Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit from 94 / bridge over 35W)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
EOst
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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby EOst » July 27th, 2016, 1:40 pm

But the original concept for this crossing was more of a linear park than a grid connection, with extensive greening and new neighborhood amenities. Remember, the Hiawatha Trail crossing is narrow, barren, circuitous, and basically shade-free. If this were a pedestrian-only space, with benches and a little more greening than envisioned, you could imagine this becoming a really interesting place to walk and sit and play. If you asked for and expected that, and were instead offered a road to funnel thousand(s?) of cars down a low-traffic street next to a park (plus a mixed-use trail because we're so progressive and green!) is pretty galling.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby MNdible » July 27th, 2016, 1:47 pm

Right, because people are really looking for places to lounge about above one of the busiest freeway interchanges in the state. Sounds like a little slice of paradise, doesn't it?

EOst
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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby EOst » July 27th, 2016, 1:55 pm

A freeway interchange adjacent to a heavily-used park.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 28th, 2016, 8:47 am

I disagree the Hiawatha Trail is circuitous - but for a couple minor bends, it follows a straight diagonal path into the Mill District. If you're heading to points north of the stadium (a lot of people wanting to hit the river, the Dinkytown Greenway, all those new condos, etc), it's less circuitous than using the Samatar Crossing would be. And in either case you're gonna cross over two sets of train tracks. To be clear, a connection for bikes here makes a lot of sense. I just don't see it as a game changer for access to downtown.

I'm glad the neighborhood and CMs slowed this down. But I guess I agree that maybe an elevated slab of concrete above a freeway carrying 100,000 vehicles a day isn't the ideal place for people to sit and linger. It's unfortunate there's a park so close to all that noise and pollution, too - a freeway cap here deserves way more discussion than it's been getting. But the design presented (which could still be improved a bit) shows quite a bit of greenery on either side of the freeway crossing itself - boulevard space between the bike path and both the roadway and sidewalk. Maybe the city should pony up some money to get rid of the turn lane west of 35W, give even more space for benches and whatnot (though you're still right next to an electrical substation).

It's also hard to argue with the stated policy goals of the city to reconnect the grid wherever possible, including for vehicles. One of our biggest challenges in prioritizing transit, biking, walking on our major streets is that all traffic funnels to them to cross freeways (and yes, the river, but we have control over where and how many freeways we built). Right now, 6th St and 15th Ave carry 3,300 and 1,500 vehicles a day. I can only guess that 90% or more of that is generated by the area's residents. I can't imagine that this crossing, open to cars, would bring much through-traffic at all - navigating the new 5th St T intersection around a giant stadium, crossing LRT tracks, then waiting at the Cedar Light just doesn't seem worth it. Maybe a few people living between Franklin and Riverside might do it. Point is, if the traffic model predicts *thousands* of cars a day, they'll mostly be existing users of the local street grid IMO. The bigger deal here is calming 6th and 15th so any vehicles (including the ones already using it!) don't drive fast enough to kill kids using the park or people walking to the LRT stop.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby Silophant » July 28th, 2016, 8:53 am

Given that that layout shows them moving the curb to remove the parking lane and make space for the bike path, it doesn't seem like the marginal cost to move it further and get down to two lanes would be that much.

Or, just have that third lane be parking instead of a turn lane. That would work too, as far as I'm concerned.

mattaudio
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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby mattaudio » July 28th, 2016, 10:23 am

So why not make a grand trade here? Traffic lanes on the Samatar Bridge, in exchange for some meaningful traffic calming on the other streets which stand to lose some of their exclusivity if this alternative option existed.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby MNdible » July 28th, 2016, 11:27 am

That sounds like a perfectly reasonable approach.

Unfortunately, it seems like this has already gotten political (saw a recent post from Jacob Frey which showed him taking the no-car stance), so reasonable solutions will likely fall to the side in favor of things that make people feel warm and fuzzy.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby Tyler » September 23rd, 2016, 3:37 pm

Neighborhood meeting with Warsami/Frey.
THURSDAY, 9/29 | 7:00
normandy inn - 405 S. 8th street
Come and talk about TRAFFIC (oh noes)
Towns!

mattaudio
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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby mattaudio » September 23rd, 2016, 8:55 pm

Yeah, I always was a Stevie Winwood fan.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby Silophant » September 29th, 2016, 6:12 pm

Am I the only person here not representing the city or a neighborhood organization?

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby Silophant » September 29th, 2016, 7:19 pm

There are now two options.

Option A is similar to what was presented to the PAC, allowing vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes. It apparently now has separated bike and ped paths instead of the narrow MUP previously shown, presumably with narrowed vehicle lanes. No layout shown, though, so we'll see.

Option B is just peds and bikes, with a 12' bike path, a 15' sidewalk, and trees or something in the middle to soak up the extra space.

Opinion was more or less split, with older people tending to favor A and younger people B. Bob Fine spoke at length about an auto connection being important to allow people from Lowry Hill to drive in and patronize a market in the empty retail space in 515 on the Park.

One point that I hadn't previously realized: a vehicle connection would allow the Blue Line bus bridge to actually stop at Cedar-Riverside Station instead of way over by the Nomad.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby EOst » September 30th, 2016, 7:57 am

Silophant wrote:Bob Fine spoke at length about an auto connection being important to allow people from Lowry Hill to drive in and patronize a market in the empty retail space in 515 on the Park.
Literally the dumbest argument. For all five of those people, this would save... a couple minutes at best?

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby MNdible » September 30th, 2016, 8:49 am

Apparently the argument that the city has a long standing policy to repair an interconnected street grid doesn't get you anywhere, so you start grasping at straws.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby acs » September 30th, 2016, 8:51 am

But... but war on cars!

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby MNdible » September 30th, 2016, 8:57 am

It's more of a NIMBY thing.

EOst
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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby EOst » September 30th, 2016, 9:01 am

It's more of a traffic thing.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby MNdible » September 30th, 2016, 9:22 am

Same. Cul de sacs are great for pushing traffic somewhere else.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby mattaudio » September 30th, 2016, 9:35 am

MNdible wrote:long standing policy to repair an interconnected street grid.
This does repair an interconnected street grid. For all street users except those driving cars.

Also, as I'm sure you know, eliminating urban freeways would instantly allow for a significant repair of the street grid hundreds of times more impactful than this one street. I'm sure you're in favor of that, too.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby EOst » September 30th, 2016, 9:38 am

In the same way that every decision ever made has had both positive and negative consequences, yes.

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Re: Samatar Crossing (former 5th Street exit / bridge over I-94)

Postby MNdible » September 30th, 2016, 9:41 am

This urban freeway you want to get rid of -- is it the same one you keep saying that everybody should drive on when they eliminate lanes on parallel city streets?


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