Monday, November 23, 2009

The Ogden Streetcar Corridor Must Run Up 25th Street

Be sure to sign the online petition, and register your support for a 25th Street alignment

By Dorrene Jeske
Ogden City Council Member


UTA has posted information and maps for the Ogden Downtown to WSU/McKay-Dee corridor on their website. You can find the 11-page document www.rideuta.com/files/Ogden_WSU_briefing%20materials32309.pdf. It provides several suggested corridors and asks for public input.

After attending two Rail-Volution conferences (San Francisco, 2008, and Boston, October 2009), and taking several mobile workshops to suburban towns who have embraced and planned for transient-oriented development, I am convinced that the streetcar corridor must run up 25th Street at least to Monroe. The city has been working for years to revitalize east central Ogden and the historic district. We now have the perfect impetus for the project with the streetcar and planned transit-oriented development.

I have provided City staff members with information and examples of how transit-oriented development transformed deplorable areas in these metropolitan cities into thriving, desirable living communities.

Public input will have a great deal of influence as to which corridor is chosen so please don’t be silent. Voice your choice for the corridor with your reasons for supporting such a route. All agencies involved realize that the success of a mass transit system is public acceptance and use.

The reasons that support a 25th Street corridor are: 1) It passes through two different developing historic districts; 2) The main Weber County Library is located on 25th Street and Jefferson; 3) The Golden Hour Senior Center is located just east of the library; 4) The Ogden L.D.S. Family History Center is on that route; 5) Old historic homes and houses within the area are being renovated and turned into owner-occupied single family dwellings; 6) All of these are ridership resources with more potential than other proposed corridors, and 7) The revitalization of the historic districts.

The only drawback to this corridor is the cost. It will cost tens of millions of dollars more than the proposed corridor along Washington Blvd. (UDOT will be a major provider of readily available funds because of a currently proposed major road construction project). Ogden needs to decide how much they are willing to pay for a mass transit system and how to fund it. It really should be considered as an investment in Ogden’s future and economic growth.

For those who agree with me, be sure to sign the online petition, and vocally register your support every chance you get for a 25th Street alignment.

38 comments:

Dan S. said...

Ms. Jeske: Are you sure about the "tens of millions" difference in cost between the two possible streetcar alignments? In the PowerPoint slides that were distributed at Thursday's meeting, the consultants gave cost estimates that were almost identical.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Could you imagine the attention Ogden would receive from smart, healthy, progressive, outdoor enthusiasts, if it went over-the-top-green, from having the most bike lanes in the nation, to implementing an aggressive recycling program, to alternative energy conversions on buildings, to a trax system, to completion and expansion of the downtown core, to...

Build it, and tax dollars will come. Will come without bulldozing the main draw: nature.

Ogden Fan said...

I agree with SMC, that would be great. Ogden already has a lot going for it, so let's keep being smart about Ogden growth. Here's an article that puts Ogden at #7 for
Most-Livable Bargain Markets" -

Curmudgeon said...

Unfortunately, the write up on Ogden includes much blather. It includes the following under "Cons."

Cons: Ogden can be hit with blizzards and dust storms. There’s a lot of freeway congestion, but a rail line between Salt Lake City and Ogden opened last year. And if you’re not a follower of the LDS faith — no smoking, drinking or caffeine — you could be inconvenienced. You won’t see a lot of coffeehouses. The Ogden metro area has only six state-owned liquor stores, and the nearest specialty wine store is in Salt Lake City.

I've been here 8 years now and have never seen a dust storm. Blizzards, yes. Dust storms, no. And a shortage of coffee shops? In Ogden? Nonsense. And "nearest specialty wine store is in SLC." Since the "specialty wine store" is in fact another DABC state liquor store, they got that wrong too.

Manson said...

Thanks Ms. Jeske. I totally agree. I, like Dan, question then cost. Why would it cost so much more? Is that from UTA?

Keisha said...

Good job, Ms. Jeske. Bart Blair will have some big shoes to fill.

pissed said...

