paul. At least not cheaply. The easiest route would have to use the old rush line corridor which is likely to end up being commuter rail.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby mplser » November 18th, 2012, 1:34 pm

I have a feeling the residents of the Beltrami neighborhood would be horrified to see that map.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby eluko » November 18th, 2012, 1:52 pm

mplser wrote:I have a feeling the residents of the Beltrami neighborhood would be horrified to see that map.
Is a light rail down Spring St. really that bad? They might think its I-335 part 2 I guess.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby Tcmetro » November 18th, 2012, 2:19 pm

A Northeast corridor was studied c. 2001 to be a BRT line following the rail corridor from Broadway/New Brighton Bl to White Bear Lake via the rail corridor and surface streets (Hennepin, Johnson) from Downtown to Broadway. It was determined that ridership would be low, and quite honestly the only major trip generator in the corridor is the Rosedale Mall. Metro Transit is considering improvements to bus service and facilities in the 35W and 36 corridors, as a sort of replacement of the NE corridor.

http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/rail/NEDiagonal.htm

eluko
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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby eluko » November 18th, 2012, 3:53 pm

Thanks for the link but I have to question the date on that study. Around the same time studies were saying the Hiawatha would get less than half of the actual ridership it received. I think with stops on Stinson and Broadway along with learning from the Hiawatha project, a new study might be a good idea.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby mulad » November 18th, 2012, 4:11 pm

...plus the fact that this old study stuck with the rail corridor and didn't explore any alternative routings as far as I can tell.

I like eluko's idea, though I agree it might be necessary to find some other way to get into downtown. But a tram-train idea comes to mind, along the lines of an NCTD (San Diego) Sprinter, NJT River Line (Camden-Trenton), or Austin's Capital Metro -- ideally electrified, though, rather than just diesel LRVs

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby min-chi-cbus » November 18th, 2012, 4:30 pm

I like it too, and think it makes sense in our future network. I also like the fact that it's a line that finally connects people to a recreational lake. I realize the SW allignment skims Lake Calhoun but the stop is still 1/3 mile from the shore, and hopefullly this one in WBL would be pretty much right at the beach.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby mattaudio » November 18th, 2012, 5:52 pm

I like it! Especially the routing via Northeast Industrial and Rosedale. A few ideas:

1. Separate it into two projects... first segment to Rosedale, second segment to WBL... I'd be interested to see the CBA split this way.
2. Enter downtown via a new LRT alignment shared with three other possible lines interlined as two new services (in addition to Green and Blue that cross downtown on 5th Street)...

- This line goes underground at Central, joining a Central Ave LRT... they continue under Hennepin to the main channel of the Mississippi River, where they cross using space by removing a lane in each direction and using the median.
- At the other end of the bridge, a portal in the middle of Hennepin... with some minor approach rework this could begin immediately west of W River Pkwy. There would be a station underneath the old Triangle Park at Hennepin/Nicollet/Washington... then the train would proceed under Nicollet Mall with stations between 5th/6th and down the mall near 10th/11th.
- On the south end there would be tunnel to 29th St... The Central Ave LRT would interline to South LRT via Nicollet Ave, 35W, or the MN&S Richfield Spur south of the Crosstown. The Rosedale/WBL line would interline to Southwest LRT via Nicollet Ave, splitting at the Greenway and heading west to match up with the West Lake LRT station...

How would this work?

1. Of course the proposed 21st St LRT station should be shelved as it is a waste of money.
2. The Green Line would exist as proposed west to Penn/394, where service would proceed west along the BNSF ROW to West End (where it could then proceed westward roughly in the 394 corridor out to Minnetonka).
3. The planned Kenilworth segment of the Green Line between Penn and West Lake would become a non-revenue connector between the two operational districts which cross downtown at Nicollet and 5th but may otherwise have no junction for LRVs to get between the two for maintenance, etc. There would be no wasted station infrastructure unless 21st St is built with the Southwest Corridor project (which is wasted station infrastructure to begin with)

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FISHMANPET
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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby FISHMANPET » November 18th, 2012, 8:19 pm

eluko wrote:Thanks for the link but I have to question the date on that study. Around the same time studies were saying the Hiawatha would get less than half of the actual ridership it received. I think with stops on Stinson and Broadway along with learning from the Hiawatha project, a new study might be a good idea.
The reason the Hiawatha ridership estimates were so low is because we didn't know our region's rail bias, so the estimates were done as if the line were a bus. So any study done before Hiawatha opened would be low. Any study afterward, like Central or Southwest is going to be more on target.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby twincitizen » November 18th, 2012, 9:04 pm

Thanks for making these maps.

