B Line Lake St Rapid Bus, Midtown Rail Transit

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Tcmetro
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B Line Lake St Rapid Bus, Midtown Rail Transit

Postby Tcmetro » December 17th, 2012, 9:26 pm

Metro Transit has updated the webpage about the study that is underway of the Midtown Corridor. They have also introduced a new URL which redirects to the study webpage at http://midtowntransitway.org/.

bubzki2
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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby bubzki2 » December 17th, 2012, 9:52 pm

What is the popular consensus on which of the two routes is a better idea? I imagine the Greenway route would be cheaper but going down Lake would have to do more in terms of economic stimulation for the area.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby min-chi-cbus » December 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm

Wow....it takes 1.5 years (Feb '14 due date) just to create a REPORT for a Midtown transitway?! That seems so inefficient!! I'm also kind of surprised this is the first study for this corridor.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby MNdible » December 17th, 2012, 10:00 pm

bubzki2 wrote:What is the popular consensus on which of the two routes is a better idea? I imagine the Greenway route would be cheaper but going down Lake would have to do more in terms of economic stimulation for the area.
If it runs down Lake Street, it's going to be no faster than the 53. Why bother?

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby David Greene » December 17th, 2012, 10:16 pm

MNdible wrote: If it runs down Lake Street, it's going to be no faster than the 53. Why bother?
Capacity. People asked the same question about LRT on University and they got the same answer.

Really, the 53 isn't all _that_ slow. I take it all the time from one end of the line to the other.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby MNdible » December 17th, 2012, 10:30 pm

David Greene wrote:Capacity. People asked the same question about LRT on University and they got the same answer.

Really, the 53 isn't all _that_ slow. I take it all the time from one end of the line to the other.
C'mon, give me a little credit. Central Corridor gets its own right of way. No way this is going to get this, and no way it's going to be LRT if it's on Lake Street.

The 53 is only fast if you're comparing it to the 21.

beykite
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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby beykite » December 17th, 2012, 10:31 pm

fta-timeline.jpeg
So if I'm reading this chart correctly... Sometime within the next 10-15 years we could see this up and running. Can't wait! :roll:
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mulad
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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby mulad » December 17th, 2012, 11:09 pm

Regarding the 53 vs. the 21, I think a big problem with the 53's speed is that it often gets stuck behind the 21. I'd really be in favor of chopping out half the stops and making everything on Lake Street limited-stop. Ideally, I like to see stops about 1/4 mile apart, but that works better on north-south routes in Minneapolis and east-west routes in Saint Paul since that usually works out to just two blocks (on the long side). But since Lake Street is fronted by the blocks' short side, 1/4-mile spacing can feel much farther apart than it is. Plus there may be extra stop lights along the way which can slow down pedestrians, especially if they have to press a beg button to cross.

Of course, converting the buses on Lake Street to limited-stop would probably reduce the value of running something in the trench, so I still haven't come to a good conclusion for myself whether it's really a good idea or not. It seems like it would be hard to justify having streetcar stops spaced any more than 1/4 mile apart since that's roughly the spacing of the north-south bus routes in that part of Minneapolis anyway. A bunch of those routes aren't very frequent, though.

Has anyone put much thought into the stops yet? Assuming that people can tolerate having spacing closer to 1/2-mile, I'd limit the stops of anything in the trench to SWLRT in the west, Hennepin, Lyndale, Nicollet, I-35W, Chicago, Bloomington, and then Hiawatha LRT in the east.

I was disheartened when I saw the report schedule as well -- 2014 just for an Alternatives Analysis is really disappointing, though I'm not sure what I was expecting. I suppose that's not too terrible if they can move straight into an EIS afterward, but projects have a tendency to be put on the shelf for several years after an AA is completed.

mattaudio
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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby mattaudio » December 17th, 2012, 11:17 pm

Maybe Mpls should just go ahead and build the streetcar... didn't they already study that? Otherwise I wish we could do a full two-track + greenway path in the trench, with stations as described above by mulad.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby eluko » December 18th, 2012, 1:16 am

If the trench was part of a future project to build a "green line bypass" to St. Paul I'd be more for it, but at the projects current length, the LRT is to extravagant. With streetcars you could extend the project to E Lake as well as encourage future possible routes to get built.
Last edited by eluko on December 18th, 2012, 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby kellonathan » December 18th, 2012, 1:18 am

mulad wrote: Has anyone put much thought into the stops yet? Assuming that people can tolerate having spacing closer to 1/2-mile, I'd limit the stops of anything in the trench to SWLRT in the west, Hennepin, Lyndale, Nicollet, I-35W, Chicago, Bloomington, and then Hiawatha LRT in the east.
http://goo.gl/maps/Za1bG
Maybe something like this? I have a feeling that we might be able to consolidate Nicollet and I-35W stops by placing it somewhere btwn 1st Ave and Stevens.
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UptownSport
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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby UptownSport » December 18th, 2012, 2:27 am

I'm not sure exactly what line would do;
At worst it's a shopping circulator for Lake and a connector to Hiawatha.

It can't replace 21/53 or really reduce frequency.
Unless trench was used as alternate & exclusive busway for those two lines, (which no one is suggesting, I don't think) it won't improve University traffic or line efficiency.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby DFPegg » December 18th, 2012, 6:49 am

Unless the route on Lake St. had its own right of way, I'll say keep it to the Greenway, but a couple more more routes should be added, namely Nicollet and Cedar:

1. Makes distances easier for pedestrian traffic between Lyndale and 35W and Hiawatha and Bloomington.

2. Covers all North-South bus routes.

3. Increases accessibility to and from area without really slowing route down.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby David Greene » December 18th, 2012, 9:35 am

MNdible wrote: C'mon, give me a little credit. Central Corridor gets its own right of way.
Which does what, exactly, for speed of service? I drive University during rush hour regularly and traffic hasn't really been an issue since all the lanes reopened.
MNdible wrote:No way this is going to get this, and no way it's going to be LRT if it's on Lake Street.
Modern streetcars have higher capacity than buses and they're cheaper to run.
MNdible wrote:The 53 is only fast if you're comparing it to the 21.
A Greenway streetcar would be faster than the 53 but only because it would stop less frequently. That's not necessarily a good thing, especially for Lake St. businesses.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby David Greene » December 18th, 2012, 9:38 am

kellonathan wrote:I have a feeling that we might be able to consolidate Nicollet and I-35W stops by placing it somewhere btwn 1st Ave and Stevens.
You'd want to keep the Nicollet stop as a transfer to a N/S streetcar line.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby min-chi-cbus » December 18th, 2012, 9:49 am

David Greene wrote:
kellonathan wrote:I have a feeling that we might be able to consolidate Nicollet and I-35W stops by placing it somewhere btwn 1st Ave and Stevens.
You'd want to keep the Nicollet stop as a transfer to a N/S streetcar line.
Right, and that intersection could also be a major transfer station for the entire (future) streetcar system, since it's essentially the epicenter of where the future streetcar network will be born.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby MNdible » December 18th, 2012, 10:15 am

I've sat through three cycles of the same light on Lake Street on a Saturday afternoon. To suggest that a streetcar will be able to operate with anything approaching rapidity on Lake Street, without its own right-of-way, is wishful thinking. Given that, it doesn't matter if you're pushing a LRT car, a modern streetcar, or a dumb old-fashioned 53 bus, you're not going to get much benefit. Now, take that same Lake Street scenario and try sticking a streetcar on it -- a streetcar that can't pull into a bus stop, out of the way of other traffic, and things just got worse and slower for everybody (including the people on the streetcar).

A greenway streetcar would be faster than the 53 because the second that it's loaded and the doors are closed, it can depart. It doesn't need to wait for the light to turn. It can accelerate smoothly and evenly up to its top speed, because it's not stuck behind a car trying to run right while pedestrians are crossing. There will be no reason to slow down until the next stop. It will be significantly faster and more predictable.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby mamundsen » December 18th, 2012, 10:26 am

I would love to see a streetcar run in the greenway trench. Here are a few questions:

1. Wouldn't they want a stop within steps of the lakes? Maybe at Lake Calhoun Pkwy. Clearly many people would want to use the transit to come see the lakes that the CITY OF LAKES is known for.

2. Would this be used as a shortcut for transit from EP to MOA or MSP?

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby David Greene » December 18th, 2012, 10:40 am

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a Greenway streetcar. I just want to make sure it's the right decision. I've said before that I'm worried about it taking business away from Lake Street, but I think if done properly, we could mitigate that.

I've always hoped that a West Lake to Hiawatha line would be the start of a much longer line. Phase I would go up to Hiawatha, Phase II to the river (though there's no anchor there) and Phase III over the bridge, along the short line to downtown St. Paul.

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Re: Midtown Corridor

Postby twincitizen » December 18th, 2012, 10:52 am

I think it's best to think of a Greenway streetcar and Lake Street buses as serving two completely different purposes. The Greenway is to connect the two LRT lines and provide quick travel between important nodes (West Lake, Uptown, Lyndale, Nicollet, Chicago, Hiawatha).

The 53 remains as a peak-hour only Ltd Stop, and the 21 remains largely unchanged. Marginal improvements can be made to fare collection, shelter amenities, and signal priority as funds become available. The 53 makes very few runs and probably is pretty efficient for the agency. It can't be eliminated until the streetcar makes it east to Snelling or connects to the Green line in some other way.

While we're on the subject, I don't see the point in using a streetcar vehicle in the Greenway. For the sake of operation/maintenance/parts efficiencies, why not just run single car LRT vehicles? There is a lot to be said, from a fiscal standpoint, for not introducing yet another vehicle type.


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