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Transportation Posts

Three Downtown Duluth avenues will switch to two-way traffic

Three avenues in Downtown Duluth will convert from one-way to two-way traffic as part of the city’s plans to improve transit and access to businesses. The changes will be made to First, Second and Third avenues west from Superior Street to Fourth Street and intersections between Lake Avenue and Fourth Avenue West.

Duluth Street Railway Trolley Barns

Duluth Street Railway trolley barns on the upper side of Superior Street between 26th and 27th avenues west. Photo dated ninety years ago — May 10, 1927.

Uber, Lyft approved for pickups at Duluth International Airport

The Duluth Airport Authority announced agreements with Uber and Lyft today, permitting drivers for the companies to accept requests for rides at the Duluth International Airport. The agreement was approved at the authority board meeting on April 18. Transportation network companies, or “ridesharing” businesses, were approved for operating in Duluth beginning April 27 under regulations outlined in a Duluth City Council ordinance. Lyft launched service that day, Uber followed on May 1.

As of this week, both Uber and Lyft signed and returned their operating agreements to the airport authority. Under the agreements, drivers are authorized to operate at DLH for passenger pick-ups for pre-arranged fares. Passengers can access Uber or Lyft services by opening the ride-sharing app on their phone and choosing a car. The staging lot for the vehicles will be located in the West parking lot adjacent to the arrival end of the passenger terminal. Wayfinding signage is expected to be in place by the end of this month to help direct passengers to the different commercial vehicle options at DLH. All passenger drop-offs will occur curbside in front of the terminal building.

Duluth Rideshare Board?

Would Perfect Duluth Day be interested in hosting a rideshare board for trips that go beyond the bounds of Duluth (like to the Twin Cities and back, etc.)? It would sure be helpful for one-car or no-car families that have to travel regularly. The UMD Ride Share board is great and shows the concept works, but I’m not a university student and it feels kinda weird showing up for a ride as a middle-aged person when the driver expects a student. And then there’s the summer.

Duluth passes rideshare ordinance; opens city to Uber, Lyft

Lyft-UberDuluth City Councilors adopted an ordinance Monday establishing regulations for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to operate within in the city.

The measure passed 7-1, with Fifth District Councilor Jay Fosle casting the dissenting vote. The ordinance goes into effect April 27.

The video above is the full 35-minute discussion of the issue. It opens with four citizens speaking in opposition to the ordinance. Comments by city councilors begin at the 9:40 mark.

Duluth City Council ready for first look at “Uber Ordinance”

Uber logo Lyft logo

It’s been eight months since Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs had his first formal meeting with City Attorney Nate LaCoursiere to begin crafting an ordinance to regulate ridesharing businesses like Uber and Lyft.

Both companies have expressed interest in operating in Duluth, and now Hobbs’ ordinance is on the city council’s March 13 agenda for a first reading. The soonest the ordinance could pass is March 27; it would then go into effect 30 days later.

Bike Parking in Downtown Duluth

On Saturday’s march through the Skywalk my husband noticed the bike parking signs near the new DTA Transit Center. I went down there yesterday to get the 411.

“Bike parking is sold on a monthly basis. The cost per month or any part thereof is $10. There is also a required deposit of $5 for the FOB needed for entry into the secure bicycle parking area. This deposit is returned when the FOB is returned to the DTA. Payments are due by the 25th of the month for the next month’s rental.”

Winter Driving in Duluth

Hello from Chicago-ish. We (my wife and I, 50s, no kids, two dogs, one cat) will be moving to Duluth in December, just in time for winter. I’ll be working near the airport, and my wife works from home. We intend to live in Duluth, not Hermantown, Esko, Proctor or Superior.

I have been up there once, scouting the lay of the land and looking at a few houses. I’ve read every word on this site about neighborhoods, “safe” vs. “unsafe” areas, etc. What I really need to know is this: when the roads are bad, is it easier to drive to the airport from, for example, Denfeld than from, for example, Chester Park/UMD? Or vice versa?

Thanks!

Why can’t 21st Avenue East, Woodland and Arrowhead be a highway like Piedmont?

