Street, Road and Highway Projects

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

Postby sdho » September 14th, 2016, 10:47 am

My impression was that the #1 reason for concrete driveways is aesthetics, and #2 because individual homeowners often don't have the capacity to properly maintain asphalt. (Who honestly crack seals and sealcoats their driveway every few years?)

#2 isn't an issue for cities, who usually have orderly maintenance programs. #1 still is IMO. As for the parking/weight of vehicle benefits -- not clear why it should be that different. Honestly, I park on the street far more often than I park outside on my driveway. (If I'm going to my driveway I'll just park inside the garage itself.)

But, I'll acknowledge the patching issue. Richfield's major streets were originally all concrete. Today, 77th St is concrete, but all others are either overlaid in asphalt or replaced entirely with asphalt. I was told by Public Works that they didn't want to do concrete for the new projects (66th, Portland) because it was so time-consuming and expensive to patch when utilities had to be repaired.

Asphalt is a smoother surface for walking and running. Still, if I were to get a sidewalk in front of my house (yes please!), I'd far prefer concrete than an asphalt MUP.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby seanrichardryan » September 14th, 2016, 10:58 am

Concrete has more reflectivity lessening the solar heat gain, for better or worse.

So, cooler in the summer- Yeah! Less melting in winter- Boo.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

amiller92
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby amiller92 » September 14th, 2016, 11:59 am

Asphalt is a smoother surface for walking and running. Still, if I were to get a sidewalk in front of my house (yes please!), I'd far prefer concrete than an asphalt MUP.
We were walking on a concrete sidewalk near the creek the other day when I noticed a stamp saying "WPA 1939." That particular stretch actually needs to be repaired/replaced, but still, a concrete sidewalk can last quite a long time.

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sdho
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby sdho » September 14th, 2016, 12:11 pm

Asphalt is a smoother surface for walking and running. Still, if I were to get a sidewalk in front of my house (yes please!), I'd far prefer concrete than an asphalt MUP.
We were walking on a concrete sidewalk near the creek the other day when I noticed a stamp saying "WPA 1939." That particular stretch actually needs to be repaired/replaced, but still, a concrete sidewalk can last quite a long time.
Yeah, for sure. Concrete sidewalks last forever, especially if they're not subject to tree roots, etc. Concrete streets also last much longer, but don't have cheap rehab options like a mill and overlay.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby talindsay » September 14th, 2016, 1:08 pm

As for the parking/weight of vehicle benefits -- not clear why it should be that different.
Concrete distributes weight over the whole section between expansion joints, especially if there's rebar or other strengtheners embedded. With asphalt, the ability to distribute weight depends on the mix, but also on the temperature. Warm asphalt has very little capacity to distribute weight. Ever notice that motorcyclists put a flattened soda or beer can under their sidestands? That's because the tip of the stand bears about a third of the weight of the bike, on a spot that's only a few square inches. On concrete, that's not a problem. On warm asphalt, the stand punctures the surface and the bike falls over. My Triumph only weighs 450 pounds, but if I park on asphalt in the summer for even a few minutes, I'll come back out and usually see a mark in the asphalt where the stand was. Many stores with asphalt parking lots have a designated concrete pad for motorcycles. Similarly, many handicap spots are on concrete pads because of the high load on small space that wheelchairs and wheelchair-loading equipment can present. Go look at a Target parking lot, they're pretty good about providing concrete for these groups.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby talindsay » September 14th, 2016, 1:14 pm

As a pedestrian, I've never noticed a meaningful difference between walking on concrete and walking on asphalt. For running, yeah (although I almost never run).

I wonder if runners are a large part of footpath than walkers. On a nice weekend day, it doesn't seem like it. But runner go out and run every day, so maybe.

Of course, asphalt is better for bikes too, and since it's cheaper, just do both asphalt.
Yes, they should do both in asphalt. I don't particularly worry about which surface I'm running on, but if both are present I choose the asphalt every time. I can't imagine why they would purposely create the maintenance headache of having both types of surfaces - worst of both worlds, plus work has to be done by two different crews.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 14th, 2016, 1:20 pm

Isn't the problem that most sidewalks are right up against boulevards with significant trees (or if not, they'd be much be much better pedestrian facilities with a boulevard and trees)? My block's sidewalk isn't new nor is it 80 years old, but it has some significant heaves on it. Enough that a person in a wheelchair would have problems (we have to weave our stroller onto lawns sometimes) or a person with a walker/cane would have problems. Not saying let's go pave asphalt sidewalks, but sidewalk issues like this one are poorly addressed by the city IMO. Do wider boulevards for trees help reduce heaving?
Yes, they should do both in asphalt. I don't particularly worry about which surface I'm running on, but if both are present I choose the asphalt every time. I can't imagine why they would purposely create the maintenance headache of having both types of surfaces - worst of both worlds, plus work has to be done by two different crews.
Isn't a good reason for this ADA? It has come up a lot at the PAC that a tactile difference between the two paths is a must for blind people to detect with their cane. At least, if the paths are abutting each other. Obviously you could do 4" a concrete separator between 2 asphalt surfaces, but then you make regular maintenance difficult anyway (isn't the MPRB looking at removing the concrete borders along the bike/walking trails to make regular mill/overlay easier?)

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby talindsay » September 14th, 2016, 1:48 pm

Hmmm, I don't know about ADA. Let me be clear that I'm not talking about residential-block sidewalks - of course they're concrete, and that's fine. As a homeowner I wouldn't want an asphalt sidewalk. I'm thinking about in the parks. If you follow the Grand Rounds, you'll see great diversity - many places it's one single asphalt path with a line separating the uses, just like the Greenway (probably the smartest choice); other places it's two asphalt paths separated by some distance (as most of the way around Lake Nokomis); in others it's an asphalt bike path and separate concrete pedestrian path (as most of Lake of the Isles); and in still others it's an asphalt bike path directly abutting a concrete pedestrian path (some parts of the Lakes and the northern parts of W River Parkway). There are examples of all of those that are newly built, so I don't think it's an ADA issue.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby LakeCharles » September 14th, 2016, 1:55 pm

Tangentially related to this:
On the Greenway (and other asphalt paths as well) there are large divots every 20 ft or so, running all the way across. I assume this is for each section, or something. But they suck on a bike. I vastly prefer the smaller gaps between concrete sections. Does anyone know what creates those?

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sdho
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby sdho » September 15th, 2016, 11:47 am

Isn't the problem that most sidewalks are right up against boulevards with significant trees (or if not, they'd be much be much better pedestrian facilities with a boulevard and trees)? My block's sidewalk isn't new nor is it 80 years old, but it has some significant heaves on it. Enough that a person in a wheelchair would have problems (we have to weave our stroller onto lawns sometimes) or a person with a walker/cane would have problems. Not saying let's go pave asphalt sidewalks, but sidewalk issues like this one are poorly addressed by the city IMO. Do wider boulevards for trees help reduce heaving?
Yes, wider boulevards do reduce heaving. So do better systems to get water flow to the roots. For very narrow boulevards, the sidewalks may be disrupted by the root crown itself -- but most are simply disrupted by water-seeking roots growing to right under the sidewalk, and growing larger over time until the sidewalk panel is disrupted. If the tree can get necessary nutrients/water in the boulevard itself, it doesn't need to grow under the sidewalk panels.

I love Mpls' sidewak coverage, but wish the boulevards were more generous. I was just back in my hometown, Northfield, and admiring the huge wide boulevard on the old east side. Almost all are 10+ feet wide, up to 15 or so. IMO in most Minneapolis neighborhoods, the streets could go at least 4' narrower (28') and the sidewalks 1' narrower on each side (from 6' to 5', although some areas already have 5). 3' of extra space in each boulevard would be a huge improvement.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby MNdible » September 15th, 2016, 12:58 pm

Only vaguely related, has anybody else noticed that the pervious pavers installed as part of the Marq2 project are all sinking precipitously?

mattaudio
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby mattaudio » September 15th, 2016, 2:58 pm

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!

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Sacrelicio
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Sacrelicio » September 15th, 2016, 4:01 pm

What do you all think of the raised and protected bike lanes on Park and Portland by the stadium and Commons park? The seem no better than regular sidewalks, peds like to linger in them and cars won't see you as you cross the curb cuts or merge back into traffic when the lanes end. Why was this design chosen? Am I missing something with regards to their benefits?

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby MNdible » September 15th, 2016, 4:05 pm

(Sorry, MNdible)
Between this and the Blaisdell redo, they're doing a bang-up job of making it really difficult to get around this part of town.

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Sacrelicio
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Sacrelicio » September 15th, 2016, 4:10 pm

(Sorry, MNdible)
Between this and the Blaisdell redo, they're doing a bang-up job of making it really difficult to get around this part of town.
Not for me, riding a bike in my part of town gets easier everyday.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby nBode » September 15th, 2016, 4:14 pm

What do you all think of the raised and protected bike lanes on Park and Portland by the stadium and Commons park?
These "cycle tracks" (Is it a cycle track if it's only 2 blocks long?) are a real joy to bike on. But only being used for 2 blocks makes them pretty pointless, for the reasons you observe. It would be stellar if this design continued along the entire lengths of the roads through the city. The benefits are being completely separated from motorized traffic, thus providing a safer and more comfortable environment for cyclists of all ages and skill levels. I also would think these lanes are easier to maintain than some other designs. Where cycle tracks become tricky, as you note, is at intersections. I'm not sure if these were installed to test the idea--if so they won't be very good indicators of the concept because they are so short.

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sdho
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby sdho » September 15th, 2016, 6:39 pm

The cycletracks on Park and Portland downtown are a disaster. You practically have to jump a curb at the corner, the gutter line is so sharp. (It's also non-ADA compliant with the crosswalks crossing Portland and Park.)

To make matters worse, the sign guys didn't seem to get the memo, and installed the parking signs in the cycletrack. The actual "rideable width" is maybe 2' wide, considering a 1' clear zone from the posts, which are themselves in about 18" from the curb. Had they put the signs in the correct place, at the back of the cycletrack, it might have also made it obvious to peds that it's not part of the sidewalk.

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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby FISHMANPET » September 15th, 2016, 9:08 pm

Robin Hutcheson, new Minneapolis Public Works Director, will have her first public appearance this Saturday, 10 AM, at the Midtown Farmers Market, by CM Cano
https://www.facebook.com/events/1649814158664579/
Peter Bajurny
peter@bajurny.us
@FISHMANPET
612-208-6618

amiller92
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby amiller92 » September 16th, 2016, 8:55 am

Between this and the Blaisdell redo, they're doing a bang-up job of making it really difficult to get around this part of town.
I'm getting around a whole lot easier, actually. (Blaisdell is a particularly rich one to complain about)

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sdho
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby sdho » September 16th, 2016, 9:15 am

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.


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