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DRAFT Downtown Saint Paul Station Area Plan


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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 …

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 city- council 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.

June 23, 2009 - Urban Strategies Inc.

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  • 1. DRAFT Downtown Saint Paul Station Area Plan JUNE 23, 2009
  • 2. Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction 1 1.1 The Opportunity 2 1.2 The Station Area Plan 4 1.3 The Alignment 6 1.4 The Planning Context 8 1.5 Real Estate Market Considerations 10 2.0 LRT Downtown 13 2.1 Mobility 14 2.2 Land Use 18 2.3 Built Form 22 2.4 Public Realm 28 3.0 Place Specific Opportunities 33 3.1 Re-Imaging Fourth Street 34 3.2 Getting People to the Waterfront 36 3.3 Reinforcing Lowertown 38 3.4 Creating Positive Transit Environments 46 4.0 Getting There 51 4.1 Fine-tuning the Saint Paul Zoning Ordinance 52 4.2 Advancing Key Strategic Redevelopment Sites 53 4.3 Leveraging Strategic Partnerships 54
  • 3. 4
  • 4. Introduction 1.0 The Opportunity 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 city- council 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. As an introduction to this Station Area Plan, Chapter 1 begins by describing The Opportunity that LRT creates for enhancing Saint Paul as a vibrant and interesting place to live, work and visit. It goes on to describe Why a Station Area Plan is an important part of planning for LRT and related investments in downtown Saint Paul, and describes the study process that led to this station area plan document. The Alignment of the planned LRT is then described in detail, followed by a summary of the Planning Context that has shaped successful growth and investment in downtown Saint Paul in recent years. This introductory chapter concludes with Real Estate Market Considerations, which provide a snapshot of current real estate market considerations and a series of recommendations for capturing the potential of LRT to enhance the vitality and economic health of downtown Saint Paul. DRAFT DOWNTOWN SAINT PAUL STATION AREA PLAN | JUNE 2009 | 1
  • 5. 1.1 The Opportunity The Opportunity The insertion of LRT in downtown Saint Paul creates There are number of ways in which LRT has the potential 3. Acting as a catalyst for the re-facing of streets in a signature opportunity to reinforce and enhance to build upon and strengthen these initiatives. These downtown with new or renovated buildings that downtown Saint Paul as a contemporary, vibrant include: open up and embrace activity at the street; and heart of the city for living, working and culture. It is an opportunity to put downtown Saint Paul ‘on the map’ 1. Rebalancing movement opportunities in favor 4. Supporting new uses and activities that will seek through a series of targeted city-building initiatives: of greater opportunities for pedestrians and to locate in vibrant downtown settings with strong strengthening and distinguishing downtown’s cyclists; transit linkages to the wider Twin Cities region. development market; promoting large and small place- making efforts; and improving mobility options and 2. Strengthening links between the current activity access to jobs, housing, and community services. clusters to create a stronger “Downtown” brand comprised of a collection of enjoyable, distinct Over the past decade there have been a number places and attractions; of positive investments that have helped revitalize Warehouse downtown. The introduction of new open spaces and District streetscaping has transformed the Rice Park area into Government Center East a regional gem and destination for arts and cultural Nicollet Mall West Bank 29th Bank attractions. The transformation of former warehousing Downtown East / Stadium Avenue Metrodome Village Westgate into residential and artists’ lofts as well as spaces for Raymond creative industry has breathed new life into Lowertown. The addition of Wacouta Commons, a new residential Fairview Lexington Dale Rice neighborhood in the northeast quadrant of downtown, Snelling Capitol East has brought hundreds of new residents to enliven 10th downtown day and night. Each of these important Downtown Street developments has helped to strengthen the attraction, Saint Paul 4th & Union vitality and economic position of downtown. Cedar Depot Figure 1.1 When completed, the Central Corridor LRT will be a central organizing element for new developments along its length, and help to strengthen downtown Saint Paul’s position as both a destination and gateway within the Twin Cities. 2
  • 6. Figure 1.2 Downtown contains the highest potential building density within the city. The string of blocks on either side of the LRT line (highlighted above in green), and areas within a 5-minute walk of LRT (highlighted in white), illustrate the potential of LRT to serve the highest concentration of uses and people within downtown. DRAFT DOWNTOWN SAINT PAUL STATION AREA PLAN | JUNE 2009 | 3
