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Minneapolis - October 2012

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Minneapolis — St. Paul Studies Streetcars, Too

October 2012

According to the finance-commerce.com site, St. Paul officials have begun studying the possibility of building a new streetcar line. If added on Snelling Avenue, streetcars could complement the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line, which is scheduled to begin running on University Avenue in 2014. The segment of Snelling Avenue north of University Avenue is “prime territory” for redevelopment, executive director of the Hamline Midway Coalition Jon Olson said.

Ramsey County is sponsoring a $250,000 feasibiilty study over the next year to investigate as many as ten possible routes. Nelson/Nygaard of San Francisco has been engaged to study the routes and estimate construction costs. As in other cities, streetcars are being considered not just as a reminder of days gone by but also as a means of inspiring new development.

East Seventh Street, a historic streetcar route, is among the corridors that could be considered as part of the study. Similar plans have progressed further in Minneapolis, where the first study was undertaken five years ago. The city is now studying in more depth streetcar options on Nicollet and Central Avenues and along Lake Street or the Midtown Greenway.

Single-track streetcar lines can cost as much as $30 million per mile, while double-track systems may cost twice as much. As federal funding is shrinking, public-private partnerships and tax improvement districts been employed by a number of cities building streetcar lines.


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