Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
snar
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby snar » May 6th, 2018, 6:00 pm

It looks like Metro Transit is going to pilot bus-only lanes on Hennepin later this month. https://www.metrotransit.org/bus-only-l ... -may-15-17.

kiliff75
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby kiliff75 » May 7th, 2018, 6:12 am

I hope this study shows promise! Something like this should help car traffic to flow a bit better on Hennepin as well, since the right lane backed up from all the busses coming in and out of the lane

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby intercomnut » May 7th, 2018, 7:54 am

kiliff75 wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 6:12 am
I hope this study shows promise! Something like this should help car traffic to flow a bit better on Hennepin as well, since the right lane backed up from all the busses coming in and out of the lane
It will be interesting, if they decide to implement bus-only lanes after the reconstruction, how those interact with the E Line stations especially if the transit lanes are rush-hour only.

If the stations are built as bumpouts as is typical, will the buses have to merge from the transit lane (which is probably a converted parking lane) into the car lane to access the stations? And then back into the bus-only lane after the stations? That could eliminate the biggest benefits of having the bumpouts - not having to merge. I suppose they could work around it by giving the buses a queue jump at intersections, but it seems overly-complicated.

But that’s like 5 years away, so I’m probably speculating too early.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby Qhaberl » May 7th, 2018, 9:37 am

Seems like kind of a short study window.


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intercomnut
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby intercomnut » May 8th, 2018, 1:15 pm

Does anyone know when traffic is the worst on Hennepin in the afternoon rush? Trying to plan when to experience the pilot next week :D

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby mattaudio » May 8th, 2018, 1:48 pm


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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby MNdible » May 8th, 2018, 2:28 pm

Interesting layout.

Are people willing to accept a Hennepin Avenue with no bike facilities?

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby mattaudio » May 8th, 2018, 2:41 pm

Personally I'd like to see a Hennepin bike-walk-transitway that only has limited sections of slip lane and on-street parking. This would essentially close Hennepin as a through street. I don't think that's politically feasible, so this was the closest I could imagine getting to the best transit outcomes.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby EOst » May 8th, 2018, 2:57 pm

I would consider a lack of bike facilities on Hennepin to be a dealbreaker, for any number of reasons. I'd even place it above dedicated transit lanes in the hierarchy of needs, all things considered. Safety > speed, even for transit.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby MNdible » May 8th, 2018, 3:04 pm

EOst wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 2:57 pm
I would consider a lack of bike facilities on Hennepin to be a dealbreaker, for any number of reasons. I'd even place it above dedicated transit lanes in the hierarchy of needs, all things considered. Safety > speed, even for transit.
I mean, I know you've got your allegiances, but... really?

There are other options for moving bikes -- like the Bryant Ave facility, for example (which should be improved) -- but Hennepin is the only option for moving buses (and cars) through this corridor.

Until we tunnel.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby HiawathaGuy » May 8th, 2018, 3:11 pm

MNdible wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 3:04 pm
EOst wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 2:57 pm
I would consider a lack of bike facilities on Hennepin to be a dealbreaker, for any number of reasons. I'd even place it above dedicated transit lanes in the hierarchy of needs, all things considered. Safety > speed, even for transit.
I mean, I know you've got your allegiances, but... really?

There are other options for moving bikes -- like the Bryant Ave facility, for example (which should be improved) -- but Hennepin is the only option for moving buses (and cars) through this corridor.

Until we tunnel.
I thought the same thing. I get that Hennepin runs diagonal, which makes it the most efficient path - but moving the vast majority of people most efficiently along this limited corridor needs to be the highest priority.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby EOst » May 8th, 2018, 3:27 pm

MNdible wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 3:04 pm
I mean, I know you've got your allegiances, but... really?

There are other options for moving bikes -- like the Bryant Ave facility, for example (which should be improved) -- but Hennepin is the only option for moving buses (and cars) through this corridor.