  • 7. 1.2 The Station Area Plan The Study Area Figure 1.3 The Station Area Plan study area. Why a Station Area Plan? 7th Street to the north, the Lafayette Bridge to the • ongoing discussions with the Metropolitan Council east, the Mississippi River to the south, and Wabasha related to final LRT design through downtown Saint Many community and City discussions have taken Street to the west. The Station Area Plan also updates Paul, particularly related to long-term access to place around the issues and opportunities associated and replaces the 1994 Lowertown Small Area Plan. buildings and desired streetscape conditions with the addition of LRT to downtown. The Downtown • continued outreach and education amongst Station Area Plan captures these many ideas, The Downtown Station Area Plan focuses on city- downtown residents, businesses and employees articulates how LRT should fit within the fabric of building opportunities related to the integration of with respect to the LRT design and construction downtown, and summarizes a range of opportunities LRT within downtown. It represents the City’s ongoing process, operation, and future potential benefits that result from this investment in order to maximize commitment to transit-supportive development by and impacts the benefits to downtown. exploring opportunities in downtown to: • priority-setting for public investment in city The planned 11-mile Central Corridor LRT will extend building and infrastructure 1) enhance the public realm; from downtown Minneapolis, across the Mississippi • the review and update of the Lowertown Small River and through the heart of many of Saint Paul’s 2) improve options for mobility, with a strong Area Plan in light of the renewed opportunity LRT diverse residential and business communities. From emphasis on pedestrian movement; creates for this downtown neighborhood its first Saint Paul stop at Westgate Station, it will follow 3) identify appropriate future land development University Avenue to the State Capitol campus, cross opportunities and built form; and, I-94 and thread its way into Saint Paul’s compact and The Study Process 4) analyze market potential for long-term urban downtown core, where it will terminate at the development. historic Union Depot. The Central Corridor LRT design and development Created with the input and endorsement of community process is being undertaken in partnership between The Central Corridor Development Strategy, a vision members and stakeholders, and adopted as part of the Metropolitan Council, the cities of Saint Paul and and set of strategies for how the Central Corridor should the Saint Paul Comprehensive Plan, the Downtown Minneapolis, Hennepin and Ramsey counties, and the grow and change in response to the investment in LRT, Station Area Plan is a useful tool to guide the following University of Minnesota. Metropolitan Council’s longer- was adopted in October 2007 as a chapter of the Saint decision-making processes: term process for planning the design, construction Paul Comprehensive Plan. Building on the foundation and operation of LRT is illustrated in the upper portion provided by the Development Strategy, the Downtown • policy and development review in response to of Figure 1.4. Station Area Plan addresses two of three proposed infrastructure design and investment in LRT and downtown station areas – 4th/Cedar and Union Depot. transit-supportive development This amalgamated study area is generally defined by 4
  • 8. Draft Environmental Preliminary Final Design Phased Construction Metropolitan Council Central Corridor LRT Impact Statement Engineering 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Milestones Hiawatha Development Corridor Station Downtown Construction Begins Operation of Process LRT Selected Related Transit Line begins as Preferred Strategy Area Plans Station Area the LRT line Corridor LRT Full Service Alternative Completed Completed Planning begins Central Environmental Impact Statement Preliminary Engineering Final Design Stage Construction 2008 2009 1 Understanding 2 Exploring 3 Creating Saint Paul Downtown Station Area September October November December January Feb March April May June July August Initial Downtown Steering Public Round Open House 1 Open House 2 Consultation Committee Meeting Tables Emerging Directions Draft Downtown Station Area Plan Stakeholder Interviews Steering Committee & Steering Committee Plan Process Stakeholder Workshop Meeting Project Meetings Feedback Meetings Meetings with Client Initiation with City from City Staff Meeting Staff City Staff Inventory Information Preparation Revise and Prepare the Draft Analysis & Submission Collection Draft Downtown Organization of Information of the Initial Station Area Plan Revise & Prepare Assessment of Initial Draft Tasks & Review Issues & & Preparation of Workshop Draft Final Downtown of Findings Station Area Opportunities Memo Materials Station Area Station Area Plan Plan for Review Plan Preparation of Materials Preparation of Materials Figure 1.4 Two concurrent and mutually supportive processes for planning LRT in downtown Saint Paul are featured above. The Metropolitan Council is responsible for making The Downtown Station Area Plan builds on the overall The lower portion of Figure 1.4 illustrates where the decisions regarding the LRT route alignment; the direction of the Central Corridor Development City of Saint Paul’s downtown station area planning number, location and design of station platforms; Strategy. It has been undertaken in consultation with process fits into the bigger picture of planning for future road configurations; property acquisition; and key stakeholders, agencies, land owners, businesses LRT. This document is the result of this process, and other design and construction issues that are beyond and community members in downtown. The is designed to focus on the associated benefits and the scope of the station area planning process. preparation of the Plan was guided by the leadership impacts that LRT will bring to downtown Saint Paul, as of the Downtown Steering Committee and City staff. opposed to the design of the LRT alignment itself. DRAFT DOWNTOWN SAINT PAUL STATION AREA PLAN | JUNE 2009 | 5
  • 9. 1.3 The Alignment The Alignment 01: From the Capitol, the alignment will run down the center of 02: The alignment will continue along the eastern side of the LRT inserts itself into downtown along existing streets. Cedar Street until the 10th Street Station, where it will shift to street until 5th Street, preserving a single lane along the west It will include three stations beginning at Union Depot, the eastern side of the street. side of the street for traffic and buses heading south. which will in the future also connect to a larger inter- modal transit network. The LRT alignment described in Figure 1.7 and illustrated in Figure 1.8 transforms the character of Cedar and 4th streets into truly balanced streets with strong emphasis on transit and pedestrian movement. LRT will have a much different impact and relationship to downtown Saint Paul than the remainder of the Central Corridor line. Functionally, the downtown portion of this alignment will have more similarities with the Hiawatha LRT alignment in downtown Minneapolis than with neighboring stops on University Avenue. 03: At 5th Street the alignment will run diagonally through the 04: The alignment will run along the south side of 4th Street, While University Avenue is generally wide enough for block bound by 5th, Cedar, 4th and Minnesota. This will be the preserving one westbound lane along the north side of the LRT to be ‘added’ within the existing right-of-way, the site of the 4th and Ceder Station. street. insertion of LRT into downtown Saint Paul’s narrow right-of-way will require a more sympathetic response to a denser, more complex existing urban fabric. These constraints will require coordination with and consideration of neighboring businesses, residences, institutions, pedestrians and motorists who rely on the same tight spaces for access, address and circulation. Each user will need clear indications, through some combination of traffic signals, signage, paving materials, bollards or other sensitively- designed features to identify permitted routes, traffic direction, approaching trains, and safe crossing points. 05: The alignment will continue along the south side of the 06: East of Union Depot, the alignment will shift to the center Additionally, stations and related LRT infrastructure street in front of Union Depot. The Union Depot station will abut of the street, preserving one lane in each direction up to the will need to be streamlined to preserve limited space. the existing front lawn of the station. OMF facility. Figure 1.7 The LRT will have a variety of configurations as at travels through the downtown. 6
  • 10. TW Y A HW C S O U B TH U M IF TA LU . T. F O T. ST S S C S TH IB E LE V LE Y H E ST T LF . V E E. W T ST . . ST JA TH C K N T . TE ST S E O JO TH M N P HN H ST IG E R E . R A O N . B ST C E E TH R B T IN R Proposed ST O N AD . Fitzgerald Park M W W Site IN A AY B N St. Louis King A . E ST S ST S of France Church H TH .E O . ST A TA N ST V E TH . W E R ST Central S U A McNally O . C . Presbyterian F ST Smith O Farmers U Church W . TH PL P TA AL N Market IN E TH C L ST E N E St. Agatha’s S E . Minnesota ST IB V D Conservatory E . S A LE Public R of Music Securian Y . Radio ST ST E Center . G Galtier ST N A JA Plaza . H . C ST C X E TH K LA UBS Plaza IX S Securian S O FA N Center YE S ST T. . TT P R E O E Wells Fargo . TE ST B E Place TH R Union R R IF T F Depot ST US Bank M . IN Center N L. Endicott St. Paul E P . S Building Radiology VD TH O N LL Alliance Pioneer BL TA E G V MA Bank Building G E ST S O Travelers LL . First National E Companies Federal K Bank S EcoLab IB Building US Postal LE Center W Y S T. A . ST ST B . A C d 2n S St. Paul Kellogg E H D A Lawson Athletic Square A ST R S Travelers Commons Club T. . ST Companies P . E Minnesota TE . Capital ST Building R EST City Plaza FIFTH TH ST S T. N ST. R . City Hall U MAR O Annex F INGTO Ordway KET Music St Paul Theater Hotel ST. WASH City Hall & Courthouse Centre Qwest OGG KELL B L V D. AD RO Figure 1.8 The LRT alignment through downtown serves the office core and large residential population, and connects to the Union Depot multi-modal hub. DRAFT DOWNTOWN SAINT PAUL STATION AREA PLAN | JUNE 2009 | 7
