Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Vagueperson
Landmark Center
Posts: 299
Joined: June 17th, 2014, 7:13 am
Location: Payne-Phalen, St. Paul

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby Vagueperson » April 20th, 2020, 1:33 pm

how many people who live in Stillwater work in Stillwater? How many work in MSP?

grrdanko
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 174
Joined: December 21st, 2014, 3:14 pm
Location: Downtown

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby grrdanko » April 20th, 2020, 5:46 pm

how many people who live in Stillwater work in Stillwater? How many work in MSP?
I don't think a significant number of Stillwater residents work at the airport.

Multimodal
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 717
Joined: March 4th, 2016, 7:55 am
Location: Oh, no, the burbs!

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby Multimodal » April 21st, 2020, 9:42 am

I won't hold my breath on any development along Highway 36 in Stillwater being car-light and pedestrian-friendly. How about making the existing Downtown Stillwater car-light and pedestrian friendly while the area around Highway 36 is left as is; auto-centric and not friendly towards transit, pedestrians, and bikers.
The City of Stillwater, being quite old, can certainly work on redevelopment to make it more car-light & ped-friendly (not that they are!).

But Washington County’s goal is to grow & develop more tax base in rural areas. Unlike MNDOT, they’re not looking for more highways, they’re looking for BRT. Isn’t this what we say the future is? So why do we complain when governments do this?

Yes, urbanists who live in the city want transit where existing density is—and that of course makes a lot of sense. And it’s sad that transit is so underfunded that cities & suburbs have to compete for the same small pot of transit money. But the goal is more transit everywhere, whether it’s existing urban areas or greenfield suburbs where cities & counties are planning growth.

I suppose an argument can be made for keeping farmland as farmland, and just densifying our existing developed areas. But even that would require BRT (or rail) going out to connect Stillwater to the Twin Cities.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1434
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby Tcmetro » April 21st, 2020, 9:52 am

Hwy 36 is in a predicament like 169 through Eden Prairie a decade and a half ago. My bet is that the three intersections get replaced with one or two interchanges in the future.

DanPatchToget
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 790
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby DanPatchToget » April 21st, 2020, 12:18 pm

I won't hold my breath on any development along Highway 36 in Stillwater being car-light and pedestrian-friendly. How about making the existing Downtown Stillwater car-light and pedestrian friendly while the area around Highway 36 is left as is; auto-centric and not friendly towards transit, pedestrians, and bikers.
The City of Stillwater, being quite old, can certainly work on redevelopment to make it more car-light & ped-friendly (not that they are!).

But Washington County’s goal is to grow & develop more tax base in rural areas. Unlike MNDOT, they’re not looking for more highways, they’re looking for BRT. Isn’t this what we say the future is? So why do we complain when governments do this?

Yes, urbanists who live in the city want transit where existing density is—and that of course makes a lot of sense. And it’s sad that transit is so underfunded that cities & suburbs have to compete for the same small pot of transit money. But the goal is more transit everywhere, whether it’s existing urban areas or greenfield suburbs where cities & counties are planning growth.

I suppose an argument can be made for keeping farmland as farmland, and just densifying our existing developed areas. But even that would require BRT (or rail) going out to connect Stillwater to the Twin Cities.
If we try to serve every greenfield suburb with BRT there’s going to be a lot of Red Lines; not actual BRT with low frequency and low ridership plus the fact that it was used as an excuse to widen a road or highway. That’s why I complain about government spending money on studying and building these type of projects.

We should be leaving farmland alone and focus on densifying in already developed areas like Downtown Stillwater, and there’s a nice freight rail corridor going out that way that could be used by regional trains that could also serve small downtown districts in Lake Elmo and Bayport. Again, already developed areas where we should focus on densifying instead of making the expensive mistake of developing as far as the eye can see.

Multimodal
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 717
Joined: March 4th, 2016, 7:55 am
Location: Oh, no, the burbs!

