B Line Lake St Rapid Bus, Midtown Rail Transit

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
User avatar
Anondson
Capella Tower
Posts: 3998
Joined: July 21st, 2013, 8:57 pm
Location: Where West Minneapolis Once Was

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby Anondson » December 17th, 2018, 11:32 pm

Oh no, we are clearly best at consuming more time and resources on our rail projects. We have that down, but not in the league as New York subways or California high speed rail cost overruns.

alexschief
Union Depot
Posts: 387
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby alexschief » December 18th, 2018, 9:17 am

twincitizen wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 9:52 pm
Anyways, for more evidence as to why I don't think tracks can be linked on the west end (even for out-of-service trains), it would be instructive to scroll through this presentation: https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation ... 81%29.aspx Pages 7 and 8 show the mess we've gotten ourselves into pretty well.

What's worse, with Calhoun Towers already approved to add more buildings to their property, there is seemingly no ability to shift 31st Street further south to allow for an out-of-service slip track to connect with SWLRT. I'm honestly concerned that due to the Kenilworth compromises (keeping freight, putting LRT in a tunnel) we may have actually run out of room even for a damn platform for Midtown in the area. Completely ****ing over a future Midtown line in order to keep Southwest alive is absolutely something that the powers that be (SWLRT Project Office / Met Council, Peter McLaughlin, etc.) would have done, circa 2013-14 when SWLRT was kinda teetering on death and had to be revised through this area.
It's a mess, but if we can build a tunnel underneath a bike trail, I'd like to believe there are available solutions for this tangle. If we can build something poorly, we can also rebuild it better if need be.

My point isn't that we should hand wave away these extremely real engineering problems, but that advocates (which describes to some degree virtually everyone on this forum) should put the point of emphasis always on providing the best possible transit service. Choices that cut against that (single tracking, not interlining, not continuing the route westward and eastward, single car trains and small platforms, etc) should all be opposed by everyone. If, in PE, we determine that it'll cost half a billion dollars to fix the mess and interline at West Lake, but that we can remove 31st St and build a separate station for far less cost, then that's a discussion we can have, and a concession that advocates should make only at that time.

Here we are in 2018 talking about a project that doesn't even have a path to PE yet, let alone construction. It makes sense to note these difficulties and be frustrated by them, but taking them off the table is not the right approach.

These bad compromises that we're talking about with the SWLRT show exactly why it's important that transit advocates in MSP become more vocal and organized. When the primary proponents of a project like this are in public office, and they are only getting pressure from constituent groups who are opposed, it's no surprise that projects get built that are heavily compromised.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5786
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby MNdible » December 18th, 2018, 9:51 am

Isn't there a layout that shows how this is intended to work? I don't think it accommodates full interlining, but I'm honestly not convinced that was ever really justifiable. But a layout that shows how they would have a platform here, and potentially have a service connection to SWLRT? Or am I just imagining having seen this?

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6189
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby twincitizen » December 18th, 2018, 10:38 am

Yep: https://www.metrotransit.org/Data/Sites ... tion-2.pdf

But this was drawn up prior to SWLRT getting a tunnel. It assumes Midtown would run between the SWLRT tracks and the trail. And this drawing still shows the Abbott/31st/Chowen circle in its current alignment, also stating that the roadway would have to be shifted south.

The more recent (2015) Met Council presentation on Southwest shows what will get built (starting next year?). The approved Calhoun Towers development plans show the road alignment being slightly different from that. Is there still room? I'm legit worried there is not.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5786
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby MNdible » December 18th, 2018, 11:00 am

I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty certain that the Calhoun Towers plans explicitly show tracks and platforms for both SWLRT and the Midtown line. The smaller platform (mislabeled) is almost certainly intended to be the dedicated Midtown platform, with one track connecting to the SWLRT line and the other dead-ending. (See especially sheet A0.1c)

As I noted, this layout probably doesn't accommodate true interlining, but I really think that wasn't ever a real need. And it does appear to accommodate sending Midtown cars to the Hopkins maintenance facility.

BoredAgain
Landmark Center
Posts: 250
Joined: July 3rd, 2014, 1:38 pm
Location: Lyndale Neighborhood

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby BoredAgain » December 18th, 2018, 1:02 pm

MNdible wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 11:00 am
I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty certain that the Calhoun Towers plans explicitly show tracks and platforms for both SWLRT and the Midtown line. The smaller platform (mislabeled) is almost certainly intended to be the dedicated Midtown platform, with one track connecting to the SWLRT line and the other dead-ending. (See especially sheet A0.1c)

As I noted, this layout probably doesn't accommodate true interlining, but I really think that wasn't ever a real need. And it does appear to accommodate sending Midtown cars to the Hopkins maintenance facility.
I think you're correct, it looks like the design from the Midtown corridor study report. I am not sure if that design still works with the new SWLRT tunnel design.

