Downtown East Pedestrian Realm / Traffic Calming Plan

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
mattaudio
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Re: Downtown East - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » April 8th, 2015, 2:56 pm

So, if Park and Portland will remain two-lane streets, is there any chance to make them two-way rather than a two-lane couplet? Even that would be a huge calming measure, while simultaneously *improving* connectivity and local access for motorists!

Mears Park and Rice Park in St. Paul are great examples... check out how it feels to be on the sidewalk with a two-way two-lane street, rather than a one-way two-lane street. The difference is significant.

EOst
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Re: Downtown East - General Topics

Postby EOst » April 8th, 2015, 3:07 pm

Honestly, despite having visited Mears Park frequently, I never noticed that 5th and 6th are one-way next to it. Maybe that depends on the time of day(/year)?

mulad
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Re: Downtown East - General Topics

Postby mulad » April 8th, 2015, 4:41 pm

Mears is usually surrounded by a buffer of parked cars, making the oversized nature of 5th and 6th less noticeable.

helsinki
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Re: Downtown East - General Topics

Postby helsinki » April 8th, 2015, 5:06 pm

The bump-outs and trees can't come soon enough. Even the shortest distance on foot in downtown east somehow lasts a psychological eternity. The visual interest of the mega-construction underway temporarily relieves the monotony, but generally the streetscape is terrible. Glad it's improvement is being taken seriously.

twincitizen
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Downtown East Pedestrian Realm Study and Long-Term Vision

Postby twincitizen » April 9th, 2015, 1:02 pm

I thought it best to separate out this parallel study going on regarding Downtown East's streets, sidewalks, and bikeways from the discussion about Portland Avenue in "The Commons" thread.
Public Works identified a study area bounded by Washington Avenue to 6th Street, and 5th Avenue to Chicago Avenue. Within that 12 block area there are a number of development changes under construction and more being planned and proposed. As such, the movement by all transportation modes in this area will also change. Given these development changes, a key question posed was:
Where in this study area do we not need travel lanes or parking lanes that could instead be used for pedestrian space that could create a better public realm?
Here's the TPW report from the committee meeting on 4/7/15 which introduces the issue: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 139706.pdf

I have copied the text of the report below, but at the bottom of the report there are two very large PDFs that you'll find even more interesting.

DRAFT Preferred Long-Term Vision
For the seven streets in this study area, a draft preferred long-term vision has been developed. The purpose and intent of this vision is to guide all stakeholders in the same common direction in how we rebuild infrastructure in this study area.
Currently, there are no eminent City or County street projects or 5-year programmed plans to rebuild any of these seven streets. Thus, the short term changes may be made by proposed new developments through private investments. Coordination and consistency are important given the multiple public and private entities involved.
The preferred visions are presented on 11x17 sheets one for each of the seven streets (see attachments). The top half of the sheet shows the Augmentation Study concepts and the lower half shows the preferred vision. A brief summary of the preferred vision for each street is as follows:

North-South streets
5th Avenue – from 6th Street to Washington Avenue
• Retain three northbound travel lanes from 6th Street to Washington Avenue
• Retain east side midblock parking with curb extensions/bump outs to serve the Commons users and other area properties.
• Add pedestrian area next to Haaf and Gateway parking ramps from 4th Street to Washington Avenue where no parking exists today and continue to provide the left turn lanes at 3rd Street and Washington Avenue.
• Retain west side parking lane next to the jail and Government Center ramp from 6th Street to 4th Street.
• Add a buffer to the existing bike lane.

Portland Avenue – from Washington Avenue to 6th Street
• Retain two southbound through lanes
• Remove the third (westerly/right-hand most) through lane between 3rd and 6th Streets
• Add a protected bikeway facility behind the curb where feasible
• Remove parking for the one block adjacent to the Commons between 4th and 5th Streets
• Add curb extensions/bump outs and retain midblock parking on other blocks where appropriate to serve the area properties and Commons users.
• Provide southbound left turn lanes instead of parking and bumpouts at both 4th and 6th Street intersections.

