Twin Cities Underground Rail

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Minnekid
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby Minnekid » December 4th, 2013, 10:58 pm

I emailed Connie Kozlak about what has been going on with the underground rail proposal. We talked and she explained what I was thinking, Minneapolis is not dense enough for underground rail. Don't get me wrong, I would really like to see Minneapolis have a subway system, but I knew it is not really an option yet because of density. But that is just one part, the other part is cost. I don't like that she used that because even though it is more costly than light rail, it is much faster and secluded from the weather, being a more likable option for people.

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woofner
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby woofner » December 5th, 2013, 12:53 pm

You should ask Connie Kozlak why the airport was dense enough for underground rail. You should ask her how much denser SDSU or Midtown Buffalo is than Minneapolis. While you're at it, ask her how many denser job centers there are in the world than Minneapolis' CBD. I bet the answer is less than 25, and than all of those 25 except maybe one or two in the USA have underground rail (Dallas might be the only exception, but Minneapolis may edge out Dallas in terms of density).

I don't know if these planners just say that shit because they think we're rubes or because they themselves are rubes, but a) there are plenty of reasons to build tunnels besides density and b) if Downtown Minneapolis isn't dense enough to justify a tunnel, then no place is. If there's anything holding back a tunnel in Downtown Minneapolis, it's the fact that there are 3-lane one-ways and enormous parking ramps everywhere making it really easy and appealing to drive there.
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David Greene
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby David Greene » December 5th, 2013, 1:52 pm

woofner wrote:\If there's anything holding back a tunnel in Downtown Minneapolis, it's the fact that there are 3-lane one-ways and enormous parking ramps everywhere making it really easy and appealing to drive there.
And then there's that cost thing...

MNdible
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby MNdible » December 5th, 2013, 2:10 pm

It's one thing to justify underground rail in downtown Minneapolis -- I'd agree that its density means that it would be a justifiable expense. (Of course, just because something is justifiable doesn't mean there's financing or political will to achieve it).

Even with the much discussed magic geology of Minneapolis, I still think it's difficult to justify the costs of underground rail outside of the CBD and perhaps a few other select locations.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 5th, 2013, 2:16 pm

MNdible wrote:Even with the much discussed magic geology of Minneapolis, I still think it's difficult to justify the costs of underground rail outside of the CBD and perhaps a few other select locations.
Like, Kenilworth? ;)

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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby MNdible » December 5th, 2013, 2:19 pm

Kenilworth would not make it onto my list of justifiable underground rail locations, no.

But I also won't fight it if it's what's needed to get the line built in my lifetime.

HuskyGrad
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby HuskyGrad » December 5th, 2013, 2:41 pm

woofner wrote:You should ask Connie Kozlak why the airport was dense enough for underground rail. You should ask her how much denser SDSU or Midtown Buffalo is than Minneapolis.
The tunnel was most likely built as the most efficient connect between the two terminals and nothing to do with density.

In the future I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see the light rail move beneath the streets if the current and future lines drive the need to reduce headway.

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby Suburban Outcast » December 5th, 2013, 3:00 pm

I think the consensus would be underground rail only for a mile or a bit longer in the densest part of the downtown core under Nicollet, along with the making Blue Line underground between the Warehouse District and DT East/Metrodome stations later after about 15-20 years. But that would at least be a $300 million project at least though, right?

I would like a medium-capacity system/light metro link similar to SkyTrain between Uptown and NE via Hennepin and Nicollet Mall, but I don't know who how a $800M-1 billion (guesstimate) rail link only serving the inner city would go with federal and state funding along with support (I'm guessing not well - suburban communities would whine, inner-city neighborhood businesses and residents probably wouldn't like the road network disruption on Hennepin when building underground).

As much as I like the city's pre-war suburban neighborhoods surrounding a few urban enclaves, that 7,000 overall ppsm kills our chances of having fully or mostly underground rail lines. We'd need a lot more neighborhoods with at least 10,000 ppsm to even have a mostly elevated transit line, and/or just flat out more public support for increases in transit funding like Calgary. Most of the C-Train is above-ground, but has more lavish stations and is an attractive option that is able to entice suburban commuters to use it (along with Calgary's high parking rates - although here I am afraid increasing parking prices that astronomically high here in DT Minneapolis would just ship off more people to the 494 strip). I wish that Canadian mentality Minnesotans get compared to would also pertain to include the willingness for more public transit and actually going through and building it.

twincitizen
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby twincitizen » December 5th, 2013, 3:38 pm

Midtown Corridor is going to be our subway line. We just have to live with that. Perhaps someday in the distant future we can find the $ to run a tunnel under Lyndale or Hennepin and create a Purple Line (or whatever you prefer) that runs from West Lake to downtown/ wherever the tunnel ends.

