Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

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

Postby uptownbro » July 13th, 2021, 8:34 am

Wouldn't the elevated option be the only one where some parking is kept along Broadway? I cant see how the street level option keeps any of it.

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DanPatchToget
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby DanPatchToget » July 13th, 2021, 8:50 am

Well if they're not going to consider a tunnel option, which I think is incredibly stupid and short-sighted, then I support the elevated option. We're already pushing the limits with shoehorning Riverview on West 7th, and we know the Green Line on University has had and will have many conflicts with pedestrians and cars. The elevated option looks to be the least divisive to me since you don't have to worry about crossing the tracks. Plus to make the viaduct a little more aesthetically pleasing they could hire local artists to paint the columns, or design the columns with art like what they're doing in Eden Prairie with the LRT bridge over Prairie Center Drive and Technology Drive.

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tmart
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby tmart » July 13th, 2021, 9:26 am

Only one travel lane and no parking isn't going to go down well to say the least. How they'll fit stations in too is beyond me.
The stations we've built so far have been quite large; there are some more compact station designs that we could consider:

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7645026 ... 384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7806356 ... 384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@52.3669562 ... 384!8i8192

SurlyLHT
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » July 13th, 2021, 10:12 am

I haven't watched the meeting yet. What did Felicia Perry state? Also Ellison and Cunningham? I could see Perry killing this with her associates.

alexschief
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby alexschief » July 13th, 2021, 11:27 am

Glad to see things moving forward regardless.

But the tunnel issue continues to be a source of frustration. I really wish it were on the table so it could be discussed and evaluated. The difficulty with the tunnel is that the primary advantage for Minneapolis (the chance to redesign the topside of the street) is not the primary advantage for FTA (the ability to run trains faster with less possible delays). The elevated concept has the latter benefit but not the former, which is why I think it's under consideration. Unless an elected official steps forward to champion a tunnel alternative, it won't be considered. That doesn't seem likely to happen, but I don't know what the reaction was to all of these alternatives, if it was strongly negative there might be an opportunity for a change in approach.

If tunneled or elevated, there would be a significant benefit for the station at Emerson and Fremont. If the train were built at-grade with split stations, there would be an unavoidable transfer of over a block between one of the directions of the Blue Line and one of the directions of the D Line. If the station were built under or over the street, both platforms could be facing each other on the block between Emerson and Fremont, and the result would be a much easier transfer.

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tmart
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby tmart » July 13th, 2021, 11:46 am

If tunneled or elevated, there would be a significant benefit for the station at Emerson and Fremont. If the train were built at-grade with split stations, there would be an unavoidable transfer of over a block between one of the directions of the Blue Line and one of the directions of the D Line. If the station were built under or over the street, both platforms could be facing each other on the block between Emerson and Fremont, and the result would be a much easier transfer.
Unfortunately based on the E and B line plans I think they consider a block to be an acceptable transfer distance.

Would it be possible to put split street-level stations at opposite ends of the block between Emerson and Fremont, or is there not enough length?

Tcmetro
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Tcmetro » July 13th, 2021, 12:01 pm

At-grade versus tunnel/elevated along the most constrained part of Broadway is probably a time difference of a couple minutes at most. At-grade allows the street to be better served for peds and transit users while a grade separation really only serves to keep the status quo.

As for Fremont and Emerson, I think that changing both streets to two-way operations and making Fremont more of a bus street and Emerson more of a car street could solve the transfer problem.

I feel like there's some opportunity to take parking lots from the strip malls or some of the vacant land to expand the ROW where possible to accommodate parking and/or turn lanes.

Lastly, I think routing along 21st east of Knox should be reviewed as it may address some of the concerns about Broadway. It can easily be closed to trains only, but it pushes transit about 400' off the main street.

Trademark
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Trademark » July 13th, 2021, 12:11 pm

At-grade versus tunnel/elevated along the most constrained part of Broadway is probably a time difference of a couple minutes at most. At-grade allows the street to be better served for peds and transit users while a grade separation really only serves to keep the status quo.

As for Fremont and Emerson, I think that changing both streets to two-way operations and making Fremont more of a bus street and Emerson more of a car street could solve the transfer problem.

I feel like there's some opportunity to take parking lots from the strip malls or some of the vacant land to expand the ROW where possible to accommodate parking and/or turn lanes.

Lastly, I think routing along 21st east of Knox should be reviewed as it may address some of the concerns about Broadway. It can easily be closed to trains only, but it pushes transit about 400' off the main street.
How does slower and less reliable transit service that is harder to cross. Make it better served for pedestrians?

SurlyLHT
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » July 13th, 2021, 12:15 pm


Tcmetro
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Tcmetro » July 13th, 2021, 12:17 pm

It's true that an elevated or underground line will run faster (given the short distance involved, we are talking about 1-2 minutes gained), but those kind of stations also require stairs and escalators so there's more time involved getting to the train itself. It likely ends up being a wash in terms of time saved.

At-grade means a narrow street, underground or elevated is an attempt to keep four through lanes and two parking lanes. I'd rather be a ped on the at-grade option compared to the elevated option shown in the presentation.

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tmart
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby tmart » July 13th, 2021, 12:31 pm

Lastly, I think routing along 21st east of Knox should be reviewed as it may address some of the concerns about Broadway. It can easily be closed to trains only, but it pushes transit about 400' off the main street.
I think a train-only street is probably a non-starter (same as underground) with the planners and politicians we have, even if it is a very reasonable and practical idea. There's just no willingness to imagine spaces that don't have cars present. I remember in the original analysis they ruled out the idea of Penn Ave going to two-way trains w/ one-way cars, and instead preferred to advance the alternative of tearing down like 100 homes to make sure two-way car traffic on Penn could be protected.

Tcmetro
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Tcmetro » July 13th, 2021, 12:42 pm

21st is functionally a service drive for the businesses on the north side of Broadway and could retain road space for service access.

alexschief
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby alexschief » July 13th, 2021, 12:44 pm

At-grade versus tunnel/elevated along the most constrained part of Broadway is probably a time difference of a couple minutes at most. At-grade allows the street to be better served for peds and transit users while a grade separation really only serves to keep the status quo.
This is a weird thing to write, when some of us have been repeating ad nauseum that the major benefit of a tunnel would be the opportunity to redesign the topside of the street to be safer and more multi-modal. It's fine to favor the at-grade option, but it it's a bit annoying to see the case for a tunnel completely misrepresented like this.

Without that topside benefit, there's no significant reason to pursue a tunnel. This is the big issue with a tunnel. The benefit that counts for Minneapolis (a far-better street) is not the benefit that counts for CIG cost-sharing (travel time savings), and that latter benefit may not be enough to justify the added expense. But unless it's studied, there's no way of knowing.

Tcmetro
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Tcmetro » July 13th, 2021, 1:03 pm

I suppose I write it that way because the elevated idea (clearly nerfed) was presented only as a consideration of attempting to preserve the current street design. My logic follows that a tunnel would not have the support columns in the roadway and that the project team would present the redeeming quality of the tunnel being the preservation of the current street design.

MinneapBliss
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby MinneapBliss » July 13th, 2021, 1:09 pm

What about a mix of at-grade track between stations/main crossroads, and elevated stations and flyovers at other intersections deemed important in maintaining connection across Broadway? This could provide space for left turn lanes and safer, grade-separated crossings at those locations, while retaining more visual continuity throughout the corridor and building cheaper infrastructure where grade separation isn't as necessary? It's not apples to apples, but my experience as a cyclist, pedestrian, driver, and LRT rider is better when I bike, walk, drive, and board a train at/around the Lake Street or Franklin Stations versus the other Blue Line stations along Hiawatha.

I'm all for a deep bore tunnel from downtown to Wirth Pkwy or so, but if we can't have nice things, can we at least have all-but-necessary things in the most logical locations?
"That rug really tied the room together, did it not?" -Walter Sobchak

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tmart
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby tmart » July 13th, 2021, 1:36 pm

What about a mix of at-grade track between stations/main crossroads, and elevated stations and flyovers at other intersections deemed important in maintaining connection across Broadway? This could provide space for left turn lanes and safer, grade-separated crossings at those locations, while retaining more visual continuity throughout the corridor and building cheaper infrastructure where grade separation isn't as necessary? It's not apples to apples, but my experience as a cyclist, pedestrian, driver, and LRT rider is better when I bike, walk, drive, and board a train at/around the Lake Street or Franklin Stations versus the other Blue Line stations along Hiawatha.
I actually wrote about something like this a few pages ago (right before the renders came out and the discussion started to heat up :lol: ) though I had mainly considered how to work in some faster/elevated segments without putting any on the main commercial strip of Broadway. My (possibly wrong) assumption was that an elevated segment there would be particularly unpopular because of the shade/pillar factors, though personally I would be for it.

I do think that ultimately having this thing fully elevated from Robbinsdale to Target Field is unlikely, but using it as a spot fix to improve some key segments or avoid some tricky intersections/street connections could be a good compromise.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » July 13th, 2021, 1:58 pm

I highly recommend you all actually listen to or watch the video about W. Broadway. The Met Council is basically like, "Center running is the only way," and then community members pipe in and say basically, "We don't see how you're going to fit this in here at all without tearing down buildings you don't have political capital to remove."

They're wasting their time and our money on this boondoggle. It's just wishful thinking that 2+2 will equal 5.

acs
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby acs » July 13th, 2021, 2:06 pm

I highly recommend you all actually listen to or watch the video about W. Broadway. The Met Council is basically like, "Center running is the only way," and then community members pipe in and say basically, "We don't see how you're going to fit this in here at all without tearing down buildings you don't have political capital to remove."

They're wasting their time and our money on this boondoggle. It's just wishful thinking that 2+2 will equal 5.
They better start getting used to the below as the new blue line then, because this is the only way it's going down broadway.

Image
Last edited by acs on July 13th, 2021, 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Trademark
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Trademark » July 13th, 2021, 2:11 pm

What's wrong with parking cars on the concrete directly under the elevated rail deck, between the support poles? you could probably fit quite a few if you did angled parking to make up for the loss of curbside parking. Or am I missing something obvious here.
I think this is a great idea and would be a compromise between local businesses that could benefit everyone.
If we are trying to reduce VMTs, the parking needs to go. People will see the LRT as an easy option to get to the places along West Broadway, and if you really have to drive, park on another nearby street.
While I agree with you. Recognize that this option will destroy your community support especially as the businesses on this route have a lot of influence in the community. And removing parking in addition to the construction impacts and the raised rents from property increases will feel like yet another slap in the face.

Side note: I don't think Metro Transit or Met Council or the city of minneapolis has any real plan to stop gentrification once this train is built. I think we write that off as NIMBYism too often. And yes sometimes that label is deserved when a bike lane is opposed. But in this case theses concerns are extremely valid.

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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Silophant » July 13th, 2021, 2:14 pm

Do we have any reason to think that this train would start gentrification? There hasn't exactly been an explosion of development along the existing LRT lines (maaaybe the stuff by Raymond, but the Prospect Park stuff would have happened anyway, and only 15 years later are we starting to get mid-rise development along Hiawatha).


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