Rush Line Corridor BRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Vagueperson
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » October 11th, 2015, 8:12 am

I know many here want this to go down 7th street, but I still really want to see this on Phalen Boulevard to serve Arcade, Payne, and Cayuga. I was thinking about the difficulty of making a stop at Arcade due to the elevation difference (same problem at Earl, which would provide a good north/south connection between Rush and Gateway Lines). Seeger Square is in major need of redevelopment and does not serve the neighborhood well at the moment. How about departing Phalen Blvd just west of Earl and traveling west along Wells Street right through Seeger Square and coming back to Phalen Blvd roughly along Neid Lane? It would be important to have a stop at Arcade for a connection with the East 7th aBRT.

A map of this idea:
https://goo.gl/photos/zry1gYXP5yjLTLfi8

Uptown46
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Uptown46 » November 17th, 2015, 10:49 pm

With the discussion in the Riverview project looking at a streetcar/LRT hybrid, I think interlining Riverview with Rush line and doing something similar could be a good idea. If the Rush Line train ran on E. 7th to Earl in mixed traffic and then joined the former RR corridor to head north to White Bear Lake on exclusive ROW that could be a good compromise of access and speed. It would avoid the politically problematic Swede Hollow section and better serve the business district on E. 7th. It also would more-or-less complete the St. Paul streetcar "starter line" when interlined with the hybrid Riverview.

twincitizen
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby twincitizen » November 18th, 2015, 1:51 pm

Agreed. If Riverview is indeed going to be a hybrid streetcar-LRT "tram", then interlining with Rush is pretty obvious (I actually think interlining is obvious regardless). The only scenario in which Riverview and Rush should not be interlined is if Riverview is deserving of rail and Rush is not (because the ridership numbers simply don't work for Rush)

ProspectPete
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby ProspectPete » November 18th, 2015, 4:32 pm

It is safe to assume that they would interline at the concourse of SPUD? Or is there some thought of trying to get them to the 4th street stop?
I think there's an opportunity with the impending replacement of the 3rd St/ Kellogg bridge, that is, make it transit (LRT/Streetcar) friendly with a flyover to the concourse as comes into downtown.

Vagueperson
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » December 10th, 2015, 11:04 pm

Rush Line reconsiders LRT on White Bear Ave. As an East Side resident, this is great news, though I doubt it will be considered for long. The commercial stretch of White Bear Ave has a lot more potential in my mind than the Maplewood Mall, and it would serve the city more than the railroad right of way.

http://www.presspubs.com/white_bear/new ... 24aa7.html

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Tiller
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » December 11th, 2015, 1:44 am

• Reviewing hybrid rail solutions that include smaller vehicles.

• Reviewing utilization of a shared guideway through constrained right-of-way areas.

• Including more defined impacts to natural environment and cultural resources.
The inclusion of white bear ave and the above sounds reminiscent of the "hybrid LRT" option on West 7th.

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Tiller
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » December 11th, 2015, 5:20 am

I'm not entirely sure on how to phrase my thoughts here, but the potential of fitting a hybrid form (when necessary) of LRT down white bear ave is actually exciting enough to prevent me from sleeping (good thing I don't have to do anything tomorrow!)

The positive impact for both the east side and for me/many people I know would be wonderful. One immediate example is that it'd be particularly great for the 150 people in the Iowa High rise, which is public housing mostly full of disabled and/or elderly people.

Knowing some people that live there, this would be a great improvement to their quality of life since many have difficulty driving (if they can at all), meaning that to do anything themselves they either walk/take their wheelchair to the [Hillcrest] strip mall to get something, or for a special or far away event call metro mobility. The former is an even worse option during the winter due to erratic shoveling along WBA.

The residents would use LRT all the time, especially relative to the mediocre bus service we've had for the longest time. Now that I think about it, the planners should absolutely have one of their outreach events there.

A number of people from the building unfortunately have actually been hit crossing white bear ave, for reasons many of you are already familiar with. It's an active concern for residents, and a disconcerting thing to hear your grandmother talk about in casual conversation. :/

Going beyond that specific building, all along white bear ave there are people with similar or comparable problems, most of the places people shop at and many of the places people work at are along its length, and there are many places that can be easily redeveloped. If there is a way it could be made to work reasonably, LRT on white bear would overwhelmingly be the best option.

bptenor
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby bptenor » December 11th, 2015, 10:10 am

Yes, @Tiller. I agree with you 100%. I"m really heartened that this has actually pushed through as an option. I know I would a WBA LRT much more than a rail ROW route. I'd love to see it travel up E 7th and continue north on WBA, stop somewhere at the mall, and end in downtown WBL.

