Interstate 94

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
uptownbro
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby uptownbro » December 15th, 2020, 12:26 pm

I always think of it more like Hiawatha but you know not a disaster of a road.

tmart
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby tmart » December 15th, 2020, 1:03 pm

What exactly does boulevard mean in this context? Like just a freeway with some extra trappings to make it nicer, kind of like 35E south of downtown St. Paul? Or like a full-on conversion to something other than a freeway?
In an urban context, I think in order to be a boulevard and not a freeway or a highway, it would at least have to be at-grade (i.e., at the same level as the surrounding area with regular intersections with major streets instead of onramps/off-ramps), and accessible to pedestrians and cyclists instead of restricted to cars.

Beyond that there are tons of different designs that could be debated: how much land gets repurposed for non-transportation uses? Does it have buildings? Does it have intersections with all streets or only major ones? Is it divided? How many lanes, what kind of sidewalks, what transit advantages, etc etc.

Trademark
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Trademark » December 15th, 2020, 3:05 pm

The reason why eliminating interstate 94 is never brought up is because it makes no sense from either a political, traffic planning, commercial, and safety viewpoint. If we did that first of all we would have to turn 36 into 8 lanes taking plenty of buildings and property via eminent domain. Traffic would get extremely worse. Commercial deliveries and movement in the city would suffer. And the replacement blvd would be extremely dangerous.

An example is MN-252. It has 3 of the 10 and I believe 5 of the top 25 intersections in the state. Out of only 6 intersections on its route. There will be numerous crashes and negative effects by putting traffic in contact with pedestrians, bikes, and other cars. Even comparing this to hiawatha is not analogous because there is a very real alternative with 35w to 62 for airport traffic. This is the main spine between two big cities even realizing that induced demand is a thing. That traffic will not disappear.

People will drive faster on the city streets, run more lights and cause more accidents.

Someone on here (I forgot who it was) said it best let streets be streets and roads be roads.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby DanPatchToget » December 15th, 2020, 3:53 pm

The reason why eliminating interstate 94 is never brought up is because it makes no sense from either a political, traffic planning, commercial, and safety viewpoint. If we did that first of all we would have to turn 36 into 8 lanes taking plenty of buildings and property via eminent domain. Traffic would get extremely worse. Commercial deliveries and movement in the city would suffer. And the replacement blvd would be extremely dangerous.

An example is MN-252. It has 3 of the 10 and I believe 5 of the top 25 intersections in the state. Out of only 6 intersections on its route. There will be numerous crashes and negative effects by putting traffic in contact with pedestrians, bikes, and other cars. Even comparing this to hiawatha is not analogous because there is a very real alternative with 35w to 62 for airport traffic. This is the main spine between two big cities even realizing that induced demand is a thing. That traffic will not disappear.

People will drive faster on the city streets, run more lights and cause more accidents.

Someone on here (I forgot who it was) said it best let streets be streets and roads be roads.
There's plenty of other highways in our region to choose from. People talk doom and gloom about highways closing but in reality the benefits outweigh the costs. Just look at the removal of the Embarcedero Freeway in San Francisco as one of several examples. Also European cities have shown we don't need giant highways cutting through the center of our cities.

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alexschief
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby alexschief » December 15th, 2020, 4:02 pm

The reason why eliminating interstate 94 is never brought up is because it makes no sense from either a political, traffic planning, commercial, and safety viewpoint. If we did that first of all we would have to turn 36 into 8 lanes taking plenty of buildings and property via eminent domain. Traffic would get extremely worse. Commercial deliveries and movement in the city would suffer. And the replacement blvd would be extremely dangerous.

An example is MN-252. It has 3 of the 10 and I believe 5 of the top 25 intersections in the state. Out of only 6 intersections on its route. There will be numerous crashes and negative effects by putting traffic in contact with pedestrians, bikes, and other cars. Even comparing this to hiawatha is not analogous because there is a very real alternative with 35w to 62 for airport traffic. This is the main spine between two big cities even realizing that induced demand is a thing. That traffic will not disappear.

People will drive faster on the city streets, run more lights and cause more accidents.