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby Multimodal » April 21st, 2020, 1:25 pm

I can buy into the “leave farmland alone”. It’s apparently what’s done in Europe. What they call “suburbs” are more like small nearby cities & villages, out beyond a ring of farmland. I’m OK with that.

So then do some of these distant suburban BRT lines (Stillwater, Lakeville?) essentially become the bus equivalent of intercity rail, if the idea is to densify cities like Stillwater?

DanPatchToget
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 790
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby DanPatchToget » April 21st, 2020, 4:04 pm

I can buy into the “leave farmland alone”. It’s apparently what’s done in Europe. What they call “suburbs” are more like small nearby cities & villages, out beyond a ring of farmland. I’m OK with that.

So then do some of these distant suburban BRT lines (Stillwater, Lakeville?) essentially become the bus equivalent of intercity rail, if the idea is to densify cities like Stillwater?
If we're talking buses then it would probably be just regular bus service but with all-day operation in both directions instead of the typical commuter schedule. The distance needed to travel may be the same, but there would be less station stops because one station in a denser area can serve the equivalent of multiple stations in a less dense area. Less stations means less cost and faster travel time.

That's another flaw with these highway BRT proposals. They want fast travel time but because of how spread out most suburbs are there would be a lot of areas with potential ridership skipped. Either serve more stops but increase travel time which means less ridership, or faster travel time with less stops but low ridership because areas have been skipped over. Either way these highway BRT routes won't perform well unless cities stop focusing on developing every acre of land and start focusing on improving existing developed areas; for both Stillwater and Lakeville that's their historic downtowns.

Mdcastle
Foshay Tower
Posts: 847
Joined: March 23rd, 2013, 8:28 am
Location: Bloomington, MN

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby Mdcastle » April 23rd, 2020, 6:32 am

There are plans to densify downtown Stillwater, when, where, how much, and if remain to be seen. The legal kerfuffle with taking out the dry cleaners was to gain control of enough land for a second parking ramp in the future. Stillwater views a 5 minute / quarter mile walk from parking to a business to be acceptable for the type of "destination" retail in downtown Stillwater, and this second ramp would put the entire historic downtown within that walkshed (right now Brick Alley and a few businesses on the south end are farther from the existing ramp). At that point some of the riverfront parking and some of the scattered surface lots both along the river and elsewhere can be repurposed.

Despite how that article on West End pointed out that suburbanites here hate parking ramps, I think downtown Stillwater is compelling enough they'd get used if the option of surface parking was removed. Right now there's no reason to park in the ramp when you don't have too, and the cues to get to it are too subtle compared to the sea of surface parking you see on your right coming down the hill.

Every new plan from Stillwater changes what to do about the riverfront parking. In the 1980s it was even suggested to build structured parking there rather than behind the downtown. Later the suggestion was parks on the water side with two story mixed use (as not to overwhelm the historic downtown) on the downtown side of the trail. The current plan suggests keeping one or two rows of parking on the river side (if nothing else it's a handy place to build temporary dikes when needed) and is mute on the downtown side. Perhaps they realize the private lots are move valuable as parking to businesses than their value being sold off for low intensity mixed use. Rather than development, with the 2040 plan the block between Lowell Park and Maple Island is envisioned as a "destination park" with a skating ribbon or something to attract people to downtown in the winter.

The 2040 plan envisions reusing the upper stories of the main street building as residential units. I'm assuming now they're used for offices or store inventory or something. I don't know if there's ADA issues or it's just not economical to remodel and manage a couple units per specific building, or if the stores really need the space.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1434
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Highway Transitway Corridor Study

Postby Tcmetro » October 9th, 2020, 7:37 pm

Highway 36 Transit Feasibility Study has a project webpage now. Recommendations from the study expected in Spring 2021, with a public meeting sometime this winter. There is a questionnaire open currently.

https://www.co.washington.mn.us/36Transit


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest