Green Line Extension - Southwest LRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Tom H.
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tom H. » January 28th, 2021, 2:14 pm

I believe that the City of EP's long-term plan for that area foresees some partial street grid fill-in of the Emerson / Costco area, although I don't think there's any actual plan or project to accomplish that.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » February 8th, 2021, 12:55 pm

Drone footage of Southwest LRT construction from the autumn in the Cedar Lake area and St. Louis Park. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eUJBmeiAGw

bubzki2
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby bubzki2 » February 8th, 2021, 2:09 pm

We can rightly criticize the alignment for the SWLRT. That said, from that video one can see that there are quite a few improvements to the Cedar Lake trail with grade separated crossings along the corridor. Beltline and Wooddale were both badly needed.

MattW
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby MattW » February 8th, 2021, 5:32 pm

We can rightly criticize the alignment for the SWLRT. That said, from that video one can see that there are quite a few improvements to the Cedar Lake trail with grade separated crossings along the corridor. Beltline and Wooddale were both badly needed.
Agreed. This is compounded by SLP's ordinance giving cars the ROW at all trail crossings in the city.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » February 9th, 2021, 8:56 am

Agreed. This is compounded by SLP's ordinance giving cars the ROW at all trail crossings in the city.
That's a city ordinance? I had thought that was a Three Rivers thing

Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » February 9th, 2021, 9:14 am

I know it’s contentious, but I think saying it is an SLP ordinance is inaccurate.

I’ve spoken with the city staff and every time they say they’re signs are their interpretation of state laws.

MattW
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby MattW » February 9th, 2021, 12:17 pm

I know it’s contentious, but I think saying it is an SLP ordinance is inaccurate.

I’ve spoken with the city staff and every time they say they’re signs are their interpretation of state laws.
Consider me corrected!

Hopefully they won't need to produce anymore ridiculous PSA videos about their interpretation. https://www.facebook.com/stlouispark/vi ... 9087336584

Trademark
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Trademark » February 11th, 2021, 8:49 pm

I've been driving thru areas of construction on this route a lot and I really think overall this is going to be a jewel of a project.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I can't think of a singlw point in the route where the train has to stop for anyone. It uses right of ways very well to keep speed high and after looking thru a lot of the future planning documents most stations have a decent plan for future density at stations I used to think were indefensible like Van White.

21st Street is still terrible and it should've been a tunnel under Hennepin. But comparing this line to others being built around the countries. It's definitely not as bad as most here think it is.

StandishGuy
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby StandishGuy » February 13th, 2021, 12:21 pm

Well, I can't imagine ever using the Green Line extension due to the lack of destinations along the route except for a possible ride to the 21st Street Station at Cedar Lake and W. Lake Station near the Chain of Lakes to access beaches/ park amenities. I live off the Blue line near E. 38th St. and use that often to get to downtown, the airport, and University of MN area in Minneapolis. A friend lives in SLP near Knollwood, but I'm skeptical that walking from the Louisiana Station to north of Knollwood will be very pleasant considering the giant parking lots and lack of sidewalks.

tmart
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » February 22nd, 2021, 1:10 pm

A really random question for anyone who may have been following this project for a very, very long time: Does anyone know how Eden Prairie ended up being chosen as the terminus (as opposed to other Southwest burbs like Wayzata, Minnetonka, Excelsior, etc)?

The earliest docs I've been able to dig up all started with the assumption that EP was the destination, and it was just a matter of picking the routing to get there. I'm sure there were steps in the process before that, though.

I'm not criticizing the choice at all and intuitively I kinda get why it was made. I was just daydreaming about how neat it would be to have service out to Lake Minnetonka (echoing the old resort town streetcars), and I know we did acquire and build "LRT trails" out that way, so I'm curious if they were evaluated and what the official stance on those alignments was.

talindsay
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » February 22nd, 2021, 1:21 pm

I was less interested in this line when I first dug into Twin Cities transit planning shortly after moving here in 1999, but if memory serves, this went southwest while the reserved ROW along 394/12 was intended to link Lake Minnetonka to the city via light rail - so this line was never envisioned going west. The 394/12 light rail line got a little traction from Gail Dorfman in the immediate post-Hiawatha period (2005-2006 or so) but various studies in that era quickly showed Southwest as having the most ridership potential, and her energy went into that instead. The specific route was largely shaped by which suburbs wanted the line, which suburbs didn't want the line, and where there was ROW. It's no accident that it avoids Edina, for instance. Most of the details were set due to the rigid standards of the Bush-era New Starts program, and especially the Pawlenty administration's unwillingness to pursue alternatives to the federal formula.

