Central Corridor

Union Depot Pedestrian Plaza? Or Converted Driveway?

Union Depot Driveway during preliminary construction

The Union Depot which is undergoing a major renovation and transformation back into a transit hub, with the construction of the Central Corridor Light Rail. The way in which people will be arriving to the Depot will soon begin to shift from vehicles to mass transit (predominantly light rail) Read more >

Rondo and I-94 vs. Central Corridor LRT

View Urban renewal in the I-94 corridor in a larger map

There are two buildings near the corner of Rice Street and University Avenue in Saint Paul that are the only remnants of a huge neighborhood bulldozed for urban renewal and the construction of Interstate 94.

Anyone who has followed the Central Corridor light-rail project has heard of Saint Paul's old Rondo neighborhood and how that community was displaced in the 1950s. The story goes that businesses and homes were torn down in the corridor between St. Anthony Avenue and Rondo Avenue (now mostly known as Concordia Avenue) in order to make way for the Interstate. The spectre of Rondo has weighed heavily on planners and transit advocates who don't want to see past mistakes repeated along the Central Corridor line. However, it's clear that many people involved have been unaware of the truly massive scale of what happened in the 1950s and 1960s. For example, did you know that all of the land in the map above had been leveled in the 1950s?

Many buildings outside of that zone were also taken down, but typically in a more fine-grained manner, one or two at a time. But Rondo got painted with a broad brush and saw block upon block torn down. Read more >

Central Corridor is a go, but will lawsuits stop it in its tracks?

MPR files third lawsuit over noise mitigation

Like it or not, the Central Corridor LRT line got the much needed federal push that it got last week from our president. Now that is seems to be moving forward will the three lawsuits tie up construction and the actually building of the line for years to come? The University of Minnesota, MPR, and Rondo residents all have three seperate lawsuits stating that Metropolitian Council has not taken their concerns, and mitigation, into account with the line.

Many feel that these lawsuits are the chance for at least two large institution to grab the mitigation funds which is leaving nothing left over to address the concerns of residents and small businesses. Should MPR and the U back off? Are we really going to delay the line because of these suits? What you think?

St. Paul Downtown Station Area Plan

The City of Saint Paul is planning for light rail transit along the Central Corridor, a spine that will connect the downtowns of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota, and the diverse neighborhoods along University Avenue. The Downtown Saint Paul Station Area Plan applies the broader Vision, Principles and Design Directions of the Central Corridor Development Strategy (CCDS). Building on this community-based and citycouncil adopted foundation, this Station Area Plan creates a more detailed framework for integrating decisions affecting future built form, land use, the public realm, and movement (including LRT, buses, cars, pedestrians and bicycles) within the Downtown.

Read the Draft here. Read more >

Mitigation Fund for University Avenue Businesses

Image of Dale and University via regionalrail.org

The Central Corridor LRT line is coming and business owners along University Avenue are predictably very nervous about it. With loss of revenue and parking, the real concern is over the construction period. Can the businesses stay viable while the streets are torn up and closed to most traffic? Well, the University Avenue Business Association (UABA) is taking the issue up now. Read more >