The Central Corridor line, which is about 12 percent complete, will run from downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues to the Capitol before turning down Robert and Cedar streets in downtown St. Paul. Its easternmost stop will be on Fourth Street, in front of Ramsey County’s refurbished Union Depot.
Trains will continue without passengers into a Lowertown operations and maintenance facility at the end of Fourth Street, next to a site envisioned by St. Paul officials as a future St. Paul Saints ballpark. (Via Pioneer Press)
I’ve never been to Minneapolis or St. Paul so I don’t know how exactly these maps will look but I do like the plucky Minnesota Twins and the friend that brought this topic to my attention, Joe Mielenhausen, hails from the North Star state. Here’s a map to put it into relatively perspective courtesy of the Metropolitan Council, Minnesota/St.Paul’s metropolitan planning organization:
I’ve usually written these pieces under the guidance of fiscal restraint when it comes to high-octane infrastructure projects, not because I don’t think that transformative transportation projects are a bad idea but because I think that improving what we have is a cheaper and, in some cases, more effective alternative. That being said I like this idea coming out of the Cold Country for some reason. Schematically, it’s reminiscent of BART which unites two neighbor cities (though Oakland gets the short end of the stick) via heavy rail. The project is also an elegant fiscal construction, funded by a combination of Federal grants (as mentioned above), a quarter-cent sales tax increases on several counties (those being affected positively by the rail line), and state funding matches.
The level of cooperation and fiduciary responsibility is a good sign that there is still a desire for better transportation among average Americans and transit is becoming a higher priority for more and more urban dwellers. Minnesota, in all its magnanimous glory, has made a move towards transit and it’s a move in the right direction. Go Twins (cities).