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

Posted: December 23rd, 2013, 12:06 pm
by woofner
Cam Gordon's latest newsletter says the following:
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has decided to close I-94 entrance ramp that currently exits onto 5th Street in downtown and construct a new exit onto 7th. As part of the process the ramp will become city property, and the 2014 budget includes money to repurpose that ramp into a much smaller road and significant pedestrian connection from the West Bank, near the Cedar Riverside Hiawatha LRT station, into downtown near the football stadium. The Mayor is proposing that we name this new link between Downtown and the West Bank "Samatar Crossing" in honor of Hussein Samatar, who came to the West Bank from Somalia speaking no English, became a successful banker, helped many small businesses through his African Development Center, and served on the Library Board and School Board before dying earlier this year. I am supportive of this idea and also of fully utilizing the additional land on the ramp. One potential use for excess land includes a skateboard park. The advisory committee working on the public realm around the stadium is expected to take this up as part of their considerations.
I couldn't find any mention of this item in the Mayor's Recommended Budget, although there is $10m in 2015 for the construction of the 7th St ramp from I-94. I wonder if Cam has his dates messed up, as it doesn't really make sense to close the old ramp before building the new one, plus the 5th St project seems to be headed towards shoddy planning with little public process if it is to be built in 2014. Personally I would oppose regular motor vehicle traffic access on Samatar Crossing, as there is little need and it would exacerbate the already complicated intersection at 15th & 6th with the LRT crossing there. A skateboard park would be cool, except you're basically dooming any regular user to lung cancer thanks to the combination of heavy breathing and a massive cloud of particulate matter wafting from the freeway. Seems like there isn't much useful you can do with the leftover ramp until you're willing to pump a lot of money into doing more freeway decking.

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: December 26th, 2013, 11:48 am
by woofner
Alright guys, I know you were on the edge of your seats on this one. So I think I found the Samatar Crossing money in the Public Works budget:
West Bank Interconnect Project General Fund: $500,000
This project will examine the transportation alternatives proposed for the West Bank corridor.
Sensibly it is just in the planning stage at this point. I hope that as long as we are "planning" we consider the possibility/cost/benefit of decking over 35W all the way from the 6th St ramp to the Green Line LRT bridge (and in individual segments). An extension of Currie Park to the LRT wye would make sense, and even extending all the way to the corner of 6th & 13th would potentially stimulate some development in that corner of Elliot Park. On the other hand, maybe that corner would make more sense for future development space, given the degree of separation from the rest of the park caused by the LRT tracks.

Re: Rumors!

Posted: December 30th, 2013, 3:15 pm
by PhilmerPhil
Live video: http://www.kare11.com/videos/news/2013/11/20/3650815/

EDIT: From what I caught, no new suprises for us, just an official announcement of Samatar Crossing

Re: Rumors!

Posted: December 30th, 2013, 3:31 pm
by bubzki2
So, 7th St. connection from I-94 and land for skate park allocation?

Re: Rumors!

Posted: December 30th, 2013, 3:35 pm
by gpete
Yeah, he announced some sort of downtown skate park (Wells Fargo will be involved in this). I'm sketchy on the details of the skate park--I missed part of the press conference.

Re: Rumors!

Posted: December 30th, 2013, 4:47 pm
by John
Great news with an improved connection to downtown from the West Bank :) My biggest hope is they will make it a pedestrian and bike pathway and leave the cars out!

Re: Rumors!

Posted: December 30th, 2013, 4:52 pm
by MNdible
Aside from regular missionary zeal, I'm a bit baffled why people are so insistent that there be no cars as part of this connection. If you're really trying to make a meaningful connection between downtown and this isolated neighborhood, eliminating a mode of transport that accommodates the vast majority of the trips seems likes a strange option to take.

Re: Rumors!

Posted: December 30th, 2013, 6:44 pm
by twincitizen
I'm not anti-cars in this location, but we'd better spend the money to make the LRT crossing extra double safe. The extremely acute turn just car lengths from the LRT crossing is sure to make many engineers cringe.

If we aim to implement this in 2017 or whatever, it will probably be bike/ped only, unless MNDOT is kicking in some serious cash to help with this conversion.


Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 11:37 am
by MSPtoMKE
Additional information about this has been posted on the city website, including a proposed layout. It includes motor vehicle access, with separate bike and pedestrian paths. However, the bike and pedestrian paths combine into a multi-use path over the I-35W bridge due to right-of-way constraints. The intersection with 15th Ave is not as awkward as I assumed it would have to be. In theory, construction could begin this year.

Project Page: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/cip/2016/WCMSP-173830

Layout: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups ... 173843.pdf

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 11:45 am
by grant1simons2
Wow those existing conditions are worse than I thought. I hope this gets done by the fall!

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 12:06 pm
by Wedgeguy
Will be interested to see how this works once they have it completed. Hope it is done before fall.

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 12:47 pm
by amiller92
Well, that could really change the character of 15th, which has been a quite street to bike on while trying to cross btw the West Bank and downtown.

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 12:50 pm
by PhilmerPhil
This was originally supposed to be a linear park including a skatepark. :(

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 12:59 pm
by froggie
This was originally supposed to be a linear park including a skatepark.
Said who/which entity?

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 2:41 pm
by twincitizen
MSPtoMKE wrote:The intersection with 15th Ave is not as awkward as I assumed it would have to be.
Agreed, the geometry is better than I imagined it would be. However, it also looks as though that change will increase project costs in order to shift the roadway as it approaches 15th Ave.

I've never been dead set against a vehicle connection here, but have not been particular in favor of it either, due to major safety concerns - both for peds/bikes crossing and for drivers causing train-car crashes. Even with the improved geometry and intersection controls, the increased likelihood of car-train collisions just seems too great to be "worth it" for whatever small increase in connectivity for cars.

Even with the improved geometry, this is what a driver will have to cross, after making the left turn from 5th to 15th Ave: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9685706 ... 312!8i6656 (LOL @ 666 address)

A left turn followed immediately by trail / 2 tracks / trail. Yikes.
Yes there is a gate arm for the train, but damn that is a lot for drivers to process all in one movement.

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 2:43 pm
by PhilmerPhil

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 2:56 pm
by amiller92
twincitizen wrote:I've never been dead set against a vehicle connection here, but have not been particular in favor of it either, due to major safety concerns - both for peds/bikes crossing and for drivers causing train-car crashes. Even with the improved geometry and intersection controls, the increased likelihood of car-train collisions just seems too great to be "worth it" for whatever small increase in connectivity for cars.
I don't have a good feel for how much car traffic this would see. On the one hand, it seems like not very much, but then why do it? On the other, there are so few direct connections between downtown and this part of town, maybe it will be a lot, in which case, isn't it going to be dangerous?

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 3:29 pm
by Anondson
Hmm. We could fit the promised skate park in that vacated off ramp space the design shows being converted to vegetation, maybe?

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 4:17 pm
by RailBaronYarr
We talked about this at the PAC infrastructure meeting last night. We had similar concerns about the vehicle travel lanes across the bridge, which force a somewhat tight MUP and may cause issues near the LRT station. On the whole, though, it meets the city's goals of reconnecting the grid where possible, which doesn't mean only peds/bikes. They didn't have an expected AADT for this stretch, but they did say final design elements on either side of the bridge would be used to keep traffic calmed. I don't know, I think given the T at the Viking's stadium and difficulty crossing the tracks on the other side (plus dealing with lights), this won't be heavily-used. On the west side of 35W, much less than the freeway off-ramp which sees 9,200 vehicles today.

Re: Samatar Crossing

Posted: February 19th, 2016, 6:12 pm
by twincitizen
For your consideration: a blanket truck ban on this new street. As I spelled out above, this is going to be a tricky intersection already. Let's maybe not allow large vehicles with poor visibility.