Readers Lean Toward Expanding Proposed Modern Streetcar Line With Connections To MetroLink Light Rail
The poll last week had two related questions, basically how you’d expand the proposed streetcar through north & south city, respectively.
Poll #1/2: From the options below, select how you’d extend the proposed streetcar line further into north city from N. Florissant & St. Louis Ave:
- N. Florissant>Natural Bridge>UMSL South MetroLink Station 14 [26.42%]
- None, I’d prefer light rail over modern streetcar 8 [15.09%]
- None of the above, don’t extend at all 7 [13.21%]
- Better to expand north from Lindell @ Taylor 7 [13.21%]
- Cass>MLK/St. Charles Rock Rd>St. Charles Rock Rd MetroLink Station 4 [7.55%]
- Unsure/No Answer 4 [7.55%]
- None, I’d take a route not listed 3 [5.66%]
- Won’t be anything to extend 3 [5.66%]
- St. Louis Ave>Goodfellow 2 [3.77%]
- N. Florissant>Goodfellow 1 [1.89%]
The option that was, at least partially, selected for a north extension of our light rail received the highest number of votes, though hardly a consensus. In that plan the light rail turned north at Goodfellow, whereas I proposed continuing west to UMSL. This would be about a 7 mile extension, perhaps built in 1-3 phases. Natural Bridge is excessively wide so the streetcar could run in a median, just as was planned with the light rail. Nearly the entire route is suitable for densification without displacement. This could bring much needed jobs as well as new housing options.
This alignment would replace the current #4 (Natural Bridge) MetroBus route. Current frequencies range from 27 minutes to one hour, depending upon the time of day.
UMSL is working on a plan to improve Natural Bridge, better connecting to the UMSL South MetroLink light rail station. A modern streetcar could be a great connection, helping deal with that first/last mile to/from light rail.
Poll #2/2: From the options below, select how you’d extend the proposed streetcar line into south city from 14th & Spruce:
- 14th/Spruce> Chouteau> Jefferson> Chippewa> Lansdowne> Shrewsbury MetroLink Station 15 [28.3%]
- 14th/Spruce> Lafayette> Tucker> Gravois> Hampton 13 [24.53%]
- 14th/Spruce> Chouteau> Va
- None, I’d prefer light rail over modern streetcar 5 [9.43%]
- 14th/Spruce> Chouteau> Broadway > River Des Peres 3 [5.66%]
- Other: 3 [5.66%]
- None, I’d take a route not listed 2 [3.77%]
- Won’t be anything to extend 2 [3.77%]
- Better to expand south from Forest Park @ Taylor 2 [3.77%]
- None of these, don’t extend at all 1 [1.89%]
- Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]
Three readers provided their owner answers to this question:
- I’d like to see the route follow Jefferson, but continue south on Broadway
- think about the goals of the whole system first
Like The goals for a streetcar go beyond just transit, they include:
- Creating dense corridors.
- Spurring new construction, creating construction & permanent jobs.
Looking at the votes here it looks like readers would prefer the south alignment to get into the heart of the southside rather than stay closet to Broadway/I-55. If we were to build the planned light rail instead it would go down Jefferson to Broadway and terminate in a park- & ride lot at I-55, with further expansion along the I-55 ROW into South County.
The south streetcar alignment that received the most votes would replace the current #11 (Chippewa) MetroBus which does a big “L” by traveling on Jefferson (north-south) and Chippewa (east-west). This would intersect with many existing bus routes, including the very busy #70 (Grand).
Right behind in votes was an alignment that would replace the rest of the #10 (Gravois-Lindell) MetroBus. Part of this bus route would be replaced by the original streetcar route on Olive/Lindell. Going down Gravois would cut through a big section of south city, connecting with east-west & north-south buses.
— Steve Patterson