Ayd Mill Road

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
talindsay
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby talindsay » August 30th, 2019, 2:45 pm

Just a note that Google *LOVES* Ayd Mill Road. Getting from any part of Minneapolis near Lake Street to anything in the general vicinity of Eagan, Apple Valley, Rosemount, etc., Google will send you on Ayd Mill Road 100% of the time. My wife and I joke that it would probably send us to Duluth via Ayd Mill Road.

As I was driving down Ayd Mill Road this morning per Google's instructions it got me thinking about how much Google damages the design of highway systems because most of us would choose to follow the major arterials meant to funnel traffic if left to our own understanding of the maps, but Google chooses what it thinks is the fastest overall route, regardless of what kind of street, how complicated the routing, etc. So it sends traffic on side streets, down secondary roads, across dirt roads, etc. I generally know the Cities well enough not to seek Google's opinion on how to get there, but when I ask the routes are always stranger than what I'd end up with, even if they are faster.

EOst
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby EOst » August 31st, 2019, 9:58 am

Didier wrote:
August 30th, 2019, 12:59 am
And lastly, just an observation as someone who has cruised up Ayd Mill my share of times, cutting the road down to two lanes would leave a ton of space in that corridor. Frankly there’s more than enough space to add a wide pathway now, without removing the road, if we really wanted to. So there’s probably another level of planning needed to really define what this space is going to be.
Presumably you're talking about the space on the east side of the road? None of that is usable because it is owned by the Canadian Pacific railroad, which sued to prevent St. Paul from taking the land for a trail. There is some space on the west side of the road, but the grade would make that a difficult project (to say nothing of getting people across the on/off ramps).

David Greene
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby David Greene » August 31st, 2019, 7:38 pm

Freakin' 19th century railroad laws.

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at40man
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby at40man » February 12th, 2020, 1:59 pm

https://www.twincities.com/2020/02/12/p ... blic-works

How would a mill and overlay be less expensive? The entire road needs to be re-engineered, and overlay seems to just be kicking the can down the road due to some fundamental issues of where and how it is constructed.

At this point, I'd be in favor of eliminating the road altogether except for a bike/pedestrian path.

EOst
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby EOst » February 12th, 2020, 2:46 pm

at40man wrote:
February 12th, 2020, 1:59 pm
How would a mill and overlay be less expensive? The entire road needs to be re-engineered, and overlay seems to just be kicking the can down the road due to some fundamental issues of where and how it is constructed.
This is correct. It's unfortunate the article wasn't able to deal with this in more nuance. The biggest cost drivers for this project are drainage, signals, and lighting. The original mill and overlay estimate included none of those, but all would have to be addressed to varying extents even if the city pursued a project with no multimodal improvements.

alexschief
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby alexschief » February 13th, 2020, 8:33 am

The best solution here is to rip the bandaid off and close the road entirely.

St. Paul cannot afford to maintain this road. The road causes traffic safety issues and pollution in St. Paul neighborhoods while providing marginal benefit for St. Paul residents. Any attempt to maintain the status quo will only increase costs down the line. Mayor Carter is early in his term, coming off a big victory in the Trash Warz, with a city council that is more amendable than ever to urban issues. Close the road and start a community process to envision a new future for the gulch.

David Greene
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby David Greene » February 13th, 2020, 11:20 am

Curious about what kind of traffic safety and pollution issues there are with a completely grade-separated road that IME rarely is congested.

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alexschief
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby alexschief » February 13th, 2020, 12:01 pm

The traffic safety issues primarily occur at the Selby and Snelling intersection, where the four lane highway becomes a two lane local road, and a ton of people are trying to cut through from AMR to I-94. The pollution issues occur because cars emit tons of particulate matter that is harmful to human health.

Didier
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby Didier » February 13th, 2020, 7:16 pm

In my experience congestion at Snelling and Selby even during rush hour is never really that bad.

alexschief
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby alexschief » February 14th, 2020, 8:14 am

No, I don't think the congestion is too bad. But I didn't mention congestion, I mentioned traffic safety. I know at least two people who were hit by cars and injured at this intersection, and have personally had countless close calls. It's an intersection with high numbers of pedestrians, mixing with high numbers of cars who are trying to cut between freeways. It's a bad situation, and it would go away if Ayd Mill Road were closed.

David Greene
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby David Greene » February 14th, 2020, 8:24 am

Would it though? Or would it just create more dangerous intersections further down Snelling or on other local roads? What's your opinion on connecting AYM directly to 94?

As for pollution, those cars are going to go somewhere. The pollution won't just go away by closing one road. It could actually get worse if local roads become more congested.

