Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
alexschief
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby alexschief » November 11th, 2020, 1:50 pm

A line that operates as what we call "light rail" for 90% of its length but runs in mixed traffic for 10% is totally reasonable for our population density patterns, and it makes a lot of sense in this corridor.
This should be called what it is; a line with bad design. You can go all over the world to find weird legacy systems with strange characteristics. Boston, Philly, and San Francisco run subway-surface trollies, for instance. But nobody deliberately chooses to build things like that anymore, because they don't make sense. In these cities, these services are notoriously unreliable due to their mixed-traffic segments. San Francisco is proposing an overhaul of the MUNI system to improve reliability by creating a transfer between the surface and subway sections. In Toronto, they have overhauled the traffic rules of their streetcar system in order to get cars out of the way.

Deliberately building rapid transit that runs in mixed traffic in the most congested part of the corridor literally makes no sense if you are prioritizing the quality of transit service. It's like if you built an office tower without an elevator. Just a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of the transit investment.

I know I'm a broken record on this, but I promise you, I am not confused about the types of modes and how they blur together. We use terms like LRT and streetcar to communicate, sometimes they help and sometimes they hinder. But what matters is the actual quality of the service. That means a corridor that serves the right nodes in an efficient way, a mode that provides the right capacity and capability, and an alignment that doesn't hinder access or service.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby DanPatchToget » November 11th, 2020, 2:38 pm

I can't speak for Philly and San Francisco, but regarding Boston's Green Line it doesn't help that four branches merge together, the tunnel section among other infrastructure is ancient (oldest subway tunnel in the US), no level-boarding platforms, and their trams are severely limited in terms of capacity.

Oslo has several tram routes that are similar from an operational standpoint to what's proposed for Riverview; dedicated ROW on some segments, mixed-traffic on others. From my experience it's not reliability from mixed-traffic that's the issue, it's the small trams built in the early 80s, no level-boarding at most stations, and they can't couple trams together for more capacity during rush hour.

In Riverview's case I assume all the platforms will be level-boarding, and I hope they're long enough to allow at least 2-car trains. It would be optimal if the stations were built to allow platform extensions for 3-car trains at a later date, but as long as 2-car trains are feasible I'll be okay with it.

EOst
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby EOst » November 12th, 2020, 9:55 am

I love how easily people here handwave away the deep public opposition to some of this stuff. It's charming in a way.

BoredAgain
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby BoredAgain » November 12th, 2020, 10:23 am

In Riverview's case I assume all the platforms will be level-boarding, and I hope they're long enough to allow at least 2-car trains. It would be optimal if the stations were built to allow platform extensions for 3-car trains at a later date, but as long as 2-car trains are feasible I'll be okay with it.
I haven't checked lately, but I'm pretty sure they were planning on only 1 car trains/platforms to avoid blocking crossing intersections on west 7th.

One of the reasons many thought the plan was a poor design for long-term growth.

tmart
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby tmart » November 12th, 2020, 10:43 am

I love how easily people here handwave away the deep public opposition to some of this stuff. It's charming in a way.
I don't think anyone's hand-waving it away; anyone who followed SWLRT knows better than that. But I think what the best project is given the constraints and parameters, and what project will be the least objectionable to a small but loud and well-connected group of opponents, are two entirely separate questions and it's important to maintain that distinction. As the expression goes, never negotiate with yourself.

Evaluating the project and the options on the table starts with recognizing that, e.g., having a mixed-traffic segment is a concession rather than a feature. It helps us reason about whether the transit quality has been so compromised as to not be worth proceeding. It also helps us identify if there are different concessions that could be made that would address these concerns while having less of an impact on the transit--e.g., subsidizing businesses along the route, incorporating flex/delivery spaces, looking for street changes that could make neighborhood access easier, etc.

alexschief
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby alexschief » November 12th, 2020, 10:51 am

I love how easily people here handwave away the deep public opposition to some of this stuff. It's charming in a way.
I don't think anyone's hand-waving it away; anyone who followed SWLRT knows better than that. But I think what the best project is given the constraints and parameters, and what project will be the least objectionable to a small but loud and well-connected group of opponents, are two entirely separate questions and it's important to maintain that distinction. As the expression goes, never negotiate with yourself.

