Interstate 94

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
grant1simons2
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby grant1simons2 » December 21st, 2020, 10:53 am

It's one or ther other in reality. We cap it and forget about it, while incudced demand still does its magic, or we remove it, and actually increase our tax revenue. I agree with the short term option of bus lanes, but if designed poorly, we could easily see low ridership lead to an argument for low demand.

Trademark
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Trademark » December 21st, 2020, 2:04 pm

It's one or ther other in reality. We cap it and forget about it, while incudced demand still does its magic, or we remove it, and actually increase our tax revenue. I agree with the short term option of bus lanes, but if designed poorly, we could easily see low ridership lead to an argument for low demand.
Arguing for things that are politically unfeasible is the way to get ignored when voices are brought to the table

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DanPatchToget
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby DanPatchToget » December 21st, 2020, 4:03 pm

It's one or ther other in reality. We cap it and forget about it, while incudced demand still does its magic, or we remove it, and actually increase our tax revenue. I agree with the short term option of bus lanes, but if designed poorly, we could easily see low ridership lead to an argument for low demand.
Arguing for things that are politically unfeasible is the way to get ignored when voices are brought to the table
And how exactly is capping the freeway politically feasible? That's a huge expense in terms of building and maintaining it, while removing the freeway opens space for more productive uses and means less maintenance of the roadway. Capping the freeway does nothing to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel burning cars. All it would do is hide the problem.

uptownbro
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby uptownbro » December 21st, 2020, 4:21 pm

Trying to sell removing I94 is a none starter for most people in the state who just care about getting into and out of the city for work, sports, ect in my opinion. Capping it is something alot more people would be open to and if it was successful would move the conversation forward on either tunneling or improving I94 to be less of a scar on the city. My family members in greater MN only care about getting in and out of the city as quickly as possible and already view it as a major hassle to come to either city and dont get them started about taking transit as the whole system confuses them.
As for the need for cars, I would much prefer to bike or take transit to work but my job out in the burbs is a 45 -60 min bus ride and about the same by bike vs 15 min in a car. At the end of the day I pick driving every day. Now the few times a year I get to work downtown I take transit or bike as it takes the same amount of time and is very peaceful.

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DanPatchToget
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby DanPatchToget » December 21st, 2020, 5:12 pm

Trying to sell removing I94 is a none starter for most people in the state who just care about getting into and out of the city for work, sports, ect in my opinion. Capping it is something alot more people would be open to and if it was successful would move the conversation forward on either tunneling or improving I94 to be less of a scar on the city. My family members in greater MN only care about getting in and out of the city as quickly as possible and already view it as a major hassle to come to either city and dont get them started about taking transit as the whole system confuses them.
As for the need for cars, I would much prefer to bike or take transit to work but my job out in the burbs is a 45 -60 min bus ride and about the same by bike vs 15 min in a car. At the end of the day I pick driving every day. Now the few times a year I get to work downtown I take transit or bike as it takes the same amount of time and is very peaceful.
But the majority of trips on I-94 within the area being studied by MnDOT are local trips, so why would people outside the region care about it being removed if they don't use it?

uptownbro
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby uptownbro » December 21st, 2020, 6:24 pm

I think thats kind of obvious of course its mostly local traffic but it would be a major construction project that would require a large amount of money from the state and those state senators and reps would be very loud as even if they dont use it every day they still use it during the year.
People complain about the I35 W reconstruction even if they dont live in the area. Thats just my opinion on this but I think you are underestimating the push back on this and there are other options are would be far easier to see come to fruition.
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

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DanPatchToget
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby DanPatchToget » December 21st, 2020, 8:20 pm

I think thats kind of obvious of course its mostly local traffic but it would be a major construction project that would require a large amount of money from the state and those state senators and reps would be very loud as even if they dont use it every day they still use it during the year.
People complain about the I35 W reconstruction even if they dont live in the area. Thats just my opinion on this but I think you are underestimating the push back on this and there are other options are would be far easier to see come to fruition.
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
I know there would be a lot of pushback. I'm sure even just dedicating one lane in each direction for buses on I-94 would get pushback because some people want the freedom to wind their way through traffic going 10-20 mph above the speed limit.

Just because a freeway cap is, in theory, easier and cheaper doesn't mean we should go with that. We think too much about the short-term, and while a freeway cap may be good in the short-term, in the long-term it could be a maintenance nightmare and it definitely won't do anything to reduce our dependence on cars.

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nBode
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby nBode » December 22nd, 2020, 5:25 am

These sorts of infrastructure projects aren't made for your or my relatives in Greater MN, nor for you or me living in the metro commuting to work. They write the status quo for future generations. The reality we were born into is a huge freeway cutting through our cities; all our reasoning is therefore tainted by that status quo. There is no logic which dictates that our grandchildren need to be born into the same reality. Our goal shouldn't be prioritizing the appeasement of middle-aged suburbanites to the detriment of posterity.

candycaneforestelf
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby candycaneforestelf » December 22nd, 2020, 8:51 am

These sorts of infrastructure projects aren't made for your or my relatives in Greater MN, nor for you or me living in the metro commuting to work. They write the status quo for future generations. The reality we were born into is a huge freeway cutting through our cities; all our reasoning is therefore tainted by that status quo. There is no logic which dictates that our grandchildren need to be born into the same reality. Our goal shouldn't be prioritizing the appeasement of middle-aged suburbanites to the detriment of posterity.
However, because so many believe the myth that the cities steal money from outstate (because people can't be bothered to actually look at the data beyond dollars spent), we do need to propose things that won't get immediately shot down by the public and would actually survive state level leadership changes.

