Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
MSPtoMKE
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MSPtoMKE » August 19th, 2013, 2:18 pm

The detailed diagram also does not show how the connection with the Midtown Corridor would fit, only the more generalized diagrams at the beginning show it.
Isn't slide 11 what you're looking for?
Yes, the overview plans show a dotted path that the Midtown Corridor would take, but the more detailed view does not show it. The bike path seems to be in the way of where the tracks for the Midtown Corridor would be.

Franklin has an accessible ramp on the north side, but not on the south side. It really does need those circulation towers at both ends. I doubt people would go up the wrong side of the Street at West Lake, and then dash across the street, but forcing people to wind up or down the ramps is less than ideal.
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Anondson
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » August 19th, 2013, 6:51 pm

Here is a wild, proposal.

Not sure if the timing of doing this works out at all, but my idea came from this map at the twin city and western webpage. [Warning, link is to a .pdf]

http://tcwr.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/Rail-Map.pdf

What if we could keep TCW's link between its StP yards and customers in Western Minnesota by building a link from Cologne to Shakopee where it would piggy back the Union Pacific line along the Minnesota River and connect to the Saint Paul yards? The connection would parallel the new C-2 crossing for TH 41 that will link 169 to 212, then follow the 212 ROW to Cologne where it would reconnect to the TCW line to the west.

I think this would cost less than the $350 million to dig a tunnel, and the entire TCW line through the center of the Twin Cities could be vacated and used for transit or trails. No new property would need demolishing beyond what is already being acquired for the 41 crossing.

At these prices something like this might be cheaper than a tunnel and give a greater return on a future investment in line acquisition for trails, parks, and LRT lines.

David Greene
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 19th, 2013, 8:01 pm

What if we could keep TCW's link between its StP yards and customers in Western Minnesota by building a link from Cologne to Shakopee where it would piggy back the Union Pacific line along the Minnesota River and connect to the Saint Paul yards?
When TC&W was asked about a relocation further west, they said it was a nonstarter due to access issues with BNSF. They don't want to have to wait even longer for clearance to run on the tracks. Apparently the longer the stretch of track they don't own, the longer the wait times become. My guess is they'd say the same about your proposal.

And the cost to beat isn't $350 million, it's $150 million for a shallow tunnel. There's no way the project can afford anything more.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » August 20th, 2013, 4:55 pm

Again, it's disgusting to think that this line item is being paid with transit dollars (no matter if it's $1m, 150m or 350m) since the original cause of this was expansion of the Hiawatha car sewer over Lake Street. It should be paid with highway dollars.

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Nick
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Nick » August 20th, 2013, 5:23 pm

http://www.startribune.com/local/220419651.html
Lawmakers urge new approach to Southwest Corridor light-rail line

Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune Updated: August 20, 2013 - 5:19 PM

Facing unpopular choices, lawmakers urge LRT planners to reconsider options for moving freight train traffic out of Minneapolis to make room for light-rail in a recreational corridor in the city.

Key lawmakers say the agency planning the Southwest Corridor light-rail line has agreed “to go back to the drawing board” to resolve a dispute that threatens the project.

The lawmakers urged the Metropolitan Council, which oversees the project, to look for new ways to reroute freight train traffic into St. Louis Park or other communities to make room for the light-rail in a narrow corridor of Minneapolis. Current and previous reroute options have faced stiff resistance in St. Louis Park.

[...]

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby ECtransplant » August 21st, 2013, 12:11 am

If they're "going back to the drawing board" that should include uptown alignments

orangevening
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby orangevening » August 21st, 2013, 6:52 am

If they're "going back to the drawing board" that should include uptown alignments
I wouldn't hold your breath. Hiagh sounds like she wants this thing pushed though fast as possible

Rich
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Rich » August 21st, 2013, 7:20 am

If they're "going back to the drawing board" that should include uptown alignments
At this point, is there a need to pursue an uptown alignment? It seems like the Midtown Corridor has it's own plan that's shaping up nicely. That and a Nicollet streetcar make light rail through there sort of redundant, no?

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby VAStationDude » August 21st, 2013, 7:26 am

Yeah don't get your hopes up. The Uptown alignments will always live on in the minds of boosters who did not have to design, finance and construct them. Just like every multiway boulevard never built they will always be the Right and True alternatives and will not die until Urbanmsper's meet their maker many decades from now.

orangevening
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby orangevening » August 21st, 2013, 8:49 am

Yeah don't get your hopes up. The Uptown alignments will always live on in the minds of boosters who did not have to design, finance and construct them. Just like every multiway boulevard never built they will always be the Right and True alternatives and will not die until Urbanmsper's meet their maker many decades from now.
Ooch! Really?!? I understand the arguments for the Kenilworth alignment, but the biggest reason is money which is shame. I realize it's way more complicated than my little brain can muster, yet there should be a reasonable way to have the 2nd biggest population and commercial district in the biggest city in the State connected to the rail network. Especially said district is 1/2 mile from current route (via a semi-abandoned railroad corridor none the less)

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 21st, 2013, 8:59 am

Not wanting to get in to a big spat, but yeah - the 2 biggest arguments for the 3A vs 3C were cost (which is now far more comparable given co-location options) and servicing North.

I understand that the Midtown + Nicollet Corridors are going to help things a little, but keep in mind that reaching many destinations in Uptown or reaching downtown from Uptown areas may require a transfer for many folks, which isn't ideal. In the end, if Hennepin ends up with a true, frequent transit line (not a bus that shares lanes with SOVs), then I would say Uptown is "well-served" based on its population and business concentrations between Nicollet, Midtown, and Hennepin.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mplsjaromir » August 21st, 2013, 9:09 am

The idea that 3A's cost went up significantly but 3C's will be static is laughable. I would figure any increase seen in 3A's cost would be at least doubled on 3C's since you are going through a dense residential and commercial area.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby VAStationDude » August 21st, 2013, 9:15 am

Shhhhhh. That's not how we want the Uptown alignment to be remembered. It would have been a magnificent cut and cover tunnel on budget. Never mind we have precedent in this region for urban tunnels to increase in cost. (Having the green line at grade on the East Bank is preferable to a tunnel, imo)

orangevening
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby orangevening » August 21st, 2013, 9:21 am

If they're "going back to the drawing board" that should include uptown alignments
At this point, is there a need to pursue an uptown alignment? It seems like the Midtown Corridor has it's own plan that's shaping up nicely. That and a Nicollet streetcar make light rail through there sort of redundant, no?

Although more likely than SWLRT Uptown alignment neither streetcar route is a sure thing.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tyler » August 21st, 2013, 9:24 am

Yeah don't get your hopes up. The Uptown alignments will always live on in the minds of boosters who did not have to design, finance and construct them. Just like every multiway boulevard never built they will always be the Right and True alternatives and will not die until Urbanmsper's meet their maker many decades from now.
Thanks for being a dick! But the appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. Argue better.
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 21st, 2013, 9:30 am

I understand the arguments for the Kenilworth alignment, but the biggest reason is money
Then you really don't understand the arguments for the Kenilworth alignment.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 21st, 2013, 9:32 am

cost (which is now far more comparable given co-location options)
No it's not. Even assuming the $300 million extra figure for 3C was correct, it's still $150 million more than the most expensive reasonable Kenilworth option. It's quite likely that $300 million figure would rise.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 21st, 2013, 9:38 am

No it's not. Even assuming the $300 million extra figure for 3C was correct, it's still $150 million more than the most expensive reasonable Kenilworth option. It's quite likely that $300 million figure would rise.
This is my frustration with your take on the alignments. When the engineers and project teams making estimates for 3A put out their numbers, the costs won't rise (other than the "unforeseen" co-location issue). But those same engineers using the same tools and methods to estimate a different alignment put out numbers that would likely skyrocket if actually pursued as the chosen path. I have no faith that either route would have kept with initial budgets, but to assume one would rise and the other wouldn't is odd to me and it makes your take on the 3A alignment (which definitely has good points behind it) seem biased in that you're willing to discredit certain aspects of other routes unfairly.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mulad » August 21st, 2013, 9:57 am

The primary other reason other than cost I can think of in favor of 3A is end-to-end travel time, but that gets outweighed by the vastly higher population able to access the line, and the fact that it would speed up travel significantly over existing Downtown-to-Uptown bus routes.

I know business disruption for whatever street the line would tunnel under is cited as another concern, but I feel like the Central Corridor project has shown that a lot of those concerns are overblown. Basically any store that left or closed was replaced by another, and in relative terms, there weren't a whole lot of businesses applying for assistance. Some proprietors were probably dissuaded from applying because of the paperwork overhead, but there were also others who asked for money and were denied because their finances were in good shape.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 21st, 2013, 10:20 am

This is my frustration with your take on the alignments. When the engineers and project teams making estimates for 3A put out their numbers, the costs won't rise (other than the "unforeseen" co-location issue). But those same engineers using the same tools and methods to estimate a different alignment put out numbers that would likely skyrocket if actually pursued as the chosen path. I have no faith that either route would have kept with initial budgets, but to assume one would rise and the other wouldn't is odd to me and it makes your take on the 3A alignment (which definitely has good points behind it) seem biased in that you're willing to discredit certain aspects of other routes unfairly.
It's a fair criticism. I think it is true that absent the colocation cost, the 3A alignment cost didn't rise, so I'll give the same benefit of the doubt to 3C.

It's still $150 million more.


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