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alexschief
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby alexschief » February 14th, 2020, 9:48 am

If you closed Ayd Mill Road, local travelers would stay on local roads (which have safer designs and slower speeds), interstate travelers would stay on the interstate (getting to downtown Minneapolis via alternatives like Hwy 55), and a good amount of traffic would simply disappear as people opt for different types of trips. This exact thing has occurred countless times, it is a really well-established phenomenon.

If you extended Ayd Mill Road, you'd solve the problem at Snelling and Selby, but for the cost of significant property takings and increased VMT.

It's not worth it. Just close the road.

amiller92
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby amiller92 » February 14th, 2020, 10:30 am

David Greene wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 8:24 am
Would it though? Or would it just create more dangerous intersections further down Snelling or on other local roads?
Those roads won't involve people going from freeway to a short stretch of city streets and right back on the freeway. Just watch how people drive (or how you likely drive) immediately after they leave the freeway. Especially on our typical over-built streets, it's psychologically really hard to slow down.
As for pollution, those cars are going to go somewhere.
How is this a thing that still gets said, here of all places, in 2020?

bubzki2
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby bubzki2 » February 14th, 2020, 12:10 pm

As a daily ped at Snelling/Selby and Selby/Saratoga -- vehicular traffic is highly volatile and drivers are rarely scanning for peds here. They have many conflict points and are usually transitioning from freeway to city street mentality (if it happens at all). Very dangerous. Also lighting is piss-poor along Selby in particular, but also Snelling.

Congestion at rush hour is real, but AMR is seldom backed up. When it is, it's because of the pinch-point ends (which would stay either way).

David Greene
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Re: RE: Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby David Greene » February 14th, 2020, 12:23 pm


amiller92 wrote:
How is this a thing that still gets said, here of all places, in 2020?
Because we're talking about a very specific road and fairly unique situation. If AMR really has little benefit for St. Paul residents then most of the traffic is cut-through, non-local trips. Eliminating the road won't eliminate those trips. People need to go to work, etc. and if transit/bike were viable for those trips presumably it would already be being used.

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amiller92
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Re: RE: Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby amiller92 » February 14th, 2020, 1:23 pm

David Greene wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 12:23 pm
amiller92 wrote:
How is this a thing that still gets said, here of all places, in 2020?
Because we're talking about a very specific road and fairly unique situation. If AMR really has little benefit for St. Paul residents then most of the traffic is cut-through, non-local trips. Eliminating the road won't eliminate those trips. People need to go to work, etc. and if transit/bike were viable for those trips presumably it would already be being used.

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You're going to need more if you want me to believe that in this particular instance, people will not respond to incentives. Okay, not just more, because it's not really possible.

Some of those trips will go elsewhere (different route or different mode). Others will go away. This isn't controversial.

Non-local trips seem especially likely to change with changed incentives. You can't not go to your home but you can pick a different destination or route, work from home or get a different job that's easier to get to.

ETA: "Everyone who could not drive (or not drive in this particular spot) already isn't" is just mind-blowingly counter-factual in our car-dominated built environment. Very few people with the option of not driving are doing it. It's almost always way easier to drive.

QuietBlue
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby QuietBlue » February 14th, 2020, 2:05 pm

I don't drive on Ayd Mill that much, but for when I do, I have trouble envisioning where transit would work well as an alternative, given the existing network. In those situations, I would most likely just exit/enter 35E at another location and take alternate local streets. I imagine most other people would do this too.

If St.Paul wants to close Ayd Mill, that's their prerogative. But I agree with David that, theories and concepts aside, most of the traffic will just go somewhere else rather than disappear.

amiller92
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby amiller92 » February 14th, 2020, 2:15 pm

Yeah, you can use vague words like "most" as though you're refuting the point, but you aren't. If you really think as much as 49% of the trips might go away, that's a great case for closing the road.

But even I think it's likely that "most" trips will be rerouted. So what? The city can't afford to maintain it and it's most useful for through trips that can go elsewhere. It's not a hard call.

EOst
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby EOst » February 14th, 2020, 3:00 pm

Considering the difficulty of getting 4 votes on the council to even discuss reducing lanes...

QuietBlue
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Re: Ayd Mill Road

Postby QuietBlue » February 14th, 2020, 4:20 pm

I understand the money argument for closing it, especially in light of the city's finances. I think that, by itself, is enough justification.

That said, I also don't think that closing it is going to do much to reduce car travel in the area. There are still other ways to drive in the area without it and I don't see it by itself as enough incentive to cause much change. Removing Ayd Mill basically makes a trip that would use it take five minutes longer.


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