Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck Project

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
twincitizen
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Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck Project

Postby twincitizen » March 28th, 2013, 11:34 am

3/2014 Update: Project website http://www.hennepinlyndaleproject.com/index.html

If you didn't know, the Hennepin-Lyndale bottleneck atop the Lowry Tunnel used to be known as The Virginia Triangle.

Much has been written about it on this forum as well as on Streets.mn Read through the comments on the Streets.mn piece for more discussion, fantasy maps, etc.

The Met Council has allocated $9.1MM (mostly federal funds) for

Reconstruction of southbound Hennepin/Lyndale Avenue from Dunwoody Blvd to eastbound I-94 entrance ramp and Franklin Avenue and; northbound Hennepin Avenue from Franklin Avenue to the end of the Hennepin/Lyndale common section adjacent to Loring Park as well as signal timing work and pedestrian and bicycle facilities to commence in 2015

The Met Council's TAB recently voted to amend the 2013-16 TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) to include this project, among many cringeworthy stroad creating/enlarging projects.

Like many fellow UrbanMSPers, I live in the affected area and I bus, bike, and drive through it quite frequently. Obviously $9.1MM doesn't buy much these days, but I am hella interested to see what the proposed improvements are. The current setup is quite ugly and unfriendly to peds and bikes, but I find it quite functional for cars, especially when you consider how old the infrastructure is. I'm afraid for $9MM, we're basically going to get resurfaced roads and not much else. I'm wary of any "signal timing work", as the current system seems to work quite well for the ginormous volume of automobile traffic. Leading pedestrian/bike signals (like at Hennepin-Lake) would be a very welcome safety improvement. Unfortunately, Metro Transit's rapid bus study on Hennepin is not far enough along to be accomodated by this project and that is a damn shame. Exclusive bus lanes through this stretch are critical to a functional rapid bus system connecting Uptown and Downtown. Better bus stop facilities in the area are a must, because I'm not sure how this is even legal. As a Lyndale guy myself, I am dismayed that the project does not specifically call out northbound Lyndale Avenue, as it does for Hennepin. The current situation on NB Lyndale between Franklin and the merger point with Hennepin is incredibly unsafe for bikes and peds, due to gaps in the system and the too-narrow shared multi-use path on the east side of the road.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby Tcmetro » March 28th, 2013, 12:16 pm

I would imagine its something like new pavement and visible crosswalks. I wouldn't expect too much out of this project.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby beykite » March 28th, 2013, 2:13 pm

Isn't that all we ever do nowadays? If we get really lucky maybe we'll even get a bridge redecking!!

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby Mdcastle » March 28th, 2013, 6:22 pm

9.1 million doesn't buy a lot more than new pavement nowdays.

One thing I see discussed various places is making traffic signal improvements to benefit pedestrians- leading ped phases, giving a Walk if there are no conflicting vehicle phases, etc. The problem is Minneapolis has a lot of extremely old traffic control equipment, dating back to 1950s vintage mechanical controllers in some cases, and implementing these features (and for that matter vehicle friendly features like flashing yellow arrows) aren't as simple as some guy in the main office entering a check-box on his computer. Maybe some of the money can upgrade the signals equipment too.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 28th, 2013, 8:47 pm

They're doing the diverging diamong interchange across from the MOA over I-494 on 34th Ave for $6 million (this year anyways), so maybe $9 million can essentially rebuild the Virgnia Triangle (I prefer Vagina Triangle -- a maze no man can conquer!).

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby UptownSport » March 28th, 2013, 11:55 pm

Y I K E S

There's a bike lane North of dedicated Bryant bike bridge on Lyndale northbound- There's also a ped lane.
Only place it gets ridiculous is next to the old hotel, bike lanes but no ped lane (sidewalk). Not sure how that's legal.

