Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sign the Streetcar Corridor Alignment Petition

Let the UTA bureaucrats know that the lumpencitizens of Emerald City WILL NOT SETTLE for a hokey 36th Street streetcar alignment

For those following current developments in the ongoing UTA Ogden Streetcar study, please take note that one of our gentle readers has furnished a copy of a draft of the UTA Project Team's streetcar corridor alignment recommendation:
Ogden-WSU Transit Corridors AA-EIS Project Status, Conclusions and Recommendations
In a nutshell, it turns out that Mr. Wilson's 11/10/09 Standard-Examiner letter, (which we highlighted in our own 11/11/09 WCF article) proves to be most prophetic. It seems indeed that the UTA Project Team has "rolled up the maps, folded up the (public) comments, and apparently thrown them in the trash." From page 11 of the above-linked draft recommendation:

The recommended alignment would run east from the Intermodal Center along 23rd Street to Washington Boulevard and then southbound on Washington Boulevard to 36th Street. All operations on 23rd Street and the segments of Washington Boulevard between 23rd and 25th Streets would be mixed flow. Operations would employ centerrunning dedicated lanes from 25th Street until 36th Street on Washington Boulevard. Operations along 36th Street would be mixed flow with a queue jump lane at Monroe Street. Upon reaching Harrison Boulevard, the alignment would either turn east into the campus on Dixon and Edvalson Dr. and operate in a dedicated guideway through the campus or continue south on Harrison Blvd. The line would have a stop at the Dee Events Center park-and-ride lot and also cross Harrison Blvd. at 4400 South, with the end-of-line at the McKay Dee Hospital campus.
The "next step" in this process is described on page 14:

Continuation of the project requires concurrence or all project sponsor and stakeholders with the recommended alignment and mode. The Project Team will be holding a joint meeting of the Management and Policy Committees on Thursday November 19th 2009 at the Weber County Municipal Offices in Ogden. At this meeting the Project Team will present the recommended Locally Preferred Alternative along with the supporting data used in determining that recommendation. The Project Team will work with all of the members of both committees to come to a general consensus on the recommendation in order to move forward with the next steps in the study.
Once a general consensus has been reached the Project Team will proceed with the
final publication of the Alternatives Analysis and begin with environmental analysis work on the recommended alternative.
If no consensus can be reached among the committee members, a plan of action will
need to be established to determine whether or not the project will continue.
With this crucial meeting coming up on November 19th, those of us who see a 25th Street east-west alignment as essential to the economic development and revitalization of our central city have our work cut out for us; and we're operating on a tight timeline. In that connection we once again urge our readers to navigate to the Ogden Trolley District website and sign the online petition.

As set forth above, it's the Management and Policy Committees (and NOT the UTA bureaucrats) who will have the ultimate say regarding the final proposed alignment. Let's not sit on our thumbs in this matter. Let's all put our names on the petition and let the Management and Policy Committees know that a centrally situated east-west streetcar corridor is what the lumpencitizens demand, and that we WILL NOT SETTLE for a hokey 36th Street alignment.

Once again, folks... let's get crackin'. If you haven't yet signed the petition... please do so now.

8 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Two points I think we need to keep in mind in all this. Not only will a Washington/36th Street alignment not serve Ogden's central city neighborhoods where the need for public transit is greatest, and the potential for bringing people to downtown via improved transit is the highest, UTA has told me that once any trolley line, on any alignment, goes in between Frontrunner and WSU, UTA will cut service on the most highly used bus route in Ogden, the 603 [which runs from downtown to WSU and McKay Dee via 25th Street and Harrison]. So the 36th Street alignment will end up cutting transit services to the central Ogden neighborhoods, and a decrease on the route UTA agrees is the most heavily used route in the city. This would be senseless.

Second, and this is a point Rudy made nicely: the idea that Ogden City should draw up its transit plans to accommodate UDOT puts the cart before the horse. And to do that to permit UDOT exapand Harrison to seven lanes, creating in effect a Berlin Wall of separation between east Ogden and the central city would be, again, senseless.

I wonder if the Ogden City Council could adopt a resolution opposing both the 36th Street alignment? And a 7 lane Harrison.

Monotreme said...

My hope is that if we have a streetcar running up Harrison, we won't need a seven-lane Harrison Blvd.

Has anyone ever considered running the north-south part of a trolley line through one of the non-Harrison streets? For example, Tyler goes all the way through, and provides the opportunity to increase property values at key stops. A stop at Lake and Tyler would be especially popular with me.

Brinker/Van Buren might be another possibility as well.

Inner City said...

What about Monroe?

Curmudgeon said...

Inner City:

The route that makes most sense to me, as a frequent [daily] rider of public transit in Ogden, is FR station to Washington/25th Street, east on 25th to Monroe [if that's the intersection with the Rodeo Market on it], South to 30th, east to Harrison, South to WSU/McKay Dee.

That route would still hit the major public high use spots --- Weber County Library, Golden Age Center, Ogden High, transfer point at Harrison/30th, the stop near the ratio market, which serves the school a block away, and the market, and several apartment complexes there which do not all provide parking, and which do therefor provide riders for public transit. It's a major on/off point for the 603 and would be for the streecar too. That alignment too would pass by most of the route on Harrison that is most likely to benefit from TOD [30th to WSU] and so would be higher use than the route along all the car parts stores and used car lots to 36th, and thence past the mortuary and cemetery. I can see reasonable arguments for some of the other alignments looked at [e.g. east on 24th or 25th to Harrison, etc.] I can see no reasonable argument for the 36th street alignment which seems to be based on the I think false assumption that most of the traffic now on the 603 route involves people traveling to/from Frontrunner to/from WSU. That is, I think, a false assumption. And that alignment, based on that assumption, is clearly designed to whisk passengers past the downtown businesses to WSU and back from there past downtown businesses to frontrunner. It's not an alignment to encourage city dwellers to take the trolley downtown for eats, shopping, entertainment.

I wonder if the 25th Street Merchants Assn. has figured that out yet and, in their own interests, is willing to weigh in against the 36th Street "downtown bypass exoress" alignment? It ought to be, since that alignment is, manifestly, not designed for passengers looking to move around within the city, and in particular, to go to and from downtown by rail. It's designed primarily to whisk folks from Frontrunner to WSU and back maybe four minutes faster than the bus does now. Time for the 25th Street merchants to speak up?

Miffed said...

UTA's Mike Crandall should be toasted in hot oil over this.

What a shameful performance by a salaried Utah bureaucrat.

Inner City said...

Curm

You and I are on the same page for the routing of the system.

stanley said...

Not only should the 25th St. merchants speak up, but everyone else who lives in Ogden and/or has a stake in Ogden who wants to see Ogden improve. Washington up to 36th St. is ludicrous. If this is the best UTA and their consultants can come up w/ they don't know Ogden nor do they know transportation nor do they have Ogden's best interests in mind and are biased. Can't wait to see what UTA has come up with, document is released this week, right?

christopherbentley said...

Hello, dear friends!

Well, we're down to our last night before the stakeholders make their final recommendations. That means that there's still time to make a difference in this historic and critically important decision. Go to:

trolleydistric.org/petition

and sign the petition to show your support of
smart development, revitalization, and bringing back the life of the core of our community: the east central neighborhood from now on to be known as the Trolley District!

Thank you for all that you are doing to promote good things for Ogden. Please ask all of your friends to sign the petition and join our great effort.

Yours,

Chris

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