Walker Library

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
twincitizen
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Re: Walker Library

Postby twincitizen » March 21st, 2013, 8:01 am

Getting back to the Library (sort of), I noticed last night that the crosswalk is closed on the west side of Hennepin at Lagoon, between the library site and Uptown Theater. That should alleviate some of the issues with the loss the of the 2nd turn lane, because cars can turn freely on a green light, without having to wait for peds to cross. Obviously the loss of the lane reduces stacking capacity and results in longer queues, so overall travel times are probably increased...but likely not by much.

Are double turn lanes ever ok in urban areas? I tend to dislike them in general.

MNdible
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Re: Walker Library

Postby MNdible » March 21st, 2013, 9:36 am

I agree that double turn lanes should generally be avoided, but there are probably some instances where they are justified, and this is probably one of them.

mplser
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Re: Walker Library

Postby mplser » March 21st, 2013, 10:09 pm

I'm speaking purely from personal experience here, but I think double turn lanes should pretty much all be eliminated. Nobody seems to know how to use them. If I had a nickel for every time I also got sideswiped by someone in the inner turn lane going way too wide (and sometimes even swerving across multiple lanes) I'd be rich.

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Re: Walker Library

Postby thatchio » March 21st, 2013, 10:34 pm

My dad's foot was clipped at that double turn lane and it could have been worse. He was crossing the west side of Lagoon towards the library. The outside turner clipped his heal, spun him around and he was almost hit by the inside turner. No one stopped of course. He ended up okay.

I've watched countless pedestrians almost get hit there by the inside turner if crossing north and the outside turner crossing south.

It's 100% about moving cars there and 2% about pedestrian safety. It will take a death, community organizing, or a council member priority to get that situation resolved. If they really won't get rid of the second turn lane, then a walk-only cycle may be the only reasonable alternative.

ECtransplant
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Re: Walker Library

Postby ECtransplant » March 21st, 2013, 11:39 pm

The somewhat newish leading pedestrian intervals on the signal have helped a lot with giving peds some priority.

lewismd
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Re: Walker Library

Postby lewismd » March 26th, 2013, 7:34 am

Considering how stacked up traffic in the right lane of SB Hennepin has been at rush hour since they closed the turn lane for construction, I'm not sure eliminating it permanently is a great option. It seems like the high volume of traffic turning there combined with a lot of pedestrians is the problem. Can that be fixed with signalling?

In other news, here's a not-so-great aerial shot of the construction:

Image

web

Re: Walker Library

Postby web » March 26th, 2013, 7:28 pm

there are triple turn lanes that work fine in this world

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Andrew_F
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Re: Walker Library

Postby Andrew_F » March 27th, 2013, 11:24 pm

The Chicago Department of Transportation has an interesting way of dealing with double turn lanes in the pedestrian-rich environment: closing crosswalks.

I'm completely serious-- check out Madison/Michigan or Monroe/LSD.

mplser
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Re: Walker Library

Postby mplser » March 30th, 2013, 4:26 am

I did notice that when I was there. also, drivers in chicago seem to hate pedestrians with a passion. (I was honked at while walking with the walk signal more times than I can remember, and even got yelled at once for "being in the way of cars" when I had the signal!)

contrast
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Re: Walker Library

Postby contrast » March 31st, 2013, 9:50 am

Maybe the city (or county?) should consider converting the intersection to where all pedestrians can walk any direction including diagonally all at once for X number of seconds. Then whether it is a double or triple turn lane wouldn't matter because it would be all cars and no peds for the next period and ellimate the car/ped conflict.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Walker Library

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 31st, 2013, 10:07 am

Not a bad idea. Another suggestion is to go the exact opposite direction and force everyone to share the space at all times. http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/2013/ ... e-project/

I think the problem with lights is that they are designed, by purpose, to allow for high volumes of traffic to move through an intersection at high speeds - taking turns with one another. This creates a situation where the people who have been waiting are in a hurry to get through because they've been waiting for 30 seconds (or much more if waited for multiple light cycles). Car drivers also don't want to be "the one" holding people behind them up. I really don't see how most major street intersections can't be a shared space scheme where people negotiate through at slow, safe speeds without a light telling them when to stop and go.

For this intersection, it's kinda tough to implement something like that in a vacuum while everything around it is still stroad-supporting lights and turn lanes.

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Re: Walker Library

Postby mulad » April 1st, 2013, 9:16 am

Here's the video from that page (note that "pavement" is the British word for "sidewalk"):



Someone else posted that on Google+ last week, and I think it did a good job of talking about shared space in general. I guess the project has gotten a significant amount of coverage since it pushes the upper limit of what's been achieved with shared space so far -- the area reportedly served 26,000 vehicles/day beforehand (with a significant proportion of semi truck traffic). Prior to that, I think the busiest explicitly-designed shared-space project was in Köniz, Switzerland at 22,000 vehicles/day.