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Tiller
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » December 11th, 2015, 12:07 pm

So I refined my old concept and routed it along White Bear Ave. Having checked the traffic counts, and factoring in stretches of extra open space here and there along the route that could be used to add a lane when needed, most of the route can probably have dedicated lanes. Station spaces are often "borrowed" (*cough*eminent domain*cough*) from parking lots and such. There are only 3 buildings that would have to go, all between Minnehaha and Phalen on Payne, to fit tracks and a station area in. I'm a bit iffy on what LRT going through WBA's intersections with 694, 36, and Beam would be like, though University/Snelling is functional.

I'm also not sure to what degree "putting things under large power lines" is verboten, but I somewhat avoided the ones in the maplewood mall area, pushing the North Mall station a couple hundred feet south, though also traveling under/between 2 arterial lines for like 600ft to get to WBA. Xcel may be anal about maintanence/access, though idk the degree to which light rail [canternaries] would be in their way.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... GH-Ayn-wuk

David Greene
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby David Greene » December 11th, 2015, 1:23 pm

Not sure it's worth going so far out of the way and adding two stations to serve a hospital. Realistically, how many people will take transit to the hospital out in north Maplewood?

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby VacantLuxuries » December 11th, 2015, 1:26 pm

If the train was to take any huge detour on the way to WBL, it would make far more sense to route it over to Century Ave to serve Century College than to St. Johns.

VAStationDude
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby VAStationDude » December 11th, 2015, 1:28 pm

Robert Street Station is the least busy station on the Green Line despite all the employees and visitors to Regions. The detour over to Maplewood hospital probably isn't worth it.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby VacantLuxuries » December 11th, 2015, 1:30 pm

Though looking at the map again, if the turn at Beam Ave was done to reconnect with the RR right of way into White Bear Lake, that wouldn't be terrible.

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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 11th, 2015, 1:55 pm

David Greene wrote:Not sure it's worth going so far out of the way and adding two stations to serve a hospital. Realistically, how many people will take transit to the hospital out in north Maplewood?
There's gotta be some sort of logic that would make this a thing but not a thing for N Mpls residents to EP jobs off the RR corridor along expensive swampland, right?

Vagueperson
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Vagueperson » December 11th, 2015, 2:41 pm

Your map, Tiller, is almost exactly what I would like to see: going down White Bear Ave and Phalen Blvd as opposed to East 7th Street. The buildings between Phalen Blvd and Minnehaha are all subject for being removed in an unrelated project. This is called the Railroad Island Eco Village (study being done by ESNDC). Project in Pride For Living is involved in the planning. There are proposals for a mixed use space with rentals, condos, commercial and possibly a school (nothing decided and no funding yet). Taking buildings down in this area, though, is already an active conversation.

If the Rush Line goes in Swede Hollow they have said all plans are off. Whether it is on 7th or Phalen does not necessarily change the plans - unless, of course, it actually is on Payne Ave as you suggest here. I might prefer going further on Phalen to get to the medical buildings near Cayuga and Olive.

froggie
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby froggie » December 11th, 2015, 7:05 pm

This seems to come up as a perennial discussion point...routing an LRT line along Payne Ave. That said, I took a look at the geometry of Tiller's new alignment options.

In short, it still won't work.

The option to bridge over 94 to the southeast then take the Kellogg Bridge (the green line on his Google map) won't work because there just isn't enough distance between East 7th and 94 to get it over (or under) the ramp from Mounds Blvd to westbound 94. The grade would be well over 10%, which is way too steep for LRT.

That said, an at-grade option following East 7th, Mounds Blvd, and Kellogg Blvd might work.

His other option, to more directly tie into the SPUD concourse (the blue line on the Google map) won't work either. Another situation with power lines...there are high-voltage, high-tension power lines running along the east side of the rail corridor. There isn't enough distance to get underneath those power lines then bridge over 94. Nor is there enough distance to bridge over 94 then drop underneath the Kellogg Bridge.

mattaudio
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby mattaudio » December 11th, 2015, 7:47 pm

Seems like you could get across the train tracks either above or below (halfway across Kellogg Bridge for example, or tunneling underneath) then cross *underneath* I-94 under the existing bridge between the active RR tracks and the Gateway trail. Then enter the hillside underneath the intersection of East 7th/Payne, emerging in a portal in the middle of Payne just north of 7th Street. Sort of the Selby Hill effect.

