Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

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David Greene
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby David Greene » August 2nd, 2015, 12:58 pm

Depressing the freeway low enough to allow a fully at-grade bike-ped bridge was actually studied. Would've cost a minimum of $8MM more than the other options, and possibly more due to stormwater/stormtunnel issues from lowering the freeway more.
Goddamn, a lousy $8 million bucks? It's totally ridiculous that this was thrown out over such a paltry amount of money complared to what gets spent on every other road in the metro.

PigsEye

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby PigsEye » August 2nd, 2015, 6:18 pm

Nicollet corridor and the Orange lines will function perfectly once you understand they are both opposites that will either let riders have slow frequent stops and access into south Minneapolis, or fast and quick transit into downtown. If the Nicollet corridor terminates at an orange line station around American Blvd then it would be a perfect corridor.
Setting aside the fact that the Nicollet streetcar is a stupid idea, I completely disagree with you. You aren't considering the many other potential uses of the corridor, most prominently for reverse commutes. Why is (only) "slow, frequent stops and access into south Minneapolis" at all a good idea?

I support SWLRT because of the reverse commute possibilities. I wouldn't support it if it only stopped at West Lake.

Actually I am personally leaning towards a Nicollet aBRT line not a streetcar line. I also think that the midtown greenway is the only line that MUST be streetcar given it's location in the trench. For reverse commutes there will be a Lake St. and 46th St. station for the Orange line. So there will be fast service regardless.

I'm sure this is outdated but it shows the corridor abit...

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 115904.jpg

I guess, a Franklin station would be nice given that area is a pretty dense residential area. Though I don't think there is that much demand in a reverse commute. Maybe it should be added as a potential station for expansion? I think realistically the best way to get the orange line up and running as being successful is grabbing the most potential usage which would be commuters coming in from the suburbs. Eventually as the corridor expands and develops it would be wonderful to see a Franklin station allowing more reverse commutes.

I'd just hate to see the mistakes of the Red line repeated. If the Red line had direct MOA to downtown access then it would have been a corridor that would have encouraged development and be rapidly expanding. Instead the fed the line into another 50min line that takes them a very long time to get into downtown.

EOst
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby EOst » August 2nd, 2015, 8:21 pm

Nicollet aBRT: Because Windom Needs Better Transit

PigsEye

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby PigsEye » August 3rd, 2015, 7:18 am

Nicollet aBRT: Because Windom Needs Better Transit

Your right, 18 route is one of the highest used routes in the metro. Clearly we need upgrades for local riders. The Orange line will not fill that need alone given it's mostly a commuter line. Reason enough why we need both Nicollet Corridor and the Orange line. Great point ;)

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RailBaronYarr
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 3rd, 2015, 7:33 am

Nicollet aBRT: Because Windom Needs Better Transit
Just to put some numbers to this.. of the 6,500 daily NB boardings on the 18 (per the MT ridership metadata), over 1,000 of them come between 66th & 48th. For comparison, 2,100 folks board the 18 between 31st & Franklin in the same route distance (about 2 miles).

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby EOst » August 3rd, 2015, 8:27 am

Just to put some numbers to this.. of the 6,500 daily NB boardings on the 18 (per the MT ridership metadata), over 1,000 of them come between 66th & 48th. For comparison, 2,100 folks board the 18 between 31st & Franklin in the same route distance (about 2 miles).
I don't think 66th-48th and 31st-Franklin are actually similar distances.

But even if you want to give good service to those 1000 people in a Nicollet streetcar world, run a local route on Nicollet south of 46th! It's only 13 minutes one-way from Nicollet-77th to 46th Street, and not much worse than that in bad traffic. Whatever transfer penalty you'd get would be more than offset by the speed of the Orange Line.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby LakeCharles » August 3rd, 2015, 8:48 am

Nicollet aBRT: Because Windom Needs Better Transit
Just to put some numbers to this.. of the 6,500 daily NB boardings on the 18 (per the MT ridership metadata), over 1,000 of them come between 66th & 48th. For comparison, 2,100 folks board the 18 between 31st & Franklin in the same route distance (about 2 miles).
31st to Franklin is only 1.2 miles, while 66th to 48th is 2.2 miles. So that southern stretch has 1/4 the boarders per mile that the northern stretch does.

mattaudio
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby mattaudio » August 3rd, 2015, 9:12 am

I'm not sure speed offsets a transfer penalty... Comfort would, IMO. I can't stand being on a local bus (even sitting) for more than maybe 20 minutes as it lurches side to side at every block. But back when I grew up in the burbs, I'd routinely take an express service on a coach bus for an hour. Ride quality was great, but I think one-seat rides still trump all.

Regarding Nicollet south of 46th... This is one more reason for any service, whether aBRT or streetcar, continuing to 46th, since the 11 also terminates at 46th. Because then the existing Route 18 south of 46th Street can take over Route 11 north of 46th Street, with a transfer to the new service at 46th/Nicollet or the Orange Line at 46th/35W (all within two blocks).

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 3rd, 2015, 9:59 am

Apologies on the distance. I have this working spreadsheet that chunks out a bunch of routes into service areas and has linear route mileage. It had 1.97 miles for Franklin-31st & 1st Ave, so I should go check a few others. That said, let's not get into a SC v aBRT debate here. My point was to show that there is actually strong ridership in the southern portion of the 18's service (1/6 of all boardings!), and we shouldn't discount it.

As to a local route bringing folks up to the 46th St Station (and, ignoring the added cost of the streetcar terminating at 46th vs the baked-in price of aBRT that included that distance and then some)... Orange Line project docs show 14 minutes from 46th station to 2nd Av & 2nd St. 10-15 minute headways (peak/off) means 5-7 minute average wait times, so a total trip time of 19-21 minutes. Add another two minutes to get the local bus from Nicollet to the 46th St station overpass & take the stairs down, so 21-23. Shave 4 minutes off if your destination is at the southern end of downtown (11st St & 2nd Ave).

The Nicollet aBRT/streetcar study said 28 minutes from 46th St to Washington Ave, ~10 minutes less if you hop off at 11th/Nicollet (study said 11 minutes from Washington to 13th). The folks heading to the south side of the CBD see equal travel times, those heading all the way up toward Washington see better times on the Orange Line (which is more a ringing endorsement of better N-S local transit infra similar to Marq2 than anything else). Debate what people are willing to trade off in single seat ride vs waiting for a bus and the unknown transfer penalty (could be 2 minutes, but could also be 10!). But it's close. And a more convoluted system than a linear line all the way to 77th or so on Nicollet (there are many trips from the Windom-ish area points along Nicollet from Lake to 46th who would see an unnecessary transfer as well - about 700 NB alightings a day).

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby froggie » August 4th, 2015, 6:00 am

Catching up after a week of planes, trains, and automobiles...

Going back to a point Matt made earlier (a point he's advocated in the past), it would be impossible to move the 31st ramps to Lake St and still retain 31st as a through street under 35W. The spacing and grades just don't allow for it. Similarly, moving the 35th ramps to 36th would require cutting off 35th at 35W.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby mister.shoes » August 4th, 2015, 9:08 am

froggie, honest question, not snark: why is it that downtown the ramps to/from MN65 at 10th can get under Grant/11th in a distance far shorter than a S MPLS long block, yet we can't move around ramps like you've described due to spacing and grades?
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby froggie » August 4th, 2015, 10:25 am

Because the ramps under Grant/11th aren't merging onto a frontage road (i.e. Stevens or 2nd) before they meet 10th.

Moving the 31st ramps to Lake would still have to merge/diverge with 2nd and Stevens, unless you closed 2nd and Stevens off between 31st and Lake. Otherwise, spacing requirements would require closing off 31st because there wouldn't be enough vertical space under the ramps to allow vehicle traffic through (a bike/ped path would be possible though).

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby mattaudio » August 4th, 2015, 10:58 am

Didn't the Crosstown project remove the "frontage road" arrangement for 2nd Ave S between 60th St and Chester in the Diamond Lake neighborhood? I don't think that would be the worst.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby trigonalmayhem » August 4th, 2015, 11:09 am

Why can't we do something like this? It doesn't necessarily help Franklin but it could probably be tweaked to work for that too.
https://imgur.com/Wh0gVBJ

Mod edit: Embedded image.

