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Public hearing November 9 on Riverview Corridor locally preferred alternative

The Riverview Corridor Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) will hold a public hearing on the draft locally preferred alternative on Thursday, November 9 from 5-8 p.m. at Highland Park Senior High School.

The PAC will review public comment and testimony before making a final selection of a locally preferred alternative on December 14, 2017. 

At their October 12 meeting, the PAC selected a modern streetcar route along West 7th Street as the draft locally preferred alternative for creating a new transit connection between downtown Saint Paul, a number of different neighborhoods, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. 

The transit line would directly serve neighborhoods in Saint Paul with connections to both the Blue Line and Green Line light rail transit lines. The committee made the decision after reviewing extensive technical documentation and discussing draft results of the detailed evaluation of alternatives.

The PAC’s decision was focused on balancing the needs of different stakeholders throughout a corridor that includes employment, tourism, and unique residential neighborhoods. Modern streetcar provides reliable, frequent and higher-capacity vehicles. Streetcar does not require a dedicated lane of traffic and allows transit to move more people than a bus while existing traffic drives on the tracks when they are not in use.   

The PAC also identified a need to provide transit connections for the expected redevelopment of the former Ford site in Saint Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood near the western end of the corridor. Data from the study indicated that the second highest ridership route would go through the Ford site. To assure that transit need is met and supports redevelopment, the PAC recommended a second study of opportunities to serve the Ford site to begin in 2018 and coincide with ongoing planning for the Riverview Corridor.

If approved by the PAC, the locally preferred alternative will be presented for review and resolution of support at the Metropolitan Airports Commission, city councils in Saint Paul and Bloomington and the Hennepin and Ramsey County boards of commissioners prior to being forwarded to the Metropolitan Council for adoption into the region’s 2040 Transportation Policy Plan.

Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 12:49 p.m.