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Back To: Citizens Guide to St. Paul

Light Rail Q & A

This is a place to post questions about the Central Cooridor Light Rail project. Members of our forum will be solicting answers to some of these questions (at upcoming public meetings) and posting the responses here.

Please, do not use this space to post your opinions or editorials on light rail. This is a space for participants to get their questions answered.

If you are posting the ANSWER to a question, please list the source of the information/response.

1) If the Centrol Corridor line shares the tracks into downtown Minneapolis with the Hiawatha line as is now planned, what percentage of the available capacity of that line will be consumed? What are the implications for increasing frequency of service on the Hiawatha Line or having a line on the Midtown Greenway join the Hiawatha Line and use those same tracks?

I can't answer the first or second parts of the question, but I'd like to take a stab at the third. The Midtown Greenway line as proposed by the Midtown Greenway Coalition would not affect service on the Hiawatha line as riders would make a transfer between lines at the Lake Street station. The Midtown Greenway line would end at the Lake Street station on the East and at Chowen Avenue on the West where riders could transfer to the SW LRT line. To see the Coalition's proposal go here: [1]

Posted to SPIF by: Matty Lang

2) Anyway, has anyone thought through how/if they're going to run a park and ride? They didn't, when they ran it through Minneapolis, and people will actually drive their car and park a block away rather than walk six blocks.

According to Jane McClure: "It's actually a longstanding City of St. Paul policy NOT to have park and ride lots in the city. This came up during the Riverview Corridor discussions several years ago. Park and ride was once part of the plan for Central Corridor in the mid-1980s but was dropped after there was considerable public outcry."

According to David Greene: "That's the whole theory of park-and-rides and is appropriate for places that don't have frequent bus service (outer suburbs, mostly). Peter McLaughlin was at the U of M DCC meeting about Central Corridor on Wednesday and he addressed the parking question. When Hiawatha was designed, a decision was made not to put park & rides in the city for the reasons others have stated in this thread. They decided to address any issues as they arose.

See Discussion

3) (GIVEN #2) How is Mpls dealing with preventing each stop from becoming a parking lot in residential areas? How are they controlling the spillover of freebee parkers? As this relates to the Central Corridor, which parcels of land become parking lots and will the community be given that specific information prior to being asked to sign off?

Post Answer Here (include source - not opinions)

4) Why is it, exactly, that Washington Avenue is slated for a tunnel in the LRT plan? I have heard a number of things over the years, some of which I came to believe. But I would like to know what the official reason it is considered necessary, for sure.

According to Paul Nelson:

  1. The streets are narrower around the U with alot of traffic, and LRT requres its own ROW clearance and does not stop and go with traffic.
  2. There is not much clearance off street.
  3. There are sensitive research expeiments in buildings close to University and the vibration of LRT would have a negative impact. See Discussion

5) The latest I've heard is that the University tunnel is almost a non-starter. To make the FTA cost effectiveness requirement will almost certainly require removal of the tunnel from the project. I don't know what impact this will have in the U of M portion of the line. Any information?

Post Answer Here (include source - not opinions)

6) The right-of-way needed for LRT is 28 feet over most of the corridor, with 45 feet where there are stations. The Draft EIS mentions that in order to accomodate this the right-of-way "may have to be widened in some places". Has anyone identified these places?

Post Answer Here (include source - not opinions)

7) Isn't most of University a 90 foot width, with sidewalks, which means that parking is indeed eliminated over the entire length if two 12 foot lanes and 6 foot sidewalks are retained? Is there any room left for a bike lane, for example?

See Discussion

8) LRT generally requires an 82-foot radius in order to turn. Isn't the proposed turn east of the State Capitol a bit tight, meaning that there will have to be significant acquisition there? What about when it comes to Fourth street? Or at Washington and University in Minneapolis?

According to the City Hall Scoop - "Allen Lovejoy, these days a planner with the city’s Public Works department, told the Planning Commission on Friday that there might be a little hitch in the light rail getalong at Cedar and 4th Streets in downtown St. Paul. It turns out -- or in, as the case may be -- that the right-angle turn planned for that intersection would be one of the tightest turns in the system and, according to Lovejoy, quite a disturbance." SEE BLOG ENTRY: http://blogs.twincities.com/city_hall_scoop/2006/05/breaking_the_ba.html

9) Was an alignment extending along University Ave. to cross the river at Hennepin Ave. or Nicollet Island considered? With a growing number of housing projects envisioned along St. Anthony Main, it would seem to make some sense to try to serve that area. Such an alignment would also facilitate extension north along Central Ave. or University Ave. to Columbia Heights and beyond (perhaps to the proposed Vikings complex?). What are the tradeoffs involved?

Post Answer Here (include source - not opinions)

10) I'd be interested in hearing the results of the feasibility studies of these and other SP-Mpls corridor options and the criteria that emerged as most critical.

Post Answer Here (include source - not opinions)

11) MetroTransit is already planning to increase the capacity of the Hiawatha Line by running three car trains. a) will the Central Corridor accommodate three car trains, b) given the shared trackage, would it be possible to add more frequent service on both lines should it be needed.

Post Answer Here (include source - not opinions)

12) What kind of passenger information systems are planned for the Central Corridor? Will real time train arrival times be displayed?

Post Answer Here (include source - not opinions)

These and other questions can be answered at the public information meetings hosted by the District Councils Collaborative, including one scheduled at the First National Bank Building downtown at 7:30AM tomorrow morning (May 5), Monday May 8th and Thursday, May 18th at 7:00PM, Hubbs Center at University and Chatsworth, and one in between at a UofM class building at 1701 University Ave. SE - May 10th at 7:00PM. But we will also attempt to post some answers as we go along here and on the SPIF list. The DEIS comment period ends June 5, after which the Met Council will decide on the mode (light rail, bus, etc.), with preliminary engineering (design) scheduled to begin late Fall. Andy Driscoll, staff, DCC.

 

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