Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
thespeedmccool
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby thespeedmccool » June 2nd, 2021, 5:55 pm

Looks like they were downgraded?

FTA rating for Blue Line light rail extension 'under review

https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/ ... eview.html (Paywall)
Not really a downgrade according to the article, just a status change since the route alignment is going to change. The planners say it is standard procedure.
How can the FTA review a route that isn't finalized yet?
I think that's exactly the point. They cannot in good faith list a rating for the BLRT given the route shift, but they keep it on their radar with the 'under review' rating rather than delist it completely.

This seems like bureaucratic paper-pushing, nothing more.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 10th, 2021, 3:07 pm

The mayor of Robbinsdale mentioned during the Corridor Management Committee meeting today that he doesn't think the current city council will vote to give municipal consent to the Blue Line Extension. They want to re-engage BNSF and put the alignment back in the rail corridor so the train doesn't "tear Robbinsdale in two." A city councilor concurred and declared that he does not want ground level or elevated rail on Bottineau boulevard and will be fighting any effort to put it there.

I feel like that battle was already lost with Bottineau being as wide as a freeway, but I guess somehow rail is more threatening.

Bakken2016
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Bakken2016 » June 10th, 2021, 3:11 pm

The mayor of Robbinsdale mentioned during the Corridor Management Committee meeting today that he doesn't think the current city council will vote to give municipal consent to the Blue Line Extension. They want to re-engage BNSF and put the alignment back in the rail corridor so the train doesn't "tear Robbinsdale in two." A city councilor concurred and declared that he does not want ground level or elevated rail on Bottineau boulevard and will be fighting any effort to put it there.

I feel like that battle was already lost with Bottineau being as wide as a freeway, but I guess somehow rail is more threatening.
Good lord, if they kill the project because of this dumb ass reason…..


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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 10th, 2021, 3:40 pm

I went into the city council minutes for some context, here are some of their concerns with the alignment -
Further discussion included:
  • Importance of keeping the current vehicle traffic on CR81 and not diverting into neighborhoods or thru traffic using West Broadway;
  • Keeping LRT movement synchronous with traffic;
  • Assuring that pedestrians get walk signals and importance of median refuge areas;
  • Concern that there are more impacts to than benefits of LRT on the proposed realignment;
  • Possibility of keeping the Robbinsdale section on the rail corridor;
  • Noise concern - potentially requiring the quiet zone readiness previously planned for railroad crossings as offset to new noise from LRT signals;
  • Impact of 3-years of disruptive construction in an already congested traffic corridor and impacts on businesses and residents.
  • Impact of a large park & ride infrastructure sufficient to meet expected demand

Bakken2016
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Bakken2016 » June 10th, 2021, 3:59 pm

It's always think of the cars and traffic, good lord. Sorry, i got passed over for a promotion, I'm not in the best mood today.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby DanPatchToget » June 10th, 2021, 4:01 pm

Well, guess we need to put the Blue Line underground through Robbinsdale (sarcasm intended).

As was already mentioned, Bottineau Blvd already split Robbinsdale in two. I don't know how others feel, but I feel a lot safer crossing a double-track light rail line than a 4+ lane suburban stroad. But if the Robbinsdale City Council is so desperate to keep Bottineau Blvd as is and have light rail on BNSF right-of-way, then tell Hennepin County to give up the land BNSF and Canadian Pacific needed for that new track connection in Crystal. Maybe then they'll get their wish, but it'll come at a price, which is trains with 100-200 cars rumbling slowly through Robbinsdale.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 10th, 2021, 4:07 pm

If I recall correctly, Robbinsdale was the angriest about that proposed freight railroad plan too and, in an ironic twist, likely played a key role in Hennepin County's choice to purchase that land out from under BNSF.

thespeedmccool
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby thespeedmccool » June 10th, 2021, 4:43 pm

The mayor of Robbinsdale mentioned during the Corridor Management Committee meeting today that he doesn't think the current city council will vote to give municipal consent to the Blue Line Extension. They want to re-engage BNSF and put the alignment back in the rail corridor so the train doesn't "tear Robbinsdale in two." A city councilor concurred and declared that he does not want ground level or elevated rail on Bottineau boulevard and will be fighting any effort to put it there.

I feel like that battle was already lost with Bottineau being as wide as a freeway, but I guess somehow rail is more threatening.
If Robbinsdale is gonna throw a fit, the line should just end at North Memorial. The Minneapolis portion will probably generate enough trips to justify the price on its own.

Offer Robbinsdale a station and all the redevelopment opportunities that come with it, but don't spend years trying to convince them when they ultimately reject it (especially on such nonsense grounds.) It's time to stop begging suburbs to love transit.

