Northside-Southside Metrolink

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
First unread post1387 posts
"The line could be extended in later years, he said, and potentially link to another line that would go west to Lambert."

I wonder if they are considering scrapping the segment that would go up West Florissant in the county. Maybe they are looking to have it go parallel to I-70 at good segment and meet up with the North Hanley station. Not against this particular plan, but if they are going to use this route. I would rather Metro just keep it a grade separated and go all the way down I-70 for the Northside and used the Desoto right of way for the Southside.
Seems like it all hinges on the federal money. When would we find out about that? Everything I have read is that Trump's administration is holding up any transit money. Even money that was already earmarked.

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/07/18/ ... ral-funds/
Sorry if I missed this earlier, but I was looking at the proposed map (http://www.northsidesouthsidestl.com/study-map/) and was wondering: Why doesn't the part that goes through downtown run on 8th and 9th/7th street instead of 9th and 10th street? The existing rail is already underground, so couldn't the new rail just run on the same street above ground? The trains can't be that heavy right?

If this comes to fruition, it'll be annoying to have to walk up to two blocks if you're transferring, especially since you'll need to cross streets to do so.
Aren't the transfers envisioned to occur at the Amtrak/Greyhoud/Bus Depot next to the Enterprise Center? Wouldn't you just switch there to the best train?
moltingcicada wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:08 pm
Why doesn't the part that goes through downtown run on 8th and 9th/7th street instead of 9th and 10th street? The existing rail is already underground, so couldn't the new rail just run on the same street above ground? The trains can't be that heavy right?
If this comes to fruition, it'll be annoying to have to walk up to two blocks if you're transferring, especially since you'll need to cross streets to do so.
The main transfer point will be at Civic Center. Unless you're coming from Illinois and headed to the North Side (or vice versa), then it would be faster to transfer at Pine (or Washington). Compared to most of the hell that transit users have to experience in this city, a 650' walk between trains is nothing. As for running on 8th, that would require yet another turn at 8th and Washington and 9th & Washington as they don't seem to keen on running the trains down Washington. And I'm guessing that yes, the trains are in fact too heavy to run on top of a 150 year old brick tunnel.
The transit discussion on last night's Donnybrook was infuriating. Pathetic really

https://video.ninenet.org/video/august-23-2018-ow08ry/
Stltoday - McClellan: Is an expensive new light-rail line the best option? Let the millennials decide

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/col ... aa44a.html
Highways aren't very profitable and destroy the urban core, but yet we dole out millions for them. Building the N-S line shouldn't be about profit, but rather giving everyone in the city equal access to jobs in the central corridor. Studies show light rail increases property values and economic development as well, which north city is in serious need of. What is the alternative? Just keeping the status-quo and hoping things magically change?
cgeenen wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:44 pm
Highways aren't very profitable
Nothing government does is profitable, its not suppose to be.
cgeenen wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:44 pm
Building the N-S line shouldn't be about profit, but rather giving everyone in the city equal access to jobs in the central corridor.
We should give everyone in the city equal access to jobs and we should do that NOW not in 2026 or 2027, families cant wait 8 years for it, we can have BRT routes done by end of next year if we wanted, lets improve bus frequency instead of pooling money for 8 years to build a fixed track that cant move if jobs move
cgeenen wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:44 pm
Studies show light rail increases property values and economic development as well, which north city is in serious need of.
they do show that, just haven't shown it in St.Louis, there is minimal investment around stations, i think at one there was a car dealership developed. We have also lost about 100,000 people as city since metro link was built, so its not attracting people (note it metrolink had nothing to do with the pop lose, point is it isn't attracting people either)
cgeenen wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:44 pm
What is the alternative? Just keeping the status-quo and hoping things magically change?
See the 2nd answer, invest in the current system to improve bus frequency and add BRT lines North and South and West.

Now if someone came to us with a free $1,000,000,000 lets do NS Metrolink, lets do BRT and lets cut bus frequency to 10 min.
We should give everyone in the city equal access to jobs and we should do that NOW not in 2026 or 2027, families cant wait 8 years for it, we can have BRT routes done by end of next year if we wanted, lets improve bus frequency instead of pooling money for 8 years to build a fixed track that cant move if jobs move
Yup. Broadway, Jefferson, Grand. Kingshighway
BRT should be a vital part of our citywide transportation system, especially on the bigger N/S thoroughfares, but the N/S will still be a huge game changer for the system.

The current Metrolink system is great at connecting to areas where people go, but doesn't travel to where people are. Outside of the Downtown stops and CWE-Clayton, the stops are simply not where people live in significant density. That is slowly being corrected through the addition of TOD, but in a slow growth economy this has not been executed particularly well thus far.

The N/S won't be a significant connector for jobs or institutions but it will connect some of our densest residential neighborhoods to our existing system and to downtown which is HUGE. The southern leg runs through areas that already have a precedent for density and are already highly walkable independent of transit.

The South City demographic is also highly favorable for ridership unlike many areas along the current Metrolink route. Take the Clayton station for example. Even with a significant population within walking distance of the stops, ridership is primarily commuters who work in Clayton. Most of the population in the immediate area still stays away for one reason or another. I can see South City embracing the Metrolink in a way the Central Corridor never has.
quincunx wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:56 pm
Stltoday - McClellan: Is an expensive new light-rail line the best option? Let the millennials decide

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/col ... aa44a.html

Maybe one of my biggest pet-peeves is people incorrectly labeling "millenials." Millenials, generally, were born from 1980-1995 - That's a 38-year-old, for the math illiterate. Not someone who was born around/after 2000.
I'm all for it but know that light rail through North St. Louis would immediately make it the most sparsely populated area to be served by light rail of any system anywhere. Can someone think of anything comparable?

It's likely that land speculation would be intense ultimately accelerating "gentrification" for lack of a better word.

I understand the North segment would be built mostly because of "equity" and not current density but people should be prepared for some unintended consequences.
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:33 am
We have also lost about 100,000 people as city since metro link was built, so its not attracting people (note it metrolink had nothing to do with the pop lose, point is it isn't attracting people either)
IIRC the neighborhoods along Metrolink did better than most in the 2010 census. Metrolink doesn't get all the credit for that of course. Perhaps the 88k drop in population since 1990 would have been worse without it.
Ultimately it did not work out for other factors, but let me say that when we first moved to St Louis we were almost exclusively looking for housing in the Central Corridor *because* of the Metrolink.
quincunx wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:28 pm
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:33 am
We have also lost about 100,000 people as city since metro link was built, so its not attracting people (note it metrolink had nothing to do with the pop lose, point is it isn't attracting people either)
IIRC the neighborhoods along Metrolink did better than most in the 2010 census. Metrolink doesn't get all the credit for that of course. Perhaps the 88k drop in population since 1990 would have been worse without it.
WashU Med is building a 2,500 parking spot garage at Busch Lot, Cortex is building a 600 spot garage and planning on more, Wash U just bought land off med campus on kingshighway for 500 more parking spots that theyll shuttle people to and from. All of that sits on the metrolink line, to me that's unbelievable...there are 25,000 parking spots in that district each turning over 2-3 times a day
Also important to remember that Metrolink red and blue lines aren't street-running. And TOD development has always been challenging since the system took place of and old freight ROW. Not excusing bad planning (car dealerships) but it's definitely different than something like the new-ish KC streetcar. (Which is what N-S will most likely resemble).
quincunx wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:28 pm
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:33 am
We have also lost about 100,000 people as city since metro link was built, so its not attracting people (note it metrolink had nothing to do with the pop lose, point is it isn't attracting people either)
IIRC the neighborhoods along Metrolink did better than most in the 2010 census. Metrolink doesn't get all the credit for that of course. Perhaps the 88k drop in population since 1990 would have been worse without it.
Exactly. And it's safe to assume the population increase has continued along the line in the current decade.
^ I think dblnsouthcty brings a very legitimate argument on why the city without much support from the state and or region shouldn't pursue a billion plus dollar big ticket infrastructure project that will take another decade to build with skeptical results that will take several more decades. The bigger winners at end of day will be some well connected Engineers/Consultants & Contractors. Yes, you had some growth in central corridor but that is also in part to the concentration of medical institutions with the likes of BJC/Wash U/SLU able to keep and expand jobs. Those institutions didn't need metrolink to make things happens even though it helped.

I'm really doubting that a new N-S light rail line will bring what people think it will. I would think differently if the region had growth like Houston or Dallas Ft Woth but it doesn't and won't for decades. City should go small ball, downsize/encourage denser development around improved north south arterial transit corridors whether it means increase bus frequency, BRT and or some smaller streetcar lines that will bring people to the central corridor where jobs are being concentrated.
I think investing in better bus frequency and BRT lines right now vs waiting 8 years (factor in delay or a year or 2) for a fixed LR line is easy call, imo
quincunx wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:56 pm
Stltoday - McClellan: Is an expensive new light-rail line the best option? Let the millennials decide

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/col ... aa44a.html
I always did like McClellan. And not just because he wrote a column suggesting the courts give Peggy Crane's estate to my grandfather. The guy says sensible things in funny ways.

N-S may not be everyone's favorite answer, but the voters have spoken. We made it a priority. That doesn't mean things need to be mutually exclusive. It doesn't need to come at the expense of improving bus service. But there are clear benefits to both bus service and light rail. And those benefits are different. Improved bus service is a solid transportation solution. It helps people get places. Does it help raise property values? Does it help development? I'm more suspicious of that. They're different tools doing different things. Maybe we actually need both. Honestly, I'm pretty sure we really do. We need both better transportation now and something that raises property values and encourages development in the medium and long term. And by the time this thing is built (if it ever is) things on the north side could look pretty dang different than they do now. For better or worse NGIA will have an impact.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:13 pm
quincunx wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:56 pm
Stltoday - McClellan: Is an expensive new light-rail line the best option? Let the millennials decide

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/col ... aa44a.html
I always did like McClellan. And not just because he wrote a column suggesting the courts give Peggy Crane's estate to my grandfather. The guy says sensible things in funny ways.

N-S may not be everyone's favorite answer, but the voters have spoken. We made it a priority. That doesn't mean things need to be mutually exclusive. It doesn't need to come at the expense of improving bus service. But there are clear benefits to both bus service and light rail. And those benefits are different. Improved bus service is a solid transportation solution. It helps people get places. Does it help raise property values? Does it help development? I'm more suspicious of that. They're different tools doing different things. Maybe we actually need both. Honestly, I'm pretty sure we really do. We need both better transportation now and something that raises property values and encourages development in the medium and long term. And by the time this thing is built (if it ever is) things on the north side could look pretty dang different than they do now. For better or worse NGIA will have an impact.
meh the voter wants a N-S line but the idea that that means steel rails embedded in the street is kind of narrow minded. BRT does most of what light rail does as long as it runs in dedicated ROW. And the cost savings is significant.

Took AmTrak to Chicago recently and on the way back ~40 minutes outside Chicago we ended up sitting for 3 1/2 hours because a freight train crew ran out of time and they had to "rush" (3 1/2 hours later) a new team to the train to get it off the tracks. In a bus these things would be minor diversions. Rails are just SOOO in-flexible. I love LRT but even the current link (which is almost completely grade separated) shuts down entire sections for maintenance on occasion create a huge hassle for passengers who use it to commute.

I think we really need to give BRT an honest try before we start saying its not a good solution to our transit problem. Much of the expense of BRT (dedicate ROW and Fixed stations) would transition well to street running LRT if an upgrade was eventually deammed to be worth while.

On the other side if we wanted to go to the expense of installing grade separated tracks, elevated or underground, then i might think differently. I get the numbers for either of them would be hard to justify but the elimination of most external factors which coould cause delays coupled with the nerdy coolness of it kind of helps me forget the economics for a bit.
STLEnginerd wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:17 pm
meh the voter wants a N-S line but the idea that that means steel rails embedded in the street is kind of narrow minded. BRT does most of what light rail does as long as it runs in dedicated ROW. And the cost savings is significant.

Took AmTrak to Chicago recently and on the way back ~40 minutes outside Chicago we ended up sitting for 3 1/2 hours because a freight train crew ran out of time and they had to "rush" (3 1/2 hours later) a new team to the train to get it off the tracks. In a bus these things would be minor diversions. Rails are just SOOO in-flexible. I love LRT but even the current link (which is almost completely grade separated) shuts down entire sections for maintenance on occasion create a huge hassle for passengers who use it to commute.

I think we really need to give BRT an honest try before we start saying its not a good solution to our transit problem. Much of the expense of BRT (dedicate ROW and Fixed stations) would transition well to street running LRT if an upgrade was eventually deammed to be worth while.

On the other side if we wanted to go to the expense of installing grade separated tracks, elevated or underground, then i might think differently. I get the numbers for either of them would be hard to justify but the elimination of most external factors which coould cause delays coupled with the nerdy coolness of it kind of helps me forget the economics for a bit.
Oh, I'll grant BRT does many and maybe most of the same things. How does it do for adjacent property values?

Also, while BRT and streetcars look similar in some ways, how many of the facilities would really translate? What kind of cost savings would yo really have in a transition? Obviously you'd have to tear up whatever surface you built for busses in order to lay track. That's just a straight-up loss. The ROW might work out the same, but what percentage of the cost is that? How many of the routeside facilities would really be the same? Could you use the same platforms without significant rebuilding? Would you be able to use the same traffic signals? You may be right that it would be a savings, but I'm not really convinced of it. More evidence is warranted.

As to the nerd factor . . . I'm with you. But there's all kinds of nerds. I've even met a bus nerd, surprising as that may be. (Never found them all that sexy myself, even way back when I was driving them, but . . . to each their own.) I'd rather see grade separated, high platform, honest to goodness. But this will be more like that in places than like a streetcar. It's planned to be kind of a hybrid, last I checked. Could be the best of both worlds. Could be the worst. You never know with hybrids.

But I will say this: I think the thing was clearly sold to voters as light rail. If it turns out to be BRT, or nothing, there will be a lot of angry voters. The actual ballot initiative was flexible. Doesn't require rails, or even anything at all beyond improved service, as I recall. But the way the advertising ran? . . . We may have been sold a bill of goods, but the bill clearly had rails on the picture on the front.
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:33 am
We should give everyone in the city equal access to jobs and we should do that NOW not in 2026 or 2027, families cant wait 8 years for it, we can have BRT routes done by end of next year if we wanted, lets improve bus frequency instead of pooling money for 8 years to build a fixed track that cant move if jobs move
I think the new Metro Reimagined alignment could be a good opportunity to gradually improve bus service for possible BRT on Jefferson, where the new Metro alignment will be built, as a form of incremental change for much needed improvement now. In addition to the heavily used Grand bus line.
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:09 pm
WashU Med is building a 2,500 parking spot garage at Busch Lot, Cortex is building a 600 spot garage and planning on more, Wash U just bought land off med campus on kingshighway for 500 more parking spots that theyll shuttle people to and from. All of that sits on the metrolink line, to me that's unbelievable...there are 25,000 parking spots in that district each turning over 2-3 times a day
I agree, this is ridiculous. >:( At least they generally do a better job than SLU: https://www.kmov.com/news/slu-seeking-d ... e385d.html :/
I figure it would be like the Green Line in MSP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9qnITRst-I