Also because while some of those 140k to 160k daily trips are probably caused by induced demand, not all of them are and we probably don't have the transit infrastructure in place to prevent the replacement boulevard, Marshall, and University from all being gridlocked messes during the commuting hours.

uptownbro
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby uptownbro » December 22nd, 2020, 9:12 am

Well said.
My issue isnt with having it be a long term goal its that proposing it right out of the gate would gain almost no political traction. You need to do smaller projects that build towards that until one day people look around and see that its no longer needed/gone in its current state. Investing more in transit and bike infrastructure. Correcting the easiest parts of it like the 94 viaduct. At the end of the day you in fact do need them to not be opposed to it. You don't need there full support but if you were to do this you would need the" middle-aged suburbanites" to not be fighting tooth and nail against it.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » December 22nd, 2020, 9:47 am

Weren't the interstate highways originally built so we could drive tanks and missile launchers on them if the Soviet Union attacked?

amiller92
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby amiller92 » December 22nd, 2020, 10:03 am

Well said.
My issue isnt with having it be a long term goal its that proposing it right out of the gate would gain almost no political traction. You need to do smaller projects that build towards that until one day people look around and see that its no longer needed/gone in its current state. Investing more in transit and bike infrastructure. Correcting the easiest parts of it like the 94 viaduct. At the end of the day you in fact do need them to not be opposed to it. You don't need there full support but if you were to do this you would need the" middle-aged suburbanites" to not be fighting tooth and nail against it.
I don't think anyone thinks we're going to remove 94 between the cities any time soon. But if we don't start talking about it, it's never going to happen in the long run either.

Anondson
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Interstate 94

Postby Anondson » December 22nd, 2020, 10:54 am

Weren't the interstate highways originally built so we could drive tanks and missile launchers on them if the Soviet Union attacked?
Eisenhower’s intent was to link cities, not destroy the middles of them, But got re-purposed to clear sections of cities as part of the Interstate project.

talindsay
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby talindsay » December 22nd, 2020, 10:55 am

Weren't the interstate highways originally built so we could drive tanks and missile launchers on them if the Soviet Union attacked?
Yes, the Eisenhower administration intended to have ring highways (beltways) around the cities, and interstates connecting those beltways; they didn't anticipate piercing central cities with interstates, as far as I've been able to tell.

grant1simons2
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby grant1simons2 » December 22nd, 2020, 11:39 am


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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » December 22nd, 2020, 11:45 am

The National Guard used the urban interstates pretty effectively to suppress civil unrest last summer. Could they be persuaded to reduce their ability to do that?

tmart
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby tmart » December 22nd, 2020, 11:54 am

Well said.
My issue isnt with having it be a long term goal its that proposing it right out of the gate would gain almost no political traction. You need to do smaller projects that build towards that until one day people look around and see that its no longer needed/gone in its current state. Investing more in transit and bike infrastructure. Correcting the easiest parts of it like the 94 viaduct. At the end of the day you in fact do need them to not be opposed to it. You don't need there full support but if you were to do this you would need the" middle-aged suburbanites" to not be fighting tooth and nail against it.
I think there are things you can achieve incrementally, and things you can't. For instance, I would have preferred if our LRT extensions had started with just the segments to Hopkins and Robbinsdale, rather than going all the way out to the edges of Eden Prairie/Brooklyn Park in one go.

But incrementalism also has its limits. Throwing caps on highways can't ever get us to the point of considering productive uses like housing on that land, for example. Keeping the downtown highway designated as the primary federal route between Seattle and Boston means any attempt to replace any part of it--the straight segments, the bridges, the spaghetti junctions, anything--with something more slower or more compact is essentially a non-starter. By design at the federal level, there's not really a "lite" version of an interstate; they don't like to put these things on road diets and they don't like discontinuities in them.

As far as the political questions go, I agree that it's a difficult sell, particularly for exurbanites and outstaters. I'd like to believe that the lower cost of long-term maintenance and the increased tax base would make a boulevard a popular choice among fiscal conservative types. But realistically these days the MN GOP knows antagonizing the urban libs is an easier sell to their base than investing in making programs more efficient and finding long-term savings. I know the DFL's bloc doesn't have a lot of room for error and needs to hold on to second-ring and exurban districts that see highways as the rightful default. ​I don't have great answers for this.

But "it's politically hard" is absolutely not a reason why it should be excluded in the analysis phase. This is exactly the right time to imagine what a removal might look like, and to quantify the costs, traffic impacts, GHG reductions, health improvements, and redevelopment opportunities. Then it would be up to political and community leaders to evaluate those costs and benefits and make an informed argument, based on data and political realities, for which approach is the right one.
From the same site, I also really like this page, which shows completed, real-world projects that demonstrate the principles in action.

Mdcastle
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Mdcastle » December 22nd, 2020, 12:57 pm

As an actual fiscal conservative, I don't like the idea of being stuck on nightmarish traffic choked arterials with dozens of signals on my drive between downtown. If we cut out government waste and bloat we can still afford nice things like assuring mobility for people in society.

grant1simons2
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby grant1simons2 » December 22nd, 2020, 1:12 pm

Was wondering when you would chime in

Mdcastle
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Re: Interstate 94

Postby Mdcastle » December 22nd, 2020, 2:54 pm

Was planning to stay out because everyone knows my opinion on this, but then people started to put words in the mouths of us suburban conservatives.


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