Transportation Catch All thread

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
First unread post748 posts
danke0 wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:41 pm
Not sure where else to drop these but in this video from trailnet at about 1:16 ... R7OHeHPekE

there is a nice rendering of a redesigned Tucker. Shows just how much space there is and how it could be much better used. Tucker is a nightmare to cross on foot and creates a real and also a psychic barrier between DT and DTW. Imagine if it was laid out like the second pic. These two parts of the city would be instantly knitted back together. Are these from a study or something larger that is available to view?

Also, in the video there is a quick shot of a woman riding a bike up to a beer garden Anyone know where that is (if it's even in STL or around here)?


In 2016, Trailnet launched a planning effort to connect St. Louis with a network of improved pedestrian and bicycle improvements. You can follow the planning efforts and progress made so far at
A free downtown taxi service pilot program? Interesting.

This was in an email from downtownstl/Missy Kelley.
Just following the luncheon, Mayor Krewson will join us for a Ribbon Cutting for the launch of a pilot program for the Downtown eCab. This on-demand transportation service will provide point-to-point travel to destinations within Downtown. Downtown St. Louis is well-connected to the rest of the region through highways and public transit. This new service will help people move about Downtown without having to move their car. For those who choose to leave their car at home, they can take public transit to get here, then use the eCab to get around Downtown throughout the day. Working with our partners such as Bi-State Development (Metro), City of St. Louis, and Missouri Department of Transportation, the pilot will help us test technologies and build the future of transportation in Downtown.

The eCab will use five-passenger electric vehicles to move people around the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District (roughly the river to 18thStreet and Cass to Highway 64) and is funded by the District. It will be free to users during the pilot period.

The pilot, which is operated in partnership with Austin-based Electric Cab of North America, is scheduled to run through June 30, 2018. After launching smart lighting in Downtown, it was a logical next step to build a transportation project that would further contribute to making St. Louis a Smart City.
Do we have any idea what the street/road condition stats are for StL City and County? I suspect there has been a lot of deferred maintenance in the insolvent munis.

Indystar - Indy’s streets are so bad, making them ‘fair’ would take 10 times the current budget ... 324044002/
We do know for the state system. I created the 10 year maintenance plan for all roads, bridges, signals, lights, fiber, cameras you named it for the MoDOT st.louis system. Not aware of any locality with such plan, which is why I want to city to get rid of the ward capital idea and use money to bond a 20 year citywide infrastructure plan
Denis - you are a doer. I love it.
Bonding for maintenance concerns me. If there are always streets that need maintenance, wouldn't it be prudent to tax ourselves and maintain the streets and not spend money on underwriting fees and interest?
Generally yes but the city is so far behind that we can never catch up with pay as you go. Bonding makes sense if the improvements will outlast the 20 year pay back period, which these should plus we get it done at today’s prices. City has about $400m left in bonding capacity, spend spend spend now
I thought we were taped out, which was why our bond rating has been downgraded. Or are we OK so long as th bonds get backed by property tax increase?
$400M/142,057 = $2,815 per household. Taxes from nonresidents helps of course, but can we handle that?
Last I heard we have $50m outstanding of $450m cap. But these would have an existing dedicated source to pay back, ward capital. I think that pot is $8-10m annually from GR
So this is a reply to something that started off as an aside about 64/40 on the Ballpark Village thread. But it turned into a discussion of the PSB and, more relevant here, the MacArthur.
bwcrow1s wrote: Would have been nice to simply rehab the MacArthur road platform and have another way to get across the river. Were there specific reasons why it was torn out instead of fixed up? Because I feel like it would alleviate at least some of the nightmare that is the PSB while they are fixing it up. Not to digress any further, but the PSB is one of the ugliest welcoming banners for our city, also.

Always wanted to reinstitute a cool sign like this somewhere, which used to be at the foot of the MacArthur: ... 00eb_b.jpg
I don't recall too much traffic taking the Eads, or even the Martin Luther King. And the MLK is pretty well integrated into the highways on the east side, making it really quite convenient. To get to Eads you kind of have to know where you're going. I just don't see the MacArthur connecting anything to anything in the same way. It's not quite hooked into downtown. It dumped into an out of the way spot in suburbanesque East St. Louis. You could connect it pretty well, but it would be a big project, maybe pretty comparable to the PSB revamp itself. And it would still be four lanes that require you to get off the highway and back on, unless you're going downtown or to select parts of the east side. Honestly, the PSB is just so convenient for most folks they might not switch elsewhere no matter what you do, even with half the lanes closed. But that sign . . . that does kick some serious ass. We do need that back. At the Eads and the PSB. And potentially a rehabbed MacArthur.

That said, we have more lanes across the river right now than at any previous point in my life. When I was a kid you had the Eads Bridge and the PSB and that was about it. The MacArthur might have been open when I was very young, but not for long. The road deck was closed by the time I was watching fireworks from the rail yard beneath it. (True story. Family friend worked there. Best combination of loud noises ever for any seven year old boy. And there might have been a cab ride involved.) So let's start at sixteen lanes at or near downtown. The MLK didn't reopen until the late 80s, I think, about when the Eads closed. Plus four, minus four. And then the McKinley closed in the mid to late 90s for a good five or ten years, so minus another four. (I miss driving on the outside lanes. Those were fun.) By the turn of the millennium you get back two of McKinley's and lose one off the King Bridge bringing us to seventeen. Add in four on the Stan Span and even with four closed on the PSB we're still ahead. of any time I lived here before present. (And are we down four full or just two? I don't quite recall.)

But yes, as was said elsewhere, the PSB really does give you some pretty nice unobstructed views of downtown as you're coming in. Same goes for Eads, of course. And with much more pretty and heaps of history. But with a lot less capacity.

So here's a thought: ten years from now, after the Merchants is done, when it comes time to consider replacing the MacArthur entire, build a new road deck, new road approaches on the north side of the rail, and new ramps tying it in to 4th, Gratiot, and 8th on the west and

shadrach wrote: Love that sign! I have the same desire. I think there was one on Ead's as well. And there should be one at Eads such as Portland with their neon sign/buck.

IIRC, at some point the DOT forbid bridges with a bend/curve (i.e. Chain of Rocks bridge). I thought this, or some similar design requirement, applied to MacArthur even though its a straight shot across the river.
I would have to assume that if the road deck had been restored it would have been a fairly trivial matter to straighten that ess out just a bit. Every bridge in the area has some elevated curves leading into it. Further, I would assume that only applies to things that are a part of and funded through the federal highway system, and that old stuff can be grandfathered in, there as anywhere.

Honestly, I think the reason the deck was torn out was simply that the TRRA doesn't want to deal with the repercussions of having people and trains in such close proximity or the expense and logistical complexity of owning and operating something not rail related. That and it was a cheaper fix. The MacArthur will need an update in the near to middling future anyway. I would think that would be the time to consider adding the deck back in in a modernized form. Get the DOT to say "Hey, Mr. Trainman, if you put cars and a sidewalk on your bridge, you can have access to this other pot of money over here too." I would dearly have loved to see the deck preserved as a linear park, a la Chain of Rocks. But pieces of it were falling off onto trains underneath, so that wasn't happening as I understand it. That and there are still a lot of people afraid of sidewalks between St. Louis and East St. Louis. (I believe it was a hellish fight getting them included in the new Eads Bridge road deck. There was fight against the bicycle lanes too, as I recall.)

But yes, I'd love to see it restored properly. Never you mind that could easily be a nine digit project. But more bridges looking better is always a winner. And if you can route it directly into the stadium you could rename it the Busch Memorial Bridge. I'd be all for that. Would even make some weaveiness and scraped fenders appropriate. The William K Bridge? The K(raftig) Span? Never did like that Douglas M fellow anyway. Something about a Marine grandfather somewhere.

As to the PSB approaches on the east side, they kind of make sense to me, they're just not signed very well. Essentially you have two lanes of local and two of express each direction. And given the hairball of the interchange, it makes sense to give people a good way around the merging traffic. You just need better signs. Sign the inside lanes clearly 64/40 and the outside lanes everything else beginning at about 203 on the east and Compton on the west. (so about two miles away from the split.) Mix in a restripe discouraging lane changes mid river, maybe even a barrier if you want. Boom! Bob's your uncle. Problem solved. There's my resume Mr. DOT man. Hire me! Wait . . . Yeah, never mind. (I'll write you a jingle, though.)
ENR article with Link to latest 2017 Tiger Grant awards announced a few days ago. I think it has been a few years since one has been awarded in the St Louis region. Maybe the Boyle station grant if I got it right was the last time the region got an award. Not surprising with Chao and current administration that grants heavy in roads and bridges. ... rant-round
Looks like we will be seeing some battery powered Metro busses by 2020 ... t-in-2020/
Vivarail D-Train to be tested in US cities. ... ities.html

Seems like a really interesting idea. I'd love to see something like this used on the rail line through south city.
I'd like to see these running from downtown to Carbondale via DuQuoin (existing CN lines)
shadrach wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:25 pm
I'd like to see these running from downtown to Carbondale via DuQuoin (existing CN lines)
Would make sense to connect some of the Illinois cities as well: Quincy, Jacksonville, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign/Urbana, & Danville.
shadrach wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:25 pm
I'd like to see these running from downtown to Carbondale via DuQuoin (existing CN lines)
I wonder if SMART, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit in the San Fran Bay Area, would be a good template to follow as a means to add commuter service on some of the existing rail infrastructure. SMART essentially a fixed transit/commuter line using diesel propelled units on what is a rebuilt freight corridor. The rebuilt rail line allowed for freight service to reinstated in addition to the transit. However, the rail corridor was also bought out by the acting transit agency which I assume significantly reduced the complications.

On the website you will notice some funky/offset track configuration around the stations to allow for SMART train to pull alongside platforms but give adequate space for freight car clearance. I believe the capacity and ridership of SMART might more in line with St. Louis region considering that St Louis just doesn't have the massive downtown job center on the scale of Manhattan, Chicago or San Fran
The problem I foresee here is that they count on strict time separation to exempt them from standard passenger collision regulations, much as the old operation in Midtown across Metrolink used to use. They count on very lightly used rail lines that go places useful to passengers. Such things exist, but there aren't many like that here. The examples where I'm aware of that kind of day/night separation are all branch lines that are essentially switching leads to local customers, not intercity main lines, and there just aren't any branches out of town that go very far anymore. Most can be measured in blocks now. No need for miles. There's a lot of main lines out of town, but most of the ones that didn't have much traffic have already been pulled and I don't think a class I like CN or UP would allow it, since it would make their crew requirements too complicated. (Either they'd need to carefully schedule all trains terminating in St. Louis to arrive at night or they'd have to have a place to park a train beyond the end of RDC operations until that shut down and they could continue on and yard their train. And best hope the yard isn't on the RDC line or it's going to be mighty hard to work it.) i really don't think it's even possible for this sort of thing to work on an intercity mainline anymore. Even a very lightly used one.

You could possibly use something like that on the old Rock Island between Union and Overland, but I don't know how you hook it in the rest of the system. Even the TRRA probably couldn't allow it. I'm no longer quite as familiar with the lines on the Illinois side, so some of them might qualify, but how do you get into the city? Since you can't mix it with regular traffic there's no bridge for something like that, unless you can allow it on the Eads with Metrolink. (Which seems unlikely. Would be hard to get to it anyway.) It's a nice idea for some applications, but I don't think it would really work around here, short of converting trails to rails. You could, for instance, put it across the McKinley or along the Carondelet branch. (Now that's an idea I like.) Or along any of a half dozen old IT lines.

What would be more exciting to me would be an RDC which met passenger crashworthiness specs. Something that would allow you to set up mainline commuter operations alongside freight traffic cheaply enough to make it work for low volume applications. But that's a whole different kettle of fish than what they're talking. More like a modern version of a Budd RDC. (To which Railroad Development Corporation is clearly referring. I rather thought they were working on that, but I don't see any evidence of it anymore.)

Anyway . . . it's a neat idea, even if it's not likely to work here. And I'm rambling, as usual. Sorry.
shadrach wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:25 pm
I'd like to see these running from downtown to Carbondale via DuQuoin (existing CN lines)
Agreed. Amtrak operated that route as recently as 1993, so maybe it wouldn't be too hard to bring back.
MoDOT draft project list/map for July 1 2018 to 2022-

List ... tLouis.pdf
Map ... 242018.pdf

Not included yet is the I64/Jefferson/22nd street. That will be added in the fall because final agreements are signed yet with the City.
Keep chasing the dragon St. Charles County.

County Executive, Mayors Push for Additional Lanes on I-70 ... e?id=64684
Are there any long term plans or initiatives to connect StL with I-80 in Iowa perferebaly Des Moines or Iowa City?

Its weird that we aren't better connected with Des Moines and Twin Cities
BellaVilla wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:41 pm
Are there any long term plans or initiatives to connect StL with I-80 in Iowa perferebaly Des Moines or Iowa City?

Its weird that we aren't better connected with Des Moines and Twin Cities
You can get from STL to I-80 in Iowa City in about 3.5 to 4 hours using 61 and 218. It's nearly a straight shot north, just not interstate standards. The Twin Cities are about 8 or so hours away from STL, again not interstate standards, and also nearly straight north. Even if there was an interstate highway between the Twin Cities and STL it's still ~560 miles. Compare that with, say, KC to Denver which is all interstate and about 600 miles and that still takes a little over 8 hours. I don't know that a direct connection would really save enough time to be worth the big investment.
^ I think their has been a rough plan to eventually make Hwy 61 into interstate with minor improvements here and there.

What has been lacking is political will and in my opinion I believe that a lot of that has to do with the fact that most farm products in northeast MO and Eastern Iowa moved west to east on the highway to get to the North to South big muddy barge traffic. Maybe in a decade or two, a few good upper Mississippi lock & dam failures which are bound to happen, and you got the respective states with local communities, farmers pushing hard for the interstate to lock free, ice free St. Louis river terminals.