Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Bakken2016
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » February 11th, 2021, 8:45 pm

Based on the meetings I have attended, it seems they are seriously considering West Broadway! But make sure you attend meetings and make your voice known!


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Trademark
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Trademark » February 11th, 2021, 8:51 pm

That is great to hear! When is the next one? I wish they had a calendar on streets.mn with all urbanist relevant political meetings that could be attended. If we could get the streets.mn and urban.msp followers mobilized more effectively there is a lot of difference that could be made.

Silophant
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » February 11th, 2021, 9:14 pm

If this project goes onto Penn Avenue as a streetcar with no dedicated lanes. I will personally collect signatures to try and bring a stop to this and invite anyone interested in joining me. North Minneapolis deserves better transit and the way this project is being rushed feels like we'll end up with the easiest option instead of the best.

Penn Ave deserves it's own quality transit (perhaps future rail from Penn Ave station and 394 to Brooklyn center transit center) and west Broadway definitely deserves it's own quality transit.

Getting half assed solutions for both corridors while the southwest corridor is getting the 5 star treatment is unacceptable!
I'm pretty confident that that won't happen - unlike Riverview, which is going to be an independent line (aside from some interlining at the ends), this is an extension of the Blue Line, so it'll be using 300' trains, and any traffic-induced slowdowns would directly screw up timing on the rest of the Blue Line, and the Green Line in the downtown section.

alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 12th, 2021, 7:50 am

If this project goes onto Penn Avenue as a streetcar with no dedicated lanes. I will personally collect signatures to try and bring a stop to this and invite anyone interested in joining me. North Minneapolis deserves better transit and the way this project is being rushed feels like we'll end up with the easiest option instead of the best.

Penn Ave deserves it's own quality transit (perhaps future rail from Penn Ave station and 394 to Brooklyn center transit center) and west Broadway definitely deserves it's own quality transit.

Getting half assed solutions for both corridors while the southwest corridor is getting the 5 star treatment is unacceptable!
I'm pretty confident that that won't happen - unlike Riverview, which is going to be an independent line (aside from some interlining at the ends), this is an extension of the Blue Line, so it'll be using 300' trains, and any traffic-induced slowdowns would directly screw up timing on the rest of the Blue Line, and the Green Line in the downtown section.
I mean, the same is true for the Riverview project, but that's not stopping Ramsey County from moving forward with a dead letter.

I think the key difference on Bottineau is that the Met Council is driving this train, and they're far less likely to have their head in the sand. The main obstacle to something good will be if Hennepin County Public Works insists on maintaining more than one lane in each direction on Broadway. But even then, if there's a will to pay for it, maybe cut and cover and a street-redesign (with road diet, bike lanes, wider sidewalks, landscaping) on top might be on the table.

Anyway, should be less than a month before we see some initial concepts, so we'll know whether to be outraged soon.

EOst
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » February 12th, 2021, 10:49 am

Still haven't seen a layout for putting dedicated guideway LRT on an 80' street that wouldn't be deeply awful for pedestrians, transit, or both.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » February 12th, 2021, 11:04 am

An issue with Broadway is that it has gained enough development on the North and South sides of the street that it would be hard to expand the street on either side. This would have been way more possible if they chose Broadway to begin with. Before you could have expanded to the North between Girard and Bryant then switched to the South. But, Juxta has a major expansion and Walgreens is now up to the street on Lyndale. You also have the Davis Center.

Same thing with Penn Ave, they estimated they would have to expand Penn on the West side of the road, but now you have multifamily buildings on GVR and Penn and Estes and Thor and potentially Northpoints expansion on Penn and Plymouth.

A tunnel down W. Broadway would be surest bet, otherwise there is a chance they can expand Broadway by threading the needle.

MNdible
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » February 12th, 2021, 11:26 am

Still haven't seen a layout for putting dedicated guideway LRT on an 80' street that wouldn't be deeply awful for pedestrians, transit, or both.
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SurlyLHT
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » February 12th, 2021, 11:33 am

Still haven't seen a layout for putting dedicated guideway LRT on an 80' street that wouldn't be deeply awful for pedestrians, transit, or both.
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alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 12th, 2021, 12:31 pm

Still haven't seen a layout for putting dedicated guideway LRT on an 80' street that wouldn't be deeply awful for pedestrians, transit, or both.
Are we just going to reprise the discussion from a couple months ago about Houston?

Is this ideal? No. Is it workable? Yes.

"Deeply awful" overstates the problem. Now, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a cost/benefit discussion about a cut and cover tunnel. I've become convinced in the past few months that the case for that kind of approach is stronger than I thought at first, especially if it leads to a redesign of the street above to be safer and to not act as a barrier in the community. But good design and a willingness to not treat fast car traffic as the most essential element of the road could solve this issue.

Can't we leave it at that?

Trademark
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Trademark » February 12th, 2021, 12:53 pm

Still haven't seen a layout for putting dedicated guideway LRT on an 80' street that wouldn't be deeply awful for pedestrians, transit, or both.
Are we just going to reprise the discussion from a couple months ago about Houston?

Is this ideal? No. Is it workable? Yes.

"Deeply awful" overstates the problem. Now, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a cost/benefit discussion about a cut and cover tunnel. I've become convinced in the past few months that the case for that kind of approach is stronger than I thought at first, especially if it leads to a redesign of the street above to be safer and to not act as a barrier in the community. But good design and a willingness to not treat fast car traffic as the most essential element of the road could solve this issue.

Can't we leave it at that?
Elevated is an option too. With supports in strategic locations the road could undergo a 4-3 conversion with parking in some spots

EOst
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » February 12th, 2021, 2:38 pm

Are we just going to reprise the discussion from a couple months ago about Houston?

Is this ideal? No. Is it workable? Yes.

"Deeply awful" overstates the problem. Now, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a cost/benefit discussion about a cut and cover tunnel. I've become convinced in the past few months that the case for that kind of approach is stronger than I thought at first, especially if it leads to a redesign of the street above to be safer and to not act as a barrier in the community. But good design and a willingness to not treat fast car traffic as the most essential element of the road could solve this issue.

Can't we leave it at that?
If your vision for Broadway is a street where left-turns are banned, all parking is eliminated, and pedestrians get to enjoy 6' sidewalks with 4' boulevards (too narrow for street trees in our climate), then sure, Main Street in Houston is a great example. But that doesn't sound like most people's vision for what the Northside's main street should look like.

alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 12th, 2021, 2:49 pm

Are we just going to reprise the discussion from a couple months ago about Houston?

Is this ideal? No. Is it workable? Yes.

"Deeply awful" overstates the problem. Now, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a cost/benefit discussion about a cut and cover tunnel. I've become convinced in the past few months that the case for that kind of approach is stronger than I thought at first, especially if it leads to a redesign of the street above to be safer and to not act as a barrier in the community. But good design and a willingness to not treat fast car traffic as the most essential element of the road could solve this issue.

Can't we leave it at that?
If your vision for Broadway is a street where left-turns are banned, all parking is eliminated, and pedestrians get to enjoy 6' sidewalks with 4' boulevards (too narrow for street trees in our climate), then sure, Main Street in Houston is a great example. But that doesn't sound like most people's vision for what the Northside's main street should look like.
That's not necessarily my vision for Broadway, but it would certainly be an improvement over the status quo. It seems like useful place to start, to see if there is a possibility of fitting everything together at grade. Then the city, county, and community can decide if that's acceptable, or if an alternative (like cutting a tunnel down Broadway) is worth the trouble and the cost.

It may well be! I've been persuaded that there's a convincing argument for a tunnel to avoid creating a barrier between the upper and lower northside, that the added expense is justified to make up for past disinvestment, and that the new road design on top will provide further mobility and safety benefits (beyond, of course, the transit advantages).

But ruling out an at-grade option from the start makes no sense to me. The project shouldn't negotiate against itself, especially by assuming that private vehicle capacity is inviolate. If you're going to spend north of a billion on something, the success of that thing should be the foremost priority.

mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » February 12th, 2021, 4:03 pm

Reminder: A tunnel from where the 7th Stroad (easy median ROW) ends near Plymouth Avenue to where the Bottineau Stroad (easy median ROW) starts near the city limits is about the same distance as the tunnel built for the Blue Line under MSP airport. There are also significant areas that could be cut-and-covered such as between Knox Ave and North High, through North Commons park, and along the un-re-developed blocks of Broadway Crescent.

Silophant
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » February 12th, 2021, 11:14 pm

Once you've already brought in a TBM, does it really save money to cut-and-cover portions in the middle vs just letting it do its thing?

DanPatchToget
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » February 13th, 2021, 12:33 am

IIRC, a short segment of the tunnel on the north side of the airport was cut-and-cover. If that's the case, I don't know if that was a cost cutting measure or an engineering reason.

StandishGuy
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby StandishGuy » February 13th, 2021, 12:03 pm

I very much lean towards constructing a tunnel under W. Broadway because it will speed up service and leave room to redesign the corridor. The street needs to become far less car dominated with traffic calming, wider sidewalks, and tree-line boulevards/ streetscape in order to improve access to the new transit option. Just look at how bad University Avenue is for pedestrians with the Green Line. Slow service, an awful streetscape and busy and wide roadway make it pretty bleak.