Here are UTA's stated purposes of this project:

The purpose of the Ogden-Weber State University Transit
Corridor Project is to provide high-quality transit service that:
• Improves the level of service and transit ridership
between the Ogden Intermodal Center, the Ogden
Central Business District, Weber State University, and
McKay-Dee Hospital.
• Assists the City of Ogden in achieving vital economic
and community development goals.
• Is affordable, enjoys wide public support, and
encourages local partnerships.
This statement will help guide decisions about the project as it
moves forward: we want your comments! Are there other
purposes that should be considered?

How many of these guiding purposes are served by a 36th Street alignment?

Quick answer: none

Billy Boy said...

Keisha

Heck with the shoes, I'm waiting to see Blair in Dorrene's dresses!

ozboy said...

And speaking of Gondola's and the Holding Gang, check this article out:

Ketchum, Idaho » Sun Valley Co. unveiled its new gondola on Bald Mountain with free rides.

The Times-News reported that thousands lined up Saturday to ride the gondola that carries passengers from River Run up 2,000 feet in less than eight minutes to the resort's Roundhouse restaurant midway up the mountain.

Besides skiers and snowboarders, the gondola will also carry diners to the restaurant.

"I'm excited for people who have never seen the vistas," said Patty Provonsha, a Sun Valley resident and avid skier who in the past could only describe the views from Bald Mountain to non-skiing friends.

Bald Mountain, typically ranked as one of the nation's top ski destinations, is expected to open for the season on Thanksgiving Day.

The gondola is part of an expansion outlined by Sun Valley Co. owners Earl and Carol Holding, who took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday and greeted guests.

The couple also took the first ride up in the gondola.

"Without all of your support, none of this would have happened," said Carol Holding. "So many of you have said, 'Welcome home.' And that's how we feel, that we're home."

Earl Holding suffered a stroke several years ago and attended the event in a wheelchair. Carol said she and Earl were pleased to be able to be there on Saturday.

Those riding the gondola were able to take in the mountainous views and
Advertisement
the towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley below.

"This gives you a completely different perspective of the lay of the land than the other lifts," said Randy Van Dyke, of Hailey. "It'll be awesome coming down at night, all the lights [of Ketchum]."

Holding's son in law was seen lurking around the fringes of the crowd whining: "why can't I build a gondola, why does big Earl always get his way and I don't?"

Biker Babe said...

ozboy, you nailed it --
gondola going UP ... as it should be ... carries passengers from River Run UP 2,000 feet in less than eight minutes ... UP to stuff that is already there, and it goes UP ...

Gondolas should go UP UP UP ... streetcars are for the city streets, and 25th is the best street ... revitalize and revisit and renew and remember ...

js,

BB

Leave Field Blank said...

If Mr. Petersen wants to purchase easements on the public market, using all his own money, to build a monorail like the one at Disneyland, from a hotel he funds downtown to wherever to wherever, that would be stupid as hell, but if he can get it done, more power to him. Just keep it off of forest service land, Ogden city land, or Weber State land.

LOL.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Mr. Barry Banks of Wilbur Smith Associates provided a detailed breakdown of all alignments under consideration with potential station locations, and cost per segment. The total cost for the Washington/36th St. corridor was $135 million of which $20 million would be coverd by UDOT due to a planned Washington Blvd. reconstruction project. The total cost estimate for the 25th St./across Monroe and continuing east on 30th St. and south on Harrison to McKay-Dee hospital alignment was $152 million. There was no estimate done for a 25th St./Harrison alignment because of right-of-way costs and comments made by UDOT. At the bottom of the each sheet was the notation, "Preliminary and tentative. For discussion purposes only 9/1/2009."

Costs may have been adjusted since Sept., and that is why the figures you have are different than what I have.

Keisha, my shoes aren't really that big -- a size 8 1/2 B -- just kidding. Thanks, but I am only doing my job of keeping my constituents informed and asking for your input. I'm sure Bart will do a great job on the Council, and I'm glad to see someone with a lot more energy than I have taking my place. There is one thing that I have to say in defense of being older and that is the experience and knowledge gained over the years is invaluable, and I'm always willing to share it with whomever will listen. Just kidding again -- I don't like it when someone gives me unsolicitated advice so I usually don't give it.

