29th Street Reconstruction Project

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
Wedgeguy
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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Wedgeguy » August 18th, 2013, 3:58 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
twincitizen wrote:This is not a duplication of the Greenway. The Greenway is a highway, 29th is the frontage road.
Exactly.
twincitizen wrote:It really seems like the primary use of 29th Street is currently "free" parking. It's not a good use of public dollars to rebuild a street that primarily serves as a parking lot. I get what MNdible is saying, but I think most of the "local circulation" happening on this street is people going to and from on-street parking spaces. 29th doesn't actually take you anywhere that wouldn't make more sense to use Lake or 28th (this argument becomes stronger if 28th were a two-way street)
This is my experience as well, at least in the Uptown area. My friend who lived in Bue would park on 29th since his girlfriend took the garage space. If access to businesses is preserved by alleys and streets I don't think that 29th would be missed from a vehicle movement perspective.

There is no alley bisecting the Rainbow lot. There is a promenade on the north side of the greenway where people can get down to the greenway. There will be no ability to get to the Greenway from the south due to Rail ROW. There is talk like it will be an easy job to do eminent domain. You have the Rainbow block that would cost millions to buy up just so you can remove a loading dock and then also possibly lose a grocery store that does not inflate their prices for atmosphere. Heidi's Restaurant alley, to the east, goes to their parking lot behind their building. It seems that people on here love to have space that will grow weeds or cost the city to maintain more space that really can't be used for anything else but fluff for a few citizens.

The street can be rebuilt with the utilities going from over head to underground. With parking on the south side with nice bump outs for crossing streets and the street will not be widened to highway width, but keep as it is now where you have to slow down to get around each other like the rest of the residential street of the Wedge. All 29th street needs is a walkable sidewalk, not a grand mall to nowhere. That grand mall is called the greenway.

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Nathan
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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Nathan » August 19th, 2013, 10:31 am

Honestly, I don't see the Greenway as a "Grand Mall" (like Nicollet Ave DT) I see it as a wonderful utilitarian biking (pedestrian) freeway.

This area is going to become one of the densest areas in the city in the coming years, I think you underestimate how valuable of a connection it could be for the Lyn/Lake and Uptown neighborhood. I live in the wedge, and I think it's completely obnoxious to get onto the greenway at Bryant and then Get off it at Girard, and often take 29th even though it's hell to bike on. Not that I'm a weak biker, that's just a lot of ramp for not much east and west gain. The Greenway Promenade won't connect Hen to Lyndale either, and won't be a good place for bikes. Also Pedestrians at Lyndale might be able to see into the greenway but it's not immediately obvious there there is a way for them to get down there, and it isn't exactly as inviting as a pedestrian mall to Uptown could be. Frankly walking on lake is fine, but I think this could get a lot of use if done right. It does't have to be extravagant, restored prairie, a few trails, some nice trees, resting areas, some cool new retail spots could pop up @ Bryant and Colfax, who knows.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby David Greene » August 19th, 2013, 10:47 am

I love this idea. 29th in Uptown/LynLake really serves no useful transportation purpose. It is car storage as others have said. I've driven on it perhaps twice in the nine years I've lived in the area.

The Greenway is rather unpleasant to walk on. There is no designated pedestrian space on the ramps and then you have to walk across busy bike lanes to get to the walking path. Then that walking path narrows in various places for no apparent reason so there is not enough space for two pedestrians to pass each other.

The gardens along the Greenway are great for pedestrians and I'd want to maintain that access.

I cannot wait for 28th and 26th to revert to two-way operation. The city already ruined the light timing so any time advantage to having them one-way is lost anyway. As it is, those streets are death traps for any pedestrian crossing them. People drive 35-40 on them all the time.

Why won't the Greenway promenade connect Hennepin and Lyndale? Is it solely due to Old Chicago or something else?

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby woofner » August 19th, 2013, 10:55 am

It's sad that the idea of pedestrianizing an inconsequential, nonconnective side street is considered visionary or controversial. In any other developed country there would be a network of pedestrianized main shopping streets in the center and in outlying shopping districts.

