Washington Avenue (reconstruction, restriping, etc.)

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mattaudio
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby mattaudio » May 15th, 2013, 11:05 am

How about no right turn lanes?

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 15th, 2013, 11:22 am

redisciple wrote:There was a moderate amount of interaction, primarily involving post-it notes that may be immediately discarded or possibly kept in a file for a while and then discarded. I asked a Hennepin County engineer in what circumstances he would consider dedicated bus lanes, and he said he might consider them if Metro Transit asked for them (I'm not aware of any situation in which Metro Transit has asked for dedicated lanes). I asked what he thought the threshold should be in terms of buses per hour before a dedicated lane was warranted and he said something like 1,000 to 3,000 per hour.
Holy crap. 1k to 3k per hour? Does the 4/5/6 subway line in NYC even have this frequency??? I asked similar questions about the justification for the 3rd WB lane west of 5th, the justification of the 0.5% growth in VMT on the corridor despite direct vehicle count evidence to the contrary (and overall region/country changes in VMT), the notion that traffic should/could increase when we continue to make heavy investments in transit infrastructure as alternate modes, and the strong redevelopment of residential use along this corridor and downtown in general. The overall response was 'better be safe than sorry' and 'the study also didn't consider bad weather days or events like Vikings/Twins games.' Ugh.
When I asked a consultant why most of the bus stops were in right turn lanes, she said she thought that it was a conscious decision to minimize the impact of transit on the car traffic. She said it had the advantage of being safer for transit riders, and when I pointed out that in fact right-turning traffic is the number one safety issue for transit riders, and that requiring the buses to pull out of general traffic and block the right-turn lanes would not only delay the buses but would encourage this dangerous behavior, she looked sheepish and agreed.
I had this exact same discussion with the Henn Cty project lead, Jennifer Lowry. I pointed out that the focus of putting bus stops in dedicated right turn lanes is obviously a car-centered mindset - heaven forbid a bus stopping mid block slow down traffic for a 15 second dwell time (or worse, get a dedicated lane). Furthermore, being in the right turn lane has the possibility of the bus needing to wait if the light is red with cars in the run queue. She also then said that safety was a concern (which I pointed out the blind crossing and cars turning right around the bus, a safety issue), as well as pedestrian convenience with corner stops. I challenge that notion because for every person convenienced by the corner dropoff, there is someone else who needs to backtrack a little if they go the opposite direction after disembarking. Fell on deaf ears.
Never attend open houses on transportation issues. You will go home feeling terrible every time.
This was my first and I definitely left feeling this way. It was depressing.

MNdible
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby MNdible » May 15th, 2013, 11:53 am

mattaudio wrote:How about no right turn lanes?
This doesn't seem to fix the problem of cars wanting to right turn around a bus at a stop.
RailBaronYarr wrote:I pointed out that the focus of putting bus stops in dedicated right turn lanes is obviously a car-centered mindset - heaven forbid a bus stopping mid block slow down traffic for a 15 second dwell time...
So, to be clear: you want to provide 50% fewer lanes than what Hennepin County believes is necessary, and you want to eliminate left and right turn lanes. And then you want to take 50% of the remaining lanes and render them non-functional as through lanes. And did I mention that all of the lanes are 10' wide with 7' parking lanes?

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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby MNdible » May 15th, 2013, 11:56 am

mattaudio wrote:Never attend open houses on transportation issues. You will go home feeling terrible every time.

This was my first and I definitely left feeling this way. It was depressing.
It is depressing when not everybody subscribes to the very particular world view that you do. WHY DON'T THEY UNDERSTAND!

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woofner
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby woofner » May 15th, 2013, 12:05 pm

Yeah he was blowing off the bus lane question. It was clear he had not thought about bus lanes in the past and had no desire to think about them in the future. He also blamed the inability to accommodate bus lanes on community desire to add green space, which only one of their layouts actually does.

I'm agnostic on far vs near side in general. I would certainly prefer far side in general traffic to near side in a right-turn lane.
"Who rescued whom!"

