Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
SurlyLHT
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » April 9th, 2021, 2:49 pm

Presentation for the 3/25 and 3/30 Townhall Meetings: https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation ... nHall.aspx
Town halls today at Noon and 6pm: https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation ... rials.aspx
Just wanted to follow up on these town halls. Dan Soler, the project manager, stated unequivocally that there will be no underground stations. I want that to be abundantly clear to any of you holding out hope for some kind of Broadway tunnel. There could certainly be short elevated portions of the line as needed, but please have realistic expectations that this project is not going to include a tunnel segment with underground stations. They really want all stations to be at-grade. Even Southwest, with all of its expensive grade separation out in Minnetonka & Eden Prairie, all of the stations are still at-grade. The only ones that are not are the Minneapolis stations that are up on existing bridges over the RR corridor. Not at all the same thing as a true underground station in terms of cost.

For that reason, I think it's important not to preselect Broadway as the 'one true choice'. There is going to be a lot of small business and resident opposition to any surface alignment on Broadway (and certainly Lowry too, but I think the negative impacts of an LRT guideway are probably more acutely felt on Broadway). In yesterday's corridor management committee meeting, they shared that early feedback was split 55% Broadway, 22% Lowry, and 23% need more information before making a choice or have another preference. They also stressed that these numbers were early and they are expecting to receive many more responses through community partner organizations. Here's the meeting link: https://metrocouncil.org/getdoc/a619f7d ... genda.aspx (jump to 53:00 for the part covering feedback from the surveys and town halls so far).
Q1 So Lowry has a real chance at this still?
Q2 Could we see an elevated station and track on Broadway? SWLRT and the Hiawatha Line have decent amounts of elevated rail and these tricky parts of Broadway are super long.

twincitizen
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby twincitizen » April 9th, 2021, 3:09 pm

Here's the links to the interactive map and survey: https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation ... nsion.aspx

Comment away through April 30!

tmart
Rice Park
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby tmart » April 9th, 2021, 3:20 pm

Q2 Could we see an elevated station and track on Broadway? SWLRT and the Hiawatha Line have decent amounts of elevated rail and these tricky parts of Broadway are super long.
I'm not sure elevated stations would take up significantly less space than at-grade, or cost significantly less than underground ones. I do think they'd be a good deal more controversial locally than either, though: modern, single-column, concrete elevated rail can be a lot more aesthetically pleasing than the old el trains, but public perception in most places still sees it as ugly, loud, and shady.

(FWIW, this isn't me saying I'd oppose an elevated option if they can find a way to make it work. I just don't see it as likely.)

Oreos&Milk
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Oreos&Milk » April 12th, 2021, 6:56 pm

If there is ANY money for underground stations money ( I understand there is not. 😟) then... it would be best spent downtown putting in a shallow tunnel/trench and building a pedestrian only walking down 5th from target field to us bank stadium. It could rival Nicollet Mall (mile? We still calling it that?) and would be so inviting (...in the future when things go back to normal)

SurlyLHT
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » April 15th, 2021, 11:53 am

During NEON/WBC update with BLRT/Met Council Nick Landwer, (Metropolitan Council, Blue Line Extension Design & Engineer Lead) said that when asked about elevated, at grade or below ground stations that they prefer at grade, but will consider other options and look at costs and other considerations. So pretty much, "We want at-grade, but will run the numbers on other options."

One thing that was interesting is that other developments discussed including the Resolute a massive mult-use building next to the Davis Center will make it harder for them to find space on W. Broadway.

I guess they could put a station at the Hawthorn Mall and on the Southwest side of Penn and W, Broadway. Otherwise I Don't know where they are going to fit in.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » April 22nd, 2021, 9:51 am

Irene Fernando and Jeff Lunde: Minnesota transit funding proposal jeopardizes Blue Line Extension.
Light rail project could connect students to education, patients to health care and workers to jobs. But Hennepin County can't afford to pay Met Council's capital maintenance costs.

https://sahanjournal.com/commentary/fer ... kmeQ70upBM

Bakken2016
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Bakken2016 » April 22nd, 2021, 9:55 am

Irene Fernando and Jeff Lunde: Minnesota transit funding proposal jeopardizes Blue Line Extension.
Light rail project could connect students to education, patients to health care and workers to jobs. But Hennepin County can't afford to pay Met Council's capital maintenance costs.

https://sahanjournal.com/commentary/fer ... kmeQ70upBM
The house proposal doesn’t include it, the Senate does, it will probably fall out when they have to reconcile the bills to match.


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SurlyLHT
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » April 22nd, 2021, 10:06 am

Irene Fernando and Jeff Lunde: Minnesota transit funding proposal jeopardizes Blue Line Extension.
Light rail project could connect students to education, patients to health care and workers to jobs. But Hennepin County can't afford to pay Met Council's capital maintenance costs.

https://sahanjournal.com/commentary/fer ... kmeQ70upBM
The house proposal doesn’t include it, the Senate does, it will probably fall out when they have to reconcile the bills to match.


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Thank you, this comment is more helpful then the Op-Ed.

SurlyLHT
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » May 27th, 2021, 11:43 am

At the Ward 5 Candidate Forum yesterday most everyone was tepid about the BLRT. One of the candidates compared it to 94 in Rondo though. I'm not 100% sure who it was and I don't want to spread rumors. If I can find a story somewhere I'll share it.

Overall, they better do a good job at engagement and there is definitely a path for getting this done, but it's getting rockier given that the consensus is becoming that things will have to be done the ways the community wants which may lead to unreasonable demands at some point. (See UHT and GFS)

NickP
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby NickP » May 28th, 2021, 11:50 am

I’m drawing a blank, what’s UHT and GFS?

twincitizen
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby twincitizen » May 28th, 2021, 12:19 pm

Upper Harbor Terminal
George Floyd Square

NickP
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby NickP » May 29th, 2021, 3:16 pm

Thanks!

gopherfan
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby gopherfan » June 1st, 2021, 4:10 pm

During the BLUE LINE EXTENSION BUSINESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE (BAC) MEETING this morning 63rd & Bass Lake Road stations were confirmed to remain at their general location. Robbinsdale is now planned to get two stations, one near downtown and one near North Memorial Hospital. West Broadway alignment looks to have 1,000 citizen votes while Lowry has 500 citizens choosing that route. Here's where the discussion begins https://youtu.be/jtRF2KrdUFY?t=4825
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Bakken2016
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Bakken2016 » June 1st, 2021, 4:38 pm

Good to see West Broadway being preferred 2:1


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Trademark
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Trademark » June 1st, 2021, 7:18 pm

During the BLUE LINE EXTENSION BUSINESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE (BAC) MEETING this morning 63rd & Bass Lake Road stations were confirmed to remain at their general location. Robbinsdale is now planned to get two stations, one near downtown and one near North Memorial Hospital. West Broadway alignment looks to have 1,000 citizen votes while Lowry has 500 citizens choosing that route. Here's where the discussion begins https://youtu.be/jtRF2KrdUFY?t=4825
Love to see North Memorial Station locked in!

alexschief
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby alexschief » June 2nd, 2021, 7:12 am

Nothing surprising or wrong-seeming to me so far. Adding North Memorial is a no-brainer and they had clearly committed to it a while ago. Broadway is superior to Lowry, not just because it is more direct, but because it has more activity.

The tougher decisions are still to come. Putting aside the grade issue, there will be a temptation to add a bunch of stations in North Minneapolis. I hope they are judicious. The only two "must have" stations are the ones on Penn and at Emerson/Fremont which are needed to make connections to the METRO C and D Lines. Depending on the chosen route, there could be one, two, or even three plausible other station locations. But I hope that there are really no more than three stations chosen, maaaaybe four maximum if the North Loop routing is selected.

The Bottineau Boulevard section, while sort of obvious and out of mind, will also be interesting, because it's a big opportunity to make that road more human-scale. Really, the ridership of the line will partly depend on the stations being easy to access without risking death. Without any evidence either way, I'm just skeptical that the powers that be in the NW metro will easily accept a narrower and safer road. But I'm willing to be surprised.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » June 2nd, 2021, 8:53 am

Nothing surprising or wrong-seeming to me so far. Adding North Memorial is a no-brainer and they had clearly committed to it a while ago. Broadway is superior to Lowry, not just because it is more direct, but because it has more activity.

The tougher decisions are still to come. Putting aside the grade issue, there will be a temptation to add a bunch of stations in North Minneapolis. I hope they are judicious. The only two "must have" stations are the ones on Penn and at Emerson/Fremont which are needed to make connections to the METRO C and D Lines. Depending on the chosen route, there could be one, two, or even three plausible other station locations. But I hope that there are really no more than three stations chosen, maaaaybe four maximum if the North Loop routing is selected.

The Bottineau Boulevard section, while sort of obvious and out of mind, will also be interesting, because it's a big opportunity to make that road more human-scale. Really, the ridership of the line will partly depend on the stations being easy to access without risking death. Without any evidence either way, I'm just skeptical that the powers that be in the NW metro will easily accept a narrower and safer road. But I'm willing to be surprised.
I would say 3 stations.
Lyndale,
Emerson/Fremont
Penn

Hopefully they could elminate some of the lights?

SurlyLHT
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » June 2nd, 2021, 10:16 am

Looks like they were downgraded?

FTA rating for Blue Line light rail extension 'under review

https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/ ... eview.html (Paywall)

Bakken2016
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Bakken2016 » June 2nd, 2021, 10:43 am

Looks like they were downgraded?

FTA rating for Blue Line light rail extension 'under review

https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/ ... eview.html (Paywall)
Not really a downgrade according to the article, just a status change since the route alignment is going to change. The planners say it is standard procedure.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

Postby Trademark » June 2nd, 2021, 5:29 pm

Looks like they were downgraded?

FTA rating for Blue Line light rail extension 'under review

https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/ ... eview.html (Paywall)
Not really a downgrade according to the article, just a status change since the route alignment is going to change. The planners say it is standard procedure.
How can the FTA review a route that isn't finalized yet?


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