City Releases Loop Trolley Q and A
The FAQs were requested after the July 16 trolley meeting.
A special University City City Council meeting on the Loop Trolley July 16 answered several questions about the plans for the trolley's path and how it would operate. It also brought up several more.
In order to help clear up confusion about the proposal and any changes that may have occurred since the Trolley was first proposed, Mayor Shelley Welsch asked City Manager Lehman Walker to compile a list of frequently asked questions about the trolley.
The information is from the Loop Trolley Company.
The full list is available on the city's web site. Because of the number of questions, Patch will run the information in segments.
Project Development, Schedule
- Why are we doing this project? — For more than two decades, residents and community stakeholders within the City of St. Louis and University City have worked tirelessly to restore streetcar service to the St. Louis area along DeBaliviere Avenue and Delmar Boulevards. They wanted to explore the best alternative and most cost efficient way to provide a new transportation link between two major regional attractions: the Delmar Loop and Forest Park. In addition, they wanted to reduce dependence on the private automobile for trips within the corridor, encourage urban infill and transit-oriented development along the route, provide a greenhouse gas minimizing alternative for travel and create an unparalleled opportunity to initiate a 21st Century “Smart City” Zone along the route.
- What is the purpose of the project? — The Loop Trolley Project is designed to provide a direct transit connection between the Delmar Loop and Forest Park that would encourage greater usage of transit for residents, employees, and visitors and promote economic development and neighborhood revitalization in the area, while improving the environmental sustainability of the St. Louis region.
- Where are we in the process? When will construction begin? — We are in the final design phase of the project and hope to have construction documents completed by this summer so that construction activities can begin later this year or early in 2013.
- What kind of trolley? — We will operate heritage vehicles that will be heated, air conditioned, ADA compliant and draw power from an overhead wire, as did the former streetcars operating in this area.
- What will be the visual impact of the poles and wires? — The direct suspension Overhead Contact System (OCS) is different from the overhead catenary system that powers MetroLink and is significantly less obtrusive. Because it is a lighter vehicle and generally will operate as a single unit operating at relatively low speeds, the trolley doesn‘t need as much power and can operate on a single wire connected to poles. The design team is exploring visual reduction methods to minimize visual impact. Also, the replacement poles could serve both lighting and rail needs.
- How many trolley stops will be along the route and where will they be located? — Ten station stops will directly serve key attractions or be within reasonable walking distance to destinations. Locations include: the Missouri History Museum, Forest Park Metro, Crossroads College Preparatory School, DeBaliviere, Laurel and Delmar, Delmar MetroLink Station, The Pageant, Limit Ave., Leland Ave., and Kingsland.
- What will the trolley stops look like? — Station stops will be at curb height (no platforms) and will blend with the existing pedestrian area. All station stops will be accessible and ADA compliant. The overall treatment for station stops is minimalist.
- Where will the trolley operate?— The trolley will run from the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park and head north up DeBaliviere. On DeBaliviere it will run along a multi-use corridor in the grass portion of the St. Vincent’s Greenway, a Great Rivers Greenway District project. At Delmar the trolley will turn west and continue on Delmar until it reaches a station just beyond Kingsland, the western terminus.
- How will the roundabout function? — At Trinity Avenue, a roundabout will be constructed in order to improve access and traffic flow to the various neighborhoods and cultural centers that border this area. The roundabout will allow one-way traffic. Traffic entering the roundabout from any direction will turn right into the flow and travel in a counter clockwise direction to its destination street where it will then move out of the roundabout with a right turn movement.
- What are the anticipated construction impacts? — As with all construction projects there will be some construction impacts. The technical design team is currently working on developing a plan that will minimize the impact to both businesses and traffic along the corridor. There will be meetings held with the businesses and other interested parties to review the initial construction planning and provide critical feedback on potential impacts. With this information a revised construction plan will be developed to mitigate as many of the potential impacts as possible. During the construction phase there will be in place regular coordination through communications and meetings to update progress and advise of upcoming work.
- How will the trolley be constructed? Will it be block by block? — The technical design team is currently working on developing a construction staging plan that outlines how this project will be constructed and how traffic will be maintained during construction. The construction process for the trolley is fairly straightforward and it is envisioned that construction will occur using two contracts: one for the maintenance and storage facility and other for all of the alignment features (track, stations, overhead wire and connecting poles, etc). The basic plan is to use a block by block approach with no more than two blocks being constructed at a time.
Look for Part 2 on Friday.