Park Avenue – from 6th Street to Washington Avenue
• Retain three northbound travel lanes from 6th to 4th Streets that can accommodate peak periods.
• Allow parking in the right hand lane during off-peak periods.
• Add a protected bikeway facility behind the curb where feasible.
• Retain two through lanes from 4th Street to Washington Avenue and accommodate northbound turn lane(s) prior to both the 3rd Street and Washington Avenue intersections.
• Remove parking for the one block adjacent to the Commons and LRT station between 4th and 5th Streets, except off-peak parking in the right hand travel lane.
• Add curb extensions/bump outs and retain midblock parking on other blocks where appropriate to serve the Commons users and other area properties.

Chicago Avenue – between Washington Avenue and 6th Street
• Between Washington Avenue to 4th Street
o Retain one travel lane and one parking lane each direction with parking restrictions needed for some stadium events
o Add a southbound left turn lane at 4th Street – (This critical pedestrian intersection will be re-examined with the stadium Transportation Management Plan which includes the new pedestrian bridge, other area developments, the new I-35W 4th Street entrance ramp and event activities.)
o Plan for future east side pedestrian promenade/plaza between River/Guthrie and stadium with alignment matching the built segments north of Washington Avenue.
• Between 4th to 6th Streets
o Retain 1 travel lane each direction and the east side parking bay consistent with planned stadium changes.
o Plan for a new bike/pedestrian crossing and signal approximately at former 5th Street intersection.
o Modify north lag to align with added southbound left turn lane at 4th Street.

East-West streets
3rd Street – from Chicago Avenue to 5th Avenue
• Retain existing cross-section with on-street bike lane.
• Add curb extensions/bump outs and retain midblock parking to serve the area properties.

4th Street– from 5th Avenue to Chicago Avenue
• Metro Transit has agreed to the removal of the reverse flow bus lane from Norm McGrew Place west to 5th Avenue due to changes for the Green Line related bus operations.
• Replace reverse flow bus lane with midblock on-street parking and add curb extensions/bump outs to serve the area properties.
• Add a buffer to the existing bike lane.
• Retain three eastbound through lanes.
• Add midblock parking and curb extensions/bump outs on the south side to serve the Commons users and other area properties.

5th Street – – from Chicago Avenue to 5th Avenue
• Retain the left hand through lane (southerly side, left of LRT).
• Convert the right hand through lane (northerly side, right of LRT) to a two-way bikeway and/or pedestrian space.

Attachments:
East Downtown Pedestrian Realm Augmentation Study dated 1/28/2015
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/gro ... 138489.pdf

DRAFT East Downtown Preferred Long-Term Vision dated 4/13/2015
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/gro ... 139701.pdf

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Downtown East Pedestrian Realm Study and Long-Term Visio

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 9th, 2015, 2:06 pm

Good stuff. Glad to see none of the changes would be necessarily permanent via road reconstruction but through private investment as buildings go up. If Park/Portland protected bike lanes can extend further south as development happens (HCMC, Portland Tower, maybe a few others), they become pretty meaningful and a protected facility on 5th Ave may be less necessary.

The 5th St protected bikeway could extend to the Gov Center LRT station, but I assume no further. Seems to me Washington Ave & some other street(/pair) more south make for a good set of protected bikeways from DTE/Mill District to the North Loop/CBD. I proposed a 7th/8th protected bike lane pair in my transit spine post, which makes sense in my mind given the connection along 7th to N Mpls.

Anyway. This is definitely an improvement and the few protected lanes can prove out their function for when other streets are re-done (as well as extending them, like Park/Portland across the 94 trench).

mattaudio
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Re: Downtown East Pedestrian Realm Study and Long-Term Visio

Postby mattaudio » April 9th, 2015, 4:05 pm

Not sure how bumpouts and bike lanes constitutes "vision." Those should be built within the next two years. Vision should be converting many of these streets to two-way operation, ensuring transit advantage where appropriate, and significantly reducing the amount of pavement dedicated to fast-moving vehicles.


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