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froggie
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby froggie » August 4th, 2015, 4:54 pm

Didn't the Crosstown project remove the "frontage road" arrangement for 2nd Ave S between 60th St and Chester in the Diamond Lake neighborhood? I don't think that would be the worst.
It did, yes. If you want to move the 31st ramps to Lake but retain 31st as a through street under 35W, that's the only way you'd be able to do it...by closing off both 2nd and Stevens. Even then, it'd be a fairly steep grade (~4.5-5%) on the ramps. You'd have more elevation to climb/descend than at 60th, and with less length to do it in.
Why can't we do something like this? It doesn't necessarily help Franklin but it could probably be tweaked to work for that too.
Probably doable north of 16th. The grades required for the 94/35W ramps and the connections between 35W and downtown would prevent being able to connect 17th as you suggest, though there's nothing stopping 17th to/from the east with connecting with 5th to the north.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby twincitizen » August 24th, 2015, 7:35 am

http://www.startribune.com/concerns-ari ... 322560521/

Burnsville and Metro Transit seem to aligning on the Traveller's Trail site. Dakota County Commissioners don't want to sink money into an additional stop and would prefer to use BTS Park & Ride. Their reasons, however, are pretty alarming. Dakota County sees this as "Cedar Grove (Red Line) all over again", thinking that the station should be located online/inline on 35W. I can see why a non-transit-using observer would think that, as people who don't use transit tend to get stuck in "end-to-end mindset". They literally see a line with two ends, everything between is irrelevant to them (see suburban complaints about Green Line, etc.) The problem, I think, is that Dakota County Commissioners are probably looking at the Lakeville Kenrick P&R as the future end of the line, when that will likely never happen. That P&R is destined to continue with its existing express service only. It is simply too remote to demand all-day BRT service. Furthermore, the Burnsville station being debated is the current terminus, not in the middle of the line like Cedar Grove on the Red Line. Bottom line is that an online station at 35W & Burnsville Parkway would be awful - no walkshed due to the exit ramps and no P&R either.

Really though, planners could end this debate if they would show an extension of the line to Burnsville Center running via Nicollet instead of via 35W (see earlier discussion where I compared the two alternatives)

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Tcmetro » August 24th, 2015, 8:18 am

My big concern is about bus connections at the Burnsville end. 421, 426, 444, and 465A provide local connections from the Burnsville Transit Station, and making sure that riders can transfer to the Orange Line easily should be a very high priority. Additionally, I am willing to imagine that the outcome of the Scott County service study will include a restructured connection between Shakopee and Burnsville. The site plan for the Travelers Trail location appears to have limited to no support for connecting local bus facilities.

I do think a southern extension is possible. I prefer that the Orange Line extend to CR 42, because the Burnsville Center and surrounding retail is right there, and it is a pretty straightforward and logical terminal.

mattaudio
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby mattaudio » August 24th, 2015, 8:32 am

426, 444, and 465A already use Nicollet through the HoC area, and 421 could either be extended to HoC or be rerouted via Frontage Rd and Burnsville Pkwy to terminate at BVTS (which would actually serve more ridership).

I'd actually like to see HoC become the transfer point for routes in this area, since it's already in a walkable area. It would say that walk-up transit is at least as important as drive-up transit. Best of all, most of the buses, especially the express buses, can serve BVTS between HOC and their freeway journey, so nothing is lost.

mattaudio
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby mattaudio » August 27th, 2015, 3:13 pm

Here's a 1966 video of the project area before the freeway even opened. Of note: Lake Street exit is signed as US 212!
Image
Driving North on 35W - 1966 by City of Minneapolis Archives, on Flickr

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby HiawathaGuy » August 27th, 2015, 3:48 pm

Here's a 1966 video of the project area before the freeway even opened. Of note: Lake Street exit is signed as US 212!
Image
Driving North on 35W - 1966 by City of Minneapolis Archives, on Flickr
Holy crap that was fun to watch! SO crazy to see things new - and how little they've changed.
Lake Street looking east was fun too. That Hamm's billboard rocked!


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