Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Look to the Future: Longmont RTD FasTracks Station

If you have seen any of the Longmont Then And Now postings in here, this one is about the future.

The Light Rail RTD train, called FasTracks, will be coming to Longmont (we voters have already approved it) and the Flour Mill area (1st Avenue and Terry Street) is almost certainly the area that will host our train station.

The familiar Golden West Flour Mill, shown here from the nearby bridge, will likely not exist in the next four to seven years:

It was built in 1915 and served Longmont well, in a few different uses until it was shuttered in 1979. It will probably not be around for its 100th anniversary.

Anyone born or raised in Longmont has grown up seeing this familiar building.

Looking east, a look at the likely site of Longmont's FasTracks station. A lot will be riding (no pun intended) on the successful rejuvenation of this area, including the future of Longmont's nearby downtown. I'm not a urban planner, but I can envision a continuous passenger shuttle (a la Denver's 16th Street Mall) that runs along Coffman Street, between downtown and this area, permitting easy access between the train station and downtown restaurants, breweries, businesses, city buildings, and perhaps residences. This could also build up Coffman Street as a quieter alternative to Main Street (see earlier rant on this subject)

The plans could include surrounding retail, restaurant, office, and residential space which will definitely give this neglected area a whole new look. There will need to be some type of parking facility, as well, for driving commuters looking to use the train.

This new station may not be a terminus, either. There's talk of interconnecting this FasTracks rail line with another light rail service that would reach to Ft. Collins or perhaps Cheyenne.

What's the time frame for FasTracks being operational to Longmont? The year 2014 is one estimate I've seen.


Brad said...

I enjoy your blog - but just 2 corrections: Longmont will not be part of the light rail system, but a commuter rail line and FasTracks is the name of the multi-year RTD & CO DOT project that has built new transit lines & freeway improvements.

In a Van Down By the St. Vrain River said...

Brad, thanks for the clarifications!