Obviously, this would screw over Crystal and Brooklyn Park, but Minneapolis needs the line more than they do. Maybe the threat of losing the line would encourage other suburbs to put pressure on Robbinsdale leaders.

(At the end of the day, I imagine Robbinsdale will cave - that's how these things usually happen, especially to small suburbs.)

twincitizen
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby twincitizen » June 10th, 2021, 5:47 pm

I kinda suspected this might happen, pretty much since the day it was announced the line would run on Bottineau Blvd.

Hard to believe adding LRT could “tear Robbinsdale in two” any more than the wide ass road already does. The Green Line certainly didn’t tear St. Paul in two. If anything, it’s helping to tie the neighborhoods on either side of University closer together.

EOst
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby EOst » June 10th, 2021, 5:51 pm

Before anyone asks, Broadway in Robbinsdale is about 66' wide, which is just about impossible to fit surface LRT in unless the street becomes a pedestrian/transit mall.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby DanPatchToget » June 10th, 2021, 6:13 pm

Before anyone asks, Broadway in Robbinsdale is about 66' wide, which is just about impossible to fit surface LRT in unless the street becomes a pedestrian/transit mall.
Or a mixed-traffic streetcar, which I'm assuming won't be considered.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 10th, 2021, 6:29 pm

I highly doubt Robbinsdale would want a streetcar alignment down Broadway anyway. They wanted it to sit in the rail corridor so they could have LRT without the political hassle of dealing with drivers griping about traffic, strip malls griping about construction detours, and residents griping about crime.

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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby DanPatchToget » June 10th, 2021, 10:35 pm

I highly doubt Robbinsdale would want a streetcar alignment down Broadway anyway. They wanted it to sit in the rail corridor so they could have LRT without the political hassle of dealing with drivers griping about traffic, strip malls griping about construction detours, and residents griping about crime.
I'm willing to bet they already complain about traffic on Bottineau, the strip malls don't bat an eye over regular road construction, and crime can easily be accomplished with a car (have they ever heard of a drive-by shooting?). But I realize logic isn't their theme since they're concerned light rail on Bottineau would somehow divide Robbinsdale.

Note: I'm not defending a streetcar option, I'm just preaching to the choir here about the fact that light rail along Bottineau would be a very small sacrifice in roadway capacity when motorists have been given so much new infrastructure for decades. But for motorists it feels like the end of the world when even just one general traffic lane is handed over to transit or bikers.

uptownbro
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby uptownbro » June 11th, 2021, 8:05 am

Well they can go kick rocks.
My view is this. They will complain about it until its built. Then after about 12 months you wont hear about it again because all of there "issues" turned out to be a lot of hot air and people see the value you in it.

Mdcastle
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Mdcastle » June 11th, 2021, 8:09 am

To be fair, it's easy for Robbinsdale to see what a catastrophe for people in cars the Blue Line caused along Hiawatha and think a repeat could happen on Bottineau. Maybe the next thing is to do a traffic study.

amiller92
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby amiller92 » June 11th, 2021, 8:37 am

To be fair, it's easy for Robbinsdale to see what a catastrophe for people in cars the Blue Line caused along Hiawatha and think a repeat could happen on Bottineau. Maybe the next thing is to do a traffic study.
Huh?

uptownbro
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby uptownbro » June 11th, 2021, 8:40 am

Wasnt one of the issues with the blue line that it added to the with of Hiawatha making it even more hostile to people?

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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Anondson » June 11th, 2021, 9:34 am

To be fair, it's easy for Robbinsdale to see what a catastrophe for people in cars the Blue Line caused along Hiawatha and think a repeat could happen on Bottineau. Maybe the next thing is to do a traffic study.
Huh?
In the immediate couple years after it was up and running the light timings were a joke. If a driver was going parallel with the train, when the train was approaching an intersection all traffic in all directions, including parallel with the train, was halted until the train was well after it passed.

It made headlines, and it made the rounds of choochoo mockery among conservative talk radio.

Long after it was updated, many I meet in the western suburbs who are LRT-skeptical never stop bringing up the stupidity of the early light timings on Hiawatha like it still exists today.

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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby MNdible » June 11th, 2021, 9:38 am

I don't claim to really understand the reasons behind this, but it was explained to me by a smart somebody who thought deeply about these issues that a center-running LRT (like Central or Bottineau proposed here) is much easier to manage the signals for than a side-running LRT (like Hiawatha).

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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Silophant » June 11th, 2021, 9:54 am

I believe that. I don't understand either, but anecdotally the Rice/University intersection (where the Green Line is side-running), has seemed like an absolute mess for all modes (train, cars on both streets, peds on both streets) every time I've been though it.


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