Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Didier
Capella Tower
Posts: 2430
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 10:11 am
Location: MSP

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Didier » April 2nd, 2021, 9:49 pm

IMO a freeway cap at Prospect Park wouldn’t achieve a ton either, especially for what it’d cost.

Somehow making a connection across 94 at Emerald would be nice, though.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 142
Joined: March 31st, 2019, 11:22 am

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Trademark » April 3rd, 2021, 2:07 am

Freeway caps should be built as 50% private 50% public in exchange for development rights above the cap. Freeway caps should only be built when the taxes make it back. We need more money for transit so less people have to drive in the first place. That also cuts down on particulates

tmart
Rice Park
Posts: 456
Joined: October 6th, 2017, 10:05 am
Location: Expat

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby tmart » April 3rd, 2021, 2:45 pm

Freeway caps should be built as 50% private 50% public in exchange for development rights above the cap. Freeway caps should only be built when the taxes make it back. We need more money for transit so less people have to drive in the first place. That also cuts down on particulates
I very, very rarely see freeway caps with buildings on top, and I'm curious if there's a good reason for that--whether it's a matter of added cost to support buildings, or an environmental/health concern to have people living/working above a highway, or just a general common preference for adding linear green space when the opportunity arises.

I'm certainly not opposed to freeway caps, but I generally advocate more loudly for conversion to at-grade streets, because it's much more financially viable--not just in terms of lower capital costs, but also in terms of long-term maintenance costs, and creating new parcels of taxable, developable land.
As somebody who lives blocks from 35W in south Minneapolis, I can say that... it's just fine. And spending hundreds of millions of dollars to landbridge over it would be a serious misappropriation of limited resources.
You mean the same "limited resources" that we use every year to repave, reconstruct, and widen roads and highways? Is that the "limited resources" you're referring to?
I respect and empathize with this perspective, and I'm a big believer that we need to shift a big chunk of car-only funding into multimodal projects. But it's also good to think in terms of opportunity costs: cutting the per-mile cost of a freeway remediation project in half could mean we get to double its scale, or that we've got the funds lying around for a rail project, or a half-dozen arterial bus lines, or lots of other things that might ultimately be more useful than a full freeway cap.

Mdcastle
Foshay Tower
Posts: 900
Joined: March 23rd, 2013, 8:28 am
Location: Bloomington, MN

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Mdcastle » April 3rd, 2021, 3:24 pm

Buildings are heavy, and it would take a lot thicker concrete and steel beams to support buildings as opposed to grass. However you can build buildings right up to edge of where the freeway is underneath as opposed the typical grass slope.

NickP
Rice Park
Posts: 448
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 5:00 pm

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby NickP » April 5th, 2021, 10:48 pm

What about the cap over the interstate in the Back Bay Area of Boston? Is that more of a tunnel?

Mdcastle
Foshay Tower
Posts: 900
Joined: March 23rd, 2013, 8:28 am
Location: Bloomington, MN

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Mdcastle » April 6th, 2021, 6:35 am

I'm just speculating, after all buildings are heaver than grass, but to further speculate it's probably more of an economical thing than an absolute thing. If you want to build Prudential Center over the Mass Pike in Boston it's entirely different economics than a five story mixed use in Rondo. Also note the vast majority of the "Big Dig" cap is parks, except for a few of what appear to be dozen story luxury apartments at the north end.

EOst
Capella Tower
Posts: 2400
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: Saint Paul

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby EOst » April 6th, 2021, 8:53 am

Ramsey County's Riversedge proposal has four towers on a cap over railroad and Shepard Rd. It's not impossible, but it is very expensive.

https://www.ramseycounty.us/your-govern ... riversedge

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5799
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby MNdible » April 6th, 2021, 11:19 am

While I don't know the exact numbers on this, the uninterrupted length of the tunnel is also an important factor to its cost, because once it gets to a certain length, you need to provide for mechanical ventilation and emergency egress.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 142
Joined: March 31st, 2019, 11:22 am

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Trademark » April 7th, 2021, 3:42 pm

This is why I say 50% public 50% private costs of the tunneling and site preparation with maybe a tax break for a few years to help recoup costs seems like a good incentive for freeway caps. But just building a freeway cap for a park seems like a massive waste of money when we could use that for so much more equitable solutions.

It's not like the twin cities are lacking in parks. If you go to other metros that's the thing you notice when you come back here. We have so many parks here.

Didier
Capella Tower
Posts: 2430
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 10:11 am
Location: MSP

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Didier » April 7th, 2021, 8:39 pm

You also have to consider that much of the development adjacent to 94 isn’t super hospitable to urbanism as a result of the area being a freeway armpit for half a century.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 142
Joined: March 31st, 2019, 11:22 am

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Trademark » April 7th, 2021, 10:41 pm

You also have to consider that much of the development adjacent to 94 isn’t super hospitable to urbanism as a result of the area being a freeway armpit for half a century.
But that is quickly changing due to the green line.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 142
Joined: March 31st, 2019, 11:22 am

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Trademark » April 8th, 2021, 12:31 am

Also I think downtown areas would still be the best areas for freeway caps. 394 and 94 in the downtowns have a lot of potential sites.

Didier
Capella Tower
Posts: 2430
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 10:11 am
Location: MSP

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Didier » April 8th, 2021, 9:46 pm

But that is quickly changing due to the green line.
Remember the green line is about four blocks north of 94. The actual 94 corridor has a lot of stretches of this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9521691 ... 384!8i8192

And this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9521937 ... 384!8i8192

And it only gets worse the farther west you go with big boxes and industrial facilities backing up to the highway.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 142
Joined: March 31st, 2019, 11:22 am

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby Trademark » April 9th, 2021, 2:53 pm

But that is quickly changing due to the green line.
Remember the green line is about four blocks north of 94. The actual 94 corridor has a lot of stretches of this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9521691 ... 384!8i8192

And this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9521937 ... 384!8i8192

And it only gets worse the farther west you go with big boxes and industrial facilities backing up to the highway.
The green line hasnt even been running for 10 years yet. Already land use is changing in the area. Yes a freeway will stunt some of the urbanization affects but it could still definitely grow within the next 20-30 years

StandishGuy
Block E
Posts: 23
Joined: January 29th, 2021, 4:24 pm

Re: Dismantling Downtown Freeways

Postby StandishGuy » April 10th, 2021, 9:54 am

I watched the Rethinking I-94 Policy Advisory Committee yesterday and was surprised by the discussion. The Committee is made up of State Legislators, Mayors, and City Council Members from Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as County Commissioners, Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle and MNDOT officials. MN Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher chaired the meeting and initiated a conversation around "What does rethinking I94 mean to you?". Several of the participants, including Mayor Melvin Carter, talked about shrinking or removing the freeway altogether. Most participants stressed the harm the highway has done to the community, particularly people of color. The conversation seemed like something that would have occurred at the beginning of the process and not several years into it. That being said, I welcome the discussion and am impressed that there was a general consensus that major changes need to be made to the freeway and it will not be rebuilt with minor tweaks.

Side note: As a Minneapolis resident, I'm disappointed by the lack of attendance from representatives west of the river. St. Paul/ Ramsey County was well represented by City Council, County Commissioners, the Mayor and MN Legislators. Jacob Frey, most Minneapolis Legislators, Hennepin County Commissioners and City Council Members appeared to be absent with the exception of Senator Scott Dibble. Senator Torres Ray was there, but doesn't sit on the PAC. Lisa Goodman sent her aide.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests