What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Streetcars create added twist for Nicollet redo

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: April 17, 2013 - 11:39 AM

City officials are embarking on a plan to completely redesign Nicollet Mall for the first time since its creation, while simultaneously pushing for a new streetcar along the avenue.

Since streetcars may take significant time to materialize, MPLS asked Mayor R.T. Rybak whether the city risks jumping the gun on reconstructing Nicollet before the streetcar project is fully developed.

“These have to be timed together,” Rybak said. “The designs will have to anticipate it both with and without the streetcar. Which is not uncommon in design competitions, where people have to design for a couple different scenarios.”

The alternatives analysis study for the proposed Nicollet-Central streetcar line is expected to be finished this summer. A recent schematic of proposed streetcar stops along Nicollet (pictured) says that the Mall routing remains "TBD." 

Even when the alternatives analysis is complete, there is no guarrantee the project will be funded. Rybak pledged to have a city funding plan complete by the end of the year, but  the deal relies heavily on federal funding that has not yet materialized.

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