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Tiller
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » December 11th, 2015, 8:19 pm

It looks like more of a detour than it is because the northern stretch of the loop runs along Maplewood Mall Dr instead of County Rd D. (doing so improves the "Mall North" station's walkshed (not being as close to the freeway), and makes the intersection of County Rd D, 694, and WBA less messy since the LRVs turn south of the intersection and proceed through it in a straight line.)

It's only one more mile of track, while detouring to Century would require at least 3 miles (being 3X as far). Century will probably be served (and is probably best served) by some kind of circulator-feeder bus that would run mostly along McKnight/Century.

While simplifying the maplewood mall area tracks would save a marginal amount of money and travel time, it would also reduce the amount of nearby open land and quality of service. It a bit of a stretch to say that people would mind an having to ride a train for 3 more minutes more than they would mind having to walk .6 miles to get to the Hospital area, and other smaller marginal amounts to get to various destinations around the mall that are reduced by the 2 additional stations. It's not exactly a south loop situation with 3 stations within a .6 stretch of track, and without the airport restrictions the entire maplewood mall area can densify quite a bit.

Besides St Johns hospital being served well by a station at Beam/Hazelwood, there's ~20 acres of open land within 1/4 a mile from the station (and more beyond), plus another 15 acres of surface lots. TOD would provide a decent amount of additional ridership, and the station being near the hospital would make it more practical to take the light rail there for work or non-emergency care. A connection can be made to the Bruce Vento trail, as well as the housing north of the hospital.

Re froggie: you are generally right, and the place is an absolute mess, though there are certainly ways to get through the area, particularly if a few engineers were explicitly given the task of finding those ways (not that that statement adds much to the conversation).

Related to what matt was saying, while it would take a sliver off the side of Swede Hollow Park, you could even have the tracks emerge next to Payne here. that's a good ~800ft stretch.
Image

froggie
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby froggie » December 11th, 2015, 8:56 pm

mattaudio wrote:Seems like you could get across the train tracks either above or below (halfway across Kellogg Bridge for example, or tunneling underneath) then cross *underneath* I-94 under the existing bridge between the active RR tracks and the Gateway trail. Then enter the hillside underneath the intersection of East 7th/Payne, emerging in a portal in the middle of Payne just north of 7th Street. Sort of the Selby Hill effect.
This has been mentioned before, IIRC. Theoretically possible, yes, but you'd have to convert the Woodward, Kenny, and Pettit intersections along Payne Ave to RIRO. The LRT wouldn't reach the same grade as Payne Ave until basically Hopkins St.

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Tiller
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Re: Rush Line Corridor (Alternatives Analysis)

Postby Tiller » December 12th, 2015, 1:56 am

Some of the comments people left are hilarious :lol:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/6977a0_6f8105a ... 504756.pdf
[warning, 178 page pdf of stuff]
Do you have other comments on the LRT/DMU route and transit vehicles?
• Preference for LRT over BRT
• Since this route is an old railway, it would work for light rail
• Dedicated lanes, not with other vehicles
• Preference for LRT, but not on Bruce Vento Trail
• Make sure there aren’t railroad constraints like [SWLRT] is facing
• LRT is expensive and inflexible
• Not in favor of DMU
• Do not use Bruce Vento Trail
• Complete destruction of this community
• Too expensive to build compared to flexible buses
This salt is delicious.
General Comments
• Would you want your backyard ruined by having a train/bus going on it? Use 61 or White Bear
Ave, these are existing roads. Do not ruin a nature path.
• Need to listen to the people. We don’t want this. Remember we are the voters.

• East Side needs improved transit options
• Long timeline for transit implementation is disappointing
• Improved transit options in the corridor will help to reduce traffic on the highways
• Preference on improving existing transit system, rather than investing in new transit options
• Questions on economic benefits to the corridor communities
• When will service begin?
• What are the funding sources for the study, for construction and operation?
• Other destinations noted:
− Century College
− University of Minnesota
− St. Paul College
− Forest Lake Library (from Hugo)
• Phone call made to RCRRA: Against LRT, concerns about crime, feels LRT not a revenue producer
Someone called the RCRRA to complain :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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