I guess, for the same money, I'd rather leave the existing 5th St LRT corridor at grade and spend the dough on a N-S tunnel instead. Better stoplight timing and (hopefully, eventually) less auto traffic downtown at peak hours will speed the 5th St corridor up enough to where a tunnel would only be a marginal improvement.

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby Suburban Outcast » December 5th, 2013, 3:57 pm

The N-S corridor would definitely be the priority line, then we can just make Nicollet Mall into a bike/pedestrian mall. They could always leave enough room in the transfer station on Nicollet/5th for the possibility of the Green Line or any other W-E line going underground.

That being said, the focus should probably be looking towards the surface for more grade-separated lines even for streetcars and buses, at least in downtown. We could always make more 3-lane one ways into 2-lanes with a transit lane with enhanced stations. It doesn't really matter if it's 2 or 3 lanes, driving in downtown is going to suck anyways imo.

Chauncey87
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby Chauncey87 » December 5th, 2013, 7:50 pm

Minneapolis and most of the metro happens to be one of the most tunnel friendly cities in the country if not even the world. To me that means the TBM would be able to tunnel faster and more cost efficient. While a subway in Minneapolis would cost a lot it would be cheaper then building the same subway in say SF. You also get the side benefit of being able to cut out the redundant bus routes, giving metro transit planers the choice of keeping the savings or expanding bus service on other routes.

The ideal subway station would be around 700-800 feet long. While at first you might not want to run full length trains. It's saving you the cost of buying extra rolling stock giving you more upfront savings. Just like how the Blue line started out. One should never underestimate just how much a subway would really make Minneapolis jump into a higher global light.

UptownSport
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby UptownSport » December 5th, 2013, 7:55 pm

My guess is there's enough willingness to cram SW thru that they'd pay for it to be that North- South underground line if that's what it took.
Minneapolis would certainly then be 'on board!'

ECtransplant
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby ECtransplant » December 5th, 2013, 11:18 pm

MNdible wrote:Kenilworth would not make it onto my list of justifiable underground rail locations, no.

But I also won't fight it if it's what's needed to get the line built in my lifetime.
But what if fighting it gets a better line built in your lifetime?

MNdible
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby MNdible » December 5th, 2013, 11:28 pm

ECtransplant wrote:But what if fighting it gets a better line built in your lifetime?


If you're trying to bait me into another 3A vs. 3C debate, it's not going to happen.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 6th, 2013, 10:26 am

MNdible wrote:
ECtransplant wrote:But what if fighting it gets a better line built in your lifetime?


If you're trying to bait me into another 3A vs. 3C debate, it's not going to happen.
Damn, I had my popcorn ready! :)

UptownSport
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby UptownSport » December 6th, 2013, 12:09 pm

Didn't mean to do 3x alignment argument thread.
That situation does instruct us that there's willingness for tunneling, but not for where most would think a tunnel would be.

I know it's hard to separate, isolate that tunnel from that larger SW argument that's become pretty emotional and polarized.

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Anondson
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby Anondson » December 6th, 2013, 12:35 pm

What is the precise depth, area, volume, and size of the cavern system below downtown Minneapois? Would it interfere with such tunneling?

UptownSport
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby UptownSport » December 6th, 2013, 3:06 pm


UptownSport
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby UptownSport » December 9th, 2013, 11:57 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metro_systems- Not to be a jerk, but notice powerhouses like Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic, Greece, Egypt and etc. have undergrounds!
There's also talk of S-Bahn, and lesser expensive Medium capacity systems.

As Woof pointed out, there's certainly cities on that list with less density (and GDP) that have undergrounds.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Twin Cities Underground Rail

Postby FISHMANPET » December 9th, 2013, 12:02 pm

The US can't build rail cheaply. I don't know if it's work rules (apparently a tunnel machine that takes 24 people to run in NYC only takes 9 in Spain) or what, but tunneling is way more expensive for us. Also I bet our wages are better than places like Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic, Greece, Egypt, etc.


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