That said, this just seems like another case of Rybak picking up a proven strategy for good urbanism, misapplying it, and moving on. He started his mayoralty doing this with Washington Ave, and I guess he's finishing with 29th St. As others have mentioned, there's really no way to make a continuous pedestrianized street here, and even if there were, it would be unsuccessful, since pedestrian streets need dense, active uses framing them on both sides. 29th obviously will always be empty on one side, and the other is gonna need a lot of work to activate.

Hopefully this concept can be salvaged by doing a woonerf street rather than a pedestrianized street (Americans will never know the difference), punctuated with occasional public plazas, especially at intersections with major through streets like Lyndale. So for 29th St there could be woonerf from Fremont to Dupont (including the loading dock), a plaza from Dupont to Colfax, woonerf again from Colfax to Aldrich, then a plaza from Aldrich to Lyndale.

I use the word woonerf because ideally there wouldn't necessarily be one design for the entire segment, but rather various designs that react to their specific context. There could be shared space streets a la Hans Monderman or half-greenways like those proposed for the northside. The only thing they'd share is that they'd place equal priority on each mode rather than devoting most and best space for cars.
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Nathan
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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Nathan » August 19th, 2013, 11:27 am

David Greene wrote:Why won't the Greenway promenade connect Hennepin and Lyndale? Is it solely due to Old Chicago or something else?
There is a (nice/decent) Building on the west side of Lyndale, North of the greenway already as well. I'd imagine Old Chicago would probably go or be able to add a promenade before that building on Lyndale goes.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby David Greene » August 19th, 2013, 11:34 am

fotoapparatic wrote:There is a (nice/decent) Building on the west side of Lyndale, North of the greenway already as well. I'd imagine Old Chicago would probably go or be able to add a promenade before that building on Lyndale goes.
Ah, I forgot about that one. I don't know that I agree that it's a "nice" building but it seems like a pedestrian walkway through the parking lot behind it would be in order.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby John » August 19th, 2013, 11:49 am

redisciple wrote: ideally there wouldn't necessarily be one design for the entire segment, but rather various designs that react to their specific context. There could be shared space streets a la Hans Monderman or half-greenways like those proposed for the northside. The only thing they'd share is that they'd place equal priority on each mode rather than devoting most and best space for cars.
I think this hits the mark on a good design approach to create a pedestrian oriented 29th Street. This should not be a "one size fits all" concept.

This project is really about enhancing and expanding the Greenway corridor so some of its effect "spills over" into the surrounding area. It's the next step in making the Greenway truly part of our urban parkway system which our city is so famous for.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Wedgeguy » August 19th, 2013, 4:25 pm

For some reason I read that there are no sidewalks on 29th!! FALSE. I drive 29th at least 4-7 times a week or more. I walk the sidewalks on 29th even more. So what is this that 29th is not walkable. Some seem to have selected memory. I too live in the Wedge and it is one of the main road that I travel on very often. As we increase the number of people living in this area it will be used more by the people who will live in the Buzza, Elan, Track 29, and Lime both on foot and by car. As one that live a block and a half away I can say that I do see this from a everyday usage. Not a once a week , month, or year like the grand planners. If you want to take away the parking you can have a 10 foot wide sidewalk which would be overkill. There will be a driveway that will be the main entrance to the underground parking for Lime that will front 29th also. I see the small details of everyday use that most seem to ignore. Also part of that parking is considered for some of the restaurants that are in the area also. I could go on, but I'll end with that. If you want a list of restaurants that I see people who park on 29th and walk to I sure can make you a nice list.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Nathan » August 19th, 2013, 5:02 pm

Wedgeguy wrote:For some reason I read that there are no sidewalks on 29th!! FALSE. I drive 29th at least 4-7 times a week or more. I walk the sidewalks on 29th even more. So what is this that 29th is not walkable. Some seem to have selected memory. I too live in the Wedge and it is one of the main road that I travel on very often. As we increase the number of people living in this area it will be used more by the people who will live in the Buzza, Elan, Track 29, and Lime both on foot and by car. As one that live a block and a half away I can say that I do see this from a everyday usage. Not a once a week , month, or year like the grand planners. If you want to take away the parking you can have a 10 foot wide sidewalk which would be overkill. There will be a driveway that will be the main entrance to the underground parking for Lime that will front 29th also. I see the small details of everyday use that most seem to ignore. Also part of that parking is considered for some of the restaurants that are in the area also. I could go on, but I'll end with that. If you want a list of restaurants that I see people who park on 29th and walk to I sure can make you a nice list.
Do you suppose Nicollet Ave DT didn't have a lot of daily everyday driving and parking uses? The longest continuous drivable section of 29th is only 2 blocks (4 half north south blocks) It's not really that big of an inconvenience to go to the next block. I just think you're being a little dramatic. I live about 3 blocks away, so I get how much it's used too.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Wedgeguy » August 19th, 2013, 5:33 pm

