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monsoon

Future Mass Transit in MPLS

Future Mass Transit in MPLS  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Future Mass Transit in MPLS

    • Expand Light Rail System
      32
    • Add Commuter Rail
      4
    • Do Nothing
      0
    • Other (explain)
      4


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I love the light rail and would love to see it expanded as much as possible. I'm also all for the Northstar rail and the street cars - pretty much any mass transit they can put in, I'm for. I'd really like to see that central corridor line between the two downtowns.

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Northstar sounds like a go, despite the best efforts of weenies like Phil Krinkie. Streetcars are getting support in both Minneapolis and St Paul, but the best addition would defineatly be the Central Corridor LRT line, between Minneapolis and St Paul.

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Are there active plans or proposals now to extend the LRT? All of us would be interested in some maps if they exist.

There have been plans in place for years. As a matter of fact, the Central Corridor line was the logical first route that most wanted, but because of politics we ended up with the Hiawatha line first. Work has already been started on the Northstar Commuter line and work on the Central Corridor line should start by 2008. Also, it was announced late last year that Minnesota will be receiving $3.5 billion in federal transportation money. The state will receive more than $400 million for statewide transit projects over the next five years. The bill includes $80 million for the Northstar Commuter Rail project, which will connect downtown Minneapolis and St. Cloud.and $50 million for converting the St. Paul Union Depot into a new transportation hub.

Here's an overview of our next two lines:

The Central Corridor

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Bonding proposals for this year's legislative session includes funding for the Northstar rail line in Pawlenty's proposal (Republican) and the senate's proposal (democrat controlled).

It looks like a go as far as I'm concerned. There has also been money pushed forward in Minneapolis to put a streetcar system back into place.

There are also plans to build several other LRT corridors throughout the Twin Cities.

Below is a map of possible future commuter rail lines. As of now, Northstar is the only one in the real "planning" stages, but all have been proposed and looked at. I have also heard more on the southeast corridor of high speed trains that would run between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/passengerrail/commutermap.html

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Yes. I don't have a map handy, but it will meet the LRT line downtown, behind the Target Center, on the site of the proposed new Twins stadium.

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The Central Corridor light rail is what I hope the next expansion of the transit system will be, definitely.

Yeah, that seems like the logical route to me. I don't have any true idea of what I'm talking about, never having been to the twin cities though :P

I'm happy for all your city's success, inpart because without it I doubt we'd be getting anywhere with fixed route transit in Grand Rapids.

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The 2007 proposed Bush Budget includes funding for these items in the MPLS area.

  • Central Corridor/St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, $2,000,000.

  • Northstar Corridor Commuter Rail Project, Minnesota, $2,000,000.

Barring congressional changes, this will be the only federal funding to the area for transit until at least the 2008 budget year. Funding for 2007 was very light and there were no new starts funded.

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^ Again...

"Also, it was announced late last year (05) that Minnesota will be receiving $3.5 billion in federal transportation money. The state will receive more than $400 million for statewide transit projects over the next five years. The bill includes $80 million for the Northstar Commuter Rail project, which will connect downtown Minneapolis and St. Cloud.and $50 million for converting the St. Paul Union Depot into a new transportation hub."

So, the $2,000,000 will probably pay for ongoing assessments of the Central Corridor. Hopefully the NorthStar project receives more than the proposed $2 million. At least the project is already receiving $80 million from the federal highway transportation bill, $37.5 from the state and $44 million from local funding.

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Wouldn't it also make sense to develop a commuter rail line along I-94 NW of the cities?

If I'm not mistaken, there are pre-existing tracks running in that direction along MN-81. I suppose it would be more expensive because there would need to be some new tracks built to accomodate places like Rogers, St. Michaels, and Monticello/Buffalo.

In actuality, it would make sense to run it a bit further west up towards Buffalo.. because Monticello commuters could drive the few miles to either Big Lake or Buffalo and catch a train into the city. Oh well.. this is just me working out details out loud.

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Wouldn't it also make sense to develop a commuter rail line along I-94 NW of the cities?

If I'm not mistaken, there are pre-existing tracks running in that direction along MN-81. I suppose it would be more expensive because there would need to be some new tracks built to accomodate places like Rogers, St. Michaels, and Monticello/Buffalo.

In actuality, it would make sense to run it a bit further west up towards Buffalo.. because Monticello commuters could drive the few miles to either Big Lake or Buffalo and catch a train into the city. Oh well.. this is just me working out details out loud.

Seems to me we need more roads and more freeways. Light rail is nice and urban, but a terrible usage of the monies. We already have a good bus system. I think people like light rail because it gives us a BIG CITY feel.

It's cool, but not many people really get to use it. It exists on a bus-line.

Sorry to be negative, I want more light rail as well, but I'm a commuter and I love my car, more roads would benefit me and my family and quite frankly, everyone I know, better as well.