Until we tunnel.
I won't pretend that it isn't a difficult decision. I absolutely hear the need for improved transit service and reliability in this area. But there are fundamental problems with using bike boulevards ("other options") for a corridor like Hennepin, and they don't go away no matter how nice/pleasant you make that alternate route. Because of the angle/curve, Hennepin is always going to be a more direct route. All of the destinations are on Hennepin, which means any trip starting or ending there has to spend some time on the street. It's has vastly more people (especially at night) than any other route, which makes it feel safer. A great bike boulevard may manage to divert some percentage of people who would otherwise use Hennepin--maybe even a significant percentage--but there are still a lot of people that it wouldn't serve adequately.

Put another way: Whether there are bike facilities or not on Hennepin, people will continue to bike on Hennepin. The question isn't whether they get to do that, the question is whether we recognize that and act accordingly, or whether we just shrug and accept that those people will be left unsafe.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby xandrex » May 9th, 2018, 9:26 am

Yeah, I almost feel like a lack of bike lanes is a dealbreaker for a reconstructed Hennepin. The Bryant Avenue Bike Boulevard is great, but it's really a bike boulevard for Lyndale, not Hennepin. By the time you get to the bulk of Uptown businesses along Hennepin (say, between 26th and 31st), Bryant is six blocks away (about 2000 feet, according to Google). Now, that's not really a terrible distance, but it would be like moving the Charles Avenue bike boulevard to Blair Avenue (again, around 2000 feet) and saying that it serves University well.

I'm not normally an anti parking sort of person, but I'd really rather give that up than sacrifice bus or bike lanes. So many Hennepin Avenue businesses have lots already, and it's just not that difficult to park around the corner. Plus, with bus stops, driveway curb cuts, fire hydrants, etc., there aren't all that many spots in the scheme of things.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby amiller92 » May 9th, 2018, 11:14 am

HiawathaGuy wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 3:11 pm
I thought the same thing. I get that Hennepin runs diagonal, which makes it the most efficient path - but moving the vast majority of people most efficiently along this limited corridor needs to be the highest priority.
Well, if it's moving the most people we're talking about, we should definitely be going with a bike-walk-transitway. Cars just take up too much space...

I don't know why I'm sort of okay with not including bike facilities, but maybe it's that it's already so not a place to bike that it doesn't seem crucial to make it one. But then so was Washington Ave SE.

I'm sure no one would complain if we just did away with street parking and used that space for a grade separated cycle track. :roll:

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby alexschief » May 9th, 2018, 11:26 am

If you don't have dedicated transit lanes, buses go slower, but they can still operate, and you're still getting the benefits of aBRT, with off-board payment, all door boarding, and signal priority. If you don't have dedicated bike lanes, bikes really cannot safely operate on the street at all.

That's the tradeoff. It takes far more space to build an excellent transitway than it does to build an excellent bikeway, and the former completely precludes the latter, while the latter still allows for generally excellent transit.
Last edited by alexschief on May 9th, 2018, 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby VacantLuxuries » May 9th, 2018, 11:28 am

Is there a reason why we're already assuming a loss on fighting for both and having the parking removed instead?

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby Bakken2016 » May 9th, 2018, 11:33 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 11:28 am
Is there a reason why we're already assuming a loss on fighting for both and having the parking removed instead?
THIS! Hennepin doesn't need street parking through uptown. There is plenty of ramps and parking in the neighborhoods, prioritize moving people instead of storage of vehicles!

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby VacantLuxuries » May 9th, 2018, 11:46 am

Even when I'm driving on Hennepin, I hate the parking. I never know when traffic is going to grind to a halt because someone sucks at parallel parking in front of the vape store.

Businesses and neighborhood orgs will undoubtedly whine, but the YIMBY/transit/biking contingent has been winning a lot of battles lately. I see no reason to roll over and assume we're stuck with the parking.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby minntransplant » May 9th, 2018, 11:52 am

Hennepin already has a lot of bike traffic. It would be interesting to see some counts, but I'd bet it has more bike traffic than 3rd Ave, and possibly more than 1st or LaSalle, all of which have dedicated lanes. It would be a huge mistake not to have one on Hennepin. It's like the argument people make regarding locating LRT lines - it makes more sense to route them where you already have users.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby MNdible » May 9th, 2018, 12:53 pm

VacantLuxuries wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 11:28 am
Is there a reason why we're already assuming a loss on fighting for both and having the parking removed instead?
Well, if we're using Matt's layout as the starting point, it already assumes losing parking in most locations. That's really not the trade-off.


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