Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar/LRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways

Assuming SWLRT gets built (3A/Kenilworth), which of the following is a higher priority?

Poll ended at November 24th, 2013, 7:54 am

Nicollet Avenue Streetcar (Lake St to 5th St NE)
21
40%
Midtown Greenway Streetcar/LRT
32
60%
 
Total votes: 53

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6178
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar/LRT

Postby twincitizen » October 25th, 2013, 7:54 am

Assuming SWLRT gets built (3A/Kenilworth alignment), which of the following lines is a higher priority for the City of Minneapolis?

Tell us why in the comments.

Tom H.
Rice Park
Posts: 423
Joined: September 4th, 2012, 5:23 am

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby Tom H. » October 25th, 2013, 8:02 am

I'm mostly in favor of the Nicollet streetcar because it will help get that Kmart town down.

User avatar
mister.shoes
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1283
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 10:22 am

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby mister.shoes » October 25th, 2013, 8:15 am

I keep trying to come up with good arguments in favor of my Nicollet vote, but as I typed them out I realized there's an equally solid rebuttal to each one. *shrug*
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6178
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby twincitizen » October 25th, 2013, 8:34 am

For me it's Midtown all the way. Midtown will be an incredible, unprecedented mobility improvement over the Route 21. I think Midtown is a viable line regarless of what happens with Southwest, and I hope that the project planners don't see Midtown's success as wholly contingent on SWLRT.

Nicollet Streetcar is a luxury, and barely, BARELY enhances mobility for those living along the line. One could even argue that Nicollet Streetcar even harms the regional transit picture, by hogging funds that should be spread on arterial BRT lines across the city rather than blown on one vanity project for ribbon cutters.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 25th, 2013, 8:42 am

twincitizen wrote:For me it's Midtown all the way. Midtown will be an incredible, unprecedented mobility improvement over the Route 21. I think Midtown is a viable line regarless of what happens with Southwest, and I hope that the project planners don't see Midtown's success as wholly contingent on SWLRT.

Nicollet Streetcar is a luxury, and barely, BARELY enhances mobility for those living along the line. One could even argue that Nicollet Streetcar even harms the regional transit picture, by hogging funds that should be spread on arterial BRT lines across the city rather than blown on one vanity project for ribbon cutters.
Everything you said.

nlt
Block E
Posts: 20
Joined: October 16th, 2013, 8:19 pm

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby nlt » October 25th, 2013, 9:19 am

Midtown streetcar could be great, given the grade separation and population density of the area. The Nicollet streetcar will be a very expensive joke. As a NE resident living near Central, I'm irritated at the way this has been handled. It would be great to see aBRT for the whole corridor- you know, something that's actually useful. I can't imagine ever using the streetcar, even if it does eventually get past Broadway. In the meantime I'll continue to use the overcrowded 10, which the streetcar will do nothing to alleviate.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4747
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby David Greene » October 25th, 2013, 9:21 am

RailBaronYarr wrote:Everything you said.
Yep.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 25th, 2013, 9:33 am

David Greene wrote:
RailBaronYarr wrote:Everything you said.
Yep.
That said, I'm still a fan of 3-C (ish, Lyndale or Hennepin work, too) + Greenway streetcar + Nicollet/Central aBRT + Pen aBRT + Fremont aBRT. :)

phop
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 164
Joined: May 28th, 2013, 8:58 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby phop » October 25th, 2013, 11:38 am

Midtown may be the best of the twin cities transit lines not under construction, considering all factors. The existing right of way means lower costs and less disruptions to the area during the project timeline. Service is improved in terms of both quality and efficiency. Ridership is also likely to be strong.

User avatar
woofner
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1329
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:04 am

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby woofner » October 25th, 2013, 11:44 am

nlt wrote:I'll continue to use the overcrowded 10, which the streetcar will do nothing to alleviate.
RBY and I discussed this a bit in the comments to Nick's recent post on streets.mn. The study is unclear and seemingly contradicts itself about how the local bus service will be handled* on the Nicollet segment under the Preliminary Modern Streetcar alternative, but it seems to be (relatively) straightforward about the Central segment: route 10 frequency will be increased from every 10 to every 7.5 minutes. This is by itself a pretty big increase (a 33% increase in hourly capacity), and is even bigger for the Old St Anthony area where the streetcar will provide an additional 8 transit vehicles per hour. Right now it's a way bigger pain in the ass than it should be to get between Old St Anthony & Downtown on the bus (after evening rush the frequencies are dismal), so this is a huge improvement for this area.
twincitizen wrote:Nicollet Streetcar is a luxury, and barely, BARELY enhances mobility for those living along the line.
For the Nicollet segment, again the service plan was unclear but it seems likely there will be a moderate improvement in service at least at the express bus stops at Lake & at Franklin. But given that the biggest problem with the 18 service today is heavy boarding volumes, and that a modern streetcar vehicle unquestionably has better boarding capacity than the buses used on the 18, it seems misleading to me to say that this won't be an improvement in service. I agree that it's not enough of an improvement for the money, and that enhanced bus would offer the same or more improvement for far less, but streetcar will be an improvement for Nicollet, too.

*To be clear, the service plan(s) presented in the study are not the final service plans, they're just what was assumed for the purposes of the study. Given the participation of Metro Transit & the City in developing the assumed plans, the recommended final plan is likely to be similar, but there is plenty of room for things to change.
"Who rescued whom!"

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 25th, 2013, 11:56 am

woofner wrote:...
But you never said which one is more important. :)

User avatar
woofner
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1329
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:04 am

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby woofner » October 25th, 2013, 12:50 pm

Don't worry, I still voted for Midtown. 8-)
"Who rescued whom!"

User avatar
Nathan
IDS Center
Posts: 4002
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby Nathan » October 25th, 2013, 12:54 pm

I think the reason that I selected Nicollet was maybe less based on logic and usage as it is on visibility, and the neighborhoods it would service. I think if we want to show off a line to the city/state/nation to gain popularity for enhanced transit projects, Nicollet would have a bigger impact. It would be out in view/use of visitors and lawmakers from across the state. I understand Midtown would be easier/cheaper and really alleviate some congestion, I just feel like it's hidden from the majority of the public, and will only really affect people living in SMPLS. It might produce some impressive transit numbers, but again that really only goes so far to the average Joe. Most Minnesotan's don't understand the impressive numbers the Blue line has put out or why that's a big deal. They know about it because it connects things that are extremely important to the metro area and very visible (so it's given LRT a pretty good name even when there were a lot of skeptics). I also feel like it makes a step towards providing better services to NE, which I feel is often transit neglected, and could really have a lot of TOD potential. Also it's connecting such important neighborhood nodes. NE, DT, and Eat Street, all becoming connected and glued together by a visible and easy to use line. When I'm not using my car, I don't have that big of issue traveling around in SMPLS to get to friends or restaurants, but it's rare that my friends in NE and I connect without driving. I could see the Nic line changing that, whereas I'd probably still get around in SMPLS the way I do now streetcar or not. It might be a lot about image and vanity as some have said, but sometimes that's what you need to really kick-start something bigger.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4747
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby David Greene » October 25th, 2013, 1:21 pm

fotoapparatic wrote:When I'm not using my car, I don't have that big of issue traveling around in SMPLS to get to friends or restaurants, but it's rare that my friends in NE and I connect without driving. I could see the Nic line changing that, whereas I'd probably still get around in SMPLS the way I do now streetcar or not. It might be a lot about image and vanity as some have said, but sometimes that's what you need to really kick-start something bigger.
I think this is a significant factor. I just wonder if aBRT couldn't get the same effect. I honestly don't know. How does aBRT look/feel in other cities? If it's watered-down then it won't work as well as a streetcar wrt these kinds of intangibles.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 25th, 2013, 1:27 pm

Not to get in to another huge streetcar v aBRT debate. I just have a really hard time with the whole idea that high amenity bus lines can get watered down. We already have a watered down bus line, they're called the 10 and 18. No off-board stuff, no quality shelters, no second door entry, etc etc. To engage in a project where improving these features is the core tenet of the project itself with the remote possibility of them eroding away seems completely illogical to me. Especially when an alternative-build is 4x the cost (meaning the project has already been negotiated down on cost in exchange for losing the amenities unique to rail). How can our society allow this to happen??

Edit: tenet. not tenant. bleh.
Last edited by RailBaronYarr on October 25th, 2013, 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4747
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby David Greene » October 25th, 2013, 1:30 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:Not to get in to another huge streetcar v aBRT debate. I just have a really hard time with the whole idea that high amenity bus lines can get watered down.
I'm thinking purely from a visibility standpoint. I'm in total agreement that a streetcar is not a good idea for Nicollet.

But from a visibility standpoint, the stations are going to be what matters for aBRT and I can totally see those getting watered down to little more than a platform with maybe a TVM on it (cf. Snelling aBRT).

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6178
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Higher Priority: Nicollet Streetcar or Midtown streetcar

Postby twincitizen » November 21st, 2013, 12:33 pm

You have pleasantly surprised me UrbanMSP'ers. Mobility wins over development. Bravo.

Poll closes in a few days if you haven't voted yet.


Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests