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THE RUSH LINE BRT- DISASTROUS FOR OUR COMMUNITIES
& ALSO, THE BRUCE VENTO TRAIL!
The Rush Line is a proposed project of Ramsey County and Met Council to send 89 buses every weekday from St. Paul to White Bear Lake.
The cost is projected to be $475 million and would require building dedicated roadway through St. Paul and Maplewood, and would merge these 89 buses every weekday onto Hwy 61 in parts of White Bear Lake, Vadnais Heights, and Gem Lake.
• Ridership estimates are outdated
• Bus ridership is down 43% in 2021 vs. 2020
• Cost is almost half a billion dollars to build
• Businesses and residents oppose the line
• Annual cost to operate is $15.3 million
• 89 buses will run every weekday
DID YOU KNOW THE RUSH LINE WILL RESULT IN:
• 89 buses in DT White Bear every weekday
• 76 buses in DT White Bear every Saturday
• 68 buses in DT White Bear every Sunday
• 13 new 60’ articulated buses
• Increased traffic congestion for the new North Campus High School
• Damage to the charm and small-town feel of Downtown White Bear Lake
• Removing 48 parking spaces in White Bear alone!
• Running buses through residential neighborhoods in Maplewood and St. Paul
• Lower property values per multiple local realtors
• Eliminating major portions of the Bruce Vento Trail in St. Paul and Maplewood
• Buses alongside Weaver Elementary school playground in Maplewood
• Buses alongside a proposed bike/walking trail in Maplewood and St. Paul
• Buses through Harvest Park in Maplewood
• Use 70 spaces in the TCO Sports Garden parking lot in Vadnais Heights
• Create 7 new dedicated bridges and build a new bus bridge over I-694
• More traffic congestion at intersections in Vadnais Heights, Gem Lake
& White Bear
• No door-to-door transportation like Metro Mobility provides
"The project includes seven new dedicated guideway bridges along the route to facilitate operations:
• From the existing Arcade Street bridge to the Ramsey County rail right-of-way north of Phalen Boulevard.
• Over Johnson Parkway.
• Over the Gateway State Trail.
• Over the trail connection between English Street and
Weaver Elementary School.
• Over Highway 36.
• Over the trail connection between Fitch Road and Barclay Street.
• Over Interstate 694 (I-694)"
"A proposed Highway 36 park-and-ride would be an approximately
300-space structure located in the southwest corner of Harvest Park (north of Gervais Avenue and east of the Ramsey County rail."
Starting from the Union Bus Depot, the outbound route turns onto Kellogg Blvd, then onto 6th Street before turning right onto North Robert Street and its own dedicated lane. It crosses over Highway 94 on an existing bridge and turns right onto 14th Street where a new station will be constructed. From 14th Street, it turns right onto Jackson Street, and the new proposed Mt. Airy Station. From here, it turns onto East Pensylvania, merging onto East Phalen Boulevard where it picks up the Bruce Vento Trail.
Saint Paul: net loss of 69 parking spaces.
• Loss of 57 on-street parking spaces on Robert Street in downtown Saint Paul that are currently not available during peak hours (6-9 a.m. and 4-6:30 p.m.). Twenty-five spaces would be constructed, for a net loss of 32 on-street spaces in this area
• Loss of 23 off-street parking spaces serving businesses on Forest Street.
• Loss of 14 off-street parking spaces serving residences near the planned Larpenteur Avenue and Cook Avenue stations. Some off-street parking would be maintained, and there is abundant on-street parking available near these residences. All parking losses in the Larpenteur Avenue station area would occur south of Larpenteur Avenue within Saint Paul
• Partial parcel acquisitions affecting eight commercial properties.
In this section, the Rush Line enters onto Phalen Boulevard running next to the Bruce Vento Trail and follows it onto Magnolia Lane, where a new dedicated bridge overpass will be built over Johnson Parkway and a new station will be constructed at this point. It then continues onto the Trail, running parallel with East Shore Drive. The proposed route
runs on top/right next to 90% of the Bruce Vento Trail, a beautiful biking/hiking trail and green wall for many residents on many streets. To accommodate the proposed Rush Line, a new 2 lane highway, called a "Guideway" would be 100 ft wide, and built over most all of this trail, making it completely unrecognizable. It's an utterly devastating decision.
Especially considering that just a block away is English St, an established bus route, with a brand new bridge over Highway 36.
Rush Line wants to cut through the Bruce Vento Trail and construct a new bridge over Highway 36 between the existing Bruce Vento Trail Bridge and English Street (see a mockup). This brand-new 2 Lane highway would need to be a legal width with shoulders, meaning most of trees will need to be cut down, there will be major construction along the route for years that will result in a total destruction of this treasured green corridor. Bridges will be overtaken, trails destroyed, years of construction for multi-level parking garages, infrastructure, (Co. Rd. C) parking ramps & bridges. The future would be noisy, not green, and filled with non-stop buses.
Why does this project cut through peaceful neighborhoods with massive new construction instead of using existing/established streets/routes?
What is the point of this destructive route when, and if this bus line ever made any sense, better, safer, cheaper options are so close?
RAMSEY COUNTY'S PLAN FOR THE BRUCE VENTO TRAIL:
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As in Section 2, in Section 3, the proposed Rush Line follows on top of/next to the Bruce Vento Trail up to Beam Avenue where it goes right onto Beam and to the Maplewood Station. After the station, it doubles back onto Beam Avenue to Hazelwood Street where it turns right onto Hazelwood. It follows Hazelwood to County Road D. Here, the bus line would re-enter the Bruce Vento Trail across the street from the apartment complex Trails End. A new 2 lane highway would be constructed starting there, on top of the Bruce Vento Trail, in addition to construction of a new dedicated bridge overpass over Highway 694 from County Road D to Buerkle Road. At the north end of Buerkle and Highway 61, the Rush Line goes right onto HIghway 61 and continues north in its own dedicated lane, to County Road E station and downtown White Bear.
• Loss of character of the Bruce Vento Trail
• Loss of green corridor & unique animal habit
• Loss of privacy for residents who butt up to the BV Trail
• New 2 level parking structure next to a school
• Impact on Environment: Intense
"The proposed Highway 36 park-and-ride would be an approximately 300-space structure located in the southwest corner of Harvest Park (north of Gervais Avenue and east of the Ramsey County rail."
In this section, the proposed Rush Line enters Highway 61 from Buerkle Road and continues north in its own dedicated lane. With stops at both County Road E and Cedar Avenue, it then crosses over Goose Lake in its own dedicated lane to Whitaker Street Station. Here there will be a new stop light, dedicated parking spots, and a new station.
The route continues on 61 to 7th Street, where it turns left onto the proposed White Bear Station on Washington Avenue, which will be turned into a one way. After leaving the station, it turns onto 8th Avenue, where it goes right onto 8th Ave, to Highway 61,
where a new stop light will be placed.
There will be major construction all along 61 to widen the shoulders where ever possible.
• Loss of parking spaces: 48
• 2 new stop lights, a new one way street on Washington
• Impact on Traffic: Intense
• Partial parcel acquisitions affecting 10 commercial properties.
From Rush Line docs: "A dedicated guideway is defined as the pavement area designed and designated for the EXCLUSIVE use of transit vehicles and, if needed, emergency vehicles."
This effectively turns Hwy 61 into a one lane highway in both directions, except for the yellow area of mixed traffic! 😡