Interstate 35E

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RailBaronYarr
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Interstate 35E

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 24th, 2013, 7:13 am

http://blogs.twincities.com/politics/20 ... t-a-break/

Looks like the legislature wasn't able to pass a law to raise the speed limit to 55 mph in this stretch. However, they were able to pass an amendment allowing tickets at 55 mph or lower to stay off people's records. AM I missing something here? This means it's no longer a criminal deterrent to speed, just a monetary risk (and a low one at that). This stretch of road screams all sorts of confusion. The speed limit says collector road, the lane widths and pavement say high-speed freeway, the plants in the middle scream boulevard, and the people just drive 60-70 mph anyway.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby twincitizen » April 24th, 2013, 8:19 am

Last session it was some legislator from Eagan that led the charge to the speed increase, but I think he's gone now, as Eagan turned blue. Who was it this year?

It's 45mph for a reason and the neighborhoods in St. Paul don't want it increased. It's always some suburban or exurban legislators demanding the speed increase. It's a pretty short stretch of road that's signed 45mph. Is it really costing people that much time on their commutes that we need to bring this up annually?

I hope that not one single legislator from Minneapolis or St. Paul voted for this joke. Instead of a legislative ban on Dan Patch, we need a legislative ban on talking about the speed limit on 35E.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby mattaudio » April 24th, 2013, 8:34 am

As crazy as it is, that's part of the settlement that resulted in I-35E opening two decades after bridges were finished. I bet if they upped the speed limit, there would be lawsuits from the neighborhood.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby MNdible » April 24th, 2013, 9:12 am

twincitizen wrote:It's 45mph for a reason and the neighborhoods in St. Paul don't want it increased.
I'm really not sure that the fact that politically connected neighbors NIMBY'ed up qualifies as a good reason. At least it doesn't in any of the other threads on this board. There's no good reason why this shouldn't be 55 mph like the rest of the freeway system.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby gpete » April 24th, 2013, 9:29 am

I just looked at the Senate proceedings from yesterday.

The speed limit increase was proposed by Sen. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville). It failed and received no votes from Minneapolis or St Paul legislators.

Minority Leader Dave Senjem (R-Rochester) proposed the amendment that would prohibit the state from keeping a record of a speeding violation on that stretch of 35E unless the offender was driving more than 10MPH over the speed limit. That amendment was adopted by a vote of 36 - 31. Again, no Mpls or St.P legislators supported it.

I hope this provision gets pulled out of the bill in conference committee. That often happens with these type of oddball amendments.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 24th, 2013, 10:09 am

I'm aware that the 45 mph limit is 'there for a reason' - I'm not particularly opposed to it, either, just pointing out the oddity of the situation. They built it as a freeway - same pavement, stripings, ample shoulders, limited access, etc. But then we're shocked when people routinely drive well above the posted 45 mph limit (to which the neighborhoods who were politically connected haven't suffered any damages from 55+ mph driving). And then we decide to make it less of a crime to do so, by only requiring them to pay the fine but not have it on the driving record (as long as you're only speeding 10 mph over the limit, of course). Is there a precedent for this, that any specific road or street can garner a moving violation that won't show up on your record?

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby Tcmetro » April 24th, 2013, 11:46 am

How stupid, just make it 55 mph.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby mulad » April 24th, 2013, 11:59 am

Many/most Minnesota highways/roadways have both statutory limits (speed limits defined in legislation) and regulatory limits (the speed on the sign), and statutory limits have generally been higher and carried more legal weight. Historically at least, I think there were many cases where you either were not ticketed at the time or could get out of a ticket after the fact if your speed fell into the gap between the regulatory and statutory limits. I'm not what the situation is today -- I haven't bothered to care much since I follow the posted limit very closely as a matter of habit.

I recall there was some discussion about this when Mn/DOT raised the speeds on several urban freeway segments from 55 mph to 60 inside the beltway. I'm betting at the moment that the statutory limit was 65 on all of them. So from one perspective, you used to be able to get by going 10 mph over the posted limit without getting a ticket, and now you can only go 5 mph over the posted limit. But the point at which you can really get a ticket is still the same speed.

Unless there's a specific statute for that section, I-35E probably qualifies as an "interstate highway inside the limits of any urbanized area", which gives it a statutory limit of 65 mph. I'm not certain whether the statutory or posted limit is the one that gets enforced these days.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby twincitizen » April 24th, 2013, 3:09 pm

MinnPost wrote a pretty in-depth piece on this today: http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy ... mit-debate

I want to be a legislator (or work for one) so bad!!

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby woofner » April 24th, 2013, 9:21 pm

If the language makes it into the final transportation policy bill, the city of St Paul should just close the freeway and begin demolishing it if its not rescinded. They've already built a freeway parallel to it for St Paul residents anyway - what do they care if it's harder for Eaganites to get to Roseville? That's just more business for Grand Ave.
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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby MNdible » April 24th, 2013, 9:25 pm

I honestly don't understand how rational people can look at this situation and say that it makes sense. Aside from decades old legal shenanigans, what's different about this freeway that means it should have a lower speed limit than the one that goes by my house?

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 25th, 2013, 7:35 am

MNdible wrote:I honestly don't understand how rational people can look at this situation and say that it makes sense. Aside from decades old legal shenanigans, what's different about this freeway that means it should have a lower speed limit than the one that goes by my house?
The people that live by it are insanely rich? Can't think of a better answer.

Here's what they should do (IMHO). Cap as much of the darn thing off and reconnect the neighborhoods south/east of 35E to the great ones N/W. This more natural sound barrier will allow higher speeds without disturbing Summit Hill residents (not that they should be treated any different than Mpls residents with the 8+ lanes of 35W cutting through them...).