Someone on here (I forgot who it was) said it best let streets be streets and roads be roads.
I think eliminating I-94 is probably not realistic in the near-term too, but "what if we did a terrible job of replacing it?" is not a great argument in opposition.

uptownbro
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby uptownbro » December 15th, 2020, 4:18 pm

The big dig in boston is by far the poster child of doing this but it took 15 years. Granted I doubt it would take that long here.
The biggest issue would be the lack of political will in the short term. I think it would need to be done in smaller or more critical sections and over time be built out. Building out the capital to downtown section of a cap and the positive impacts it has is a strong selling point, connecting riverside to the rest of Minneapolis or even the rondo land bridge.

Trademark
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Trademark » December 15th, 2020, 4:28 pm

Then give me the steel man of how we should replace it?
The reason why eliminating interstate 94 is never brought up is because it makes no sense from either a political, traffic planning, commercial, and safety viewpoint. If we did that first of all we would have to turn 36 into 8 lanes taking plenty of buildings and property via eminent domain. Traffic would get extremely worse. Commercial deliveries and movement in the city would suffer. And the replacement blvd would be extremely dangerous.

An example is MN-252. It has 3 of the 10 and I believe 5 of the top 25 intersections in the state. Out of only 6 intersections on its route. There will be numerous crashes and negative effects by putting traffic in contact with pedestrians, bikes, and other cars. Even comparing this to hiawatha is not analogous because there is a very real alternative with 35w to 62 for airport traffic. This is the main spine between two big cities even realizing that induced demand is a thing. That traffic will not disappear.

People will drive faster on the city streets, run more lights and cause more accidents.

Someone on here (I forgot who it was) said it best let streets be streets and roads be roads.
I think eliminating I-94 is probably not realistic in the near-term too, but "what if we did a terrible job of replacing it?" is not a great argument in opposition.

Oreos&Milk
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Oreos&Milk » December 15th, 2020, 11:21 pm

Not saying I’m for it but, diverting thru traffic on 94 to 494 and 694 and 35W thru traffic to 100, and 35E thru traffic to 494/694. While slowing speeds decreasing lanes to allow for more transit ROW does sound worth looking into long term. Still it seems like throwing away an iPhone 8 while you don’t have money for a new one and ya only got flip phones in the junk drawer.

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niaxilin
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby niaxilin » December 16th, 2020, 3:37 am

Isn't 94 mostly a trench? Could we put a lid on it? Cheaper than tunnelling, and the top could be green space. Not sure if that's more or less likely that removing 94, or if it brings the benefits we're looking for.

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Trademark
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Trademark » December 16th, 2020, 5:33 am

We could put it in a trench if we are willing to spend at least $286 a mile to do it
Isn't 94 mostly a trench? Could we put a lid on it? Cheaper than tunnelling, and the top could be green space. Not sure if that's more or less likely that removing 94, or if it brings the benefits we're looking for.

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Trademark
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Trademark » December 16th, 2020, 5:37 am

We could physically do it but how do we sell this to normies. How do we handle commercial deliveries. How do we handle traffic. Yes we need to put more money into traffic but crippling our auto infrastructure is not gonna give us more transit riders it's just gonna give us angry citizens and having us expend insane political capital to make people hate us.

This is a terrible argument to make to a hypothetical Julie who jus tries to get from Whittier to Lexington pkwy for her job and now his commute takes twice as long even if she decides to take transit
Not saying I’m for it but, diverting thru traffic on 94 to 494 and 694 and 35W thru traffic to 100, and 35E thru traffic to 494/694. While slowing speeds decreasing lanes to allow for more transit ROW does sound worth looking into long term. Still it seems like throwing away an iPhone 8 while you don’t have money for a new one and ya only got flip phones in the junk drawer.

talindsay
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby talindsay » December 16th, 2020, 8:19 am

We could physically do it but how do we sell this to normies.
Normies? Did this site become some strange fanfic world or something? Most of the people on here tilt urbanist, which also means they tilt liberal, but they're normal people with jobs and families, etc.

For years I've been interested in doing something much more moderate to control the street experience - single-level development on both sides of every freeway crossing. This approach has been deployed successfully in a lot of places. It costs a fraction of an actual cover, and introduces far fewer problems with air circulation, pollution, crashes, etc., but effectively masks the highway from the pedestrian urban experience.

These can be relatively simple structures but to make it work well they should be one-story commercial developments, and not simply parks or green spaces. Ideally the exit ramps come in at square angles and function like normal four-way intersections, and there is good urban development (housing) on the land-bound sides of the bridge.