Observer1 said...

Leave Field Blank - before you take such a "go jump in a lake" position against Mr. Petersen, have you considered how you would feel if Mr. Petersen told US to keep off HIS land?

Nose the Law said...

Peterson can't keep us off "his" land. It's subject to a 100+ year old prescriptive easement

George Garwood said...

The 36th Street alignment is obviously the best.

what will it cost us said...

It didn't mention how much the Sun Valley Gondola cost. I'm sure it was erected without public funds.

The Portland tram (cable car) runs 3300 feet, 5/8 of a mile, the tram cost $57 million to build—a nearly fourfold increase over initial cost estimates. This is not something to copy, something to avoid.

Dorrene Jeske said...

George, please explain the reasons you believe 36th Street is the best alignment besides the fact that South Ogden would economically benefit by transit-oriented development on the south side of 36th St. Would you need to convince some of the residents, especially those who will lose their homes because of the street car that a street car running through their residential neighborhood. On the other hand, we have residents who desire the street car going through their neighbor so much that they have formed a committee, drafted a petition, and changed the name of their community to the “Trolley District. I have also given seven strong reasons for a 25th St. alignment.

Dan S. said...

Predicted "total capital costs" for the crosstown portion of the streetcar alignment, according to a PowerPoint slide from last Thursday's presentation:

25th Street: $66.39 million
25th-Monroe-30th: $65.97 million
Wash.-30th: $78.32 million
Wash.-36th: $69.42 million

I don't claim to understand all the assumptions that go into these numbers, or what they do and don't include. But this is what was presented on Thursday.

Machster said...

OK OK I admit it. I am ignorant about all of the facts surrounding this issue.

But my wife and I do frequent 25th Street at least four or five times a week. And at least from the IRS building Westward the street seems very narrow such that it is a concern to simply back out of the angled parking and not hit another vehicle on the two lane road.

Of course I guess the angled parking could be changed to either no parking or parallel parking only and a street car could fit down the middle. But parking would be a problem more than it is now.

Of course an overhead or below ground option could be considered for those two blocks leading up to Union Station.

So what would be the plan for the West end of 25th St.? I am for it but then again, how in the hell is it going to be reasonably done?

The devil is in the details and I admit ... I am ignorant of the details. Can someone help?

Conductor said...

Machster,

A great deal of this discussion centers around the east-west portion of the route that will connect between Washington and Harrison. While the downtown portion of the alignment is a part of that, we the residents of the Trolley District would like to see the streetcar travel from Washington to Harrison along some portion of 25th street.

Southsider said...

Machster,

Take a look at the PDF linked in the blog. All of the alternatives use 23rd St West of Washington.

Neil Hansen said...

This street car needs to be build on 25th from wall to Harrison.
Representing Ogden in the legislature and the central part of Ogden at that, I believe the main reason to put in the street car is because of the demographics of the area. This area is the most economically challenged area of all the state and these residents in this area not only have a hard time buying food but to find some form of transportation is another thing. The medium income for this area is $19,000 per house hold, So if we are going to spend the kind of money that we are. It should benefit those that need it most.

I would like one of those signs in my yard. Ms Larson can you drop a few off to my house on Capitol St.

Conductor said...

Well certainly Mr. Hansen! Just e-mail me your address at info@trolleydistrict.org - and we'll bring them right out!

Dorrene Jeske said...