People scream the amount of traffic on Lake street so now you want to move more traffic onto Lake. Why is a neighborhood street that is used by the residence of this area need to be connected to 1st which we know it can't. Yes, there are people who actually use 29th as a shortcut so they can stay off Lake street and just get over to Lagoon. The next block to the north is 28th, that dreaded one way that everyone want change to a 2 way. Good luck getting a turn lane in the mix like Lyndale. With out a turn lane I'll be NIMBYing all the way to city hall. If they do turn lanes then they get rid of parking for the residence of 28th.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Anondson » August 19th, 2013, 5:56 pm

The LynLake redevelopment, plus this 29th pedestrianization proposal make it very desirable to have done, or to do, mid-block cut arounds like was done on the Edina side of 50th and France. If there is going to be no room for turn lanes, mid block cut arounds are seriously needed here.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby twincitizen » August 19th, 2013, 7:00 pm

I think we can chalk this one up to generational differences.

Does it help if we call it a Woonerf?

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby MNdible » August 19th, 2013, 8:04 pm

I'm all for improving the pedestrian experience along 29th, but I think that it really does provide important local circulation in this area. I think woonerfing it would be just fine -- as I'd said previously, this isn't a thru-street, and nobody needs to move quickly through here. And I think there's enough ROW here to do something that will accommodate all users without the need to eliminate auto access.

If you eliminate it, you're going to force people to make unfortunate movements, like making a left turn from southbound Aldrich onto Lake Street (a movement that would be folly during most of the day). 29th allows people to divert to Bryant's signalized intersection, or jog across to make a right turn onto southbound Lyndale. LIttle, but important, movements for locals.

As has been noted previously, you're adding a ton of residents to these blocks along very narrow streets. You're also adding more retail and restaurants and bars. You're going to have more people driving through the neighborhood, no matter how magically you wish upon a star that everybody ride buses/bike/walk.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby MNdible » August 19th, 2013, 8:05 pm

twincitizen wrote:I think we can chalk this one up to generational differences.
Careful.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 19th, 2013, 8:43 pm

Wedgeguy wrote:If they do turn lanes then they get rid of parking for the residence of 28th.
Because free street parking is a right of the residences in the area?
MNdible wrote:As has been noted previously, you're adding a ton of residents to these blocks along very narrow streets. You're also adding more retail and restaurants and bars. You're going to have more people driving through the neighborhood, no matter how magically you wish upon a star that everybody ride buses/bike/walk.
It's a wonder how other parts of the world do it. The surrounding N/S streets have AADT between 1,000 and 2,500, with most being in the 1,XXXs. I find the circulation argument having a major effect on other E-W streets or routes dubious. If the city isn't willing to truly connect the whole stretch, then patches of woonerf zones would be fine. But let's not act like w street directly abutting a greenway couldn't be closed down with minimal impact to surrounding congestion.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby MNdible » August 19th, 2013, 8:56 pm

I know many on this board (the younger generation?) are convinced that any and every lane of traffic is expendable, and so I'm not going to convince them that leaving a vestige of auto traffic in this location has any value, especially when compared with the value of putting in a pedestrian wonderland that, no doubt, will be thronged with people walking... where, exactly?

It used to be that urbanists cared about things like creating superblocks and unnecessarily breaking up the grid. Now, apparently, that's all secondary to the more important goal of ridding the world of cars whenever a crummy opportunity presents itself.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Wedgeguy » August 19th, 2013, 9:00 pm