Also, curious to know what folks think of the route on the way up to Broadway. I prefer an alignment to the east of I-94 through the North Loop serving the dense cluster of housing and jobs. It seems the west side of I-94 will already be well served by the C and D line ABRT lines running down Penn and Lyndale into downtown.

Trademark
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Trademark » February 13th, 2021, 1:05 pm

I very much lean towards constructing a tunnel under W. Broadway because it will speed up service and leave room to redesign the corridor. The street needs to become far less car dominated with traffic calming, wider sidewalks, and tree-line boulevards/ streetscape in order to improve access to the new transit option. Just look at how bad University Avenue is for pedestrians with the Green Line. Slow service, an awful streetscape and busy and wide roadway make it pretty bleak.

Also, curious to know what folks think of the route on the way up to Broadway. I prefer an alignment to the east of I-94 through the North Loop serving the dense cluster of housing and jobs. It seems the west side of I-94 will already be well served by the C and D line ABRT lines running down Penn and Lyndale into downtown.
That is literally my dream scenerio. Second place would be a tunnel that would connect with the 4th Street ramp and turn that ramp into one lane with the train making stops to connect it to the north loop.

Those would be difficult and expensive so probably my more realistic one would be to connect it to the Olsen highway ramp just south of Broadway and use that to connect to 7th Street.

All of these alternatives would make a stop at lyndale much easier. As the turn would be a few blocks after the station.

alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 13th, 2021, 6:21 pm

Good transit service is legible. Having a rail line that twists and curves and doesn't follow a simple route is not good practice, not to mention the increased cost. I'm not sure there's a way to place another station in the North Loop that doesn't create a lot of headaches. I'm also not sure it's necessary; most of the North Loop is already in the Target Field Station half-mile walkshed. The most cost-effective way to improve LRT access in the North Loop is probably to just continue improving the quality of the pedestrian realm, and removing or mitigating barriers like the I-94 ramps. LRT needs to be efficient, direct, and fast!

I think there's pretty widespread agreement that the route in North Minneapolis should fulfill two conditions:
- It will run from Target Field Station to Bottineau Boulevard at North Memorial Hospital
- Stations should be provided to make direct connections with the C (Penn) and D (Emerson/Fremont) bus lines.

In order to achieve those goals, planners have to make three choices. One of them, (at-grade or below-grade) is something we've been discussing. The other two have been discussed on the earlier pages:
- How do you get up/down?
- How do you get across?

The universe of conceivable solutions that people have put forward looks something like this:

- Up on Washington N (probably at-grade, further east than needed, medium-low disruption)
- Up using I-94 ROW (probably elevated, right-of-way easy to acquire, low disruption)
- Up on Lyndale N (probably at-grade, medium-low disruption)
- Up on Penn N (probably below-grade to avoid takes, redundant with C Line, high disruption)

- Across on Oslon Mem. (at-grade, engineering already largely done, medium-low disruption)
- Across on Broadway (at grade or below-grade, high disruption or high cost)

OR, the wildcard option:

- A diagonal bored tunnel (highest cost, but lowest surface impact)

(I've mentioned more than once) The sweet spot to me appears to be taking Lyndale N at grade, then turning onto Broadway either at-grade or below-grade (with one taking, the Cub site, which could be redeveloped) all the way. Three to five new stations (N. Memorial, Penn, Emerson/Fremont, and studied stations at 29th Ave and Plymouth).

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby gopherfan » February 14th, 2021, 11:44 am

(with one taking, the Cub site, which could be redeveloped)
Let's not turn North Minneapolis into a food desert. Unless Cub agreed to reopen in a development like what they did at Lowa Forty Six at Minnehaha. But they just reopened this store after the riots so I don't think the owners would be too thrilled about this. A temporary location like Lake St Cub had could be an option during disruption, but again it's not a good solution.

alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 14th, 2021, 1:08 pm

(with one taking, the Cub site, which could be redeveloped)
Let's not turn North Minneapolis into a food desert. Unless Cub agreed to reopen in a development like what they did at Lowa Forty Six at Minnehaha. But they just reopened this store after the riots so I don't think the owners would be too thrilled about this. A temporary location like Lake St Cub had could be an option during disruption, but again it's not a good solution.
I mean, this LRT construction would take place in several years at the minimum, I'm absolutely sure that keeping a grocery in this site would be the highest priority for any redevelopment (the timeline and construction staging make a lot of things possible to ensure no interruption of business, even), and these types of buildings are cheap to build and rebuild.

Need to make a distinction between problems to be solved and actual structural issues.


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