Google Maps still shows the old design in their aerial and street views -- doesn't seem all that threatening compared to many areas in the U.S., but even stuff like this can be pretty unpleasant to walk through:



(Amusing to see the cul-de-sac just north of the intersection -- Poynton looks like it's an old village which has experienced a lot of suburban-style expansion.)

Hennepin/Lagoon appears to have a volume of around 34,000 daily, with a turning volume from southbound Hennepin to westbound Lagoon of at least 6,000 (probably more like 8,000-10,000). Hennepin itself has a volume of nearly 26,000 just north of the intersection.

That's not to say that shared space can't work, but it is pushing the boundary of what has been achieved with something that has been designed in that way. I'm sure there are streets in India and other developing countries which behave like shared space and achieve higher volumes simply because traffic lights haven't reached those areas yet.

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Re: Walker Library

Postby Jez » April 2nd, 2013, 2:22 pm

mulad wrote:Here's the video from that page (note that "pavement" is the British word for "sidewalk"):



Someone else posted that on Google+ last week, and I think it did a good job of talking about shared space in general. I guess the project has gotten a significant amount of coverage since it pushes the upper limit of what's been achieved with shared space so far -- the area reportedly served 26,000 vehicles/day beforehand (with a significant proportion of semi truck traffic). Prior to that, I think the busiest explicitly-designed shared-space project was in Köniz, Switzerland at 22,000 vehicles/day.

Google Maps still shows the old design in their aerial and street views -- doesn't seem all that threatening compared to many areas in the U.S., but even stuff like this can be pretty unpleasant to walk through:



(Amusing to see the cul-de-sac just north of the intersection -- Poynton looks like it's an old village which has experienced a lot of suburban-style expansion.)

Hennepin/Lagoon appears to have a volume of around 34,000 daily, with a turning volume from southbound Hennepin to westbound Lagoon of at least 6,000 (probably more like 8,000-10,000). Hennepin itself has a volume of nearly 26,000 just north of the intersection.

That's not to say that shared space can't work, but it is pushing the boundary of what has been achieved with something that has been designed in that way. I'm sure there are streets in India and other developing countries which behave like shared space and achieve higher volumes simply because traffic lights haven't reached those areas yet.
They're doing a similar thing in my hometown of Slough (20 miles west of London), this bodes really well for that project which is an even busier 2 lane highway that cuts through the town centre. This would be a great thing for Uptown and that AWFUL intersection on Hennepin outside the Walker which is a nighmare to cross in the morning or evening. Yes I know theres a bridge, but when I'm in a hurry it's much quicker to risk life and limb and cross the road using the lights and the 10 senconds you're given to cross.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Walker Library

Postby Mdcastle » April 4th, 2013, 7:09 pm

If there's enough pedestrians that they're competing with right turning cars it might not be a bad thing to have a an exclusive pedestrian phase, followed by a green right turn arrow in tandem with the green through movement. I'm not aware of any exclusive ped phases in the metro, but if a controller can do leading peds it can likely do exclusive peds, and you have to start someplace.

In regards to dual left turns, one issue is that it's one of the situations that still requires protected only phasing, which reduces the efficiency gains somewhat. And since traffic has to drive more carefully two lanes doesn't double efficiency anyway, although it does still exactly double the queue space if that is an issue. Sometimes you need dual or triple lanes, typically where higher volume suburban arterials meet, but they should just close one of the lanes to the driveway of the Bloomington Home Depot and remove the red arrow in favor of a flashing yellow arrow and you'd probably see a gain in efficiency.

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Re: Walker Library

Postby mattaudio » April 4th, 2013, 9:15 pm

What if Lake and Lagoon were both two way, so some of the traffic heading south on Hennepin and turning westbound could split to two streets instead of one?

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Re: Walker Library

Postby ECtransplant » April 4th, 2013, 9:19 pm

That would probably depend on how that affects where Lagoon and Lake come back together

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Re: Walker Library

Postby Wedgeguy » April 5th, 2013, 11:46 am

mattaudio wrote:What if Lake and Lagoon were both two way, so some of the traffic heading south on Hennepin and turning westbound could split to two streets instead of one?
You then make Lake the primary street where 80% or more of the traffic is going to go. No one is going to drive a block out of their way to Lagoon if they have to make a turn to get there. You then increase air quality issues at Lake and Hennepin due to the turn lanes and cars having to wait.

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Re: Walker Library

Postby mattaudio » April 5th, 2013, 1:04 pm

Or maybe some of that traffic would just magically disappear, in the same way that traffic magically appears when capacity is built.

But my idea would actually keep most of the westbound traffic on Lagoon. There would only be westbound lanes on Lake west of Hennepin, and these would merge with the existing westbound lanes from Lagoon. Additionally, for north/eastbound traffic towards 28th St, Fremont or Dupont should be favored at the expense of a general northbound traffic lane on Hennepin.

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Re: Walker Library

Postby Minneboy » April 5th, 2013, 1:16 pm

Smart people know to drive on 31st St.

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Re: Walker Library

Postby mattaudio » April 5th, 2013, 1:21 pm

Is it just me, or is 31st now a lot slower since they took out all the stoplights?


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