I agree with Rep. Neil Hansen that a disservice is being done to Ogden and Historic 25th St. with the proposed streetcar alignments. The streetcar should go from the Intermodal Hub south on Wall to the Union Station and then east on Historic 25th St. to at least Monroe.
I saw what land-starved Boston has done in order to provide a number 1 transit system, automobile friendly streets and parking facilities for everyone. Their architects, planners, developers and city officials worked together to provide unique solutions for their challenges. I saw an amazing and beautiful parking terrace that spanned six lanes of traffic and provided parking for the waterfront district, a parking garage and apartment complex that included two physical fitness workout rooms, a rooftop with grills, tables, chairs and a fantastic view of Boston and rivaled those modern apartments that we see in movies that was built over their underground transit system in Melrose. It was constructed so that apartment dwellers never felt the vibration or heard the noise of a huge subway station where hundreds of trains passed every day.
My suggestion for Historic 25th St. is: build a parking structure over the street at maybe the lower 200 block or the east end of the 100 block of 25th St.; have streetcars use the current angle parking for their tracks with traffic using the same plan and lanes that it currently does. Access to the parking terrace would be from Wall Ave. or the alley behind the businesses on the north side of 25th St. I’m not sure how the parking terrace would affect our historic designation. I'm sure there are other ideas to provide parking on Historic 25th St. that forward-thinking architects and developers could develop.
Part 1 of post -- to be continued

Dorrene Jeske said...

Post continued:

Phase II could develop a business loop that would provide transportation for the River Front area, the Junction and connects to Union Station and Historic 25th St.
I’ve just been thinking out loud and throwing out ideas. I know that there are more viable ones out there if people would share them and bring them to the attention of the city. Put on your thinking caps – this is your city and you can make a difference to its future. I agree with Rep. Neil Hansen that a disservice is being done to Ogden and Historic 25th St. with the proposed streetcar alignments. The streetcar should go from the Intermodal Hub south on Wall to the Union Station and then east on Historic 25th St. to at least Monroe.
After seeing what land-hungary Boston has done in order to provide a number 1 transit system, automobile friendly streets and parking facilities for everyone. Their architects, planners, developers and city officials worked together and provided unique solutions for their challenges. I saw an amazing and beautiful parking terrace that spanned six lanes of traffic that provided parking for the waterfront district, a parking garage and apartment complex that included two physical fitness workout rooms, and a rooftop with grills, tables and chairs and a fantastic view of all of Boston and rivaled those modern apartments that we see in movies built over their underground transit system in Melrose. It was constructed so that apartment dwellers would never know that they were above a huge subway station where hundreds of trains passed every day. My suggestion for Historic 25th St. is to move the parking to a parking structure located over the street at, say maybe the lower 200 block or the east end of the 100 block of 25th St.; have the streetcars use the current angle parking for their tracks with traffic using the same plan and lanes that it currently does. Access to the parking terrace would be from Wall Ave. or the alley that runs behind the business on the north side of 25th St. We would have to check and see what the parking terrace would do to our historic designation for that area. I'm sure there are other ideas for providing parking for businesses on Historic 25th St. that forward-thinking architects and developers could provide.
But in order for that to happen, we need a cooperative effort made by all key players in downtown and the City (both the administration and council). And we need a commitment from the taxpayers, business people and well everyone to provide a successful transit system and economic development plan.
We have a great opportunity to plan for Ogden’s future – let’s make it something that we and future generations are proud of.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Different state, different constitution, similiar thrust:

Link`age, bro

Conductor said...

Anyone who would like a sign can pick one up at my house: 614 24th Street. I will be home all morning tomorrow (Wednesday). We are almost out of signs, and are trying to raise money to pay for another batch! We are trying to raise money by offeringTrolley District memberships - the form is available on our website! Of course any donations will be kindly accepted! Thank you!

AWM said...

IF Curms numbers he quoted are correct...that's approx $277M (over 1/4 of a billion dollars) to bring a trolley to Ogden. Wow, you folks on the east bench and trolley district better be on that trolley 20 times a day for the next 10 years to justify that expense...

Dan S. said...

AWM: Current estimates for the cost of the streetcar (going from the Intermodal Hub to the vicinity of McKay-Dee) are in the vicinity of $150 million. I don't know how accurate these estimates are or what exactly they include, but I intend to find out. We need to lower the cost somewhat to make it affordable, given the available funds from the transportation sales tax and federal matching dollars.

jamesgeologist said...