David Greene
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 22nd, 2021, 1:50 pm

The planning for this line goes back to at least the '80's. Back when I was doing some research on our (then) house in the Wedge I came across reports in old editions of the neighborhood paper about the line. None of the recent arguments about alignments are anything new.

Even though I won't use the extension much, I'm still excited to see this happening for a few reasons:

1) It greatly improves mobility in the corridor. Like the existing Green Line there will be more intra-corridor trips than trips that start/end at SW station/Downtown.

2) That mobility increase primarily benefits low-income people and people of color.

3) Despite Minneapolis doing just about everything it could to sabotage it, Van White station will be a net positive. And there's still future opportunity to completely eliminate the impound lot.

4) It makes Midtown LRT possible and that line is also a huge equity boost. Minneapolis needs to get off its tuchus on this. With a friendly executive and Congress, now is the time to push for it. The Feds are ripe for a major infrastructure bill.

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alexschief
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 22nd, 2021, 2:17 pm

I'm not sure the chosen corridor for SWLRT is a great mystery?

Open up Google Maps to the Twin Cities and select the satellite view (or just click here). The route of SWLRT draws itself, you can see it on the map as a pretty continuous corridor of office/industrial/commercial development extending SW from Bde Maka Ska. A lot of the surrounding residential area, especially west of Hopkins, is just not conducive to transit. The densities are low and the streets aren't gridded, let alone furnished with sidewalks.

There are problems with the chosen corridor within Minneapolis for the Green and Blue Line Extensions, but the chosen corridors outside the city both are pretty intuitive.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » February 22nd, 2021, 2:24 pm

Wasn't Eden Prairie one of the fastest growing suburbs when Southwest LRT was proposed in the 80s? There was also the opportunity of using railroad right-of-way the Chicago & North Western abandoned through Eden Prairie and Minnetonka in 1991, but that ended up not being the chosen alignment.

Tcmetro
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » February 22nd, 2021, 2:34 pm

The initial alignment from the 80s had the line following the south branch of the LRT trail to Hwy 62. Some earlier documents from the 70s had vague corridors that ended at "Edendale". The alignment to Eden Prairie makes the most sense because it goes past the OPUS and Golden Triangle employment centers and the mall, but it doesn't really access any of the residential areas.

tmart
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » February 22nd, 2021, 5:22 pm

Just to reiterate, I agree that EP made a lot of intuitive sense and I'm certainly not criticizing it on a high level compared to other suburban alternatives. I was just curious what the deal with those "other" nearby LRT rights-of-way we acquired were, and if the SWLRT study process had revealed anything interesting about them.

I'm fairly persuaded by the idea talindsay proposed above, namely that they weren't evaluated as part of SWLRT planning because planners at the time were envisioning a separate, additional westward project along 394 or similar.

Tcmetro
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » February 22nd, 2021, 7:22 pm

That makes sense, I did not intend for my message to be interpreted that way. If there's one thing the various governments did well in the endless fight over transit, it is that they purchased rights-of-way for eventual usage. It's also been very good that the interim trail uses didn't become permanent, and that they are able to co-exist with transit. The older transit plans from the 70s and 80s are quite interesting; a lot of them stayed true to the acquired corridors and had more stops (generally every 1/3-1/2 mile). The general plan in the 80s-early 90s was that the Hiawatha, 35W, and Southwest light rail lines would all use the Midtown Greenway and connect into a tunnel under Nicollet. There were also studies of a line to Anoka County and of the Central Corridor (then envisioned using I-94), which would have also connected into this tunnel. One of the more strange corridors to be studied using a county-acquired ROW was the Northeast Corridor, which would have run from Minneapolis to White Bear Lake.

Here's the DEIS from 2012 that goes into some of the alternatives studied in what became the Southwest LRT: http://www.leg.state.mn.us/edocs/edocs. ... =828204158

Hennepin County began its study of the corridor in 2003 and has a lot more detail of alternatives, but that document isn't available online from the Legislature. libraries.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » February 22nd, 2021, 8:46 pm

Somewhere along the Minneapolis Diagonal Trail there's at least one sign about the right-of-way being owned by HCRRA for future light rail purposes, which I assume would be part of the proposed Northeast Corridor to White Bear Lake if it ever got built.

Another interesting segment is the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail. Not sure when the county rail authority bought the right-of-way, but the Chicago & North Western abandoned it in 1980. I can't recall where but I remember seeing a very old transitway map that included a line to Excelsior in addition to the Southwest Line, Hiawatha Line, Central Corridor, and maybe the Northeast Corridor.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby seanrichardryan » February 28th, 2021, 10:13 am

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » February 28th, 2021, 10:32 am

It shouldn't be at all surprising that Minnesota was treated by the Trump admin the same way the Ukrainian government was.

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