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Old 12-16-2011, 07:58 PM
 
Location: KC Area
345 posts, read 417,239 times
Reputation: 178

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The Twin Cities are rapidly expanding their transit option. For me, them and Denver have the best transportation projects in the country. What do you think of all the projects? There's a lot to talk about! I'm actually excited for them, and I don't even live there.

Anyone know the status of the Red Rock Corridor? I heard it is supposed to be built by 2018, has anything changed? I think it will be great for Cottage Grove, Newport, and Hastings. It will really boom those cities.

What about the Southwest Transitway? Will they start building after the Central Corridor? This will greatly help the growth of the more central suburbs, specifically Hopkins and St. Louis Park and hopefully push people back in that direction. Is it still going to be completed in 2016?

The Bottineau Transitway. I have heard the least about this one. Supposed to go to Maple Grove or Brooklyn Park. This seems like a good route, would help clean up Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center and once again help promote central suburb growth.

And the bus expresses. I personally think the Cedar Avenue line from Apple Valley to Mall of America is somewhat pointless. Couldn't they have just taken it into MPLS? But I do like the express BRT route from Lakeville all the way into downtown. It kinda seems though that St. Paul is being forgotten, with these plans.

Are the streetcars a possiblity? I saw that there might be one on the Nicollet Mall. I would think that route would have a lot of riders, plus it would help gentrify parts of South Minneapolis.

And the Central Corridor... I can't wait for it to be finished and ready to go. Metropolitan Council estimates 40,000 riders a day by 2030. Those numbers seem pretty low for me. Your talking commuters to work, residents to attractions/sporting events, and of course U of M students. They estimated the numbers for the Hiawatha Line very wrong, maybe it will be the same for the Central Corridor. I would think 40,000 when it opens. Maybe not... If youhave any, please post pictures of the Central Corridor construction.

It sounds like the Twin Cities will have a very large transportation system. By 2020, they could easily have 100,000 rail riders and possibly 275,000 bus riders each day. Good for the Cites, they are becoming a model for many cities. Sorry for all the questions and length of this. I just wanted to touch on all the big projects.

 
Old 12-16-2011, 08:56 PM
 
10,147 posts, read 14,920,350 times
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I think the Twin Cities are WAY behind the curve as far as public transportation, and certainly nowhere near being the best in the country (either in what's actually here and for what's been planned). There's very little vision here, and it takes decades for anything to actually get built. Meanwhile other cities are able to get their act together and get projects going. In any case, I wish I could share the same enthusiasm, but I just don't see this city as a model for public transportation. I wish I could say otherwise! The proposed routes are better than nothing, but still leave a LOT to be desired. And the Southwest Corridor -- perfect example of missed opportunities. Rather than choosing a route that goes through some of the city's densest neighborhoods (Uptown, Lyn-Lake, Whitter/Eat Street, all destinations in their own right as well as home to thousands and thousands of transit-riding residents) the line is skirting all of that and will, as a result, be primarily a commuter line.

There's a lot of big talk around here as far as public transportation plans go, but I don't expect to see anything much happen in my lifetime. Central Corridor is good, Hopkins and SLP in particular will benefit from the Southwest Corridor, and there will be improvements. Unfortunately they leave much to be desired, and I don't see many reasons to expect that anything more innovative or big-vision will actually get off the ground.
 
Old 12-16-2011, 11:13 PM
 
1,038 posts, read 1,135,375 times
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I tend to agree with U_U. Central Corridor isn't supposed to be done until 2014, and I think the only other rail project that's got any real legs is the SWT one. The Red Rock one really doesn't make much sense to me...that doesn't seem like a high-enough density area to justify the train, but I don't go out there much, so maybe I'm missing something.

I hadn't heard of the Bottineau Transitway until you mentioned it, but from looking at their website, it looks like they have eliminated heavy rail from consideration and are considering either light rail or....more buses. It looks like they've been in hypothetical planning and gathering public input phases since 2008 at least and it looks to continue that way for the foreseeable future.

You didn't mention the Northstar line at all (commuter rail running from Big Lake in the north to Target Field in downtown Minneapolis). It was originally supposed to run all the way to St. Cloud, but got cut short. Ridership is off projections by 20% or so, so the extension to St. Cloud doesn't look likely. That said, it is a comfortable, clean, and quick ride if it goes where you need to go.

My biggest concern would be that all of the scattered and varied approaches will not end up in a system that truely allows you to get all over the metro. An overall metro-wide plan, even if it took a long time to implement, would have been nice.
 
Old 12-16-2011, 11:29 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,344 posts, read 13,962,243 times
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Ridership on the Northstar line wouldn't be so low if they hadn't ended it at Target Field....instead of CBD....
 
Old 12-16-2011, 11:37 PM
 
1,038 posts, read 1,135,375 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
Ridership on the Northstar line wouldn't be so low if they hadn't ended it at Target Field....instead of CBD....
Was it originally supposed to go all the way into the business district? I didn't know that, but I very much wish it had, for my own selfish reasons!
 