Evaluating the project and the options on the table starts with recognizing that, e.g., having a mixed-traffic segment is a concession rather than a feature. It helps us reason about whether the transit quality has been so compromised as to not be worth proceeding. It also helps us identify if there are different concessions that could be made that would address these concerns while having less of an impact on the transit--e.g., subsidizing businesses along the route, incorporating flex/delivery spaces, looking for street changes that could make neighborhood access easier, etc.
Perfectly stated.

EOst
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby EOst » November 12th, 2020, 10:53 am

"Small but loud and well-connected group of opponents" is the definition of handwaving away the opposition. You know who has a good read on the size of the opposition? The elected officials making these compromises.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby DanPatchToget » November 12th, 2020, 11:52 am

"Small but loud and well-connected group of opponents" is the definition of handwaving away the opposition. You know who has a good read on the size of the opposition? The elected officials making these compromises.
Handwaving away opposition is ignoring it. We know there's opposition, and we look at the reasons why people are opposed and find ways to address their concerns without canceling the project altogether. But there are also arguments where we have to make a case for why those arguments are inaccurate, such as people thinking Riverview will bring crime, or that West 7th will be destroyed with light rail/streetcar. There's valid arguments, and then there's fear mongering and pretending no other place on Earth has something similar to what's proposed for Riverview.

alexschief
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby alexschief » November 13th, 2020, 4:51 pm

Ramsey County is forming two public advisory committees for the Riverview Modern Streetcar Project to increase outreach to and amplify the voices of people who live, work and recreate on and near the corridor. Applications for both the Community Advisory Committee and the Station Area Planning Task Force will be accepted through December 15, 2020.

These committees will serve during the Engineering and Pre-Environmental Phase (EPE) of the project which will last for approximately three years (early 2021 – late 2023). Applications may be submitted online beginning November 12, 2020 at www.riverviewcorridor.com.
Full message here

Tcmetro
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby Tcmetro » February 3rd, 2021, 1:18 pm

Policy Committee meeting tomorrow: https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/r ... ngs-events

Preferred alternative selected by Q1 2022 according to the powerpoint.

Bakken2016
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby Bakken2016 » February 3rd, 2021, 2:54 pm

Policy Committee meeting tomorrow: https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/r ... ngs-events

Preferred alternative selected by Q1 2022 according to the powerpoint.
Does that mean like where the stations will be located and if it uses west 7th or the cp spur?

Tcmetro
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby Tcmetro » February 3rd, 2021, 3:32 pm

Pretty much, yes. They will choose the alignment that will proceed into the engineering phase which is usually quite firm. Sometimes there will be changes during engineering but they are generally minor.

alexschief
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby alexschief » February 4th, 2021, 8:25 am

I've written a lot about how bad and dumb the "modern streetcar" mode choice is on this project, but we should take a moment to also note that there is absolutely no reason for stations at both Maynard and Davern, and both Montreal and Homer.

Sort of emblematic of the weird priorities of this project that it plans for some of its densest stop spacing at the least dense portion of the corridor.

The proposed draft P&N states:
The purpose of the Riverview Corridor project is to provide transit service that enhances mobility and accessibility for residents, businesses and workers and supports economic opportunities within the project area, particularly in low income neighborhoods.
Seems hard to square "enhances mobility and accessibility" with downtown-to-airport travel times that are longer and less reliable than the #54 bus.

EOst
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby EOst » February 4th, 2021, 8:54 am

I've written a lot about how bad and dumb the "modern streetcar" mode choice is on this project, but we should take a moment to also note that there is absolutely no reason for stations at both Maynard and Davern, and both Montreal and Homer.