The capacity is definitely there on the Hennepin Ave Bridge and on Hennepin/1st on the east side of the river for dedicating a traffic lane to LRT. The problem is the scale mismatch on Hennepin. 2 or 3-car trains barreling next to sidewalks and businesses is probably not ok.

If there were a way to run the trains on the northern span of the bridge and then continue on 1st Ave NE, putting 2-way car traffic on Hennepin, that may work. Obviously the railroad trench is the preferable option (likely cheaper & faster too).

For the Broadway segment, why not run next to 35W? I feel like running along Broadway would be too disruptive to the semi-truck oriented businesses in the area. This is not at all a walkable area, and there is no residential population to speak of. You might as well bump the route a little to the north, running in dedicated ROW along the south side of 35W. Then you might have a shot at a station that could be sort of close to The Quarry shopping area and stay away from the truck traffic on Broadway.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby mattaudio » November 18th, 2012, 9:19 pm

Image
Maybe this photo is deceptive but it makes me believe putting LRT in the trench plus a double track heavy rail line would be quite difficult.

Plus I have to imagine that widening the existing rail bridge to accomodate an additional two tracks for LRT would cost nearly as much as cut and cover on Hennepin from Main to 8th.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby eluko » November 18th, 2012, 10:16 pm

mattaudio wrote: Maybe this photo is deceptive but it makes me believe putting LRT in the trench plus a double track heavy rail line would be quite difficult.
It could be a problem, but if a shared schedule is at all possible it would save millions on the project. If not, then there's always room on either First, Hennepin or both.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby Wedgeguy » November 19th, 2012, 1:37 pm

IT has been years now, but when they were going to build the Hennepin Ave. bridge, the design was restictive of weight for LRT I believe. Also I think that the rail had to run on the inside lanes because of the way the bridge design was done. So that might limit train sizes to 2 trains instead of a possible 3.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby fehler » November 20th, 2012, 2:06 pm

I don't think you need another Mississippi bridge for this line to work. Co-align with Green until the UofMN Transitway, then follow the transwitway to the East Campus, and up Snelling, Fairview, or Hamline before heading off to White Bear and/or Stillwater.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby mattaudio » December 19th, 2012, 8:21 pm

Eluko, I take it you're also the Eluko79 who posts the driving vids on youtube? Any updates with this WBL alignment idea? I like it.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby eluko » December 19th, 2012, 9:04 pm

mattaudio wrote:Eluko, I take it you're also the Eluko79 who posts the driving vids on youtube? Any updates with this WBL alignment idea? I like it.
Yep, thats me. 8-)
I haven't thought of anything to drastic but rerouting it to first looks like the better idea over the trench. With the red rock gaining momentum they're going to need a route into downtown. I'm thinking a BRT/LRT transfer station over 35W & Spring St might be a good addition as well if a 35W BRT ever happens in the north metro.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby Suburban Outcast » December 31st, 2012, 2:56 am

From looking at the alignment at County Road C in Roseville, would the LRT tracks be placed where the center lanes are or on one of the sides of the road? Since that stretch of road is currently a narrow 4-lane road with no shoulders (making it not too bike-friendly), it would have to be downgraded to a 2-lane for the LRT ROW regardless.

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Re: White Bear Corridor

Postby twincitizen » December 31st, 2012, 2:17 pm

There is RR right-of-way that runs parallel to County Road C. I assume the line would run in that space, and not CR-C, from east of Snelling out to WBL.


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