Nicollet Mall

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
David Greene
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby David Greene » February 11th, 2016, 11:56 am

amiller92 wrote:I'd really like to see buses moved off Nicollet, but I don't know what to do with them. The "temporary" shift to Hennepin is not working well.
Other than, "I'd really like to see," this.

I know I've asked before, but what the hell is the BFD with buses on Nicollet? It's a transit mall and always has been billed as such. Honestly, it sounds like a lot of anti-transit "stinky bus" talk to me.

Oh, there's some noise while you sip your cappuccino? Welcome to the city.

A bunch of (transit-reliant) people would be inconvenienced by rerouting buses off Nicollet, as they are currently.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby FISHMANPET » February 11th, 2016, 12:07 pm

In the pas Nicollet was a truly nauseating experience with all the bus fumes, but thats much less of a concern with hybrid and low emission vehicles.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby David Greene » February 11th, 2016, 12:12 pm

I can see how that would be a problem, which is why I've said in the past that we should look into trolley buses. I love Seattle's system. Yeah, maybe a pipe dream but has anyone official-ish ever looked into it?

MNdible
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby MNdible » February 11th, 2016, 12:52 pm

Presumably, we're very close to the possibility of having hybrid buses with bigger batteries that could run electric only for the duration of Nicollet Mall, right?

amiller92
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby amiller92 » February 11th, 2016, 1:04 pm

Buses are loud and they make biking and walking through less pleasant. And pedestrianized areas can be great urban spaces (we'd need a lot more storefronts, though). It is a transit mall, but it would be a better urban place if it wasn't.

Buses trips down the mall also very slow thanks to lights and curves curves, lengthening transit users trips too.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby FISHMANPET » February 11th, 2016, 1:05 pm

I've gotten physically ill on Nicollet Mall before, but that was nearly 10 years ago, before MetroTransit started buying all the fancy low emissions buses. The buses that made me sick are gone now.

Those buses were also loud and probably not too pleasant to be around, buy again, they're all gone now.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby EOst » February 11th, 2016, 1:05 pm

Seems like it would be quite a long time before enough of the bus fleet was refreshed for advanced hybrids to make a real difference, though.

Has the detour to Hennepin really been that bad? I don't know if I ride at peak times or not (departing ~6:30-7AM NB from 18th & Nicollet, heading back around 5PM from Hennepin & 4th) but my trips don't seem any slower than they were on Nicollet Mall. Sometimes they actually seem faster.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby FISHMANPET » February 11th, 2016, 1:10 pm

The bus fleet is refreshed in a rolling cycle every 8 years, and if MetroTransit started buying advanced hybrids, I'd bet they'd start by putting them all in service on routes that serve Nicollet Mall

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby acs » February 11th, 2016, 1:13 pm

Like I've said before, the answer is 3rd street. Look at the routes serving the mall and where they cross the river, it makes too much sense.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby KML_1981 » February 11th, 2016, 1:21 pm

twincitizen wrote:Nearly all of the comments on the Strib article are trash (per usual), but there was one critical of James Corner that I had to agree with at least a little bit. I think there's some truth to the notion that JCFO was the wrong firm for this project. They hit a big home run with the High Line, and were the super in vogue choice at the time (2 years ago or whatever), but were fundamentally wrong for this project. This just isn't their forte.

Having been in Denver last month, all we needed to do was copy the nearly perfect 16th Street Mall. That's it. Copy. Paste. Add MN filter.
Exactly! The problem isn't the shuttles/buses. It is the lack of pedestrian and human friendly storefronts that 16th St. in Denver has. No one in the world is excited walking down blank wall after blank wall no matter how pretty the pavers.... ;)

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby FISHMANPET » February 11th, 2016, 1:28 pm

I was in Denver last April with plenty of time to kill, so I spent a lot of time on The Mall. I remember the wide array of shops, all the people, the street performers, the free shuttles, the light rail running perpendicular to the mall, etc etc. I have no idea what material the sidewalks were made out of.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby amiller92 » February 11th, 2016, 1:40 pm

EOst wrote:Has the detour to Hennepin really been that bad?
I don't really know, except that twice recently I've taken the 11A to stop at the Seward Friendship store on my way home. The first time I caught it at Hennepin and Washington. The second time I walked farther to try to catch it after it had passed through downtown.

