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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 9:41 am
by Wedgeguy
I don't know why they don't stop every other block on Lyndale and Hennepin. It would definitely speed up the ride. This from a man that would have to walk an extra block to get to his bus stops. I think it is really silly to stop every block when on Lake you have every other block stops and also on other route the same thing.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 9:52 am
by mnmike
The bus takes me under 20 mins from 34th to the middle of downwtown. That isn't unacceptably long by my standards...right in line with what I would expect on a frequent stop city bus, not any slower than driving and parking.

I agree on the reducing the bus stops, every block is excessive.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 10:10 am
by woofner
The roadway on Hennepin is typically 60' wide. Short of narrowing sidewalks, which I would oppose, the way to squeeze in bus lanes is to use 9' lanes for two of the through lanes. I've depicted this configuration in this streetmix:

http://streetmix.net/LoquaciousBird/3/h ... king-lanes

Bus lanes are really the only way to increase throughput on Hennepin, which is going to be necessary with all the additional development in Uptown and Downtown. Additionally the 10-15k daily riders on the Hennepin corridor justify a service improvement.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 11:39 am
by mattaudio
Why can't we just turn the existing outer lanes into bus/bike lanes during rush hour? And build far-side bus bulbs for increase people space and less interference with cars that move into those lanes to turn right?

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 12:16 pm
by Viktor Vaughn
It doesn't work on Hennepin downtown.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 12:56 pm
by Wedgeguy
Not sure why there are articulated buses running only in the afternoon for the 6, north bound!!. Or do they run them south bound in the morning for rush hour? But if they can run them now they can take care of any passenger increase with those large buses.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 2:17 pm
by David Greene
The problem is that Hennepin is the main route between two major centers, Uptown and Downtown.
Indeed. Hennepin is where it is because of St. Anthony Falls and Lake Calhoun. It's pretty hard to change hundreds of years of transportation habit.
Indeed, in fact it's an ancient hunting path.
Right, and it connects two sacred Dakota places.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 2:20 pm
by David Greene
The bus takes me under 20 mins from 34th to the middle of downwtown. That isn't unacceptably long by my standards...right in line with what I would expect on a frequent stop city bus, not any slower than driving and parking.

I agree on the reducing the bus stops, every block is excessive.
I agree with everything you've said here and in your previous post. I live two blocks off Hennepin and it has never struck me as a problem. Transit travel time to/from downtown is very competitive with driving. We could maybe use an articulated bus or two more but that's because the service is so popular.

I honestly don't understand the complaints. Isn't this exactly what we want everywhere else?

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 2:27 pm
by ECtransplant
Off peak is not bad, but rush hour usually takes me 30 min to get between uptown transit center to/from Nic and 7. Combine that with the buses so full I see them refuse passengers during pm peak 2 or 3 times a month and I think it's fair to say some improvement is needed

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 2:34 pm
by woofner
Peak hour bus lanes do work on 4th & 5th Sts in St Paul (although, to be fair, I've never had confirmation that there is heavy car traffic competing for that space). They just need to be implemented in a straightforward, legible manner, unlike the Hennepin green lanes. Because Hennepin between Franklin and Lake currently has a 20' wide thru/parking lane on the outside in each direction, it would simply be a matter of striping a solid line to demarcate the bus/parking lane.

I agree that Hennepin isn't too bad as-is, but the city wants to grow transit use, and the only way to do that will involve improving the bus users' experience. My understanding is that the 6 is like the 4 in that it's subject to extreme delays due to congestion. Bus lanes will mitigate this issue and speed up trips in general to boot.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 2:46 pm
by VAStationDude
It's actually 5th and 6th in Saint Paul. Neither are comparable to Hennepin. Both are way way under capacity. The most congested stretch of 6th is between Minnesota Wabasha where cars exit from the Lawson Ramp and the bus lane is goes away for a block in favor of parking for the clothing store and restaurants at 6th and Wabasha. Grrr.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 2:50 pm
by David Greene
5th and 6th downtown St. Paul are never carry as much traffic as Hennepin. Not even close. Plus they are a one-way pair. Those streets aren't as pedestrian friendly precisely because there's no parking to buffer the sidewalk.

The Hennepin bus lanes don't work downtown and one of the reasons is they aren't enforced. I see people ignore the right-turn-only rule on a regular basis. Now that it's been that way for a couple of years it's going to be impossible to take that lane back. It's very much not simply a matter of striping a lane. It takes real money to enforce it.

AFAIK downtown Hennepin has a wider ROW so I don't see how dedicated bus lanes can work south of the bottleneck. Running more articulated units will help with the crowding and boarding refusal issues.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 2:53 pm
by mattaudio
If we can't improve bus service between Uptown and Downtown by converting two lanes into bus/bike/right turn lanes with far-side bus bulbs, then the next best option is:

Eliminating cars from Hennepin between Franklin and 26th, except for possibly alternating-direction segments to serve local businesses. More space for sidewalk uses, space for dedicated bike lanes, space for dedicated bus lanes.

So what if Hennepin is the only diagonal between Uptown and Downtown? We already take diagonal trips all the time... by using an east-west street to a north-south street.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 2:58 pm
by Viktor Vaughn
I surprised to hear people don't think Hennepin is bad. It is unpleasant to walk down, scary to bike on, and even dangerous to cross. I have no desire to sit at a sidewalk patio near such fast-moving traffic.

For such an auto-oriented street, it's even frustrating to drive down. Hennepin has the potential to be a great street, but right now it doesn't work well for anyone.

It's hard to know how to balance all the needs, but grade-separated transit would be a great start. Too bad our region doesn't have any value-adding train tunnels planned for this corridor.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 3:16 pm
by woofner
I don't see how dedicated bus lanes can work south of the bottleneck.
They would work by delineating specialized function using commonly-recognized symbols, including single or double solid lines at the lane boundaries, and a painted diamond followed by the words BUS ONLY and 7-9 AM or 4-6 PM (NB and SB respectively) in the center of the lane at the beginning and middle of blocks. Additionally signs mounted on poles in boulevards would provide more detail. This isn't brain surgery.

The counts on 5th/6th in St Paul are actually comparable to Hennepin downtown, though quite a bit less than on Hennepin in Lowry Hill/Uptown. So you guys are afraid that with more congestion motorists will just use the bus lane as a third lane? I don't see what the problem with that would be, especially with far-side stops the bus times would still be improved.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 3:37 pm
by Tcmetro
We definitely need some sort of transit improvement on Hennepin. A typical bus ride on the 6 at the height of rush hour from the north end of downtown to Uptown Transit Center takes about 30-35 min. Then you have all the riders who are continuing on to Edina, SLP, Hopkins, Minnetonka, etc. Another improvement would be to cut the stops at 22nd, 25th, and 27th. This would make sure the bus is in motion more of the time. Also, a lot of these buses are fairly full. Bus lanes are an easy project, and a similar project is underway on Wilshire Bl in Los Angeles. Granted, Wilshire buses carry appx. 80,000 riders per day, but it's the same basic concept.

For bus lanes to work, we simply need good enforcement. License plate cameras and a ticket in the mail would be pretty easy to implement.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 3:40 pm
by mnmike
I surprised to hear people don't think Hennepin is bad. It is unpleasant to walk down, scary to bike on, and even dangerous to cross. I have no desire to sit at a sidewalk patio near such fast-moving traffic.

For such an auto-oriented street, it's even frustrating to drive down. Hennepin has the potential to be a great street, but right now it doesn't work well for anyone.
Really? If it is that bad for everyone, how is traffic moving so fast that you are uncomfortable to sit near it? That is contradictory and most people are complaining here that traffic moves too slow. Also, the angle of the street allows for many corners to have large sidewalks with seating areas and landscaping, a few of which are very pleasant patios not near traffic...not to mention the places with converted "front yards" that serve as patios, and pretty good street trees compared to many streets (which will be the first thing to go in a reconstruction of course). I stand by my comment that, aside from the bottleneck, Hennepin isn't a bad street through uptown. Just my observations from either walking, driving or busing down it most days during the past 15 years. I would even say Lake/Lagoon are much less pleasant and need much more work than Hennepin.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 3:49 pm
by clf
I live on Hennepin, I don't think it is bad. I walk and take the bus with no problems. I will not bike on Hennepin but there is Bryant for that. The only thing I don't like is how cars don't move for emergency vehicles. I would not know about driving on it thought as I don't drive.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 4:16 pm
by Viktor Vaughn
You make a good point, Mike, regarding the too fast / too slow contradiction. Maybe bus trips are too slow, but vehicle traffic seems too aggressive speeding between red lights jockeying for position.

I don't spend a lot of time in the area, but I recently had occasion to walk Hennepin most of the way from Franklin to Lake. I had always thought about Hennepin as a very walkable street and was struck by how hostile it felt to be a pedestrian. Maybe I'll have to take that walk again before I can articulate it better.

Re: Hennepin Avenue

Posted: April 17th, 2014, 4:27 pm
by David Greene
So you guys are afraid that with more congestion motorists will just use the bus lane as a third lane? I don't see what the problem with that would be, especially with far-side stops the bus times would still be improved.
As I understood it, we weren't talking about a third lane for bus-only traffic. We were talking about taking parking and an existing lane:
Because Hennepin between Franklin and Lake currently has a 20' wide thru/parking lane on the outside in each direction, it would simply be a matter of striping a solid line to demarcate the bus/parking lane.
I guess I misuderstood as your streetmix clearly shows taking only the parking lane. However, a 9' lane is pretty damn narrow.

FWIW I walk along Hennepin (with a baby, even) all the time and I don't find it nearly as bad as 26th/28th. There are always people around and the parking lane makes a nice buffer. I would hate to lose that, even only during peak because peak is when most people are usually about. In fact as i think about it, the worst "feel" for pedestrians is on the west side from 28th to Lagoon and that's primarily because the YWCA fronts the street so poorly. The biggest problem for peds is people making turning movements and not paying attention to pedestrians, but that's a problem not limited to Hennepin.

I do think we could calm Hennepin a bit, perhaps with a shared bike lane but any calming would slow buses down too. And Bryant or almost any other street is a better bike option anyway.

Between the 4, 6, 12 and 17 it really is not hard to get downtown from Uptown.