Also, if it does work as shown, then it looks like there should be room to extend the length for a full platform and finish the interconnection at the south end of the platform.

tmart
Union Depot
Posts: 338
Joined: October 6th, 2017, 10:05 am
Location: Expat

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby tmart » December 18th, 2018, 1:19 pm

Perhaps it would be worth reaching out to the project coordinator for one/both of SWLRT and Midtown about what the plans are for how these projects will interact?

IIRC with the Orange Line we got some helpful responses.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6189
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby twincitizen » January 31st, 2019, 11:19 am

B Line has a website up: https://www.metrotransit.org/b-line-project
It says planning will begin in 2019, detailed engineering in 2020, and pending full funding, construction 2021.
That's really aggressive, and as we know from the A, C, and D Lines...funding never materializes on time, and things inevitably get delayed.

While the E Line planning process got a ~6 month jump on the B Line, I wouldn't be surprised if the B Line soon emerges as being much further ahead. The E Line is still making route decisions, before even discussing station locations, and it has to be timed with a road construction project that isn't scheduled until 2022 at the soonest. The B Line, on the other hand, already has a well-defined route of West Lake to Snelling Ave (east of Snelling has lower frequency/ridership demand that will be met by the legacy route 21). And the B Line has the benefit of station locations being mostly set by the Midtown rail/aBRT study from 2013ish. On top of that, there's no road or bridge reconstruction projects that the B Line needs to be timed with. It just needs funding for buses and stations. I know planners & politicians love to do the full public process and ask every Joe on the street their bad opinions, but that seems entirely unnecessary for this project. There really aren't a ton of big decisions left to make, as far as I can tell. Flesh out the station locations, using the recent Midtown study as a baseline, get funding, and build it already.

While Metro Transit (and the city & county's) state funding requests are currently focused on the D Line, it would be great if the B Line got fully funded in the 2020 bonding bill (or if the two counties just paid for the damn thing). It's obviously not going to open at the same time as the D Line, but if everything goes well hopefully not too far behind.

It's not everything we want (and certainly not as quickly as we'd have liked), but pretty cool that in roughly 3.5-4 years (Q3-Q4 2022), the B, C, D and Orange lines will all be running, and in ~4.5 years (Q2-Q3 2023), we'll add Southwest LRT, and then the E Line by the end of 2024. We bitch a lot on here about the sorry state of transit in MSP, but every one of these projects link up in some way or another, and as a whole will dramatically improve transit service for a lot of people in Minneapolis.

DanPatchToget
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 644
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby DanPatchToget » January 31st, 2019, 11:49 am

Also the Blue Line Extension in 2024 at the earliest, assuming BNSF and the Met Council play nice.

I don't mean to sound like a NIMBY, but will there be parking impacts with the B Line and that's why we're going through the same process? Or are we just required to do the public process even though everything is pretty much already set for this project, and there is clearly demand for the B Line to happen ASAP?

alexschief
Union Depot
Posts: 387
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby alexschief » January 31st, 2019, 12:21 pm

Uh, I don't think there is, but I hope there is still an opportunity to have a route discussion with the B-Line.

Why doesn't it serve Selby and go into downtown Saint Paul? How does that make sense?

Silophant
Moderator
Posts: 3786
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Location: The Gateway

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby Silophant » January 31st, 2019, 12:26 pm

There will be. This is still earlier in the process than the E Line is, despite being scheduled to be built earlier. If they're willing to look at doubling the length of the E Line, I've gotta imagine they'll look at it for the B Line too. Hopefully going directly from Marshall to Selby, not swinging up to University like the 21 does.

User avatar
mister.shoes
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1285
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 10:22 am

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby mister.shoes » January 31st, 2019, 9:48 pm

twincitizen wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 11:19 am
B Line has a website up: https://www.metrotransit.org/b-line-project

...

... but every one of these projects link up in some way or another, and as a whole will dramatically improve transit service for a lot of people in Minneapolis.
You aren't kidding. The map on that site is pretty exciting.
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4755
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: RE: Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby David Greene » February 1st, 2019, 10:48 am


Silophant wrote:If they're willing to look at doubling the length of the E Line, I've gotta imagine they'll look at it for the B Line too. Hopefully going directly from Marshall to Selby, not swinging up to University like the 21 does.
How important is the connection to the Green Line at University?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk


mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7907
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby mattaudio » February 1st, 2019, 12:22 pm

Seems like a good idea in a world where the B Line terminates at Snelling, but not important enough to preclude the B Line from eventually extending east to Downtown St. Paul on its own...

Any demand for ABRT on Selby or Grand east of Snelling? Or jog down Ayd Mill - Jefferson - West 7th - Downtown?

alexschief
Union Depot
Posts: 387
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby alexschief » February 1st, 2019, 12:40 pm

The current #21 stops east of Snelling generate approximately 2,750 rides, or just a hair under 20% of the route's weekday ridership.

User avatar
Anondson
Capella Tower
Posts: 3998
Joined: July 21st, 2013, 8:57 pm
Location: Where West Minneapolis Once Was

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby Anondson » February 1st, 2019, 12:53 pm

I can’t speak for the demand down Selby into Downtown, but I can imagine a lot of network benefits connecting up to Xcel Energy Center and Lowertown sharing the Gold Line station loop. The notion of another line stopping at the Union Depot has to give Union Depot fans some excitement.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6189
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby twincitizen » February 1st, 2019, 1:13 pm

"Does Selby Ave east of Snelling Ave demand/deserve aBRT service?" is not the only question that needs to be asked in this analysis.

Keep in mind:
*due to the limited-stop nature of the B Line, the legacy 21 will still be around, at reduced frequencies, just like the A Line / 84.
*even today, the 21 runs at reduced frequencies east of Snelling. Various short-turns of the 21 end at Lake/27th Ave and at St. Thomas (Cretin). So there is lower frequency (due to lower demand) east of Snelling today.

So, if all of the short-turn branches of the 21 were eliminated (essentially becoming B Line trips) and the legacy 21 were to run at similar 20-min frequency to the full-span route today (trips that go from Uptown to DTSP), what exactly is the problem? Sure, trips east of Snelling wouldn't gain speedier aBRT service, but they also wouldn't lose service over existing levels.

Running the B Line all the way to downtown St. Paul creates a 'problem' - in combination with the legacy 21, it would provide too much service to certain portions of the route, namely east of Snelling. This is a problem because we do not have unlimited service hours to distribute across the region. The less duplication between aBRT and the legacy local service, the more efficient the system overall. These aBRT routes already command a pretty large increase in operating (labor) dollars, due to the high frequencies. I'd rather add service to other connecting routes (63, 87, etc.) than waste unnecessary service hours on the Selby corridor.

On a separate (but related) note, if there was every any chance that Metro Transit would stop having the 21 / B Line detouring up to Snelling/University (instead of going direct Marshall-Selby), the new soccer stadium and development plans have ended those hopes. As Snelling-Uni develops much more intense/densely than it is today, that only increases demand for it to become/remain a major transfer hub. (That said, if the B Line does terminate at Snelling-Uni, the legacy 21 should stop serving it, and instead go direct Marshall-Selby).

So, all that said, terminating the B Line at Snelling-Uni, and simultaneously straightening out the legacy 21, seems to be the common-sense approach.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1348
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby Tcmetro » February 1st, 2019, 2:34 pm

I think the Selby portion of the 21 should be combined with the 64 as they have similar service levels currently.

User avatar
kellonathan
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 157
Joined: July 8th, 2012, 12:25 am
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby kellonathan » February 1st, 2019, 3:32 pm

How about combining A and D branches so that service hour can be focused on higher-frequency local service in St Paul?

Image
Jonathan Ahn, AICP | hello@jonathanahn.com
Drawing lines on maps and dreaming really hard for living.

Mikey
Landmark Center
Posts: 259
Joined: January 6th, 2015, 2:33 pm
Location: Gunflint Trail
Contact:

Re: Midtown Corridor Rail & Lake Street aBRT (B Line)

Postby Mikey » February 1st, 2019, 3:42 pm

If we're gonna run an aBRT line west out of downtown St Paul (and we should), Grand / Cleveland / Marshall would make the most sense. It'd be a hell of a fight giving up 4-6 parking spots every few blocks on Grand, but that would hit two major universities as well as leave room for some kind of shared parking scheme.
Urbanist in the north woods


Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSPtoMKE and 1 guest