Street, Road and Highway Projects

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
LakeCharles
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby LakeCharles » September 16th, 2016, 9:27 am

I'm gonna have to disagree with you on this one MNdible. Biking is easier, and driving is not any harder. Win-win.

BoredAgain
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby BoredAgain » September 16th, 2016, 9:32 am

sdho wrote:FWIW I drove on Blaisdell during borderline rush hour and it didn't seem unreasonable at all. From a motorist-perspective, I only wish the transitions into the turn lanes were a little more graceful (and that a left turn lane was installed every block). Losing the second lane mid-block is definitely NBD.
I live on Blaisdell in the middle of this stretch and I am mostly pleased with the change. It has slowed down the rush hour traffic (a positive in my opinion), but at any other time, it is basically the same. It is MUCH nicer for biking.

My one complaint is that I wish there weren't any left turn lanes. There is no opposing traffic to turn across, only an occasional pedestrian to wait for, in which case, there is room to go around the turning car thanks to the right turn space. Making left turns from the curb lane is often awkward because cars waiting to go west at the intersections are pulled too far forward (bad for multiple reasons) and turning around them and not hitting cars parked on the street will be difficult for larger vehicles. Also, when they reconstruct these corners (currently planned for the 35th and 36th street corridors), now they can't bump out the corners to improve pedestrian visibility and reduce crossing distances. Left turn lanes along here are a net loss.

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MNdible
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby MNdible » September 16th, 2016, 10:38 am

I usually head south through Blaisdell around 6-6:30pm, well after peak rush hour. Since the lanes have been redone, there have been regular back-ups from about 33rd through 38th Street (worst at 35th and 36th), where you're sitting through multiple light cycles and there's obvious evidence of frustrated drivers cutting into the neighborhoods. It may be that retiming the lights could fix the problem -- on the face, it seems that the layout should be workable.

VAStationDude
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby VAStationDude » September 16th, 2016, 10:45 am

Asshole suburban commuters hate it.

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seanrichardryan
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby seanrichardryan » September 16th, 2016, 11:19 am

Let the twitter trolling begin...
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sdho
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby sdho » September 16th, 2016, 11:29 am

BoredAgain wrote:Also, when they reconstruct these corners (currently planned for the 35th and 36th street corridors), now they can't bump out the corners to improve pedestrian visibility and reduce crossing distances. Left turn lanes along here are a net loss.
Why would bump-outs really be needed when the intersections are signalized anyway? It's pretty common to include right-turn lanes on conventional two-way streets when traffic levels are near capacity with the reduced lanes (as on Lyndale, 50th-56th). I can see what you mean about the awkwardness of the left turn, but I think getting them out of the flow of traffic is essential to get people through all those lights.

Now that Minneapolis has finally come 'round to more visible crosswalk markings and setback stop bars, perhaps they can re-stripe things so motorists at 35th and 36th are successfully directed to stay 5-10' farther back.

BoredAgain
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby BoredAgain » September 16th, 2016, 12:01 pm

sdho wrote:
BoredAgain wrote:Also, when they reconstruct these corners (currently planned for the 35th and 36th street corridors), now they can't bump out the corners to improve pedestrian visibility and reduce crossing distances. Left turn lanes along here are a net loss.
Why would bump-outs really be needed when the intersections are signalized anyway? It's pretty common to include right-turn lanes on conventional two-way streets when traffic levels are near capacity with the reduced lanes (as on Lyndale, 50th-56th). I can see what you mean about the awkwardness of the left turn, but I think getting them out of the flow of traffic is essential to get people through all those lights.

