Nicollet-Central Streetcar

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Nathan
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Nicollet-Central Streetcar

Postby Nathan » January 30th, 2013, 2:59 pm

I couldn't find a dedicated thread for this, forgive me if there is one.

Three planning/educational meetings in February.

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/news/WCMS1P-103762

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby fehler » January 30th, 2013, 3:12 pm


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Nathan
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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby Nathan » January 30th, 2013, 3:53 pm

I love the 'routing between 28th and Lake St. to be determined' also translated as 'fu k-mart building.'

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby MNdible » January 30th, 2013, 5:42 pm

I'm sure it's just a mistake, but that map shows the thing routed down Blaisdell, not Nicollet.

Also, seems like they really need to extend this to the 35W BRT station at 46th, right?

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby kellonathan » January 30th, 2013, 9:24 pm

I'm not sure if we REALLY need stops every two blocks... (outside the dwtn mostly)
Are we really that lazy that we are not willing to walk more than one block to catch a streetcar?
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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby mister.shoes » January 30th, 2013, 9:25 pm

I was hoping to see it get to Diamond Lake Road with stops at 50th and the Parkway, but that long bridge might be a cost-prohibitive problem.
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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby minntransplant » January 30th, 2013, 10:54 pm

I thought it was a forgone conclusion that this will be a streetcar. Rybak is for a streetcar--are there council members opposed to rail? Wonder if this will be an issue in the mayoral race (assuming any decision gets kicked down the road).

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby Nathan » January 30th, 2013, 11:56 pm

minntransplant wrote:I thought it was a forgone conclusion that this will be a streetcar. Rybak is for a streetcar--are there council members opposed to rail? Wonder if this will be an issue in the mayoral race (assuming any decision gets kicked down the road).
Or do they just have to do the study to make it seem like they considered all the options?

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby twincitizen » January 31st, 2013, 12:48 am

kellonathan wrote:I'm not sure if we REALLY need stops every two blocks... (outside the dwtn mostly)
Are we really that lazy that we are not willing to walk more than one block to catch a streetcar?
Compare to Metro Transit's Rapid Bus station spacing: http://www.metrotransit.org/Data/Sites/ ... collet.pdf

Obviously this is all very preliminary.

Just because Rybak or some councilmembers are passionate about streetcars doesn't mean there is money for it. I'd much rather have interlined Rapid Bus services that could be deployed throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul (and 1st ring suburbs) rather than blowing our wad on one very costly streetcar line that really won't do much to improve mobility. The local portion of streetcar funding would come entirely from the City, while the costs of Rapid Bus would be shared throughout the metro area. That's an easy decision to make.

The one exception to my hard line stance against streetcars is the Midtown Greenway. Seems like a foregone conclusion that will be rail and it's hard to argue against that. We are going to have to fight to keep the number of stations down though. If you're going to make that kind of investment in the trench, just a block away from Lake Street buses, it probably should be an entirely different service with no more than 5 stops in between SW and Hiawatha LRT lines. (Hennepin, Lyndale, Nicollet/35W, Chicago, Bloomington/Cedar)
Last edited by twincitizen on January 31st, 2013, 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby MSPtoMKE » January 31st, 2013, 12:49 am

Yes, generally it is required to do an Alternatives Analysis on transit projects, certainly on a project that is up for any Federal money. It isn't uncommon that they are done with a certain mode being a forgone conclusion. I don't think a streetcar is certain here, however. For the most part, the powers that be are pushing for a streetcar in this corridor, but if the funding can't be lined up, a Rapid Bus line on this corridor would be a high priority.
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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby twincitizen » January 31st, 2013, 12:52 am

To further your comment, if Minneapolis politicians and trolley pushers would simply get out of the way, Metro Transit would already be planning Rapid Bus in this corridor, as they are for Snelling Ave, West 7th Street, Chicago-Fremont, etc

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby Chauncey87 » January 31st, 2013, 1:10 am

I do not like the idea of streetcars running on downtown streets mixed in with traffic. I feel like it is a complet misuse of transit $$. Who/why would anybody think it is a good idea to run trains that can only go as fast as the traffic around it? WE already have a "streetcar" system it is called the bus. The only diference between the two is one is on rails. If anything I feel streetcars would make traffic worse. At the very least not improve much of anything. A bus can switch lanes and if they are thinking of running streetcars in the bus lanes then your going to have the same issues of long bus lines waiting to cross an intersetion on Nic, Henn, or whatever street they want to put a streetcar on. I am for rail transit, just not the kind that doesn't have its own row.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby helsinki » January 31st, 2013, 1:22 am

kellonathan wrote:I'm not sure if we REALLY need stops every two blocks... (outside the dwtn mostly)
Are we really that lazy that we are not willing to walk more than one block to catch a streetcar?
It might sound silly, but Minneapolis blocks are tall and narrow (going east-west is quick, going north-south takes more than twice as long). Time yourself walking the length of two blocks - I wager you'll be surprised how long it takes you.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby helsinki » January 31st, 2013, 1:32 am

The vociferous anti-streetcar folks should consider two things.

