Road Geek Topics

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
froggie
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby froggie » May 29th, 2015, 9:13 pm

No implication necessary. State law, Section 169.14 (namely Subdivisions 4 and 5) gives MnDOT sole authority to alter speed limits upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation. The only real exception to this, which *MIGHT* be applicable in the case you allude to (which I'm assuming is Blake Rd), is under Subdivision 5(b) of that same statute section. In this scenario, if the municipality in question designates the area the roadway travels through as an "urban district", they can set the speed limit at 30 MPH if the speed limit was previously higher than 30. For this to work, the area must meet the definition of "urban district" as defined in Section 169.011, Subdivision 90.

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Anondson
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Road Geek Topics

Postby Anondson » May 29th, 2015, 9:33 pm

That is tremendously useful information, froggie. If I read it correctly, because it is currently a county road labeling it a "urban district" doesn't let the city change the speed limit. But after the road gets handed to the city from the county then the urban district designation gives the city the option to change the posted limit?

Mikey
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mikey » May 29th, 2015, 11:45 pm

They could also just "Pull a Rochester"

7th Street NE from West River Road to 11th Ave NE is an undivided, 4 lane street traveling through a park. In the late 90's, a new super playground was built on the south side of the road, and the city decided the 40 mph limit was too high. MnDOT came in and did their study. Would it surprise you to hear most traffic in a marked 40 zone was doing 40? So, MnDOT said no to lowering the speed limit. Rochester basically said F-you and changed the signs anyway. Now, most traffic does 30 in the 30 zone.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mdcastle » May 30th, 2015, 2:53 pm

^^^Wait till some driver decides to challenge the speed limit in court rather than pay a speeding ticket.

The mass conversion of Mn/DOT lights to LEDs is about to occur. One contract, covering primarily the south metro, was let this month, the next will be let early next month. The only high pressure sodium and metal halide lights to remain are the high-mast towers, where finding a suitable LED fixture has been problematic. For the offset lights, they determined a standard 49 foot replacement will work for up to 4 lanes with a right angle adapter, the recently found a fixture for 5+ lane applications.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mdcastle » May 30th, 2015, 3:28 pm

As far as I can tell, I-35W through south Minneapolis, MN 36 between I-35E and I-694, and the MN 62 / 77 interchange extending south to I-494 and east to I-35W are excluded. Why those areas, I don't know. Maybe they had X dollars to spend and couldn't quite do it all, or wanted some areas to install and test new products. These are all fairly recent installations using the newer 250 or 400 watt sag lens luminaires; all the 200 watt (an uncommon size) and 400 watt semi-cutoff luminaires will be gone.

Mikey
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mikey » May 30th, 2015, 6:04 pm

Mdcastle wrote:^^^Wait till some driver decides to challenge the speed limit in court rather than pay a speeding ticket.
They may have done a new speed study since then, not sure. Knowing Rochester, they probably had three squad cars enforcing
the new limit during any new study to make sure they got the wanted results...

It does bring up a good point though - it's too hard to lower a speed limit in common sense applications like this. OF COURSE people will do 40 in a zone marked for 40. But it was idiotic for this 1 mile long stretch of road (through a park!) to be a 40 zone to begin with.

There should be a way to design the road for a lower speed if needed, sign it to the lower limit, give it a year for drivers to adjust, and THEN do the speed study. Or at least some common sense exceptions. Here in South St Paul, the county realized they had never done any speed studies on the "county roads" a few years ago. So they did. Now, Southview Blvd is a 35 for 5 whole blocks from the former porkchop intersection with itself to 15th. Why? Because east bound traffic was going DOWN HILL and threw the results off. But can the city fight this stupid increase? NOPE. Personally, I think they should just take the signs down and leave it unmarked.

Every time I'm driving through Woodbury on 50 MPH Radio Dr, stopping every 1/8 to 1/4 mile for a stoplight, I can't help but think "They never changed the speed limit from when this was a two-lane country road, did they?"

steve0257
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby steve0257 » May 31st, 2015, 7:14 am

One did a couple of years ago. He lost the case.
Mdcastle wrote:^^^Wait till some driver decides to challenge the speed limit in court rather than pay a speeding ticket.

The mass conversion of Mn/DOT lights to LEDs is about to occur. One contract, covering primarily the south metro, was let this month, the next will be let early next month. The only high pressure sodium and metal halide lights to remain are the high-mast towers, where finding a suitable LED fixture has been problematic. For the offset lights, they determined a standard 49 foot replacement will work for up to 4 lanes with a right angle adapter, the recently found a fixture for 5+ lane applications.

web

Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby web » May 31st, 2015, 7:51 am

[quote="Mdcastle"]^^^Wait till some driver decides to challenge the speed limit in court rather than pay a speeding ticket.

yep , there is no way to enforce the "rochester knows best"...........lawyer will say what does the speed study say...and then poof rochester will lose every single time.