In some ways the Twins Stadium was a bit of a first experiment with this approach, but it's such an unusual case that it's not a good pilot for the concept. I've thought Snelling in St Paul, 26th / Riverside in Seward, Washington by Seven Corners, and University by UMN would all be promising pilot areas. Because of the relatively easy shape of the highway and the residential construction on both sides, I'd think the University bridge would be a really good first go.

Trademark
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Trademark » December 16th, 2020, 9:24 am

We could physically do it but how do we sell this to normies.
Normies? Did this site become some strange fanfic world or something? Most of the people on here tilt urbanist, which also means they tilt liberal, but they're normal people with jobs and families, etc.
When I say normies I mean people who are not informed about urbanism. People who don't get any concept of induced demand. They are the vast majority and they will lose their mind when a freeway gets taken away.

And they are justified. When a 10 minute drive turns into a 50 minute bus ride. Or a 25 minute drive on more congested city streets. That creates people who are opposed to urbanism in general because they will brand it as some crazy leftist thing that wants to stop their mobility and Merican freedom.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything. But it's like if I broke your legs and then gave you crutches. Would you be glad that I gave you crutches? No. Because I'd be giving you an objectively more inconvenient way of how you live your life.

If we want people to take more public transportation then we need to make it more attractive. We need bus lanes so that when your sitting in traffic and you see that bus pass you enough times your gonna think why am I not taking this. We need more frequency of the buses. And better connections. Indoor waiting areas at light rail and major transit stops. If that's done then while there will be some people driving. People will make the changes on their own away from driving because it makes sense. And then we can have the conversation of doing things like making 94 a 2 lane in each direction freeway and reclaiming both sides of the right of way for development.

Side note: I love your idea of the mini caps at freeway crossings. Especially at locations without an interchange. It's a great idea for development and reclaiming some of the land there for cheap.

uptownbro
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby uptownbro » December 16th, 2020, 9:53 am

A great example of this is light rail. People complain about a line possibly going in near them until its built and they see the value first hand. I agree, cap or do some sort of bridge in critical areas that also can be done cheaply and show the avg joe the value.
There is no way you can remove I94 completely. At this point it would be a disaster. As people said, it might encourage some to take transit but I think of it very much in the terms of my commute (granted I drive out of the city). It’s a 15 min drive vs a 60 min bus ride. If I had to I would take the bus but I would be beyond upset at whoever decided that 90 min of my time every day or 7.5 hours a week wasn’t of value.
People love the plaza area by target field during game day but how often do they stop and think a bunch of on and off ramps for 394 are under it?

DanPatchToget
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby DanPatchToget » December 16th, 2020, 11:18 am

Aren't freeway caps a huge maintenance expense, in addition to the cost of building them?

If I-94 can't be removed, which I still don't believe especially if it's a short segment like 280 to I-35E, then at least make University Avenue people oriented instead of car oriented. The Green Line is a good start, but now we need lower speed limits, remove one car lane in each direction for wider sidewalks and cycle tracks, and have the ability for restaurants to have outdoor seating and not having to worry about car and truck traffic. That seems like a good compromise to me.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » December 16th, 2020, 1:31 pm

When I saw the initial proposals for the Green Line I was quite disappointed. It was obviously not going to provide a viable alternative to driving a car from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul. You'd need grade separated Chicago style rail to do that.

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Re: Interstate 94

Postby seanrichardryan » December 16th, 2020, 1:34 pm

What if we didn't normalize a 8 minute commute from Saint Paul to Uptown? It is stupidly easy to get around by car in the twin cities.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » December 16th, 2020, 3:00 pm

What if we didn't normalize a 8 minute commute from Saint Paul to Uptown? It is stupidly easy to get around by car in the twin cities.
If you'd like to make the case for slower or less travel between the two core cities you have my full attention.

Oreos&Milk
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Oreos&Milk » December 16th, 2020, 4:31 pm

Isn't 94 mostly a trench? Could we put a lid on it? Cheaper than tunnelling, and the top could be green space. Not sure if that's more or less likely that removing 94, or if it brings the benefits we're looking for.

Image
If only we could make putting a lid on it profitable for development. Sure it’s a deal with the devil but it would actually seem within the realm of possibility. If we could build 6 story “luxury” apartments on those lids. Developers would help pay for them in property taxes. Maybe a few parking ramps to help free up more transit ROW from street parking. A few more public green spaces, for the community to enjoy.

talindsay
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby talindsay » December 16th, 2020, 9:41 pm

You'd have a tough time getting approval for multistory residential over a freeway. Commercial development is much more likely.


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