Delmar Loop Trolley

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First unread post1528 posts
ImprovSTL wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:23 am
San Luis Native wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:12 am
Elliot Davis compares the loop trolley to a diesel truck in St. Charles:

http://fox2now.com/2018/02/11/taxpayer- ... -of-money/

...come on, Elliot, you can do better than that.
What an idiot. He also did one of the new lights on MLK and called them "Fancy lights". His way of differentiating the cobra street lights the new pedestrian lights.
I love how when Joe Edwards attempts to explain the idea of light rail transit oriented development Davis just appears dumbfounded by such a concept.
Here is an interesting recent piece on the cost of transit per mile and per user. And compares to lower costs on Europe.

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/ ... us/551408/
Yikes. Sounds like Cincinnati’s streetcar is an utter failure by almost all measures so far....

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/p ... 377015002/
Still worried about this not being incorporated with the Metro fare system, and having a separate fare altogether, or a fare at all. Was there no way in creating a taxing district that could fund this and keep it operational without fares? Or did they already?

Hope it doesn't tank this. Although, I understand it is largely for tourists, I would totally take it from FP to the Loop to grab dinner after activities and avoid the hassle of parking down there. I guess time will only tell.
There is a TDD that levies a 1% sales tax. It generates about $800,000 per year.
The difference between Kansas City and the rest of the municipal streetcar systems really shows the power of free transit. Streetcars are generally slow and are in general more of a neighborhood amenity than a real transit solution. When a streetcar is free they become used for more than just going to work and have huge benefits to the surrounding areas.

In terms of the loop trolley, I don't expect it to see successful ridership numbers unless they somehow find a way make it free. I doubt this will happen and ridership will almost certainly be in the toilet, but if it was free the trolley could become the neighborhood changing amenity originally envisioned.
Yup. When a student in New Orleans the fare was about $1. It was much faster to bike or take the bus but because it was only a dollar and "fun", I often took the streetcar to work Downtown.

If the Loop Trolley was .50$ or 1$ I could see young people/lazy people jumping on just because. Getting into $2/$3 or awkward change makes these trips unlikely.
Right.

Any way that TDD amount could be a viable source to get the trolley free or $1 or less?

Curious of their anticipated yearly operating budget.
We as a state really just need to elect people willing to give funding to transit. Despite having two large cities, our state transit funding per capita is bottom five.
KC's is starting to look a whole lot like an outlier. KC's streetcar started out purely as a novelty and KC residents ate it up and they've done a good job capitalizing on it in the form of development throughout the Crossroads area that connects Crown Center to downtown. Kind of the opposite of St. Louis with Metrolink.
KC's is starting to look a whole lot like an outlier. KC's streetcar started out purely as a novelty and KC residents ate it up and they've done a good job capitalizing on it in the form of development throughout the Crossroads area that connects Crown Center to downtown. Kind of the opposite of St. Louis with Metrolink.
I'm confused on what you are saying.

STL Metro system had/has been a catalyst in urban renewal and development around it's stations. It also is hailed as one of the best systems in the country. When it was built, in 1993, it was one of the first light rail systems in the USA... the system was built more like heavy rail and completely right-away and in subway tunnels. It runs like an urban rail system - not light rail. None of the lines run on streets or with vehicle traffic at all. The system by far is urban and fast. It has been extremely successful and when opened it was an immediate success with triple number ridership than expected in its infancy.

As for streetcars, I am not a fan. They are slow and sloppy. The reason KC's 2 mile streetcar is doing well with riders is - FREE FREE FREE. The minute they start asking someone to pay 1 or 2 dollars to ride 2 miles slowly in traffic, the ridership will tumble quickly. In STL - Metro is mass transit. In KC,Memphis,New Orleans and Cincy, the streecar lines are slow and not a viable way for mass transit. They are there to stimulate tourism and developments along their short routes. Which is fine, but do't expect them to be viable transit options. Having Metro in STL and riding fast trains and then having to ride any other light rail system (like Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Portland) IMO is excruciating painful. It is so slow. I hate it. With the new North/South Line in the works in STL, this has been a topic of discussion at meetings. Making sure that the trains will run in center right away tracks along streets and not in the traffic.

As for the Loop Trolley, it too will be novelty - and cool looking. It, however, does connect the Metro at two stations and two lines (Red and Blue). It is a viable option for transit users to transfer to/from the Metro system. As for ridership, I think that the Loop Trolley will do fine, not huge, but that is where it should be expected.
Not comparing the KC streetcar to Metrolink in terms of mass transit devices, only the surrounding development that it spurred. I think you'll run into a lot of opinions that respectively disagree that Metrolink is a runaway success or hailed as one of the best in the US. A lot of its problems aren't applicable to this discussion (i.e. safety)

And urban renewal and development are not words often associated with Metrolink. The Transit Oriented Development around Metrolink stations is glaringly subpar when you look at comparable systems. I'd estimate about 75% of the metro stops are surrounded by parking lots w/ zero or minimal urban development. Off the top of my head Shrewsbury, Maplewood, Sunnen, N. Hanley, Rock Rd., Wellston, U. City (Big Bend) and pretty much every Illinois stop. Even some of the stops embedded in dense city areas are desolate - Grand, DeBaliviere

If anything, Metrolink needs a drastic upgrade in the amount and the quality of TOD.
Yeah, I would say Jazz At Walter Circle and the new Senior Housing at the Memorial Hospital station are the only real TOD we've had. MetroLink has been abysmal when it comes to spurring development. Though I would only blame our region's poor leadership and our State's continual funding of highway expansion.
But until the Country Club Plaza / UMKC expansion, I wouldn't call any streetcar development TOD per se. Speaking of which, Someone really needs to propose a serious Loop Trolly expansion proposal. I'd prefer a route through Forest Park and down Lindell but down Delmar would work too.
aprice wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:18 pm
Yeah, I would say Jazz At Walter Circle and the new Senior Housing at the Memorial Hospital station are the only real TOD we've had. MetroLink has been abysmal when it comes to spurring development. Though I would only blame our region's poor leadership and our State's continual funding of highway expansion.
But until the Country Club Plaza / UMKC expansion, I wouldn't call any streetcar development TOD per se. Speaking of which, Someone really needs to propose a serious Loop Trolly expansion proposal. I'd prefer a route through Forest Park and down Lindell but down Delmar would work too.
Poor leadership is why we lack true TOD around stations. St. Louis is too fractioned and needs comprehensive planning. We've made many TOD plans but NIMBYism and are multitude of fiefdoms are holding back wholesale redevelopment. Hell even downtown St. Louis doesn't have form based code and it's probably the last major city downtown in America without it.
goat314 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:00 pm
Hell even downtown St. Louis doesn't have form based code and it's probably the last major city downtown in America without it.
Source?

EDIT: Providence, RI is the only major Downtown that I know of that MIGHT have a Form-Based Code and I'm yet to even locate concrete evidence of that. Although I haven't looked very hard...
It's interesting to read your comments. There are points I agree with and strongly disagree with.

That being said, Metro writes about economic development near its light rail stations every month via a blog series titled TOD Corner. I would recommend all of you check it out if you have time: http://www.metrostlouis.org/tod-corner/
^ Agree, some interesting points and discussion

My two cents on the loop trolley in part based on being in and around Tampa when Ybor trolley initially got up and running.

1) I don't believe loop trolley was ever intended to be first and foremost a transit option. I think Joe Edwards pushed hard as a development assist, tool for the loop. In that regard, I think it is absolutely imperative that they find a way to make it FREE to ride or at least expect that a metrolink card/ticket is good enough. I agree that KC streetcar has succeeded as a development asset and strongly agree that it being FREE is a huge plus. Give KC some big credit on recognizing that fare collection was going to be a hindrance to the streetcar not a plus. I think that the trolley not being free ride is the one biggest mistake when Loop Trolley was pushed.

2) As a tourist asset I'm still at a loss why Forest Park Forever hasn't pushed an extension through the park to the one of the regions most notable attractions and garners significant crowds, St. Louis ZOO. Heck, I would push it over the freeway to the Old Forest Park Hospital site as part of Zoo's long term plan - I see a future of a couple more loop boutique hotels on one end and anchor, theme hotel at the Forest Park hospital site with seem less loop trolley connection in between. You can argue it is a short walk all you want

As far as Goats comments on expansion. I would rather see a proposed north south streetcar in the city whether it is up and down Grand, or Jeff or along the lines of Broadway/Near north ST Louis connecting with metrolink. Like KC street car, needs to be relatively short, Free and connecting some key job centers/neighborhoods for infill.
aprice wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:07 pm
goat314 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:00 pm
Hell even downtown St. Louis doesn't have form based code and it's probably the last major city downtown in America without it.
Source?

EDIT: Providence, RI is the only major Downtown that I know of that MIGHT have a Form-Based Code and I'm yet to even locate concrete evidence of that. Although I haven't looked very hard...
Are you serious? Most major cities have some sort of form based code, at the very least in their urban cores. Some cities even have form based code over the entirety of the city. It's not just market dynamics that determine if your city will have successful TOD or urbanism, you have to have the correct policy to get the outcomes you want. You honestly think you can build whatever you want in San Francisco, Chicago, or New York? Let's be real. It may not be explicitly described as form based code, but most cities have government sanctioned zoning guidelines of what can be built where and how it must relate to it's surrounding environment. St. Louis Planning Department and SLDC has even admitted that it has totally dropped the ball on this. Then again most cities have updated their city plans since 1947.

http://www.placemakers.com/how-we-teach/codes-study/

Cities and towns are using form-based codes to reverse these trends. Big city adopters include Miami, Nashville, Buffalo, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Denver, Albuquerque, El Paso, Memphis, Baltimore, Tulsa, Portland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Calgary, Abu Dhabi, Dammam. And because the unit of urban design is the neighborhood, form-based codes have also been applied to as small as 100-person populations and 35 acres.
The bus doesn't go down this part of Euclid anymore. Did any of those projects build less parking than gov't mandated because of their proximity to transit?

TOD Corner: Central West End Euclid Corridor Adds More Homes, Restaurants

Image

http://www.metrostlouis.org/nextstop/to ... staurants/
quincunx wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:26 pm
The bus doesn't go down this part of Euclid anymore. Did any of those projects build less parking than gov't mandated because of their proximity to transit?

TOD Corner: Central West End Euclid Corridor Adds More Homes, Restaurants

Image

http://www.metrostlouis.org/nextstop/to ... staurants/
I know that increased investment in Central West End and Grove has been guided by form based code and guidelines. Obvious, development would have happened anyway but may not have been as urban in nature.
^Does a project need to to build less parking than gov't mandated (which sounds illegal) to qualify as TOD?
Just takes a variance. Less than the parking minimum would be a good sign that it's intended to be transit oriented or take advantage of it. Instead it "needed" in high quantities so taxpayers have had to subsidize structured parking since car owners refuse to pay for its actual cost.
The VenturWorks buildings turn their backs to the street and transit and face parking. And there is no pedestrian access to the Met Center. We set the bar so low.

TOD Corner: STLVentureWorks Expands in Wellston
http://www.metrostlouis.org/nextstop/to ... -wellston/
Not comparing the KC streetcar to Metrolink in terms of mass transit devices, only the surrounding development that it spurred. I think you'll run into a lot of opinions that respectively disagree that Metrolink is a runaway success or hailed as one of the best in the US. A lot of its problems aren't applicable to this discussion (i.e. safety)
Safety on Metro trains is not an isolated concern for Metro as it is for every mass transit system in the country. I think it is important that we improve safety on Metro don't get me wrong - but I personally have never felt unsafe riding the trains in STL during day and early evening commutes. Right now, mass transit systems across the country are having plagues of safety concerns and assaults In STL there has been around three big news incidents involving assaults on trains recently and the media reports it as if the entire system is plagued with crime. With rideship at 55,000 to 80,000 daily (depending on day) a person is safer on the train than walking on a street. Every station has cameras and a guard. Can it improve, of course. But, this is NOT unique just to STL mass transit.

Chicago has had horrible crime on CTA. Shootings on platforms and on trains - 7 shootings on trains last year and 2 homicides. Much less tons of assaults and petty crimes. They are going to start a new million dollar camera and crime defense system in the next few year.
Atlanta's Marta is in the news almost every other week. This Sunday there were two shootings on Marta trains and last year 4 murders. Can you imagine if that was STL trains?
Cleveland RTA has had assaults and violence on their system this past year "doubling" (Channel 19 Cleveland) the assaults on trains this past year.
Look up NYC mass transit crime - it will shock you. Daily.
Minneapolis is having a terrible time with crime on the light rail system there.
Phoenix Light Rail crime has skyrocketed.

Just google any of those cities or any of the top 20 rail mass transit cities in the USA and you will see crime is up and ridership is down on almost all 20 top systems.
http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/03/ ... rship-down
https://la.curbed.com/2017/8/29/1621923 ... p-down-why

So, STLians and media in this city love to "scare" people into perceptions that Metro is "so unsafe". St. Louis is not "special" or "worse" (actually better than most of the top 20 systems in the country) in crime, but you would sure think it the way STL media presents it.

Well, like I said, you are safer on a train than walking the streets in most cities.


Success?

There are few (mainly naysayers of public transit in the first place - like the Show Me Institute that vomits on anything mass transit) that Metrolink in STL was now a forefront and footprint for most systems and looked at when planning light rail systems in the USA from LRT infancy in the USA.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/traffic/al ... 7c520.html

http://www.lightrailnow.org/news/n_stl_2006-04a.htm

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/592 ... arity.html

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/20t ... m#stream/0
goat314 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:34 pm
Are you serious?
I was honestly just asking for your source.
And from the link you sent: KC's does not apply downtown. Cincy's has only been adopted by 4 neighborhoods, downtown and OTR not included. Looks like Cleveland's Urban Overlay plan only applies to two blocks of downtown. Seattle's only applies to low rise residential.
Cities with no Form Based Codes: Indy, Pittsburgh, Des Moines, Minneapolis.
Notable Specific downtown FBCs: Phoenix, Portland OR, New Orleans, Nashville, Birmingham AL, Montgomery AL, Fort Worth, Newark, Omaha, Roanoke.

So yes, a lot of cities do have them but we're hardly an exception here. Someone recently tried to tell me that no downtowns have Form Based Codes and that a FBC was not appropriate for DT STL. To which I gave several examples for why one is necessary. I asked because I'm trying to get information on peer cities in our fight for downtown right now.