Sort of emblematic of the weird priorities of this project that it plans for some of its densest stop spacing at the least dense portion of the corridor.
The Maynard/Davern area is in fact the densest part of the corridor outside of downtown. This is typical in Saint Paul; we have big concentrations of density in fringe areas that were developed from the 1960s on (Shepard/Davern, Rice/Larpenteur, Burns/McKnight, Hamline/Jessamine, etc.) with a lot of single family areas between them and downtown. That's a big part of the story of how the city's population stayed fairly steady through the urban renewal era when Minneapolis's fell.

Homer is also a significant employment center that would not be very accessible from Montreal.

Tcmetro
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby Tcmetro » February 4th, 2021, 9:53 am

Davern and Maynard is quite egrigious, you could realistically build a station between the two. Homer is more questionable, I would just eliminate it. Madison/St Paul Av makes more sense for residential access. I'd imagine the hard decisions on stations will be made over the next year.

alexschief
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby alexschief » February 4th, 2021, 10:11 am

I've written a lot about how bad and dumb the "modern streetcar" mode choice is on this project, but we should take a moment to also note that there is absolutely no reason for stations at both Maynard and Davern, and both Montreal and Homer.

Sort of emblematic of the weird priorities of this project that it plans for some of its densest stop spacing at the least dense portion of the corridor.
The Maynard/Davern area is in fact the densest part of the corridor outside of downtown. This is typical in Saint Paul; we have big concentrations of density in fringe areas that were developed from the 1960s on (Shepard/Davern, Rice/Larpenteur, Burns/McKnight, Hamline/Jessamine, etc.) with a lot of single family areas between them and downtown. That's a big part of the story of how the city's population stayed fairly steady through the urban renewal era when Minneapolis's fell.

Homer is also a significant employment center that would not be very accessible from Montreal.
You're right about the concentration of homes at Maynard/Davern area, but I'm talking about this stretch of the corridor as a whole. There's no real justification for four stations in this area. Three is defensible, but two (probably Davern and Homer) would really be ideal.

EOst
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby EOst » February 4th, 2021, 10:32 am

But you need Montreal for the likely bus transfer--I'm not sure buses could even make that turn from Montreal to southbound 7th to get to a Homer station. The 83 is also a pretty likely candidate to get extended down there.

Worth pointing out too that there are two intersections of Maynard/7th, and the Maynard stop would go at the northern one (and probably even slightly north of it--I think this stop was previously called Alton).

alexschief
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby alexschief » February 4th, 2021, 11:18 am

But you need Montreal for the likely bus transfer--I'm not sure buses could even make that turn from Montreal to southbound 7th to get to a Homer station. The 83 is also a pretty likely candidate to get extended down there.
Why not just extend those routes to Otto?
Worth pointing out too that there are two intersections of Maynard/7th, and the Maynard stop would go at the northern one (and probably even slightly north of it--I think this stop was previously called Alton).
Even the distance between Davern and Alton is less than a third of a mile. It's really way too small, and I think it's a product of the streetcar mindset and not an LRT mindset. 500m is about the minimum stop gap you'll see in some European streetcars.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby DanPatchToget » February 4th, 2021, 11:25 am

Between Maynard and Grand the 54 has 10 stops, and as of now Riverview is proposed to have 7 stops, plus the one at Davern.

Riverview has the extra stop at Davern, Riverview wouldn't have a stop at St. Paul Avenue, the Homer stop for Riverview would replace the 54's stops at Rankin and Mickey's Diner, the Montreal stop would replace the 54's stop on Albion, and Riverview wouldn't have a stop on Tuscarora/Watson.

talindsay
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Re: Riverview Corridor Streetcar

Postby talindsay » February 4th, 2021, 11:34 am

I dunno, back when CCLRT was being planned I didn't want them to build the infill stations because it would slow down the line, but I was wrong - accessibility and mobility isn't the same as speed, and when the two come in conflict with each other, accessibility and mobility is the more important of the two most of the time. Two additional stops won't change the end-to-end time enough to make a useful mode unuseful, and so based on the experiences we've seen with the CCLRT - where the infill stations have had significantly better ridership than expected, and where their inclusion sent a clear signal about the line's commitment to mobility and accessibility for the communities most impacted by the line's construction - I'd lean toward keeping more stations.


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