First, a real plan for a streetcar on this route would create true momentum (not the idle chatter of the past 10 years) for re-connecting Nicollet at Lake Street.

Second, is there any evidence (studies, examples from personal experience, etc) that naysayers can point to illustrating how streetcars in mixed traffic don't work? Are people thinking of rinky-dink heritage trolleys? Because every modern tram I've been on works fine. It might seem counterintuitive to mix transportation modes in a shared space, but it actually works very well. Drivers actually seem to be more cautious when they know they don't have exclusive rights to the road.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby Chauncey87 » January 31st, 2013, 4:51 am

No I am not thinking of the rinky-dink trolley lines. Even if todays trolleys are not as loud, noise is not much of an issue. Since I live in a city I expect city noise.
I also highly doubt a real plan for a street car line will create any more momentum then a hi frequency bus route. The plan to open up Nic to Lake would involve Kmart selling the land to the city or Henn Co. however that is some pretty choice real estate and have to think others would want to get in on that. So who knows if the new owners would want to reopen the intersection. Also you proved my point it runs with traffic. I never ment to imply a trolley line won't work. It just means that it can only go as fast as the traffic around it. How does this do it any better then a bus? Aside from being a train (I really do love trains tho :D ) I really feel like investing in more grade segregation/real rail investment and increasing bus frequency would do the job.

With that said if we had kept our wonderful trolley lines from a time that we had them and kept them current. I would have been saying we would all be damn fools to switch over to a bus network. However that train left the station long ago. :cry:

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby min-chi-cbus » January 31st, 2013, 8:05 am

MNdible wrote:I'm sure it's just a mistake, but that map shows the thing routed down Blaisdell, not Nicollet.

Also, seems like they really need to extend this to the 35W BRT station at 46th, right?
It may make more sense to run down Blaisdell since it's a one-way street mostly, isn't it....and it wouldn't hinder existing traffic patterns as much as a Nicollet Ave line might? However, the obvious flaw here is that Blaisdell has only a small fraction of the businesses and destinations that Nicollet has.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby min-chi-cbus » January 31st, 2013, 8:13 am

There is a definite bias against buses (vs. trains or trolleys) that exists in America and possibly the world, but to Chauncy87's point, do we need to spend half a billion dollars or more for a glorified (static) bus or is there a smarter, more effective use for these funds? I tend to agree to a certain extent, but only if the incremental gain of a streetcar isn't monumental enough to justify the incremental costs. Same with rail, but rail has proven to be a very efficient means of getting from point A to point B. I just don't know enough about streetcars to say for certain whether the investment necessary is "worth it".

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby mullen » January 31st, 2013, 8:35 am

then why spend billions on hiawatha and central LRT? it's not just because people prefer riding on a train, which they overwhelmingly do, it's the millions in associated development rail attracts. and then millions in tax collected because of said developments.

look at all the activity these two lines alone have generated. bring on the streetcar and let's grow this city.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby NickP » January 31st, 2013, 8:54 am

I would also add the point that, while they do look cool (which I agree, they do :D ), streetcars are more about moving volumes of people. I was always under the assumption that a streetcar carry more passengers than a bus, articulated bus, etc. I feel like this is what should be pushed when considering the development of a line.

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Re: Nicollet-Central Corridor

Postby mattaudio » January 31st, 2013, 9:24 am

As much as I am for the streetcars, I do not think it is wise to view transit as a development catalyst. That's the same reasoning why Southwest will stop at Penn and Van White instead of Henn/Lake and Lyn/Lake. We need to connect places that can support viable transit, not build transit and hope development makes it viable.

On another note, bus/tram and LRT/metro really occupy different tiers on a hierarchy, even though there's little functional difference between tram and LRT (multiple vehicle trains, more dedicated ROW, fancier stations). Bus/tram is great for quarter mile stop spacing (2 blocks in Mpls) and <5 mi trip distances. Buses/trams serve corridors. Yet we keep talking about LRT lines as corridors, and I think that's a mistake. LRT/metro/regional rail connects nodes that should be walkable and distinct. This is where we ran into trouble in St. Paul... a true regional backbone would have stops at major nodes, ideally a mile or more apart. But of course this wouldn't serve the corridor (and rightfully so) therefore stations were created at half mile intervals.


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