An anonymous reader writes in:
If anyone is available to attend a Met Council meeting at 4 pm (Wednesday July 23), this could get interesting.Met Council/Metro Transit had most of the $28 million for the B line (West 7th) in place, but at the last minute Ramsey County (with St. Paul as second) did something procedurally to prevent Metro transit from using its own money to get MSP region’s FTA formula funds and complete design work in time before other funds to build the project expire. They are doing this because they think Riverview LRT will be open soon. The B Line would be open before the LPA process for Riverview can even be adopted in 2016. Nothing about ABRT on the B Line would prevent future light rail service.So, for the next decade (if we’re lucky), we’ll continue to have substandard bus service while we argue about an LRT line that once built, won’t go fast enough.More info:
I’m a proponent of Riverview LRT, but let’s be real: Even in the rosiest scenarios it won’t be open for another decade. aBRT is high impact, relatively low cost. It makes sense to put aBRT on West 7th even if we end up putting improved service on the corridor a decade or more from now.
How does this differ from the (official?) Lake Street plan, where aBRT for Lake Street and LRT for the Midtown Greenway are being planned in parallel? It seems to be largely the same.
Speaking of aBRT shenanigans, it was reported on UrbanMSP back in May that the Met Council Transportation Advisory Board indirectly redirect $7 million for Chicago Ave aBRT (by way of this West 7th aBRT project) to ****pay for a park and ride in Hopkins****. I wish I was joking.
There’s a good chance that a Riverview LRT that connects St. Paul to the Airport and MOA can’t be built. That’s because it has to find a way to cross the Mississippi River and connect with the Blue Line within Fort Snelling. That’s a daunting challenge both environmentally and politically. It will require taking homes and parkland. Good luck with that.
Having it run only within St. Paul makes it non-viable. The success of limited stop bus Route 54 (and it is very successful) is a 1-seat ride to the Airport and MOA. They provide the large majority of the ridership. Forcing an LRT-to-bus transfer would be a serious service downgrade. Why spend more money to make the service far less convenient?
Bottom line–BRT is the right choice for the Riverview Corridor.
The construction problems are completely straightforward to solve. They require a *tall* bridge across the Mississippi, which is expensive, but straightforward.
Can anyone summarize what happened tonight? This is a very concerning development…
Fred Melo summarizes here http://www.twincities.com/News/ci_26204002
My take: Goodbye B-Line, hello C-Line. At least Minneapolis has a small clue, unlike St Paul. Staff should figure out how to keep the $.
St Paul is “bringing distant opportunities near”, at the expense of reality. At best W 7th comes after SWLRT and Bottineau and Midtown Greenway and Nicollet Streetcar, which are all better corridors and farther up in line. At current pace that says maybe 2030.
Can someone let me know who to yell at? I really ticked off here. Come on, St Paul!!