  • 11. 1.4 The Planning Context Numerous plans, studies and initiatives have shaped Central Corridor Development into Directions and Place-Specific Opportunities the positive transformation of downtown Saint Paul Strategy (2007) outlined in Section3. In particular, principles related over the last 20 years. The Downtown Station Area Plan The Central Corridor Development Strategy (CCDS), to “Improving Connectivity” by improving linkages and does not exist in isolation from these documents. The a vision and set of strategies for how the Central mobility routes through downtown, and “Providing a Downtown Station Area Plan provides a lens through Corridor should grow and change in response to the balanced network for movement”, which refers to which to re-examine past ideas and recommendations investment in LRT, was adopted in October 2007 as a the design of streets that are shared equally amongst in light of the planned insertion of LRT, and identify chapter of the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Saint vehicles, pedestrians, buses, bicycles and trains, are the many new opportunities this investment affords in Paul. The Downtown Station Area Plan is designed explored in more detail in the Downtown Station Area achieving the long-term vision for downtown Saint Paul to be fully consistent with and complementary to the Plan. as a revitalized, vibrant and complete community. higher-level objectives of the CCDS, specifically the downtown-specific opportunities described in Section Saint Paul Downtown Development As a result, this document carries many of the ideas 3.4. Where relevant, the Downtown Station Area Plan Strategy (2005) from existing plans forward, with a revised emphasis revises and expands upon these recommendations The Downtown Development Strategy builds on the on the place-making and reinvestment potential of in light of new information and/or recent planning or Development Framework directives to provide focussed LRT. The following summarizes specifically where development activity undertaken since adoption of the direction for the downtown. Core principles include the Downtown Station Area Plan is aligned with and Central Corridor Development Strategy, including the improving connectivity between neighborhoods, informed by its predecessor documents. final location of LRT stations and nature of platform downtown and the river; and designing a more amenities, a confirmed LRT alignment and relationship balanced network of streets. Key directions described Summarized documents include the Historic to existing transportation patterns, the location of the in the Strategy with particular relevance to the station Lowertown Small Area Plan, the Lowertown Operations and Maintenance Facility, and additional area planning process include: Redevelopment Corporation’s Urban Village Vision, detail on an expanded bicycle network. • enhancing Cedar and Fourth Streets as balanced the Saint Paul on the Mississippi Development streets that accommodate LRT, pedestrians, and Framework, the Downtown Development Strategy, the Saint Paul on the Mississippi other forms of mobility; Report of Diamond Products Task Force, and most Development Framework (1997) recently, the Central Corridor Development Strategy. The Development Framework outlines ten principles • improving the experience of moving through for guiding future development in downtown Saint downtown at grade level; Paul. The Downtown Station Area Plan incorporates the general intent and meaning of these principles 8
  • 12. • creating unique transit stops, and improving the With adoption of the Downtown Station Area Plan, the Report of the Diamond Products Task configuration and safety of transit stops at Cedar Lowertown Small Area Plan will be decertified. The Force (2005) and Minnesota; and Downtown Station Area Plan carries forward the core The former Diamond Products site, located between community-building aspects of the existing plan, while the Lowertown neighborhood and the Bruce Vento • designing transit so that it makes a positive updating these to describe the positive role LRT can Nature Sanctuary, is of strategic importance given contribution to the downtown area. play in advancing the community’s vision of a culturally its scale as an anchor the eastern edge of the vibrant and complete downtown community. downtown. The Report of the Diamond Products Task The Station Area Plan draws guidance from the key moves described in the Downtown Development Force Report describes the area’s long-term ability Strategy, and elaborates on these to illustrate how Urban Village Vision (2005) to accommodate transit-supportive development In March 2005 the Lowertown Redevelopment and the desire to reduce the barrier created by the LRT will contribute to place-making and community- Corporation created the Urban Village Vision. Though existing site configuration through the introduction of building downtown. never formally adopted as city policy, the plan contains finer grained network of blocks and streets enlivened many worthwhile directions relevant to the station Lowertown Small Area Plan (1994) with active uses on the ground floor. The Downtown area planning process, including: Station Area Plan carries this ambition forward, and The Lowertown Small Area Plan was adopted in response to the significant revitalization of the area • improved connections from Union Depot to the describes a possible redevelopment scenario of the from a manufacturing/warehouse area to a mixed-use/ Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, and between site that contributes positively to the historic fabric of residential neighborhood. The main purpose of the plan Lowertown and the river valley; Lowertown while achieving the objectives above. was to describe a vision for this Saint Paul community • enlivening frontages on Wall and Broadway streets and to focus on securing the necessary ingredients through new active gallery uses; and to support its evolution, including new residential • exploring the long-term reuse of the Diamond amenities, an improved pedestrian environment, and Products site for residential or employment uses. balanced approaches to dealing with issues of traffic and parking. However, the Lowertown Plan was written The Downtown Station Area Plan carries many of in advance of planning for LRT and does not therefore these core recommendations forward, including the anticipate the opportunity this investment brings to proposed extension of Lowertown’s flexible grid pattern attract new investment in buildings or redevelopment east of Broadway, and the re-use of the northern sites, nor the need to reconsider movement patterns portion of the former Diamond Products Building for a downtown. medium-to-high density mixed-use development. DRAFT DOWNTOWN SAINT PAUL STATION AREA PLAN | JUNE 2009 | 9
  • 13. 1.5 Real Estate Market Considerations While the introduction of LRT in downtown will not development over the next 20 years unless it can greatest opportunity to expand investment in the create new markets where they do not already exist, attract and secure a significant anchor tenant or city’s core. Residential development in downtown this significant investment has the potential to amplify corporate space user to trigger the construction Saint Paul should be successful at sites where and reposition real estate and market demand. In of such a project. Speculative office development, there is an interesting “view” of some landmark, downtown, over a dozen key strategic redevelopment as historically practiced, where financing was for example, the riverfront and river valley, State sites have been identified (Figure 1.9) for their awarded and construction commenced once 50% Capitol, Saint Paul Cathedral, Mears Park, and potential to redevelop. The introduction of LRT will - 75% of the proposed floor area was pre-leased Rice Park. positively influence the form and potential for this or firmly committed, is not likely to re-occur in reinvestment. Downtown Saint Paul for the foreseeable future. • Young people and “Empty Nesters” are the prime markets for urban living. Building on the real estate and development analysis • The 4th and Cedar block holds good potential Future demographic trends indicate that, with previously completed for the Central Corridor for a signature office development. access to convenient transit, young single Development Strategy outlined in Figure 1.10, the Going forward, the underwriting of Central professionals, childless couples, and empty station area planning process revisited and refined Business District office towers is likely to be much nester baby boomers will be attracted to vibrant, market forecast overviews for downtown Saint Paul more constrained and more severely disciplined. active downtown urban cores as a favored place and found that: Notwithstanding these market constraints, the to live. Downtown Saint Paul, with its spectacular introduction of LRT through the 4th and Cedar riverfront and soaring river bluffs, can capture • Over the next 20-30 years, it is estimated that block creates a tremendous competitive advantage this emerging residential market segment. there is potential for significant new housing for this future redevelopment site. A targeted and in particular new rental infill units. economic development campaign to promote the • New residential uses will drive future retail More modest amounts of office, retail and hotel site as a high-profile national headquarters may potential. uses are anticipated. For each use, LRT will help assist in expediting investment here. Approximately 100-150,000 square feet of new to facilitate high-density development that does retail uses are projected over the next 30 years not require valuable, centrally-located land for the • Housing and neighborhood development offers in downtown Saint Paul. As retailers have borne parking of automobiles. Figure 1.10 outlines the the greatest opportunity for new investment. the brunt of the dramatic economic slowdown in estimated development potential, and reflects the Over the next 30 years, as many as 6,000 new the U.S., retail development in downtown is likely following real estate market considerations. rental and 1,200 new ownership units are to be stagnant for the next five years. However, forecast for downtown. In addition there would an increase in the number of people living • It is anticipated that downtown Saint Paul could be a market for up to 300 new hotel units. The downtown will continue to generate demand for accommodate up to 2.3 million sq ft of new expansion of housing options and continued neighborhood-based retail and services – a vital office space over the next 30 years. strengthening of downtown neighborhoods, with component to re-activating the street throughout However, whether LRT is built or not, downtown the resultant increase in demand for local retail, evening hours and the weekend. Saint Paul is not likely to see any new office building services and amenities, is downtown Saint Paul’s 10
  • 14. 1/4 Mile E A S T C E N T 4 R R R - 9 A L P 2 A A A R E. 39 K V H FT . VD A L Y. W E BL TW A HW C S O U B TH C U M IF E TA LU ND F D . O ST A T. S C R S TH IB E LE V LE Y E ST . 1/4 Mile . ST J J JA TH C K N T TE S E O M M N P ST E R . R A O N . G B ST C G E O E TH LL R B T IN E R K O N A D M M W W W IN A AY B N Y A . E ST S ST S H H TH O . A TA T N ST S E V 1/4 Mile . W E ST S A . C . ST O U . TH PL P TA N IN TE TH C C C C C C C ST E N E S E . IB V D E S A LE L L R Y ST . S S ST MAIN JA . C K LA S O FA N YE ST T. TT E . ST TH RO IF F AD WEST M NINTH S IN T. N JO E S S O E E E P TA T H' S ST . S OLD IB LE SIXTH W Y S T. A . ST ST B . A C d 2n S E H D A A ST R R S T. T . ST P . E E TE . ST R WEST FIFTH TH ST S ST T. T. R N ST . U O F INGTO WASH K E LL O G G 5minute Walking Distance KELL OGG from stations BLVD D. Key Strategic D SH EP AR Redevelopment Sites Figure 1.9 A number of vacant or underutilized sites, identified as key strategic redevelopment sites, located within the study area have the potential for new real estate development in close proximity to LRT. Residential Office Retail Hotel Potential Number of Units Potential New Office Space (GFA) Potential New Retail Space (GFA) Potential Number of New Rooms Rental Ownership 1,880,000 sq ft 100,000-150,000 sq ft 300 5,000-6,000 750-1,200 Figure 1.10 Estimated Long-Term Development Potential of the Downtown Station Areas DRAFT DOWNTOWN SAINT PAUL STATION AREA PLAN | JUNE 2009 | 11
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  • 16. LRT Downtown 2.0 LRT: Investing in the Future of the Downtown The insertion of LRT into downtown Saint Paul is a remarkable opportunity to not only refresh the physical and economic foundations of downtown, but also to breathe new health and vitality into the heart of the city. If leveraged properly, it has the potential to re-position Saint Paul from a relatively quiet center to a lively, vibrant destination and desirable place to live, work and visit. LRT represents an opportunity to effect a paradigm shift in the way people move, see, experience, build, relax and live in the core: a shift which makes the downtown a neighborhood, place to do business and destination of choice for a distinctly urbane and vibrant experience. The following section builds on the Central Corridor Development Strategy to describe this paradigm shift (brought about, in part, by the introduction of LRT) and identify a series directions which will guide policy decisions related to the downtown. The discussion is framed around four core themes: • Mobility: the ability to move to, from and within downtown Saint Paul by a variety of modes (as pedestrians, on bicycles, by transit, or by car), and providing many good options for moving while ensuring the downtown offers an excellent pedestrian experience; • Land Use: the range and integration of uses, services, activities and destinations throughout downtown that help create vitality; • Built Form: the design and configuration of buildings within downtown’s environment of narrow streets, blocks and open spaces in order to create a human-scaled and attractive built environment; • Public Realm: the interconnected network of streets and open spaces which tie the downtown and its elements together, and create the civic glue that connects people, places and activities to one another DRAFT DOWNTOWN SAINT PAUL STATION AREA PLAN | JUNE 2009 | 13
  • 17. TH TH N N E E B B TE TE R R R R O O U U AM A A O O F F LS D D BA W W A A Y Y E E A A S S T T TH C C S ST N E E E . N N V T T E 4 4 R R S - 9 - 9 A A L L P P 92 92 A A R R E. E. K K K K V TH V TH 3 3 V D. V D. A A LF Y. LF Y. W W E E BL BL TW TW A A HW HW C C S S O O U U B TH B TH C C U U M IF M IF E E TA TA LU LU D D F F D D . T T. . AN AN O O A A ST S ST S S C C T. R R TH S TH IB IB EL EL E E LE LE V V IR IR LE LE Y Y E E TH ST S ST S LF N N . . E TW . . JA JA ST ST TH TH C C K K N N T T TE TE S S E E O O M M N N P P P ST ST E E T. R R . . R R A A O O N N . . B B C C ST ST E E E E TH TH R R B B T T IN IN R R K K ST O O N N A A . 2.1 D D M M W W W W W IN IN A A AY AY B B N N A A . . E E S S ST ST S ST S ST S S H H TH TH O O . . A A TA TA N N ST ST E ST E V V . . . W W E E ST ST S CE S A A IN S . . C C PR T. . . O O ST ST P U U E TH L. TH L. P P TA TA T T N PL N PL IN IN A E TE TH TE TH C C R ST S ST E E N N E E E E E E E E E E S S E E . . IB IB V V D D E E S S A A LE L L R R Mobility Y . S ST ST ST S T. E . . G ST ST MAIN MAIN N T. T. A JA H . C ST C X E TH K LA LA IX S S O FA FA N YE YE ST . TT TT E E . . ST ST TH TH RO RO IF IF F F AD AD WEST WEST M NINTH NINTH S S IN T T. T T T. N J OL A JO E L. L P . S S NE S TH VD O E E N LL BL P P TA E V MA G H' H' H' H' E G S S ST S O LL . E K S S S O OLD S I X T HL D IB IB LE LE SIXTH W W Y Y S T. S T. A A T. T. ST ST ST ST B B . A A C C 2nd d 2nd d S 2n S 2n E E H H D D A A A A S ST S ST R R S S T. . . ST S P . E TE T. T. T. R R WEST ST WEST FIFTH TH FIFTH ST ST ST T. T. R T. R N ST . U U O F INGTO WASH K K E E LL LL O O G G G G OGG OGG KELL KELL BLVD D. D D P AR AR HE EP S SH Downtown Saint Paul is a series of distinct and Figure 2.2 The Fourth Street Walk will be an important pedestrian Figure 2.1 A ring of Neighborhood Park Streets will help to connect attractive places – neighborhoods, parks, cultural existing and emerging neighborhoods with LRT. connection linking Lowertown west to the Entertainment District. institutions, and employment centers – structured and connected by a strong pedestrian- scaled grid of streets and blocks. While this grid has historically provided an excellent 1 Expanding Neighborhood 2 Advancing the foundation for movement throughout downtown, Park Streets Fourth Street Walk decades of overreliance on the automobile as a principal mode of transport have worked to erode Fourth Street is evolving as an increasingly important Aimed at enhancing street-level pedestrian movement, the character and place-making quality of the street downtown street. Already a spine linking two of Neighborhood Park Streets will connect the key system. While areas of downtown have emerged as downtown’s most important assets, the cultural public spaces anchoring the major neighborhoods in striking and distinct places for people, the impacts district and the Lowertown community, Fourth Street downtown. Building on the directions in the Central of auto-dependence, coupled with the creation of also links two planned LRT stations, many heritage Corridor Development Strategy and Saint Paul on the skyway system, has resulted in the emergence buildings and public institutions. As such, it should the Mississippi Development Framework, the system of a street network that puts too much emphasis on continue to be promoted as a significant walk of arts, has been extended to capture Rice Park to the west vehicular movement, and in many places neglects culture and entertainment. and a south to link to the River. the basic needs of pedestrians and cyclists. While the reconstruction of Fourth Street will provide Enhanced Mobility is particularly important in light The three downtown LRT station areas are integrated an important starting place for the re-imaging of the of the planned introduction of LRT, which in and of as key new places within this ring of park streets. street, this initiative should be extended east and itself will be a significant generator of additional Comprised primarily of local streets, these streets west of the LRT corridor to create a clear connection foot, bicycle and bus trips. should demonstrate a consistent streetscape palette between Rice Park and the Farmers Market. Though of plantings, pedestrian amenities and signage narrow in places and constrained by existing areaways The following Directions describe the potential intended to rebalance streets in favor of pedestrians below grade, opportunities should be pursued where for LRT to positively impact and transform current and cyclists. Expanding the park-like quality of these feasible to create a truly “green” street through movement patterns throughout downtown. streets will offer people attractive choices to walk and planting and landscaping investments including green encourage non-automobile movement throughout the walls, hanging baskets and street trees. downtown. 14
  • 18. TH TH N N E E B B TE TE R R R R O O U AM U AM A A A O O F LS F LS D D BA BA W W A A Y Y E E A A S S T T C C E E N N T T 94 4 R R - 9 A A L L - P P P P 92 92 A A R R E. E. K K V TH V TH 3 3 V D. V D. A A LF Y. LF Y. W W E E BL BL TW TW A A HW HW C C S S O O U U C B TH B TH C U U M IF M IF E E TA TA LU LU ND ND D F F D O . O . A A ST ST S S S S S C T. C T. LA LA R R S TH S TH IB IB E E RE RE LE LE V V LE LE Y Y E E ST S ST S . . . . JA JA ST ST TH TH C C K K K K N N T T TE TE S S E E O O M M N N P P ST ST E E R R . . R R A A O O N N . G . G B B C C ST G ST G E E O O E E TH LL TH LL R R B B T T IN E IN E R R K K O O N N A A D D D M M W W W W IN I IN A A AY AY B B N N N A A . . E E S S ST ST S ST S ST S S H H TH TH O O . . A A TA TA N N ST ST E E V V . . W W E E ST ST S S A A . . C C . . O O ST ST U U U TH L. TH L. P P TA TA N PL N PL IN IN TE TH TE TH C C ST ST E E N N E E S S E E . . IB IB V V D D B B E E S S A A LE LE R R Y Y ST S ST S . . ST ST MAIN MAIN T T T T T. T. JA JA A C C K K K K LA LA S S O O FA FA N N YE YE ST ST . . TT TT E E . . ST ST TH TH RO RO IF IF F F AD AD WEST WEST M M NINTH NINTH S S IN IN T T. T T. N N JO JO E E S S S S O O E E P P TA TA H' H' S S ST ST . . S S OLD OLD IB IB LE LE SIXTH SIXTH W W W W Y Y S T. S T. A A T. T. ST ST ST ST B B . . A A C C 2nd d 2nd d S 2n S 2n E E H H D D A A A A S ST S ST R R S S T. T. . . ST S ST S P P P . . E E TE TE T. T. R R WEST ST WEST ST FIFTH TH FIFTH TH ST ST ST ST T. T. T. R T. R N ST N ST . . U U O O F F INGTO INGTO WASH WASH K K E E LL LL O O G G G G OGG OGG KELL KELL BLVD D. BLVD D. A RD AR D EP EP SH SH Figure 2.3 5th and 6th streets will emerge as important cross town Figure 2.4 The Central Corridor Development Strategy demonstrated Figure 2.5 The areas around the downtown stations represent cycling connections linking the West Seventh and Cathedral Hill what an enhanced 6th street cross-section might look like with a important places to focus strategies for mobility enhancement neighborhoods east to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. reduced number of lanes, expanded public realm, improved transit such as clearer wayfinding, enhanced streetscaping and improved facilities and two-way traffic. intermodal connectivity. 3 5th and 6th Cross-Town 4 Mobility Enhancement Areas Connections In the evolution of the post-LRT downtown, 5th and 6th promote a stronger retail environment that may entice While construction of LRT will bring streetscape streets should emerge as important Urban Greenways street-related commercial activity. enhancements along the length of the transit corridor, linking the 4th and Cedar Station to key destinations strong emphasis should be focused around the three on either side of downtown. As the principal bus and At the eastern edge of the downtown on Lowertown, station areas in downtown. These areas present cycling routes through the city, emphasis should be the redevelopment of the former Diamond Products specific opportunities to create positive environments placed on striking a balance between pedestrians, site should provide for the extension of 5th Street and enhance mobility where a significant increase in cyclists, cars and buses. In support of this, a more east to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. This road pedestrian and cycling activity will occur. balanced street section with a reduced number extension and re-alignment will expand the traditional, of lanes or narrower lanes and shared bike routes pedestrian-friendly grid pattern that defines the urban The intent of the Mobility Enhancement Areas is to should be identified and implemented. scale of blocks downtown, and creates better access prioritize the movement of pedestrians and cyclists and route legibility for pedestrian and cyclists. to and from LRT, increase a sense of personal safety, Over the long term, as a component of a broader and facilitate transfers between the different modes of Transportation Master Plan for the downtown, the transport. As distinct places along the Corridor, these conversion of these streets to two-way streets should areas should be distinguished through an enhanced be explored. The introduction of opposing traffic lanes, streetscape, way-finding, arts and cultural expression combined with related improvements to the public and a landscape strategy that integrates pedestrians, realm, will assist in slowing vehicular traffic through cyclists, buses and LRT, and generally improves the these thoroughfares, create a more balanced and experience of using transit. safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists, and DRAFT DOWNTOWN SAINT PAUL STATION AREA PLAN | JUNE 2009 | 15
  • 19. Figure 2.6 The historic walkable downtown street grid establishes Figure 2.7 Opportunities to integrate cycling connections and infrastructure with LRT facilities will facilitate linkages to a greater range of a strong foundation for improving the pedestrian environment in downtown attractions. downtown over time through smaller, block-by-block incremental streetscape enhancements. 5 Enhancing the Grid 6 Advancing Opportunities for Cycling Downtown The enhancement of the streets that form the historic Cycling is an increasingly important mobility option • provide cycling infrastructure, where feasible, at or grid will be a key strategy to improve the pedestrian in urban centres. Improving the environment and near LRT stations. This may include bicycle locks, environment in downtown. It will be accomplished infrastructure for cyclists to bicycle to and within the bicycle lockers, bicycle repair and maintenance on an incremental basis through a series of small downtown and connect to transit will foster this active services, and/or other amenities that will promote moves on a block-by-block basis as redevelopment form of transportation. With respect to cycling, key cycling as an efficient mode for reaching LRT; and/or re-investment occurs. As existing buildings are mobility strategies and investments emerging from and renovated or retrofitted for new uses, opportunities the Bike Walk Central Corridor Action Plan include the should be sought to enhance pedestrian amenity at following: • improve connections at downtown edges to street level. This may include some combination of facilitate bicycle travel into and out of downtown improvements to building facades, promoting ground- • the transformation of both Sibley and Jackson and to achieve better connections with regional floor activity, and improved streetscaping. This effort streets into balanced roadways with more bicycle facilities. should be supported through a City-led program of equitable provisions for pedestrians, cyclists and gradual streetscape enhancements radiating out automobiles; from existing pedestrian-focused areas (such as Rice Park and Mears Park) to create a pedestrian-friendly, • utilization of 5th and 6th streets as important east- walkable environment across downtown. west “greenways” with enhanced landscaping features, traffic calming measures, and dedicated bicycle infrastructure and amenities; 16
  • 20. S TH N E B TE R R O U AM A A O F LS D BA W A Y E A S S S T C C C E N T 4 R - 9 A L P 2 A R R R E. 39 K V T H . VD A LF Y. W E Bruce Vento BL TW A HW C S O U B TH C U M IF E TA LU Nature ND F D . O ST A T. S S S S C LA R S TH IB E RE LE Sanctuary V LE Y Y Y E ST T T. . ST JA TH C C C K N T T TE S E O M N P ST E