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woofner
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby woofner » May 15th, 2013, 12:10 pm

MNdible wrote:
mattaudio wrote:How about no right turn lanes?
This doesn't seem to fix the problem of cars wanting to right turn around a bus at a stop.
It would, however, fix the problem of the current design encouraging cars to turn right around a stopped bus.
MNdible wrote:So, to be clear: you want to provide 50% fewer lanes than what Hennepin County believes is necessary, and you want to eliminate left and right turn lanes. And then you want to take 50% of the remaining lanes and render them non-functional as through lanes.
Not sure what you're referring to here exactly, but I'd point out that Hennepin County is proposing 25% more lanes because of a 5% difference in congestion.
MNdible wrote:It is depressing when not everybody subscribes to the very particular world view that you do. WHY DON'T THEY UNDERSTAND!
What is depressing to me is the complete lack of interest, much less understanding, in and of the only mode that has any proven chance of forestalling the impending self-wrought climactic disruption to our economy and culture. Not to mention the fact that the people who are paid six figures to understand transportation don't even bother to look into some of the most popular forms of transportation on earth.
"Who rescued whom!"

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 15th, 2013, 12:31 pm

MNdible wrote:
RailBaronYarr wrote:I pointed out that the focus of putting bus stops in dedicated right turn lanes is obviously a car-centered mindset - heaven forbid a bus stopping mid block slow down traffic for a 15 second dwell time...
So, to be clear: you want to provide 50% fewer lanes than what Hennepin County believes is necessary, and you want to eliminate left and right turn lanes. And then you want to take 50% of the remaining lanes and render them non-functional as through lanes. And did I mention that all of the lanes are 10' wide with 7' parking lanes?
Actually, my proposal went with 2 lanes each direction with dedicated left turn lanes at intersections (although it required a wiggle in the 110' ROW section) and shared right hand turn lanes. The county only required for one intersection )which happens to be at a cross street where no left-turn is allowed http://www.hennepin.us/files/HennepinUS ... pr2013.pdf page 41), which would allow my proposal to shift the dedicated left-lane to the right lane. My proposal also kept 10-11 ft thru lane widths, 8' parking lane widths (separated from moving traffic, btw), and much wider pedestrian spaces (with the only drawback being shared bike/slip lane car space vs dedicated cycle tracks):
http://flic.kr/p/ejvW9u
http://flic.kr/p/ejvW9C

The report itself says that 2 lanes each way with dedicated left-turn lanes and better signal timing could "adequately" handle today's traffic counts at AM/PM peak congestion. The 3rd westbound lane (only from 5th to Hennepin, mind you) is in response to the "need" to accommodate 0.5% vehicle count growth annually, despite the reality of actual vehicle counts on that exact street over the last decade and VMT+VMT/capita decline over the past 6 years in the US. So no, it's not just MY particular view. Keep in mind that between 5th and Hennepin Aves, the county does not have dedicated spaces for their buses to stop at any better than mine does, and that the traffic analysis done that said 4 lanes (+ left turn) throughout the whole corridor was adequate did take in to account transit operations.

So no, I didn't provide 50% fewer lanes than Hennepin County said they needed. I have 4 thru and one turn lane. They proposed 4 thru and one turn lane for 50% of the width, and 5 thru / 1 turn for the other half. That means my proposal provided 91% of the total thru lanes for the length of the study (again, with some changes that may add slight congestion in the 110' section). I note in my proposal that the mid-block stops for buses is just an idea (I said that on this very thread), but that the turn space at the intersections can obviously also be used.
MNdible wrote:It is depressing when not everybody subscribes to the very particular world view that you do. WHY DON'T THEY UNDERSTAND!
No. It's depressing when you raise legitimate concerns that have impact on the future of how this street/area/corridor will develop and interact with people and get brushed aside. It's depressing when they are holding a public forum to get peoples' views, and when these people who care enough AND have the time in their busy lives to come out and give respectful feedback, they take said feedback and give half-baked or flat out incorrect justifications for their thoughts.