MNdible wrote:
twincitizen wrote:I think we can chalk this one up to generational differences.
Careful.
You are correct, we of OLD have seen the stupidity of closing off streets for no real purpose, Nicolett [sic] at Lake anyone. Now we want to reopen it! Where are all these people who will use this 29th walkway coming from. Not east of Lyndale unless you plan on building some parking ramps that funnel people to the walk way. Are people going to go out of their way to walk along a trench to get to restaurants on Lake Street and Lyndale. Why walk on a walkway on the southside if you live on the north side of the trench where you will soon have a beautifully landscaped promanade? Where are all these people who you think will need a citywide street to walk, come from. This will not be a greenway like in between Loring and the Hyatt, because we can't build with that density. You are splitting up people that have 3 different ways to go east and west. You will not have anymore access to the south side of what is 29th now than you do right now because of the Rail ROW. This is not NYC Highline where you have a real need for people to be able to move east to west. You have 2 ways right now. 3 counting the sidewalk that I walk on several times a week adjacent to 29th. You want a 10 foot wide side walk then just get rid of the parking and hear the residence and businesses in the area get up in arms over lost parking for their customers and friends. Do you have a spot for a big bad parking ramp at Lynlake, cuz you are going top need one for the customers that come to your restaurants and coffee shops and stores. Most are going to be coming in cars in their way home from work, some from walking, and others from bus. But I still think you are looking at over 50% of yours customers will be by cars, Sorry, but I live in reality, It has taken 20 years to get to where we are now with redevelopement. At best we will see the improvements in the area on the East Side of Lyndale , but along Lake Street which will do nothing to create these magical people to want to look into a bike trench and OHH and AHHH!! Sorry if I scuffed the shiney ball, but I live in reality, I see reality everyday of how people, cars, and customers look for places to park in my neighborhood. When customers have to park 3 or more blocks away you will not be their top choice for long.

No we don't deserve special parking, but we residence of the city like to have a place for our friends and family to park when they come to visit us. Want your 85 year old grandma to walk 2 block because that is where the closest open parking is for them. See even a blind man can see things better and more focused than.....

Yet nobody has given me any real concrete reason why we need to spend money on another mall. I look at the one west of Hennepin and that is a disgrace. You want to spend more money to make more lifeless walking space that will cost ???? to maintain? No one has given me a good reason to even think remotely different. I've given several concrete reason for my opinion, I want to hears something more than it will be so pretty! Just getting rid of cars shows you have no real ideas if that is your only argument.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby John » August 19th, 2013, 9:42 pm

I guess I'm an older guy at 53 ???. From my perspective, I think the idea of some pedestrianization of 29th street (which I support) is inevitably going to raise pragmatic concerns (like parking, transportation flow, etc) that will have to be addressed as part of the planning process of this project. There will have to be compromise and no one will get everything they want. That's the way it goes in life...

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Wedgeguy » August 19th, 2013, 9:57 pm

There is a sidewalk on 29th that people walk on every day, to and from their jobs, apartments, and businesses. But there are no businesses on this stretch of road to make having a 50 foot ROW something that needs to be done because there are so many people crushing to walk on it. There is equal auto traffic to foot traffic along this area. Most foot traffic is on Lake where the businesses are. There is not a single building that would have its front door facing this wonderful mall. I know of 3 parking lots that would and they will not be going away anytime soon. 4 if you count the driveway to get into the Limes underground parking.

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Re: The Pedestrianization of 29th Street

Postby Chef » August 19th, 2013, 10:27 pm

MNdible wrote:I know many on this board (the younger generation?) are convinced that any and every lane of traffic is expendable, and so I'm not going to convince them that leaving a vestige of auto traffic in this location has any value, especially when compared with the value of putting in a pedestrian wonderland that, no doubt, will be thronged with people walking... where, exactly?

It used to be that urbanists cared about things like creating superblocks and unnecessarily breaking up the grid. Now, apparently, that's all secondary to the more important goal of ridding the world of cars whenever a crummy opportunity presents itself.
I think this is the difference between ideological and pragmatic urbanism, the pragmatism is something that comes with age. Honestly I think that some of the more ideologically driven stuff would be disasterous if ever implemented in full because it doesn't take into account how people actually use the city, especially the desire to completely disregard any implications on auto transportation. I feel odd defending the car because I haven't owned one for most of my adult life but a lot of people use them - and will continue to do so long after we stop using oil to power them. I think thoughtful urbanism should try to strike a balance between all the different modes of transportation rather than focus on trying to eliminate the most popular one.

I too wonder where all the pedestrians on 29th Street are going to come from, they aren't there now and there is nothing to draw them there. It is a glorified alley.


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