Which is to say, the trip down Hennepin is pretty darn slow.

But you raise a good point that Nicollet was pretty slow too.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby David Greene » February 11th, 2016, 1:42 pm

acs wrote:Like I've said before, the answer is 3rd street. Look at the routes serving the mall and where they cross the river, it makes too much sense.
Over and over again we've said, "transit where the people are," right? Relatively few people walk along 3rd Ave. There just aren't that many destinations there.

Nicollet is downtown's mainstreet. Transit should go there.

amiller92
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby amiller92 » February 11th, 2016, 2:28 pm

I don't know about mainstreet, but Nicollet is meant to be downtown's shopping district, which yes, should be served by transit. But that doesn't mean transit should funneled through it to the detriment of it as an appealing place.

Does Denver run a big chunk of its transit service through 16th Street? Or are the buses there only shuttles to serve local destinations? Looks to me like its only shuttles (http://www3.rtd-denver.com/elbert/SystemMap/). I'm still partial to a European-style pedestrianized shopping street, but I'd take the Denver compromise in a heartbeat (even though Boulder is arguably better, without buses).

I guess a re-built Hennepin with dedicated transit lanes would by my choice, but it's not going to happen any time soon.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby mnmike » February 11th, 2016, 3:32 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:I was in Denver last April with plenty of time to kill, so I spent a lot of time on The Mall. I remember the wide array of shops, all the people, the street performers, the free shuttles, the light rail running perpendicular to the mall, etc etc. I have no idea what material the sidewalks were made out of.
You very well might have if it was unattractive and/or low quality material. It is made of very pleasant square stone pavers.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Silophant » February 11th, 2016, 3:43 pm

You think that a sidewalk being made out of normal sidewalk material would be obtrusive enough to attract special notice?

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby xandrex » February 11th, 2016, 4:05 pm

I was one of the people screaming “transitpocalypse” back when they said they were moving the buses from Third to Hennepin…

…but now I actually kind of like it. I live in Whittier and work downtown. I can walk from my office on Third Street (part of why I didn’t like the buses moving) over to Hennepin in a few minutes and choose from the 4, 17, or 18 (whichever comes first). Traffic isn’t really that bad, and most of the delays are when buses prevent other buses from making lights (5th Street’s far-side bus stop can be infuriating). But the nice thing is that buses can GO AROUND other buses since there are two lanes in each direction.

I used to be pretty adamant about keeping buses on Nicollet. But now I think I could see them staying on Hennepin.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby mnmike » February 11th, 2016, 5:03 pm

Silophant wrote:You think that a sidewalk being made out of normal sidewalk material would be obtrusive enough to attract special notice?
The point is...it is supposed to be the signature street downtown and this is a $50 million project. The upgrade shouldn't be replacing high end granite with "normal sidewalk material". We will see how they do with the poured concrete, hopefully it will look better than "normal sidewalk material". But I digress...as I say, as I have looked at it more I am hoping the sidewalks will look good...I am just leery of the materials... on what is supposed to be the best streetscape in the city, a normal sidewalk isn't good enough, and it sounds like it won't look like a normal sidewalk. Hopefully there are no other cuts and this will take care of it!

Sorry to beat a dead horse, I am kind of surprised how okay everyone is with it! It is what it is anyway.

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Nathan
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Nathan » February 11th, 2016, 5:24 pm

It's definitely the best you can get concrete, I guarantee it. And they are still laying it out in a decorative manner.

Also their reasoning was this.

In order to cut the budget down, they could either drastically cut one element, or try to chop away at all the other elements, giving everything a subpar appeal. When the team analyzed it, the decided the most important aspects of the project for the average pedestrian were from 2 to 16 feet in the air, and that if the paving material was still used in it's form (building to building) in its patterns for safety and beauty it was better to cut that than all of the other elements that are really going to make the project special for the average user. And I actually tend to agree with them.

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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby David Greene » February 11th, 2016, 5:26 pm

amiller92 wrote:I don't know about mainstreet, but Nicollet is meant to be downtown's shopping district, which yes, should be served by transit. But that doesn't mean transit should funneled through it to the detriment of it as an appealing place.
See, but what you're saying here is that transit is *detrimental* to a place, pretty much exactly opposite of what I believe.


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