E Line Arterial BRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
MNdible
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby MNdible » April 20th, 2020, 9:58 am

No, that's definitely not what he was saying.

alexschief
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby alexschief » April 20th, 2020, 1:30 pm

No, that's definitely not what he was saying.
You can't have it both ways. If you're arguing for a hub and spoke system with circumferential routes that allow connections, you're arguing for a polar grid. That's still very much a grid.

The statement "grids are inherently inefficient" is only true if you imagine the bulk of travel as heading towards a single focal point. I urge anyone to consider the trips they make on a daily basis and to think about the trips that their friends and family make on a daily basis. I'm sure there are exceptions, but the broad reality is that travel is everywhere to everywhere. A good transit system should reflect this, and that requires a grid, just as our network of roads is a grid at virtually every level. You can and should make concessions to strong nodes (and given geographic barriers, it is absolutely inevitable in Minneapolis and St. Paul), but if you neglect your circumferential routes and neglect your transfers, then your system will not be widely used and transit mode share will be permanently capped.

MNdible
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby MNdible » April 20th, 2020, 3:26 pm

If you want to argue semantics about whether adding circumferential routes makes it a grid, that's a fun conversation I'll let you have on your own.

A true grid in the way you're describing might make sense in a world where we were running 5 minute headways on every single route. But that's just never never going to happen -- nor should it, because most of the routes would be almost entirely empty most of the time at those frequencies. Look at heat maps of density and employment, and they necessarily become the nodes in a modified hub and spoke system. Those are the routes that we can and should be investing heavily in. While it might be ideal that every resident in South Minneapolis can go wherever they want on a bus, it can't be justified. Some of those trips can be effectively served by bus, but others will need to be served by bike, uber, taxi, or personal car.

alexschief
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby alexschief » April 21st, 2020, 7:35 am

If you want to argue semantics about whether adding circumferential routes makes it a grid, that's a fun conversation I'll let you have on your own.

A true grid in the way you're describing might make sense in a world where we were running 5 minute headways on every single route. But that's just never never going to happen -- nor should it, because most of the routes would be almost entirely empty most of the time at those frequencies. Look at heat maps of density and employment, and they necessarily become the nodes in a modified hub and spoke system. Those are the routes that we can and should be investing heavily in. While it might be ideal that every resident in South Minneapolis can go wherever they want on a bus, it can't be justified. Some of those trips can be effectively served by bus, but others will need to be served by bike, uber, taxi, or personal car.
It's not an argument about semantics, it's an argument about function. Efficient transit networks rely heavily on transfers. It will never make sense for a city in the real world to have a system laid out in a perfect grid, but the best systems globally approximate that effect. A good recent example of this is Barcelona, which has mostly implemented a gridded bus network to facilitate everywhere-to-everywhere travel and improve system efficiency.

I think it's telling that you dismiss 5 minute headways on every single route. No doubt that this is far from where MSP currently is, but there are cities all over the world that run service at similar frequencies. It is not impossible that MSP develop a network of twenty aBRT routes with 10 minute frequencies. I've written a proposal for exactly that, which would cost $750M to $1B, essentially the local match of an LRT line. Your entire argument boils down to a failure of imagination. Hand waving away global best practices with "it can't be justified" isn't the argument-winner that you think it is.

Multimodal
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby Multimodal » April 21st, 2020, 9:31 am

This!:
[I urge anyone to consider the trips they make on a daily basis and to think about the trips that their friends and family make on a daily basis. I'm sure there are exceptions, but the broad reality is that travel is everywhere to everywhere. A good transit system should reflect this, and that requires a grid, just as our network of roads is a grid at virtually every level. You can and should make concessions to strong nodes (and given geographic barriers, it is absolutely inevitable in Minneapolis and St. Paul), but if you neglect your circumferential routes and neglect your transfers, then your system will not be widely used and transit mode share will be permanently capped.
And if you think about it, wherever you spend the most time at endpoints (say, home & work) becomes a focal point that trips revolve around. Hence, each person is different, and each person has a series of desire lines that are focused on just a few places (again, say home & work). So I live near where Mpls, St. Louis Park, & Edina meet. So the focus (not the entirety, but definitely the focus) of my travel is Excelsior & Grand (north), Linden Hills (east), 44th/50th & France (south), and Grandview (west). Some of that can be done by foot or bike.

Sure, the density is north & east of me, and I’ll travel frequently to Uptown or Downtown. But not every trip is to downtown Mpls or St. Paul. I don’t want to have to go to the Uptown Transit Center to go west to Hopkins or south to Southdale or north to the West End.

If you think about highways, sure, there is some radial-ism: 394, Minnetonka Blvd., Hwy 7, Excelsior Blvd, 50th/Vernon, & France Avenue represent a quadrant of radial highways to downtown Mpls. But laid on top of that we have Hwy 62, Hwy 100, & Hwy 169, forming a grid.

Really, it’s kinda both radial hub & spoke and a grid for cars, depending on where you want to go. So why not for transit?

MNdible
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby MNdible » April 21st, 2020, 9:34 am

This is clearly an idea you're in love with, and good for you.

My take is that a modified hub and spoke system serves most people far better than a grid system by limiting transfers and focusing service where ridership demands it and land use patterns justify it. Utter lack of imagination, I know.

Global best practices is pretty subjective, and most transit systems I'm familiar with are a blend where the heavy frequency trunk services tend to follow the hub-and-spoke model and are supplemented by lower frequency grid service.

talindsay
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby talindsay » April 21st, 2020, 10:45 am

The fact that we waste money on unnecessary highway infrastructure isn't in itself an argument in favor of wasting money on unnecessary transit infrastructure. Both should be designed to shape and concentrate use into nodes that make for efficient movement.

Before the modernist planning era gave us square grids, the dominant form of urban design was one of nodes connected by avenues, with the largest and most important nodes in the center and avenues heading out toward lesser nodes. In a world where people mostly walked places, efficiency and limiting distances traveled was very important. This plaza and avenue design isn't exactly a hub and spoke, but it maps fairly well to it. It doesn't map to a grid at all.

tmart
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby tmart » April 21st, 2020, 12:29 pm

Ultimately even a heavily spoke-based or trunk-based system benefits enormously from having feeder lines serving its stations--and feeder lines need to be relatively high-frequency or else you lose the benefits of the trunk line frequency. And a system built in this way ends up looking a fair amount like a grid, though probably with fewer lines paralleling the major trunks.

It's fine to put the bulk of the money into connecting pairs of high-value destinations with high throughput/frequency/quality, but you get a lot more value out of that approach if you make it easy to get to and from these stations in at most one flexible (i.e., frequent) transfer.
My take is that a modified hub and spoke system serves most people far better than a grid system by limiting transfers and focusing service where ridership demands it and land use patterns justify it. Utter lack of imagination, I know.
Limiting transfers is good, but the value does go down as the frequency of the lines goes up. If I can step off the LRT and a bus is waiting to pick me up within 5 minutes, with proof-of-payment fares (i.e., smooth boarding), then I don't really mind the transfer, especially if it gets me way closer to my destination. Conversely, if I have to wait 13 minutes for my first bus to show up, and then everyone has to queue up and pay and board single-file, then stand around for another 17 minutes for my connecting bus to show up, and do the whole boarding thing over again...then the value of a single-seat ride is a lot more obvious.

Multimodal
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby Multimodal » April 21st, 2020, 1:12 pm

F6979BA4-6BFA-479C-BBF3-1930968C749D.jpeg
The streetcar lines started out as hub & spoke but, clearly, once you get a certain distance from downtown (Lake St for Mpls; Snelling for St. Paul), there is clearly a need for cross-cutting routes that help make a grid.
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CalMcKenney
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Re: E Line Arterial BRT

Postby CalMcKenney » April 23rd, 2020, 8:57 am

Every time I see that map it's so disheartening to know we already had the transit system back in 1913 that we are again striving for today.


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