Old 12-17-2011, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Cleveland bound with MPLS in the rear-view
5,531 posts, read 6,071,688 times
Reputation: 2226
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I think the Twin Cities are WAY behind the curve as far as public transportation, and certainly nowhere near being the best in the country (either in what's actually here and for what's been planned). There's very little vision here, and it takes decades for anything to actually get built. Meanwhile other cities are able to get their act together and get projects going. In any case, I wish I could share the same enthusiasm, but I just don't see this city as a model for public transportation. I wish I could say otherwise! The proposed routes are better than nothing, but still leave a LOT to be desired. And the Southwest Corridor -- perfect example of missed opportunities. Rather than choosing a route that goes through some of the city's densest neighborhoods (Uptown, Lyn-Lake, Whitter/Eat Street, all destinations in their own right as well as home to thousands and thousands of transit-riding residents) the line is skirting all of that and will, as a result, be primarily a commuter line.

There's a lot of big talk around here as far as public transportation plans go, but I don't expect to see anything much happen in my lifetime. Central Corridor is good, Hopkins and SLP in particular will benefit from the Southwest Corridor, and there will be improvements. Unfortunately they leave much to be desired, and I don't see many reasons to expect that anything more innovative or big-vision will actually get off the ground.
I wonder if this is because the state is, by and large, a "swing" state, politically. The two sides rarely come to terms over anything these days!

I am pretty sure the reason they chose option "3C" or whatever, on the outskirts, is so they can attribute TOD to the ROI of the project to make it financially feasible and lobby for govt. funds. As an analyst, this makes the most sense to me why they chose this route. As a city enthusiast, I agree with you 100%!!!
 
Old 12-17-2011, 04:08 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,593 posts, read 2,286,057 times
Reputation: 1099
What I'd really like to see after Central LRT is done:

Northstar corridor completed to St. Cloud (and eventually electrified). Ramsey stop completed (what are they waiting for?)

HSR from St. Paul to Rochester, and then on to Chicago via any number of cities (possibly multiple cities/destinations).

Southwest LRT. The current planned route is cost-effective, but not optimal for ridership, therefore a supplemental streetcar line should be given priority. It would fill in the "missed opportunities" of the SW LTR. It would run from downtown down Nicollet to Lake (or the greenway, lest perfect be the enemy of good), turn west through uptown to meet up with the SW LRT. This would effectively become a local line/express line--those leaving downtown for Hopkins or Eden Prairie wouldn't be slowed stopping in Whitier, Lyn-Lake, and Uptown, while people in those areas would have rail access to downtown and points southwest via transfer.

The rest that I have in mind would largely replace streetcar lines that existed long ago. They mostly ran through the main arterials of the cities, and out to the first tier suburbs, like up Central Ave NE to Columbia Heights (city leaders in C.H. definitely want this, and will work with Minneapolis to make it happen), Broadway to Robbinsdale, Nicollet to Richfield, etc.
 
Old 12-17-2011, 05:15 AM
 
11 posts, read 7,798 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stpontiac View Post
You didn't mention the Northstar line at all (commuter rail running from Big Lake in the north to Target Field in downtown Minneapolis). It was originally supposed to run all the way to St. Cloud, but got cut short. Ridership is off projections by 20% or so, so the extension to St. Cloud doesn't look likely. That said, it is a comfortable, clean, and quick ride if it goes where you need to go.
If you ask me if they hadn't of been dumb and extended it to Saint Cloud it would of more then made up that 20% loss in ridership. Lots of people who live in Saint Cloud and commute for work or would like to hit the twin cities on the weekend for shopping. Would of been perfect but like everything it came up to short.
 
Old 12-17-2011, 05:16 AM
Status: "This Space For Rent" (set 20 hours ago)
 
Location: Bel Air, California
10,453 posts, read 8,459,182 times
Reputation: 13226
great idea if the riders riders pay 100% of the cost.
 
Old 12-17-2011, 07:26 AM
 
20,797 posts, read 32,854,358 times
Reputation: 9905
I can see the need for the Red Rock line. There is one way in and out of Cottage Grove and if there is an accident or heavy traffic you are stuck. The light rail going that direction would ease traffic. They can't really expand much of 61 because of the river and the cliff so this is a great option for them.

Having the Cedar Ave line connect at the MOA makes perfect sense since you can transfer to the Hiawatha line from there and it's a covered area for inclement weather for a large number of people. It makes zero sense to add another line from the south metro into Minneapolis.

The real problem with fixed rail lines is they aren't convenient, especially when put in after the fact like we have now. They are fantastic for places like Washington DC because the land space there is limited, the rail (Metro) circles the entire city making pretty much every building in DC an easy walk from a Metro stop. That just isn't the case in Minneapolis, nor will it be unless they sink billions into building a system that most people in the metro just won't use because they don't work in downtown. Now, ring around 494 with spokes off to Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the major suburban business centers in places like Eagan, 3M, Eden Prairie and that would have made MUCH more sense all along since most of the people in the metro area live and work in the suburbs.
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