The bottom line is that there is a
UDOT imposed penalty for "takings" both partial and full listed in the overall price tag of the project. Those penalties are there to scare off anyone who wants a 25th to Harrison alignment. They are bogus. There is no need for takings, partial or full as the street car will flow with the traffic. There is clearly a UDOT sanction with UTA and the consultants that has created a scenario where we are to choose the cheapest route for UDOT. Not what is best for Ogden. Please support the Trolley District by buying a sign for your yard.... Please be aware that signage in the park strip will garner you a $125 ticket. Please place any signs in your yard, behind the sidewalk. Thank you Ogden!!

James

AWM said...

Sorry to wrongly attribute those dollar figures to Curm...meant Dan S.

shredder said...

jamesgeologist,

Please elaborate. Why would this be an issue, according to UDOT, for 25th St. and not 36th St? This project doesn't have much of a leg to stand on as it is and I'm afraid all of this momentum (from UTA, consultants, UDOT, City admin, etc.) towards 36th Street is going to completely kill it (which may be the ultimate goal for some).

Dan S. said...

shredder:

UDOT doesn't care about 36th Street because it's not a state highway. Just shows what kind of narrow-mindedness is going into this analysis.

Dorrene Jeske said...

There are funds available for the streetcar project -- all we need to do is locate them. The feds have different programs, and Ogden should qualify for at least one. A week ago when we were in Hawaii, our tour guide said that the streetcar that was operating in Kona was free. As we finished the tour, I asked her how the streetcar was funded, and she said that the governor of their island had applied for and received federal grants that supply free transportation. Federal grants were a large part of the funding Boston received for their "Big Dig" project which renovated/ updated and enlarged their subway system. We should be able to obtain funding through the federal "Small Starts" program. Also when I was in Boston, I met one of Provo's council leaders who introduced me to a council member from Orem, a Salt Lake City manager, a Davis County Commissioner participated in some of the same workshops that I did, and we have decided that the entities that we each belong to should form a transit coalition and ask the State to give mass transit high priority status for receiving funds. Since I've been back, I've talked with a Weber County commissioner who indicated that the County Commission would be interested in joining the coalition. Provo is to develop a joint resolution that we all sign and send to Governor Herbert.
When I have more free time, I am going to volunteer for a non-profit organization who writes applications for grants, and I have volunteered to help them and use the knowledge that I gained from a grant writing class I attended and I am planning to attend another class in December. I will be able to gain the experience that I need and hopefully will also be able to locate funds for the streetcar.
The streetcar really is needed and I believe that we will be able to convince others also. We shouldn't do the streetcar on the cheap -- let's insist on what serves Ogden best.

wildcat said...

I was unaware of the possible 25th to Monroe to 30th to Harrison route mentioned by Dan many posts ago. Is this a possible compromise route? Would shorten the distance on Harrison yet still go up 25th quite a ways.

Curmudgeon said...

Wildcat:

It was one of the alternative routes which the consultants asked peoples' opinions on at the open "public input" sessions which were [allegedly] to solicit public input.

Has another advantage. From 25th to 30th on Harrison, on both sides of the street, most properties are single family dwellings. But from 30th to 36th on Harrison, most properties on both sides of the street are zoned commercial and look to be good bets for TOD. So the 25th/Monroe/30th/Harrison route would avoid most of the residential frontage on Harrison, but pass by most of the commercial frontage. Sounds like a good idea to me. Plus 30th, recently expanded, is considerably wider from Monroe to Harrison than 25th is from Monroe to Harrison.

May not be the best route from all points of view, but looks like a workable one to me. Certainly to be preferred to the nonsense of Washington or Wall to 36th and 36th to WSU.

what will it cost us said...

Why tear up a street 30th that has already been upgraded. Wouldn't it be a better use of funds to upgrade 25th or 23rd to accomidate a trolley?

Also upgrade the water and sewer maybe even under ground power lines along whatever route is finally decided upon. Look at other cities trolley lines where the overhead power is hardly noticable.

Conductor said...

Check out the Portland streetcar: http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/history.php

Post a Comment

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved