DART's proposed transit hub waits for funding
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Substance Architecture was paid a stipend from DART to draft conceptual plans for the proposed transit hub that would be located along Cherry Street. Rendering submitted by Substance Architecture
Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) confirmed last week that it is still waiting to secure enough funding for its proposed $15 million transit hub.
"We have yet to secure the funding to build the facility," said Michelle Orfield-Koranda, program development manager for DART. "However, it is a top priority of our capital plan."
Orfield-Koranda said the funding is beyond DART's control, though the agency anticipates it will come from multiple sources, including federal, state, and local governments and private organizations. However, the exact makeup of the funding is still undefined, Orfield-Koranda said.
The proposed transit hub would reopen Walnut Street to public traffic and shift DART bus loading to the new transit hub, proposed for a location along Cherry Street.
Substance Architecture Interiors Design drafted conceptual plans for a "green" facility that would incorporate a retail component and facilitate future modes of transportation such as rapid transit buses and electric light rail trains.
Todd Garner, the designer who worked on the project at Substance Architecture, said his firm has a good relationship with DART and drafted the concept for the proposed transit hub for a stipend. He said DART wanted a concept drafted so that it would have a visual component to accompany the proposal when it began requesting funding.
"The sole intent of this was to go out and to get funding," Garner said.
Substance received the request from DART late last summer and was able to complete the draft within two months. Garner said DART had a Kansas City company draft a traffic-flow diagram that illustrated how buses and traffic would flow in and out of the new hub. Substance used that diagram to create its concept.
"This location creates a gateway from the south, which Ninth Street lacks," Garner said. "(The Kansas City company) came up with the original diagram of how buses would flow, and when we were asked to draft a concept, we were told it had to flow like this."
But despite bus flow, Garner said the transit hub project would be put at a standstill if the plans to reopen Walnut Street fell through. He said DART is waiting to see what happens on Walnut to actually secure plans for the new proposed site.
"This needs to be built to get the buses so that they don't load on Walnut; so that the city can go ahead with the redesign plans on Walnut," Orfield-Koranda said.
Once DART ceases bus loading on Walnut and the street reopens for normal use, DART will not be held responsible for any of the costs associated with the restructuring of the Walnut Transit Mall, Orfield-Koranda said.
"Opening that back up was a big issue," Garner said.
Even though DART has used the few blocks of Walnut for years, Orfield-Koranda said the city of Des Moines will incur the costs associated with the plans for the restructuring and redesign.
Garner said DART would have to get federal funding through the Federal Transit Administration and pursue deals with Polk County, which owns the land that would house the transit hub.
"There's a whole lot of stuff that would have to fall into place," he said.
DART plans to issue requests for proposals (RFP) for other components of the project once the funding is secured.
"Once we find funding, we will do an RFP for the engineering and things like that," Orfield-Koranda said.
Furthermore, the location along Cherry Street will be confirmed once the funding is secured and the contracts are signed.
Orfield-Koranda could give no exact timelines for construction of the bus hub, saying "it depends on things that are beyond our control."
the agency anticipates it will come from multiple sources, including federal, state, and local governments and private organizations.
couch wrote:I also seem to disagree with the general consensus of this board, that Walnut Street will be better with car traffic.
I strongly disagree with the idea that car traffic increases retail business. Grand Avenue has almost no retail the whole length of it through downtown. The strip of 4th between Court and Walnut is popular particularly because it feels out of the way.
couch wrote:Cars are allowed on Walnut in evenings and weekends and it does nothing to improve the perceived level of activity. It's going to be a slow process, because at the moment the only evening activity downtown is drinking. As more people move downtown (especially just south of the Western Gateway), Walnut will become THE corridor for pedestrian traffic between the Gateway and Court Ave, and eventually the EV. At the moment it is deserted at night because offices and 8-5 businesses are all that is there. Car traffic will not change that. Tram and pedestrian traffic WILL.
Mastermind, where did you get those renderings?
dogbo wrote:The bottomline: pedestrian malls (i.e...Walnut St) were a fad of the 1980's in many cities. They didn't work and now are being removed for more traditional city type transportation routes that have a much higher success rate.
couch wrote:dogbo wrote:The bottomline: pedestrian malls (i.e...Walnut St) were a fad of the 1980's in many cities. They didn't work and now are being removed for more traditional city type transportation routes that have a much higher success rate.
What are you talking about? The Ped Mall in Iowa City is usually the busiest place at any given time, even when the university is not in session.
And pedestrian zones make up the densest, busiest, and most urban areas of most European cities.
dogbo wrote:Google "failure of pedestrian malls" -- first couple hits:
speeder wrote:2. We are not Europe, if we were, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. That also doesn't make them experts in how to plan transit corridors/bus transfer stations in Des Moines.
Des Moineser wrote:When you think about it, transit malls don't make sense, if people need to get to their bus/train on-time, they likely aren't going to be shopping while waiting.
The hub will serve as a transfer station for DART's 23 local and express route. The facility will include retail space and provide connections to future passenger rail and rapid-transit services in downtown Des Moines.
DART aims to grow bus service through I-JOBS
The transit hub is expected to create between 250 and 300 construction jobs and 12 permanent jobs, Miller said. Construction could begin by August and would take up to two years to complete.
Mototail wrote:DART aims to grow bus service through I-JOBSThe transit hub is expected to create between 250 and 300 construction jobs and 12 permanent jobs, Miller said. Construction could begin by August and would take up to two years to complete.
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