Now that Minneapolis has finally come 'round to more visible crosswalk markings and setback stop bars, perhaps they can re-stripe things so motorists at 35th and 36th are successfully directed to stay 5-10' farther back.
Bump-outs aren't "needed", but they would make it better. Isn't better the goal? The unsignalized intersections along this stretch do need bump-outs. It is impossible to see pedestrians trying to cross east to west because of parked cars. Also, I don't think the left turn lane is that helpful. The left turning traffic at 35th is very limited because you can only go one block before you are forced to turn again. There is more turning traffic at 36th, but unless you are one of the first 3 cars that get stopped at the light, you can't maneuver into the turn-lane anyway. When traffic is moving, few cars maneuver correctly into the lane because it is narrow and gives an awkward turn radius for a left-turn as previously discussed. This means that they might slow the flow of cars, but they don't stop it and really impatient drivers can always maneuver around them anyway.

Also, I like the new set back on the stop-bars that they have already painted in this neighborhood. I stop at them, but I am definitely not in the majority and I don't think anything is likely to change that unless cops actually start enforcing that sort of thing.

The real solution to solving back-ups (if we want to) is to lengthen the green to allow cars to clear through (#blaisdellgreenwave), but if cars want to go fast, there is a freeway three blocks east.

LyndaleHoosier
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby LyndaleHoosier » September 16th, 2016, 3:52 pm

The line of cars on Blaisdell at 35th street was about 2.5 blocks long during rush hour yesterday. While in essence, that fact doesn't bother me, but what DOES bother me is when people block intersections. I was attempting to get tot he Blaisdell Y via 34th street and people were blocking the intersection because the light was red at 35th. I've noticed that people here tend to "block the box" and then appear stunned when someone honks at them and is angry they are blocking an intersection. Just venting. :)

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Sacrelicio
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Sacrelicio » September 18th, 2016, 12:05 pm

mattaudio wrote:46th Street is happening!
Confirmed:
- The county re-poured curbs at the narrowed refuge island at 17th (the initial plan was for them to saw the concrete and pave right up to the cut).
- The median at Oakland Ave will be full concrete, rather than sticks!
- Nicollet at 46th will be 3 lanes in each direction, even though the county wanted Nicollet to have a 4 lane profile through the intersection. This is because the city's Nicollet chip seal beat the county's 46th St M&O. (Sorry, MNdible) This will be closely monitored and Nicollet restriped if necessary, possibly within a matter of months.

Edit:
The county is also nearing completion of a Mill and Overlay of Cedar Ave from 47th St south to Lake Nokomis bridge. I think this is an opportunity for a center left turn lane for the extra-wide 47xx block, which is currently a traffic disaster due to all the business driveways and turning cars. If you agree, get in touch with the county fast!
Really glad this is happening but I'm surprised that even with the two lanes closed right now for construction, traffic is zooming along at roughly the same clip. Will the new lane lines do anything to slow people down?

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sdho
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby sdho » September 18th, 2016, 11:28 pm

Sacrelicio wrote: I'm surprised that even with the two lanes closed right now for construction, traffic is zooming along at roughly the same clip. Will the new lane lines do anything to slow people down?
Richfield did some before-after speed studies on Portland Ave and Nicollet Ave after conversion from 4 to 3. In general, it did not increase speed compliance -- the median speed was still above the speed limit. However, it did remove the dangerous outliers on the high end. With the four lanes, there would be a small handful who would go 45+ mph in a 35 zone. Fortunately, now they catch up with a more prudent driver and are unable to get past.

I'd assume 46th will be a similar story -- perhaps faster than it should be, but not a free-for-all.

mattaudio
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby mattaudio » September 19th, 2016, 8:44 am

Indeed. And further, the problem with 46th, Cedar, Univ NE, and other tight FLDRs in Minneapolis is that the outside lane becomes the de-facto passing lane. This is because, even with rush hour restrictions, there are often parked cars or other obstructions in the outer lanes (and the outer lanes count the gutter pan as part of their already-substandard width). Therefore the normal "flow" of traffic uses the left lane, with the speed demons trying to find gaps to pass people on the right. Now, people will get stuck behind the prudent driver, like ME, going 30 in a 30 if I'm feeling generous to those behind me.

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Sacrelicio
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Sacrelicio » September 19th, 2016, 8:45 am

sdho wrote:
Sacrelicio wrote: I'm surprised that even with the two lanes closed right now for construction, traffic is zooming along at roughly the same clip. Will the new lane lines do anything to slow people down?
Richfield did some before-after speed studies on Portland Ave and Nicollet Ave after conversion from 4 to 3. In general, it did not increase speed compliance -- the median speed was still above the speed limit. However, it did remove the dangerous outliers on the high end. With the four lanes, there would be a small handful who would go 45+ mph in a 35 zone. Fortunately, now they catch up with a more prudent driver and are unable to get past.

I'd assume 46th will be a similar story -- perhaps faster than it should be, but not a free-for-all.
Did it knock down the median a bit? Did the average driver go a little slower?

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sdho
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby sdho » September 19th, 2016, 2:30 pm

Portland construction isn't done yet, so there are no formal results to see how/if the medians slow folks down. That is the hope, and so far *seems* to be the case, but there are other factors -- like the wear course of asphalt isn't on yet, so there's an extra 1" lip of concrete people are trying to avoid.

Final wear course should be on late this fall, so they'll probably have a new speed study next spring. I hope the results are good for speed -- and pedestrian comfort.

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Sacrelicio
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Sacrelicio » September 22nd, 2016, 8:43 pm

One thing I'd like to see at 46th and Portland are shorter yellow lights. I think they're WAAYYYY too generous now and people just blast through them. Is that at all possible to try to get done? I've tried complaining to Elizabeth Glidden and 311 about it. Glidden tells me she'll forward my message to someone and urges me to call 311, and when I do that 311 acts like I just reported Sasquatch walking down my street.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby MNdible » September 22nd, 2016, 9:31 pm

Blaisdell light timing at 35th and 36th seems to have been improved, or maybe I've just been getting out of work later than usual.

Any sense as to why they've eliminated the left turn lanes at Lake and 31st? Spite? There's clearly room for them.

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Tiller
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Tiller » September 25th, 2016, 2:11 pm

I've got a question that one of you may be able to answer. Driving out east, I've notice that for long stretches of highway, the elevations/grading for the two sides (directions) of the highway tend to differ. Is there a reason behind this? I'm guessing it might have something to do with many of these roads initially being built as turnpikes, though idk.

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seanrichardryan
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby seanrichardryan » September 25th, 2016, 3:25 pm

perhaps the original two lane stretch became an expressway with an additional two lane road adjacent. That's how 169 north of Milaca is. NB side is lower and hilly and the newer SB portion is higher and flatter. There are currently reconstructing the older road bed.
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mulad
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby mulad » September 25th, 2016, 4:21 pm

Yeah, it's possible the two directions had just been built at different times. U.S. 52 has some stretches where the two roadways are substantially different -- between Cannon Falls and Pine Island, for instance. I'm not quite sure which part was the original two-lane road, though I suspect it was the southbound side.

mattaudio
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby mattaudio » September 26th, 2016, 7:52 am

seanrichardryan wrote:That's how 169 north of Milaca is. ... There are currently reconstructing the older road bed.
I drive that stretch quite often, and was always meaning to ask Monte about the lane width on the old northbound lanes of 169... They were noticably narrower than standard expressway lanes.

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sdho
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby sdho » September 26th, 2016, 5:27 pm

MNdible wrote:Blaisdell light timing at 35th and 36th seems to have been improved, or maybe I've just been getting out of work later than usual.

Any sense as to why they've eliminated the left turn lanes at Lake and 31st? Spite? There's clearly room for them.
There never were left turn lanes at these locations. 31st had a sign indicating both left turns and straight through movements were allowed from left lane (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9468261 ... 312!8i6656). Lake St had no sign or even space for a de-facto left turn lane.

I suppose they didn't add them because it's already two through lanes in this area? Maybe an extra left turn lane on top of that was considered unnecessary.


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