Boyle/Sarah Metrolink Station

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
First unread post153 posts
The time has come to really make a push for a Boyle/Sarah Metrolink station. A constructive dialogue has been started by CMT and ULI (link to Technical Assistance Panel Recommendations for Station). But how do we make the leap from dialogue to engineering and construction? Most recent Metro construction predictions have centered around Westport Plaza and other County expansion options, which is understandable considering they contribute the bulk of the tax dollars going to Metro. In light of that, how can this seemingly simple, cost-effective, and TOD primed project get prioritized? Development in Cortex and the north end of the Grove is quickly accelerating. A Boyle/Sarah station would also serve the new Shriners Hospital and recently proposed Midtown Station development. It's important that transit is there to encourage further development and be a focal point of it, instead of an afterthought.

So what can the lay transit supporter do? Letters to Joe Roddy and John Nations? Mayor Slay? BJC, WUSTL School of Medicine, Biondi's replacement? More so than elected officials, Metro feels detached and obscured by red-tape. What's the best way to engage them?

Image
I could be wrong (usually am!), but my impression was that it would be dependent upon Cortex/WU/BJC contributing at least a significant portion of funding.
I don't have any inside knowledge on this. But the technical advisory report that recommended the location claims to have consulted the primary stakeholders -- including "representatives from the City of St. Louis, Citizens for Modern Transit, Metro, Cortex and its founding institutions, and surrounding residents and businesses". My hunch is that they wouldn't let it get this far if it wasn't pretty much a done deal.

I'm guessing Cortex would use its TIF to pay for it. That's just a guess.
It's happening and there's dedicated funding, etc. It will still take time, but honestly, there's nothing more to do - it's being built.
Thrilled to hear it. I didn't realize things were so far along, or at least that the relevant parties were so committed to seeing it through. It'll be a great addition to The Grove, Cortex, CWE, and Midtown. Can't wait.
This evening the wind blew off the grade crossing barriers at multiple points between CWE and Grand. It was perfectly timed at rush hour and basically shut down train traffic in the heart of the system. Took me 2 hours to get between downtown and Clayton.

If they are going to build the Boyle station, they need to put it underground. Dig a tunnel between CWE and Grand that eliminates the grade level crossings. At the same time WU/BJC can relocate the CWE location to the west and also put it underground if they want.
^AMEN

They won't do it because of cost. But they should. Also I think it makes sense to plan for a station at vandeventer eventually.
^ Vandeventer? You're joking right? Elevated highway, railroads, industrial wastelands leave little land to develop TOD. No connecting busses diminishes transit connectivity and would further slow trains between CWE and Grand.

Is the 1/4 mile walk to IKEA from Boyle too far?
^ Vandeventer? You're joking right? Elevated highway, railroads, industrial wastelands leave little land to develop TOD.


No, not joking, and i said EVENTUALLY. The intent would not be to serve what Vandeventer currently is but what it WILL be with IKEA, Midtown Station, The Standard, and what i expect to be a further revival of the surrounding area as a mixed use/destination shopping district. Besides it wouldn't be the wastelend that Grand Station currently is and that is the most active station in the system right now. St. Louis needs to plan and build infrastructure for tomorrow, not yesterday.

No connecting buses diminishes transit connectivity and would further slow trains between CWE and Grand.


I agree and the beautiful thing about buses is they can be rerouted if necessary. I'm not sure which route i would modify, but a possibility would be the 14 since it shares a route with the 80 anyway. Also possible the 42 to get a north connection as well. The Boyle Station does not currently have a bus connection but i can only assume it will once it is built. I ascribe to a network philosophy of transit versus a hubbed system. I believe it deliver the most service to the most people. A comparison in albeit much larger markets would be Chicago's transit system, versus London's underground. Chicago every train runs through downtown, in London the system is much more web like. IMHO the bus network should be more web like connecting different routes to different stations, than hubbed sending all the buses to one or two station like the current system.

Is the 1/4 mile walk to IKEA from Boyle too far?


Not exactly though if you are dragging around a bookcase you bought at IKEA you might think so. The extra 1/4 mile beyond that to Midtown Station might be to far for some people who will then choose to drive to get their groceries at Trader Joe's.

I read somewhere the ideal distance to put stations to promote dense development is at 2000 ft intervals. I haven't measured it out but my rough eyeball on the google maps scale between Boyle and Vandeventer is about 2500ft. between Vandeventer and Grand as the crow flys is another (roughly) 2500 ft from Vandeventer.

Additionally I would hope that SOME DAY there will be reason to add stops at Compton, and at Jefferson. I am sorry it might lengthen the time it takes to get from the airport to downtown. Express trains at peek hours could be used to alleviate some issues if that truly became an issue. Honestly i don't see why such a long ride should be a daily occurance anyway. If you work downtown, you should probably live downtown. If you work in CORTEX then the CWE is probably the best place to live. To live in the CWE and work downtown is a choice a person can make, but adding 10 minutes to their commute versus promoting density in the central corridor is an easy choice to me. To promote a truly dense central corridor it should be well serviced by transit along its full length.
I agree a Vandeventer station could have a lot of potential in the future. The area will be looking very different very soon and of course Vandeventer itself is going to be getting some much needed streetscaping improvements. No longer will it be one of the ugliest stretches in town.