Worst part is in front of Basilica: both Hennepin North (actually it's 17th Google Maps) onto Dunwoody / Hennepin and the next intersection. Should be no signal on latter except for Sunday, other wise light trips and cars / bus wait for nothing.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby JMS9 » March 29th, 2013, 9:30 pm

Since this forum takes itself so seriously and has all the humor of a morgue at times, let me be the first, and probably only one, to say;; well played min-chi-bus. :lol: :lol:

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby Wedgeguy » March 31st, 2013, 12:13 pm

I must agree with it being a area no man can conquer.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby tabletop » April 1st, 2013, 3:32 am

Likewise, I would be in support of some kind of traffic pattern change. I wonder if there would be a way to seperate Hennepin and Lyndale all together, have them cross at ether Grovland, Vinland or somewhere in between. The alignment I'm thinking would work is keep Lyndale on the west side of 94 and Hennepin on the east, and use Dunwoody as the link to the entrances and exit From 94 there and N Lyndale. There could be room then for some kind of planted promenade by the Walker to break up the space and make it seem more pedestrian.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby mattaudio » April 1st, 2013, 6:36 am

What if we closed Hennepin (south of the area no man can conquer)... https://streets.mn/2012/07/15/what-if-w ... -hennepin/

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby twincitizen » April 1st, 2013, 8:18 am

Don't bogart the topic with your crazy ideas! ;)

Let's keep this to triangle/bottleneck talk.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby mattaudio » April 1st, 2013, 8:23 am

The bottleneck would have much simpler traffic patterns to/from the south if we instituted this crazy idea. And, credit is due to Professor Levinson for hatching this brilliant plot.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby MNdible » April 1st, 2013, 9:24 am

Idyllic pictures of Virginia Triangle notwithstanding, this area has been a traffic bottleneck since Thomas Lowry paid a bunch of Irish immigrants to cut a grade through the glacial ridge*, thereby opening Hennepin and Lyndale to streetcar traffic (and traffic of all sorts and flavors soon followed). There are historical images from the 1940's showing ridiculous traffic back-ups at this location.

The issues is this: There's a lot of traffic that needs to move through this area. Unless we can find some more Irish immigrants to cut some new routes from Downtown to Uptown, there will continue to be a lot of traffic needing to move through this area. It never has been, and never will be, a great pedestrian environment.

But, yes, for the sake of all that is good, let's fix that wretched 4 bus stop.

* Exact historical details are sketchy.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby twincitizen » April 1st, 2013, 9:56 am

MNdible wrote:There's a lot of traffic that needs to move through this area.
No. There are a lot of people that need to move through the area.

We have not made transit, bicycling, or walking a priority. I understand that much of the vehicular traffic through the bottleneck is not headed downtown, but accessing I-394, I-94, etc. These movements can still be accommodated while drastically improving the connection between Uptown and Downtown for transit, bikes and peds. Especially transit. ≤15 minutes from Lake Street to 5th Street/LRT is not an unreasonable expectation (actual performance, not just scheduled). Single occupancy vehicle traffic making short in-city trips ≤ 2 miles should not be a priority. Going forward, those trips need to be replaced by transit/bike/ped trips.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby MNdible » April 1st, 2013, 11:13 am

twincitizen wrote:Single occupancy vehicle traffic making short in-city trips ≤ 2 miles should not be a priority. Going forward, those trips need to be replaced by transit/bike/ped trips.
In all of the excitement, I apparently missed your appointment as Transportation Tsar.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby mattaudio » April 1st, 2013, 11:22 am

I doubt "need to be replaced" was a prescription or a demand but rather the reality of how many people need to move through a confined strip of right of way. It's not possible to meet demand in this corridor with people in cars by themselves. But nobody is proposing limiting anyone's ability to drive from one location in the city to another.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby Viktor Vaughn » April 1st, 2013, 12:29 pm

MNdible wrote:In all of the excitement, I apparently missed your appointment as Transportation Tsar.
To me it sounded like he was expressing an opinion about how to redesign transportation infrastructure, not passing down some edict about how people must get around.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby bubzki2 » April 9th, 2013, 9:43 pm

Something that hasn't been directly addressed is the ridiculous task it is to cross basically anywhere in the whole Triangle area, on foot or on bike. The speed limit on this road ... 30 I think? ... but cars go basically as fast as possible when there's no one is front of them and crossing 8+ wide lanes on foot is downright frightening. Also the SB exit from 94 to Lyndale often has cyclists crossing when they don't have a signal and involves blind visibility. There really needs to be a bike/ped bridge better connecting uptown to downtown, in my opinion.

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby UptownSport » April 10th, 2013, 12:15 pm

Yep, another thing is they should've built ped / Bike bridges over the area.

Image

Image

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Re: The Virginia Triangle (Hennepin & Lyndale Bottleneck)

Postby mamundsen » April 10th, 2013, 12:25 pm

^^^I thought the same thing.


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