There was a study I cannot find now where some bigwigs came to Duluth back in about 2006 and decided that access to the mall area from the east side of town is one of the largest problems we have here. Every single road has many traffic lights and the speed limits are all 30 mph. Even Howard Gnesen rolls along at 30 mph in the middle of nowhere. The stretch from Kenwood Avenue on Arrowhead Road to Rice Lake Road is just a basic speed trap before it finally opens up to a whole 45 mph.

Why not make from the freeway exit at 21st Avenue East, Woodland Avenue and Arrowhead Road more like what was done on the west side of town near 21st Avenue West?

I know many people live on the stretch, but we have two major colleges and the city keeps “calming traffic” everywhere it can. That was the actual term that I heard at meeting when they decided — against the wishes of everyone in attendance — to make London Road go from four lanes of traffic to two. Then they said the city would plant all kinds of trees and beautify the area. Still waiting on that one.

DTA Woodland Windjammer, Crosley Clipper, et. al.

The quest is to settle a bet. Whether there’s enough evidence so far to settle it will have to be up to the wagerers.

Former Duluthian Daniel Heinan, now living in Los Angeles, sent the following email:

My friends don’t believe that there was a DTA bus line called the Woodland Wind Jammer. There was even the Crosley Clipper. They existed in the 1980s and early 1990s. Can you help me prove them wrong?

What an inside source at the Duluth Transit Authority reports:

A long-time employee and former driver tells the tale of not just the Woodland Wind Jammer and the Crosley Clipper, but also the Proctor Pacer and the Superior Streaker. These were all express routes, designed to get people downtown as soon as possible. He thought there might have even been a contest to name them.

Alas, a search through the DTA library resulted in no physical proof, but I trust my source.

So there we have it. Anyone with hard evidence should obviously come forward, but so far the jury would have to lean heavily in favor of the Windjammer and Clipper being actual former DTA bus route names.

Mystery Photo #40: New Duluth Bus and Drivers

DTA Bus 1962 New Duluth

This photo popped up on Pinterest a while back. It’s dated 1962. Photographer unknown.

Duluth’s first diesel buses began operating in 1957 under the auspices of the Duluth-Superior Transit Company. The Duluth Transit Authority was created in 1969, so one could say the bus in the photo above is a DTA before there was a DTA.

Can anyone name any of the drivers?

Mystery Photo #39: Old 708

Old-708

A train rolls through western Duluth. Year unknown. Photographer unknown. The number on the train is 708. Anyone have insight?

Moving sidewalk proposed in Duluth in 1908

moving sidewalkJohn Edward Roemer wanted to build a system of moving sidewalks up Duluth’s steepest hills. The power to run the system would come from storage batteries buried in chambers beneath Superior Street. Tunnels would be dug beneath cross streets so the sidewalks could pass under the streets. At the top of the hill where the moving sidewalk system terminated, Roemer proposed building a pavilion and an aerial rail line extending to Fond du Lac, with stops in the West End, West Duluth, New Duluth and Ironton.

Read more at the public library’s [email protected] blog.

Uber poised to enter Duluth market

Uber logoThe question might not be why Duluth doesn’t have Uber service, but when it will.

“By the end of the year,” said Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs. “From my personal end I don’t see anything holding us back from having Uber operating in Duluth.”

Hobbs held the first formal meeting on Tuesday in regard to the ride-hailing web application operating in the city. He met with City Attorney Nate LaCoursiere as a starting point for crafting an ordinance to regulate Uber and other transportation network companies.

Unlike taxicabs, Uber utilizes an online platform to connect drivers in their personal vehicles with riders paying for fares through the touch of a button, no cash. This type of techy transportation is taking place in 476 cities worldwide and counting. Uber started out seven years ago in cities like San Francisco and Chicago, and has recently expanded into smaller communities like Moorhead and Iowa City.

How to see Duluth and Superior on electric cars

How to see Duluth and Superior

The date on this bad boy is 1909. The cover image seems to suggest there was a floating railway perpendicular to the shipping canal where people could watch flaming ships torch the city.