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby Mdcastle » April 25th, 2013, 10:37 am

What freeway parallel to I-35E? If you're talking about Shepard Road NIMBYs got an interchange blocked on Shepard Road and anyway St. Paul seems to want it to turn it into a place for people to picnic and sip Lattes next to rather than be part of the National Highway System. I-35E is the property of Mn/DOT and is not St. Paul's property to close or demolish.

If we have to live with the speed limit because of a court decision, why not pass a law that says the fine for 55 in a 45 on Legislative Route 394 (the legal number for I-35E) is $1.00 And if cops are writing tickets there for 55, don't they have better things to do, like patrol the donut shop?

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 25th, 2013, 11:19 am

Mdcastle wrote:What freeway parallel to I-35E? If you're talking about Shepard Road NIMBYs got an interchange blocked on Shepard Road and anyway St. Paul seems to want it to turn it into a place for people to picnic and sip Lattes next to rather than be part of the National Highway System. I-35E is the property of Mn/DOT and is not St. Paul's property to close or demolish.

If we have to live with the speed limit because of a court decision, why not pass a law that says the fine for 55 in a 45 on Legislative Route 394 (the legal number for I-35E) is $1.00 And if cops are writing tickets there for 55, don't they have better things to do, like patrol the donut shop?
I think we're on the same page here.. I mean cap it off as in do some land bridges over the top of I-35E at select areas to reconnect the streets and reduce noise levels to the adjacent neighborhoods. I was talking about the West Seventh types who had the sway to make it a "boulevard" freeway in the first place, but I also often hear people refer to the Summit neighborhood residents as being proponents of keeping the speed limit low.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby Mdcastle » April 25th, 2013, 12:20 pm

I am a big fan of freeway caps in the right locations, and I-35E might be one. If you look at Duluth they found a way to both move cars through the area and connect their downtown to the riverfront that way. The nice planter they tried in the middle of I-35E isn't working due to the salt spray.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby woofner » April 25th, 2013, 12:23 pm

The city didn't want it there. Sure the rich ones had the shrillest scream and therefore were able to have some impact, but do you really think the people in rehab on W 7th wanted it any more than them? Is a city not wanting their urban fabric to be rent an invalid reason? It is completely different from a neighbor making a class- or aesthetics-based argument against a new building because a freeway has significant environmental, economic, mobility and accessibility impacts on the neighborhoods it passes through.

The only aspect of the freeway that plays a significant role in the regional transportation function is the river crossing. There is no regional need for a high-speed link between Lilydale and Trader Joe's. The regional north-south high-speed connection is served by Hwy 52 and 35E north of downtown. Shepherd Road is more than sufficient to carry local high-speed needs. The two stoplights between 35E and downtown have marginal impact on overall average travel times.

That this useless link was built was symptomatic of the overbuilding of freeways by a rich country making bad transportation policies. It is useless to our regional transportation system and even if it weren't, the residents of any neighborhood should have the right to reject a freeway due to their intrinsic massive local impact.
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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 25th, 2013, 1:25 pm

redisciple wrote:The city didn't want it there. Sure the rich ones had the shrillest scream and therefore were able to have some impact, but do you really think the people in rehab on W 7th wanted it any more than them? Is a city not wanting their urban fabric to be rent an invalid reason? It is completely different from a neighbor making a class- or aesthetics-based argument against a new building because a freeway has significant environmental, economic, mobility and accessibility impacts on the neighborhoods it passes through.

The only aspect of the freeway that plays a significant role in the regional transportation function is the river crossing. There is no regional need for a high-speed link between Lilydale and Trader Joe's. The regional north-south high-speed connection is served by Hwy 52 and 35E north of downtown. Shepherd Road is more than sufficient to carry local high-speed needs. The two stoplights between 35E and downtown have marginal impact on overall average travel times.

That this useless link was built was symptomatic of the overbuilding of freeways by a rich country making bad transportation policies. It is useless to our regional transportation system and even if it weren't, the residents of any neighborhood should have the right to reject a freeway due to their intrinsic massive local impact.
I tend to want to ignore people who focus on not wanting something near them for their own personal interests because no one ever wants the train, freeway, power lines, etc right through or near their back yard. Not a valid excuse when the bigger picture is taken in to account and if they are compensated for it then that makes up for the loss.

However, I will not disagree with any of your takes here. I think if a 45 mph freeway/boulevard combo was acceptable from a design perspective, then just don't build it in the first place. I would say most freeways within 5 miles of city centers are completely superfluous and have had far too many negative local and widespread effects. In that respect the local affected population doesn't even receive the benefit of a high-speed connection near them as the congestion caused by further-out residents makes their access and speed completely diminished.

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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby mattaudio » April 25th, 2013, 1:28 pm


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Re: 35E Between Mississippi River and Downtown

Postby twincitizen » April 30th, 2013, 9:12 pm

Ermahgerd. Does that come in hardcover?

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Interstate 35E

Postby mulad » May 16th, 2013, 12:40 pm

I guess the I-35E Cayuga Project is about ready to get underway for the season. An early phase of the project involved replacement of the Maryland Avenue bridge, which happened last year. This year the reconstruction of the mainline highway will occur. Part of the highway will be shifted eastward between Pennsylvania Ave/Phalen Boulevard and Maryland Avenue, adding a new interchange at Cayuga Street and removing the current one at Pennsylvania/Phalen.

The Gateway Trail is also going to officially be extended southward. One casualty in all of this will be the removal of a section of Mississippi Street which currently goes right past Metro Transit's East Metro Garage, in order to allow the highway to be realigned to make way for the Cayuga interchange.

Here's a 5-minute video overview:



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