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MN Fats
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby MN Fats » June 2nd, 2015, 10:33 am

Couldn't find a railfan thread so I figured this would fit best here.

Does anyone have information about this 'Merriam Park' sign on the Canadian Pacific line adjacent to St Anthony Ave in St Paul?

Image

Streetview link

I've always wondered what it was originally for. How old is it? Were there once more signs like this? Was there a station there at some point?

MNdible
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby MNdible » June 2nd, 2015, 10:40 am

Not a railroad guru, but I'm pretty sure that relates to the Merriam Park Subdivision.

mulad
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby mulad » June 2nd, 2015, 11:14 am

I believe that sign is calling out the junction with the Minnesota Commercial which is just east of this point, but I'm not entirely sure what the customs are/were for placing these signs and what they meant. There may have been a station -- I don't have a good reference for whether there was one or not, though.

And yes, this line (aka the "Short Line") is the Merriam Park Subdivision.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby seanrichardryan » June 2nd, 2015, 1:45 pm

There was once a station serving the n'hood on the west side before it crosses Prior
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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MN Fats
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby MN Fats » June 3rd, 2015, 1:29 pm

Very cool. Doing some more research, I found this from the MNHS that appears to show the station at the bottom.

Image

http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/largeri ... n=10607839

There's also a blurb about it in the TPT program "St Paul Past".

mattaudio
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby mattaudio » June 3rd, 2015, 1:34 pm

Yes. I think St. Paul Past is viewable at video.tpt.org or on their apps. Very good history, worth a watch. They note that there was almost a deal with politicians and Archbishop Ireland to build the (new) Capitol and Cathedral in Merriam Park rather than downtown.

froggie
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby froggie » June 3rd, 2015, 5:40 pm

Pretty sure the Merriam Park sign refers to the former station location. The location and evidence are about right, and I've seen similar signs in the past along railroads denoting small towns outstate.

On a related note, Minnesota Place Names also notes a station called Fordson which was also along today's Merriam Park Subdivision. The description puts it "5 miles west of SPUD". Based on that distance, a rough location would be in the vicinity of Snelling and Marshall.

mattaudio
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby mattaudio » June 3rd, 2015, 6:36 pm

I'm pretty sure Fordson Junction is the name of the switch where the Ford spur departs from the CP Merriam Park Sub, roughly at 7th/St. Clair/Western.

froggie
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby froggie » June 3rd, 2015, 7:21 pm

Yes, that's Fordson Junction. What I found was a Fordson Station that, based on the description, was somewhere near Snelling and Marshall.

twincitizen
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby twincitizen » July 8th, 2015, 1:53 pm

MN-110 should just be signed as a continuance of MN-62. Really stupid to have a separate designation for such a short road. MN-55 would be signed concurrently for that <2mi stretch between the splits.

I realized this after giving my brother directions to 494 eastbound from S Mpls.
Take SB 35W to
EB 62 to EB 55 to EB 110 (no turns...)

(yes this really is the quickest route, at least according to Google)

Mikey
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mikey » July 8th, 2015, 2:18 pm

I've been thinking that for years.

I'd even go further - extend US 212 over MN 62 and MN 110 all the way to 494. The stump of MN 62 would be an unmarked state highway - signed as County 62

mattaudio
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby mattaudio » July 8th, 2015, 2:43 pm

I'd go even further - turn back Hiawatha Ave to the city, and route MN 55 via 62 to 35W to 94. It was already routed onto 94 between Hiawatha and Olson a few years back (it used to cross downtown on city streets).

I'd go even further:

Since it is planned to route MN 55 from US 52 to a dogleg via Dakota County 42 (thereby eliminating the little cut-the-corner route southeast from Koch Refinery)...

And, since it has been speculated that Dakota/Scott County Roads 42 would be upgraded to a state highway at some point (though MN TH 42 already exists in Southeast MN)...

And, since there's already precedent (in this corridor!) for splitting state highways with long concurrencies with a dominant highway (MN TH 56 formerly went north to St. Paul via Concord, whereas MN TH 56 now truncates at Hampton, and Dakota County 56, MN TH 156 now cover the old route from IGH north)...

I would therefore sign County 42's future name into Hastings (which would require a turnback or new number for the little section of 42 that loops north to Nininger Township) and truncate MN TH 55 at Interstate 94 in Downtown Minneapolis. The 7 mile expressway/freeway from the south end of the Mendota Bridge to the junction with US 52 would need a new designator, too (or it could be US 212 or MN 62, whichever one we decide not to route via existing 110).

Just sayin'


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