What would be really cool is if a creative plan could utilize the Goodwill and Armory buildings to create a unique destination.... certainly a Metrolink stop would help.
What would be really cool is if a creative plan could utilize the Goodwill and Armory buildings to create a unique destination.... certainly a Metrolink stop would help.


Any one know what Veiled Prophets/Fair St. Louis in the building across I40 from the Armory. My thought is that maybe they could make use of the Armory Space and open up that property to be a part of a Midtown Station development. If it is constructing floats and such it might even make for a cool tourist destination like Mardi Gras World in NOLA. For the record I have no idea what that building is used for I'm just spit balling here.
^ The issue to me about adding another station on top of Boyle in the area is that your slowly but surely having a Light rail line run on a streetcar schedule. Which would have some benefits in the immediate area for a small number of users but drive up overall times on any regional or trip of length in the system, say downtown to airport or Clayton business district. This is not what a Light rail investment should be about.

Ideally, extending a greenway trail from Boyle station to the proposed Midtown Development by Pace via the existing freight trestle would be much more beneficial to the system as whole. Or vice versa, have a Vandeventer station with a trail to Boyle. The station isn't built yet :) However, I think CORTEX has made its decision.
The issue to me about adding another station on top of Boyle in the area is that your slowly but surely having a Light rail line run on a streetcar schedule. Which would have some benefits in the immediate area for a small number of users but drive up overall times on any regional or trip of length in the system, say downtown to airport or Clayton business district. This is not what a Light rail investment should be about.


My opinion is light rail should be about maximizing ridership and incentivising dense development. The 2000 ft interval is significant in that someone decided a person will comfortably walk 1/4 mile. A dense walkable neighbor hood would imply that you are never more than 1/4 mile from transit. The truely inspire transit systems of the world consist of light rail at very close intervals. Ever ride to OHarefrom downtown Chicago, or Heathrow from London.

As far a regional trips, yes travel times would increase. They would still be highly competitive with vehicular transit during rush hours.
A Sarah metro stop is going to result in me wasting a lot more money at Scottish Arms.
It's great to see this project getting some continued attention and preliminary support from BJC, CORTEX, Wash. U., and (tentatively) John Nations and Metro.

Here's the a link to the downloadable CMT presentation.
And an initial rendering from the presentation:
Image


Some key data points:
Estimated Construction Cost: $9.4million
Estimated Annual Operating Costs: $835,000
Time Added to Travel: 1minute 20 seconds
Estimated Riders: 890 Daily (including 778 new riders)

Hopefully soon we'll be back to the days when The Grove had some direct rail connectivity:
Image

Image
That's $9+ million with all of the bells and whistles like a cafe, bike station, trail connectivity, what appears to be a putting green in the upper right (yes I know it's not a putting green) ect , I think you can cut these extras out to start and add later

CTMs Kim Cella said this should be a short term goal and Nations said long term, so there is some disconnect there. The consultant said best case within 2 years to be ready for construction, so my guess is April 1 2017 before it's open but I would say realistically add another year, mid 2018
Green space is useless here. Move it a block over and put some offices and apartments directly next to the station.
Doesn't this proposed station seem excessively close to the CWE station? I know the area between there and Cortex isn't totally walkable at this point, but the plan is for it to be so isn't it? Having that many stations that close together seems rather redundant to me. This line isn't a streetcar and it shouldn't be stopping every 3 blocks.

Would it not make some sense to build a new station between Boyle and Newstead and move the CWE station to the other side of Barnes, as they wish if BJC agreed to pay? I'm not an expert on transit, so I could be way off, but I'd think most people could walk a few blocks to get to their destination!
^That is typically the case. But the idea for this station didn't originate with Metro, but with CORTEX. The funding likely is coming from CORTEX, too. Direct access to light rail is a big incentive to the types of companies they're courting.
^And I did read that it would only add 1.5 minutes or something along those lines to total time, so that isn't too bad.
What are the potential funding sources out there? I'm guessing it's on the list of potential transpo sales tax projects. Lewis Reed mentioned it could be paid by city general obligation bonds that will probably be on the ballot this fall. I think the TIF should pay for most of it, at least the local part. If there's $32M for IkEA there's a few $M for this station.
Defeat snatched from jaws of victory

nextSTL.com ‏@nextSTL
Turns out there is no funding for Cortex MetroLink station. HB 2021 had it & passed. Funding bill SB 723 pulled station from list.
^ figures. Any word on the Cortex incubator funding for $8 million?
quincunx wrote:
Defeat snatched from jaws of victory

nextSTL.com ‏@nextSTL
Turns out there is no funding for Cortex MetroLink station. HB 2021 had it & passed. Funding bill SB 723 pulled station from list.


Well that's great. The one redeeming thing they did this year, gone.
Ebsy wrote:
quincunx wrote:
Defeat snatched from jaws of victory

nextSTL.com ‏@nextSTL
Turns out there is no funding for Cortex MetroLink station. HB 2021 had it & passed. Funding bill SB 723 pulled station from list.


Well that's great. The one redeeming thing they did this year, gone.


*sigh* Dammit.

Missourah don't want to pay for no train for "those" people. [/sarcasm]