Road Geek Topics

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

Postby talindsay » November 14th, 2013, 8:28 pm

Pavers are super easy to maintain if they are installed properly to begin with, and they carry several benefits: far less runoff, no need to cut and replace if you need to go under them, extremely long service life to name a few. The downsides though are that they are much more expensive to install, installation is quite a lot pickier and most of the benefits are negated if installation isn't done properly. Finally, even perfectly installed, pavers are harder to shovel in the winter and much more likely to leave icy patches. Despite loving pavers we went with concrete for our city driveway.

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Nathan
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Nathan » November 15th, 2013, 8:25 am

paver shoveling difficulty depends on the type of paver you get. if you get ones that have a rounded chamfer (bevel) some snow will stay between the cracks but you should be able to run a shovel blade over it fairly easily. ( or snow blower). my parents have a huge pacer driveway that I've shoveled many times with zero issues. another benefit of pavers is that If there is any having from freeze thaw, it's super easy to level the base and make it even again where as concrete cracks and asphalt bulges. ( making both difficult to shovel)

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 23rd, 2013, 1:11 pm

Just wanted to post this here since we had an interesting discussion about potential locations for roundabouts around the TC, and one of them highlighted was the Franklin/E River Rd location:

http://nexus.umn.edu/Theses/ReubenCollins_PlanB.pdf

Seems that a roundabout here would have been better than the decided/built signalized intersection, and it's possible a slightly altered geometry could handle ped/bike traffic the way the Amsterdam one does with very little impact to size and LOS for vehicles.

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woofner
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby woofner » December 23rd, 2013, 1:53 pm

Here is the official project page from the 2009 study:

http://www.sehinc.com/online/franklin

My understanding is that a roundabout was not ruled out in the long term, but rather that they decided to do some cheaper mitigation in the short term. Understandably based on the 2009 temporal context, there were a lot of concerns about the coming traffic apocalypse resulting from the LRT construction & configuration changes. My guess is that when this intersection comes up for full reconstruction a roundabout will be built here.
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RailBaronYarr
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 23rd, 2013, 3:20 pm

Good info. I didn't realize the re-do was more of a short term stop gap rather than a full reconstruct.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mdcastle » January 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

One interesting Road Geek Topic is Minnesota's secret routes, those that Mn/DOT maintains but does not post signs on.

The first are regular routes that are just not signed. As an example, US 52 between St. Paul and Moorhead, overlaps I-94 so Mn/DOT doesn't bother with signing. Some of the short routes to state institutions that were created in 1951 don't bother with signs either, like MN 309, a route several block long road to serve the Brainerd State Hospital

The second are the 800X series routes, which are mostly extended legs of interchanges that Mn/DOT intends to keep control over. For example MN 888A is the old MN 88 from County D to I-35W; MN 860D, the Veterans Bridge in Mankato

The 3rd are the 900X series routes, which are mainly bypassed highways Mn/DOT wants to get rid of but hasn't been able to yet. Examples MN 952A: Robert Street, MN 901B: Old MN 101 in Carver County.

mattaudio
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby mattaudio » January 8th, 2014, 9:08 pm

Thanks for posting! I love the roadgeek trivia.

Re 860D (Veterans Bridge in Mankato) it makes so much sense why that bridge is so human-hostile. This is one of three bridges across the river in Mankato, and the other two are freeways (169/60 and 14/60). This is the primary connection between the downtowns of Mankato and North Mankato, two areas of traditional development pattern. And this is what they get for a sidewalk:

Image
http://www.johnweeks.com/river_minnesot ... mnB02.html

This bridge should either be calmed from 6 lanes to 4, with decent sidewalks provided. Or maybe Mankato could get a bike/ped only bridge across the river in the same area. It could connect Hickory Street to Range St in North Mankato. It would probably be a better use of funds than the line item in the bonding request to expand the Mankato Convention Center....

Silophant
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Silophant » January 8th, 2014, 9:24 pm

It totally would be. But if there's one thing that Mankato will never accept, it's that the Civic Center will never be much more than the Maverick Hockey arena, no matter how many hotels they build or how much money they pour in.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mdcastle » January 11th, 2014, 9:45 am

On the subject of Mankato, there's a concept about converting US 169 to a freeway all the way through the city. Of course there's no money for it, but Mn/DOT did recently buy some land at the US 14 interchange when it came up for sale.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mdcastle » January 11th, 2014, 10:35 am

Legal road numbers and the history of trunk highways, Part 1

The concept of legal road numbers is intertwined with the history of trunk highways, so I'm posting them both at once. In general, for Mn/DOT to maintain a road it has to be specified as a trunk highway in state statutes. (This isn't totally unique, but is very uncommon). Legal road numbers 1-70 are the constitutional routes, specified in the state constitution and in statutes 116.114, numbers 70-339 are in section 116.115, routes 380-380 are in section 116.117, and routes 390-396 are in section 161.12. Section 161.13 authorized a few short connecting routes from towns to interestates, but only one (MN 324) was ever created.

More detail later, but originally the number signed in the field was the same as the legal route number, this is no longer necessarily the case.

The statutes specify the extent and what towns each route must serve. Constitution Routes cannot be changed (one was, but the change was immediately undone), Legislative Routes can be changed with simple law.

The verbage reads like this
"Route No. 10. Beginning at a point on the westerly limits of the city of Minneapolis and thence extending in a northwesterly direction to a point on Route No. 6 at or near Wheaton, affording Minneapolis, Montrose, Cokato, Litchfield, Willmar, Benson, Morris, Herman, Wheaton and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state."

The correlation between what is legally a trunk highway and what is actually a trunk highway are not exact. Generally the "Secret" routes are not authorized. On the other hand many authorized routes are no longer actually trunk highways, but have not been cleaned up by being removed from the statutes, This has gotten better in more recent years.

==================================
The original 70 trunk highways were created by a constitutional amendment (the "Babcock" amendment) in 1920. Babcock was the first commissioner of the Department of Highways, (recall "Babcock Trail) in Inver Grove Heights. If you look at at a map, they are and still the backbone of the system. Routes within the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul were not state maintained, but marked with numbers for navigational purposes. Several times laws have been passed in a few "waves" forcing Mn/DOT to maintain more roads, but they have always been reluctant to do so, citing lack of resources (sound familiar), and relevance to statewide transportation needs. In the last 1920s the US Highway system made it's debut. These were overlaid on existing state highway, and in some cases over routes that were not trunk highways.

The first great expansion was 1934, when Legislative routes 71-210 were creates. The entire system was renumbered for route continuity and to incorporate the US routes without overlays, and the first change to the trunk highway marker was made. Mpst of the new routes were assigned numbers arbitrarily rather than their legal route number. Trunk highways within the cities were now maintained by the state.

The second great expansion was in 1949, with Legislative Routes 219-287. These for the most part were assigned numbers the same as the legal number- if you look at state highway numbers on a map, that's why the huge jump from MN 139 to MN 219 with only a couple of numbers inbetween. I call these "pork barrel routes", they were mostly connections from trunk highways to very important towns such as Ponsford (unincorporated) or Urbank (pop 34), that Mn/DOT was forced to add. (Although there were a few major ones, like what MN 280 became). The existing highway marker could not handle three digit numbers with a "2" very well so it was changed again shortly after.

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LRV Op Dude
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby LRV Op Dude » January 11th, 2014, 4:17 pm

Mdcastle wrote: A off topic, but are pavers a nuisance to maintain? I like the look, but I'm thinking about doing my driveway in concrete just for the ease of maintenance. I know the ones at the rail stations and places always look good, but there's an army of people tramping over them, and people paid to maintain them.
I am not sure you know it or not but Metro Transit has replaced the pavers at some of the rail platforms with concrete.
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby web » January 12th, 2014, 12:37 am

stamped asphalt is the way. no maintenance basically. colored and them stamped to look like bricks

David Greene
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby David Greene » January 13th, 2014, 10:48 pm

web wrote:stamped asphalt is the way. no maintenance basically. colored and them stamped to look like bricks
And it looks awful after a few short years. See Excelsior & Grand.

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Anondson
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Anondson » January 14th, 2014, 9:16 pm

Pavers for driveways, professionally installed, are fantastic. A great option if you are looking to reduce your storm water runoff.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mdcastle » January 24th, 2014, 9:38 pm

After the second great expansion, new highways slowed down. In 1951 highways 288-303 were designated, signed the same as their legislative number, these were basically short roads from a state institution to the nearest trunk highway. Later 309, 326 (later signed as a stub of MN 49), 329, 330, and finally in 1985, Highway 333 were also added. As early as 1973, When MN 303 was removed when the Owatonna orphanage closed, these started to be removed, sometimes when the institution closed and sometimes when not.

With the coming of the interstates there were some number revisions to avoid duplication. In 1957 as separate Chapter 161 section, 161.12, authorized the interstates as legislative routes 390-396. This was needed since constitutional routes had to serve certain cities, for instance CR 1 had to serve Rush City and Pine City, so it left I-35 and was signed MN 361.

Section 161.13 authorized short connecting routes from interstates from Geneva, Medford, White Bear, Rush City, Pine City and Wyoming. Only MN 324 was authorized, and it overlapped Constitutional Route 1.

In the 1960s the marker changed to the present design because the old one looked too much like a speed limit sign. There are no plans at Mn/DOT to change it again, although some engineers want to drop the gold band because they've never been able to find a dye that doesn't fade badly.

In recent years, the most notable happening was the great highway swap of 1988. Mn/Dot took control of the Crosstown and County 18 freeways in exchange for what became County 81, County 25, among others. Section 161.117 authorized this, as well as Mn/DOT taking Shepard Road east of I-35E, which never happened.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Legislative Routes that have been authorized recently:
336 (MN 336) a short connection between I-94 and US 10 by Moorhead- 1991. The last new highway created by itself and by scatch. MN 610 was authorized back in 1975 as Legislative Route 333.
337- After the Brainerd Bypass was created, Constitutional Route 27 was moved onto it and Legislative Route 337 was created for Mn/DOT to maintain Business 371. Mn/DOT proposed turning it back, but the local agencies wanted the state to maintain it and took control of parts of MN 18, MN 25, and the two block entirety of MN 322
338- When Mn/DOT extended MN 42 to meet up with I-90 in 2001 they originally changed the constitutional route description of 42, the first time it had ever been done. Two years later they undid the change and create LR 338 for it instead.

339- The St Croix Crossing approach east of MN 95, since Constitutional Route 45, the remainder of MN 36 must start "on the west bank of the St. Croix River at Stillwater". This is interesting from a roadgeek point of view because while the Lift Bridge must remain a trunk highway at part of the mitigation for the new bridge, and I assume would be assigned a secret number, say MN 836A, it's likely the street leading up to it will be turned over to Stillwater. So the question is does any point on MN 95 count as close enough to the "west bank of the St. Croix". It wouldn't be the first time Mn/DOT hasn't done something they're theoretically obligated to do, for a long time they were required to pay for the "Locally Famous Deceased Person" memorial highway signs, but they quit doing so.

talindsay
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby talindsay » January 24th, 2014, 9:49 pm

Anondson wrote:Pavers for driveways, professionally installed, are fantastic. A great option if you are looking to reduce your storm water runoff.
So this if a serious question, is there any reason besides environmental altruism to care about runoff? I mean, as a homeowner do I have any reason to care at the local level? I ask because we finally replaced our mud / gravel mess with a concrete driveway two years ago. I really like pavers and obviously would prefer to not produce more runoff, but I also work on my own motorcycles and car, and the smooth surface of concrete is better for that. Factor in the higher cost of pavers and we couldn't justify it. I'm interested if there's some more immediate reason to want to reduce runoff. I know it can affect your sewer bill but our house is so small that even a small concrete driveway and garage keeps our total non porous coverage much too low for that to kick in.

VAStationDude
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby VAStationDude » January 24th, 2014, 10:04 pm

I believe the sewer bill is based on water usage. Storm water management is paid thorough taxes so you installing pavers would have a very very small effect on system wide costs which would be passed on as fractions of a penny to you. If your home has water intrusion issues pavers could help.

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Anondson
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Anondson » January 24th, 2014, 10:52 pm

There is how runoff affects base stage and flood stage in local streams, rivers, and wetlands. Minimal one property at a time. But every bit benefits. More runoff worsens floods and erosions and sedimention, and it leads to a lower and lower normal flow. Water that once soaked into the groundwater and slowly seaped to the streams no longer feeds the water table and instead in flushed into the streams at fast rate. The faster flush rate causes channels to cut deeper and is implicated is habitat filling with sediment faster.

Helping recharge the groundwater and water table, that is pretty local. Many watershed districts like the minihaha watershed district offer cost sharing programs to reduce runoff.

http://www.minnehahacreek.org/grants/ra ... -practices

Working on cars and motorcycles on the pavement, too, being on pavers helps the pollutants not wash off when it rains, of course.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby Mdcastle » January 25th, 2014, 9:50 am

At this point I'm thinking of going with a concrete driveway. I'm already using cedar siding on the house, and have extensive gardens, so I'm leaning towards something that requires absolutely zero maintenance even if it doesn't look as cute.

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mister.shoes
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Re: Road Geek Topics

Postby mister.shoes » February 21st, 2014, 3:50 pm

Anondson wrote:
mister.shoes wrote:
mattaudio wrote:This would also set up a future connection of 3rd Street across the BNSF trench into the North Loop...
And repairing the grid by connecting 3rd and 4th properly over the 35W trench to Cedar-Riverside...
Like this.
https://streets.mn/2013/01/22/addressing ... rhood-gap/

I still look back at it and dream. Sometimes I think the recovered land alone could fund a lot of it. Anyway, off topic.
mattaudio wrote:Mister.Shoes, time to repost your photoshopped google map over in that road geek thread! Our plan is epic!
What, this old thing? :roll:

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