Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

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

Postby Silophant » February 14th, 2021, 1:38 pm

The Cub building is set back about 140' from Broadway - it doesn't look like it would be too challenging to make that turn without touching the building. Trains would have to slow down, of course, but that's not the end of the world, especially with (presumably) a station at Emerson only a quarter mile further down.

Here's the turn between American Boulevard and Bloomington Central crudely pasted onto that intersection, which is not nearly as tight as the turns the Green Line makes between Robert St and crossing 94.
Image

alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 14th, 2021, 2:04 pm

The Cub building is set back about 140' from Broadway - it doesn't look like it would be too challenging to make that turn without touching the building. Trains would have to slow down, of course, but that's not the end of the world, especially with (presumably) a station at Emerson only a quarter mile further down.

Here's the turn between American Boulevard and Bloomington Central crudely pasted onto that intersection, which is not nearly as tight as the turns the Green Line makes between Robert St and crossing 94.
Image
Yeah, but you might need to take the property if you were sending it into a tunnel, I believe.

tmart
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby tmart » February 14th, 2021, 2:50 pm

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 think this is a pretty solid rundown of the options on offer.

Some stray thoughts on these options:
  • The existing configuration of Target Field Station is such that the extension will start above-grade. The old plans called for it to descend to ground level immediately, but I'd like to see some explorations of elevated routes for the portion in and near the North Loop.
  • A station on the far end of the North Loop (somewhere in the ballpark of 10th Ave) absolutely deserves consideration. It would be 1/2 to 2/3 of a mile from Target Field (so, much larger than the existing downtown station spacing) and that side of the neighborhood is growing fast with room to keep going.
  • A thing to consider with any tunnel options (whether cut-and-cover or bored) is that a lot of the difficulties and costs are incurred at the stations. Emerson/Fremont station would almost certainly be underground; Penn likely would be. Station access for either would likely involve taking some properties, though there are some very car-oriented lots (mostly parking) in the vicinity of Emerson/Fremont, and what appear to be a few vacant lots near Penn.
  • OTOH Lowry/North Memorial probably makes more sense as an above-ground stop, even though the six-ish-way spaghetti junction makes squeezing it in a bit gnarly.
  • One thing that's nice about a 94 alignment, if paired with a West Broadway tunnel, is that a reconfigured freeway ditch could be used to house the tunnel portal, and maybe even squeeze in an above-ground (i.e., cheaper/less disruptive) station on the southwest side of Broadway/94 to serve the east side of the neighborhood. Paired with some ped/bike-focused improvements on Broadway crossing 94 and eastward, it could also spur some redevelopment closer to the river, and even some connections to Northeast.
  • Another thing that's nice about a 94 alignment is that it could be an opportunity to argue for completely tearing out/repurposing the 4th St Viaduct though unfortunately probably not in time to stop more money being poured into that albatross this summer.
  • Tearing down Cub would be a big deal. I agree that it's possible to come up with robust accommodations but it's a hard needle to thread--convincing Cub that it won't destroy their business, and convincing activists that the short-term solution will be adequate and whatever long-term solution will be both financially sustainable and affordable in the long term. I'd place a premium on not disrupting (the non-parking parts of) Cub, more than almost anywhere else in the corridor.
  • A Lowry stop sure would make bus improvements on Lowry look a lot more attractive (as a feeder line). I know the recent aBRT study deferred on that line (until after the Blue Line Extension gets sorted out) but it would be great to have ready to open on Day 1 of Bottineau service.
  • Looking a little further to the northwest, I'm a bit surprised that even in the earliest study documents, 38th St doesn't seem to have ever been considered as a stop; at 1.6mi there's a long gap between North Memorial and Robbinsdale for still being a relatively populous area. I'd like to see that reconsidered; if still rejected, then maybe the Lowry Ave bus line I just mentioned could be extended west on 36th to provide some feeder service to destinations in Crystal.

grant1simons2
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » February 15th, 2021, 4:37 pm

Was there ever alignment discussion from 7th to Dupont, then onto Broadway? Dupont is somewhat wide, and this 90 degree could possibly work.

Image
Hmm


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