LRT stalemate broken

A news release from the Met Council today suggests that anything is possible:

St. Paul, MN – (April 8, 2009) – After more than three months of discussion, research and testing, Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell and Minnesota Public Radio President Bill Kling announced today that the Met Council and MPR have entered into an agreement to mitigate the impact of light rail transit (LRT) on the MPR Broadcast Center on Cedar Street.

(Paragraphs of blah blah deleted)

As part of the agreement, MPR will seek other sources of funding for window reglazing to mitigate LRT noise impacts on critical listening spaces within its broadcast center, an effort supported by both the Met Council and the City of St. Paul.

Under the mitigation plan, the Central Corridor project will:

• Install a 700-foot-long floating slab or its performance equivalent for the full length of the MPR building and two nearby historic churches to mitigate vibration and ground-borne noise from the train.

• Move a planned crossover switch from a location near MPR to a new location north of I-94, removing another source of LRT-generated vibration.

• Work with MPR to design, install and pay for modifications to three MPR studios to achieve “acoustical isolation” from LRT-generated noise.

• Maintain LRT vibration levels below specific thresholds within 32 recording and broadcast studios in the MPR Broadcast Center.

• Restrict the use of train horns in a “quiet zone” in the area immediately surrounding MPR and the churches.

Under the agreement, the Council will monitor the noise and vibration impacts of the line during its construction, testing and first year of operation to ensure the effectiveness of the mitigation plan and address any variances of agreed-upon mitigation criteria.

  • Ivan

    Does this mean the fund raising drives will be longer, shorter or quieter?

  • Matt

    Considering that Dakota County has studied the Robert Street corridor for future LRT, wouldn’t it make sense to run it on Robert Street through downtown so it could go over the bridge? It would also tie in nicely if they were to run the Riverview Corridor along 4th Street or Kellog. It seems to me like planners should have a vision for a future *system* of LRT, not simply ad-hoc lines built as cheaply as possible.

    But, in response to this news, I’m glad there’s an agreement. Let’s get this train rolling.

  • I wonder if this plan includes getting rid of the world’s stupidest traffic light; on Cedar between 7th and 6th streets.

    I also hope other business adversely impacted by WonderTrain will have their hardships mitigated by the deep pockets of the Central Corridor Project, but I will not hold my breath.

  • Bob Collins

    OctaneBoy, you’re right. That IS the dumbest traffic light ever. Almost as dump as the stop sign on Valley Creek Road in Woodbury, where there is no intersecting street.

    I assume the light was put in because of the monstrous pedestian traffic between Dayton’s and Carson Pririe Scott?

  • JSmith

    I still haven’t figured out exactly where they are going to tear apart to get from Cedar to 4th and Minnesota.

  • Bob Collins

    Just about anywhere they want. The odds of hitting a thriving business in downtown St. Paul are pretty low.

  • That’s good news about the agreement. It’s my understanding that Mayor Chris Coleman, Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Congressman Jim Oberstar worked with Peter Bell to get this done. I think they should be commended for their efforts.

    Now about that stoplight…

  • JSmith


    Between Wabasha and Wacouta? Yeah not very likely. In fact every other building is mostly abandoned. Hopefully the LRT will help boost things. Downtown actually has over 8,000 residents as it is. I was just curious because I live around 4th.

  • Bob Collins

    That’s a good point.There are a LOT of residents downtown. So how come retail is so horrible? Those brownstone-like apartments down by where 7th does that S turn. I thought there’d be lots of retail springing up there. But most of it has closed.

    Has the housing over by the flats led to more retail in there?

    CityWalk and City Point seem full. Why hasn’t retail followed the downtown residency?

  • JSmith

    Honestly Bob, I’m not sure. There’s no little to no full service grocery, and most of the businesses close by 4:30. I find that I have to leave the downtown area in order to do a lot of shopping, ESPECIALLY on weekends.

    If businesses were open later, even until 7:30/8:00pm, I could do most of my shopping in the immediate area.

    When Lunds moves into downtown that will help, as long as it keeps good hours, but I can’t figure out why business is so skittish either.

  • tiredboomer

    As a MPR fanatic, I’m glad an agreement was negotiated. However I wonder if things would have gone so well without the popularity and public relations strength of MPR. From my observations, the Met Council has a habit of steamrolling everything that gets in their way. It’s an organization with very few checks on very extensive powers.