Tyler
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby Tyler » May 15th, 2013, 12:31 pm

Image
Towns!

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 15th, 2013, 12:33 pm

redisciple wrote:What is depressing to me is the complete lack of interest, much less understanding, in and of the only mode that has any proven chance of forestalling the impending self-wrought climactic disruption to our economy and culture. Not to mention the fact that the people who are paid six figures to understand transportation don't even bother to look into some of the most popular forms of transportation on earth.
Also this. If we as people can't have the guts to say we're going to inconvenience PEAK commuters (drivers) by 2?, 3?, 4?, 5? minutes at the end of their journey as a small step of many that will culminate in a drastic change in lifestyle necessary to help reverse the effects of climate change (and, one could make a case for economic disparity for those with poor access to jobs/amenities due to land-use), then yeah, this is depressing.

ECtransplant
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby ECtransplant » May 15th, 2013, 1:29 pm

Does the city have any power to veto the county on this?

Aville_37
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby Aville_37 » May 15th, 2013, 3:49 pm

I thought this meeting was to focus on design issues, streetscape, etc.

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Nick
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby Nick » May 15th, 2013, 3:52 pm

I would also like to add that there were refreshments provided, so I don't know why everyone is being so critical.

Viktor Vaughn
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby Viktor Vaughn » May 15th, 2013, 4:12 pm

Nick wrote:I would also like to add that there were refreshments provided, so I don't know why everyone is being so critical.
I go to these things for the cookies, but I when I walked by the refreshment table it was nothing but crumbs. Maybe that's why everyone's so critical?!

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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby MNdible » May 15th, 2013, 4:24 pm

Viktor Vaughn wrote:I go to these things for the cookies, but I when I walked by the refreshment table it was nothing but crumbs. Maybe that's why everyone's so critical?!
No Chateaubriand? Sacre bleu!

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mattaudio
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby mattaudio » May 21st, 2013, 2:58 pm

Anyone else think it's crazy the design options show dedicated turn lanes to southbound Portland Ave if Portland ends up severed between 4th and 5th Streets? Uhhh.
http://www.hennepin.us/files/HennepinUS ... t%203B.pdf

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 21st, 2013, 3:11 pm

Clear disconnect between the County and the City, I think. That's one of the challenges in having Hennepin County be the project managers for a city street rework.

Beyond the obvious bigger issue that Hennepin views it as a car funnel from one end to the other, while residents and (hopefully) the city would view it more as a street. This designation changes how you fundamentally look at the project.

Rich
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby Rich » May 21st, 2013, 7:20 pm

mattaudio wrote:Anyone else think it's crazy the design options show dedicated turn lanes to southbound Portland Ave if Portland ends up severed between 4th and 5th Streets?
Wouldn't southbound Portland still be used by people driving to 4th so they could either leave downtown or find a parking ramp by the stadium/park?

TWA
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby TWA » May 22nd, 2013, 6:07 am

How "final" is this design?

helsinki
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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby helsinki » May 28th, 2013, 2:40 am

The Strib seems to have sensible opinions on the subject:

"The pending rebuild of Washington Avenue from Hennepin to the West Bank offers a case in point. No longer an industrial area, the district needs a street that reflects its growing residential character. That means slower traffic, fewer lanes, bicycle access, pedestrian-scale lighting and attractive sidewalks with overhanging trees and lush plantings. Hennepin County will need multiple partners (and not just traffic engineers) to produce such a street."

(http://www.startribune.com/opinion/edit ... ml?refer=y)

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Re: Washington Avenue

Postby PhilmerPhil » August 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/gro ... 113344.pdf

Looking at the cycle track on the 301 Washington site plan has me worried that the county's going to screw this one up as far as transitioning it to the street. I believe the developer worked with the county on including the cycle track here, so I would assume the design matches what the county plans. Those curb cuts could be pretty nasty. A seamless transition from cycle track to street is key in a well designed cycle track, just check out the Midtown Gnwy when it runs along 28th Ave between Hiawatha and ~19th Aves.


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