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Seems to me we need more roads and more freeways.

I love my car, more roads would benefit me and my family and quite frankly, everyone I know, better as well.

More roads to where? To your work, shopping, restaurants and friends houses? I would imagine those roads already exist and that maybe you'd like to see them less conjested? If that's the case, then light rail may get a lot of people off those roads and clearing the way for those who are still driving.

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More roads to where? To your work, shopping, restaurants and friends houses? I would imagine those roads already exist and that maybe you'd like to see them less conjested? If that's the case, then light rail may get a lot of people off those roads and clearing the way for those who are still driving.

We need more lanes. And no, LRT will not help congestion at all. The people that use the bus will use LRT. We already have the bus. It's nice for prestige, but it makes no sense economically or in regard to transportation.

The billions we want to spend on LRT could modernize our highways and provide the correct amount of freeways and lanes..

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I also think there needs to be some improvements made on our highways and freeways throughout the TC area, especially on 62. Also, I'm not a big fan of having a commuter rail run from downtown Minneapolis to the suburbs and on to St. Cloud. We want to prevent sprawl, not encourage it with a commuter rail. With that said, we need the Central Corridor now.

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Given how much maintanance is required for the existing highway grid, don't expect much in the way of expansion.

The best way to fight sprawl is to eliminate freeways.

As for commuter rail, it will encourage a small-town transit-oriented-development around the stations, assuming frequent service, that will not be sprawl, but a pocket of urbanism.

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That's a good point. We do need to kick our addiction to freeways. While they will always be necessary for long-haul traffic, they should not be necessary for a daily-commute.

Some people will always want to drive a car, which is fine. But we need to find a better balance.

I think balance could be found ultimately by:

1. Expanding long-distance high-speed rail service around the midwest. This would cut down on interstate travel and we wouldn't need to worry so much about freeway expansion as the population grows.

2. Expand commuter rail. This will greatly cut down on congestion if done right. If people can catch a bus to the train station or even park and ride, this will keep people off the freeways.

3. Expand light rail/Subway transit for metro. Make light rail accessible to at least anyone living within the 494/694 ring corridor. This will encourage denser growth within the ring and stop some of the urban sprawl that is currently occuring outside of it. Make the LRT lines connectable with commuter rail so that if someone, say, lives in Big Lake but works in Bloomington, they have a way to get there.

4. Expand BRT lines on the freeways. If we expand transit options, freeway traffic may be lower enough to establish dedicated carpool/taxi/bus lanes on the freeway rather than forcing them to drive in the shoulders.

5. Build pedestrian/bike ways all throughout the metro so that people can walk/bike to where they need to be. Being in Salzburg again for just a week after 2 months at home, I've noticed that there are way more people walking everywhere. I am able to get pretty much anywhere in Salzburg and in Austria for that matter with their very good public transport system.

If we did all these things, it would encourage people to live closer to transit lines, and thus help end suburban sprawl. Of course some suburban sprawl is okay. There will always be people that prefer that lifestyle, and that is fine. But we need to take the necessity out of needing a car to go everywhere.

There are grocery stores all over here in Salzburg on street corners and such, and while they may be about half the size of a normal Cub Foods, there is about 1/10th the parking. People simply do not buy as much and they walk/bike or take a bus to get to the store. Because it's so easy for them to just make the trip, they can go every day or every other day and just get a few things for the day's meals or whatever.

It is just a more sustainable way of life. Maybe we should get over ourselves and accept that European do do SOME things better than us. (I mean this strictly in a public transport kind of way. Believe me, there are other things that REALLY REALLY make me miss America. Like maple syrup and standing up for yourself. This is complicated. But it's something I've observed. Many Austrians don't get angry enough.. for example, when you are student going on a skiing trip and you get on the bus at 6am on a Saturday and you forgot your student bus ticket, but didn't know it.. and the "Kontrolle" just happens to be on the bus at 6am on a Saturday and he gives you a ticket and you say absolutely NOTHING. ARGH!!!! I would have been so angry. I would have fought the ticket and had it taken away. And if I were the "Kontrolle" I would have at least been nice enough on a Saturday morning at 6am to offer the student to buy a ticket while he was on the bus, which is allowed anyway... but the guy just happened to walk up to us and ask for our tickets the second the bus started moving. ARGH.. but I'll stop now)

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Freeway transit alignments have failed everywhere they've been tried.

Consider where the stations are located. A station located adjacent to a freeway doesn't offer much of a pedestrian experience.

Frequent transit service for the park-and-ride community is pointless, as the service they require is very "peaky". One way during the peak hour.

The Met Council, for this reason, has all new transit corridors at 45 degree angles to the freeways, to offer stimulus to pedestrian-potential zones and to stay as far from the freeways as possible.

Realistically, nobody on the MetCouncil was for the I-35 BRT project, knowing the limitations of a freeway alignment. It was the politicians that pushed it through.

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