University (Central Corridor) Line (fantasy transit)
This fantasy line is my take on the Central Corridor, connecting the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul and currently slated for construction sometime in the 2010-2015 timeframe. As the Red Rock commuter line (under my fantasy system) would provide express service between the two downtowns, the University Line (as I'd call the line) would be geared more towards local service along the University Ave corridor as well as a "downtown connector" for the commuter rail lines.
The line begins by branching off of the Hiawatha line just west of I-35W, crossing I-35W then turning northeast and dropping down to the median of Washington Ave, near Cedar Ave. The line follows the Washington Ave median across a new Mississippi River bridge, then drops into a tunnel just east of E. River Rd. The line passes through campus underground, returns to University Ave near 29th Ave, and generally follows the real-life-proposed path to near downtown St. Paul.
To minimize/mitigate traffic concerns, I would make the following changes:
Dual left turn lanes from westbound University Ave to southbound Eustis St (due to closure of University/Franklin Ave intersection)
Snelling Ave depressed underneath University Ave/Central LRT (creates a form of urban diamond interchange)
Tunnel under Lexington Pkwy (from Griggs St to Chatsworth St)
Tunnel under Dale St (from Grotto St to Mackubin St)
Tunnel under Marion St and Rice St (from Farrington St east, past the north/east sides of the Capitol, to Cedar St at 12th St)
Stations would be provided as per the real-life-proposal. In addition:
The following map shows the routing of my fantasy University LRT line:
An earlier version of this map, using my original alignment around I-35W and also including a tunnel under Raymond Ave, is here.
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Page last modified 22 October, 2009