Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
SurlyLHT
Target Field
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby SurlyLHT » August 22nd, 2017, 3:21 pm

I wonder if some sort of roundabout would work on Washington Ave N? Maybe at 6th or 3rd Ave? There just don't seem to be many good options for improving pedestrian safety for busy roads like this. I guess there is some evidence out there at roundabouts help. I live near E. Lake and Hiawatha and it seems like either you can't cross the road and have to wait a long time or that a whole bunch of cars have to stop so just a few people can cross. A roundabout would leave an area a refuge in the middle and would slow down cars. Design wise it could also help knit North Loop together.

SamtheBusNerd
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby SamtheBusNerd » August 31st, 2017, 10:30 am

Historical(ish) question here: Does anyone know why Minneapolis seems to have so much less of an interest/focus in streetscaping and actual sidewalks compared to some other cities in the midwest?

I've been noticing a lot of projects to replace curb ramps and traffic lights, and restripe crosswalks across the city but there don't seem to be any efforts currently going on to do streetcaping. I mean things like installing bump-outs, wider sidewalks, benches, decorative paving, landscaping and planters like you'd see in other cities. In places like Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago (as well as St Paul and plenty of smaller cities), these are normal parts of the street and make streets more comfortable places to walk. Are there reasons why theoretically more progressive Minneapolis isn't doing the same?

EOst
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby EOst » August 31st, 2017, 6:12 pm

You'd be amazed how much pushback someone can get when they want to put in a bench or a trash can.

MNdible
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby MNdible » September 1st, 2017, 8:41 am

My suspicion is that a big piece of this is a perception issue -- when you're visiting other cities, you're likely to be hanging out in the premier parts of the city, the areas focused on tourists, the areas that receive the most attention from boosters, etc.

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Sacrelicio
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Sacrelicio » September 1st, 2017, 8:58 am

MNdible wrote:
September 1st, 2017, 8:41 am
My suspicion is that a big piece of this is a perception issue -- when you're visiting other cities, you're likely to be hanging out in the premier parts of the city, the areas focused on tourists, the areas that receive the most attention from boosters, etc.
Yeah but even St Paul seems to be better at this. And what are the premier parts of Minneapolis where there are pavers and benches and other nice things? I mean we have nice parks but your average street, even in the most popular areas, isn't that attractive.

amiller92
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby amiller92 » September 1st, 2017, 9:21 am

They did some of this when they rebuilt Minnehaha. And there are a few neighborhoods with neighbor-hood branded bike parking. Eat Street has little flag-sign thingies.

Oh, and there's a really expensive one being rebuilt downtown right now.

Yeah, there's a lot more that could be done.

MNdible
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby MNdible » September 1st, 2017, 9:30 am

Most of the Special Service Districts have enhanced streetscaping associated with them.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby seanrichardryan » September 1st, 2017, 1:13 pm

MNdible wrote:
September 1st, 2017, 8:41 am
My suspicion is that a big piece of this is a perception issue -- when you're visiting other cities, you're likely to be hanging out in the premier parts of the city, the areas focused on tourists, the areas that receive the most attention from boosters, etc.
This is the perennial problem with all city-city comparisons on this forum.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

phop
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby phop » September 1st, 2017, 1:29 pm

Hmm, I don't have hard data, but it seems like Minneapolis is retrofitting intersections with bump-outs at a much higher rate city-wide than St. Paul these days.

DanPatchToget
Rice Park
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby DanPatchToget » October 21st, 2017, 11:44 am

http://www.startribune.com/bloomington- ... 452101553/

I am very familiar with that area. No way motorists will stop even with signs and crosswalk markings, and the fact that motorists often drive 40 miles per hour through there even though the speed limit is 35. I hope the city puts in signals.

Here's where the accident happened-https://www.google.com/maps/@44.811749, ... 312!8i6656

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Tiller
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Tiller » October 21st, 2017, 12:20 pm

Yeah, basically every road in Bloomington is overbuilt and could really use a road diet.

LearningAsIGo
Block E
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby LearningAsIGo » November 19th, 2017, 6:45 pm

mattaudio wrote:
February 27th, 2017, 3:23 pm
Yeah, this is totally fine, but why not include a stair or ramp on each end facing 6th St in addition to the ramps from 5th?
I was wondering this also, and I know it was brought up to the MNDOT project contacts at the July 13 design open house. One problem is the lack of sidewalks along the I-35W sides north/south streets (both named 9th Ave SE, confusingly) in the block between 5th St and 6th St...

LearningAsIGo
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby LearningAsIGo » November 19th, 2017, 6:56 pm

Quick note: The redesigned 8th St SE between 15th Ave SE and Central, especially the segment between 15th Ave SE and 10th Ave SE, feels so much more inviting to interact with and cross as a pedestrian than it did a year ago. The parking lane on the south (eastbound) side of the road was removed, allowing width for striped bike lanes (much appreciated improvement), but most importantly to me, clearing sight-lines so that pedestrians can actually observe oncoming vehicles... and allowing drivers to actually see pedestrians before they are in the travel lane. This area frequently had vehicles parked right up to the corners such that pedestrians were peeking out at the roadway from behind cars. I don't know, it just feels a lot better now.

grant1simons2
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby grant1simons2 » December 5th, 2017, 12:23 pm

Holy heck this is turning into a really good project for North Loop

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/gro ... 207041.pdf

David Greene
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby David Greene » December 5th, 2017, 12:59 pm

Wow, that's so great! Never knew there was such a thing as wood pavers. I hope we can save and re-use some of them.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 5th, 2017, 1:09 pm

Agreed, although I'm fairly disappointed to see a lack of sidewalk-level bike facilities on 5th Ave. These streets and intersections will all obviously be much calmer after this project, but 5th is wide enough to fit them in (yes, I'm more open to the idea of losing~16 on-street parking spaces to do it if need be). This stretch is really important for people getting to/from the light rail/stadium.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 6th, 2017, 12:16 pm

After a day thinking about this, I actually am more disappointed about the project on the whole. Yes, these designs check the "good sidewalk, bulb-out, street-tree, etc" list. The pavers will mean drivers go slow. Lanes are narrowed. It's all the core things you expect in a good street.

But, these are streets that carry literally 650 cars a day (per the city's CBR document). They have 600-700 peds a day. It's insane that 3rd St, 7th & 5th Aves (plus 6th Ave N, which isn't touched in this project) are MSAS routes (though the project doesn't anticipate using MSAS money). Other than maybe 6th or 5th Ave (but not both), none of these streets need to have dedicated car sections, certainly not 2-lanes in each direction for the full length of every block. The design still has many street sections with just 6-9 feet of sidewalk space for walking.

This neighborhood is insanely walkable, with a good mix of singles, retirees, and even families. We constantly hear how the North Loop is lacking some quality public spaces, particularly as you get further from the river. I refuse to use the W word, but these streets can and should look more like this or this or this. Curbless (with ADA-compliant tactile markers between the sides and the drive portions as well as more frequent smooth concrete crossing points). It would still meet the district's guidelines through re-use of pavers and maintaining access to loading docks. We could still fit in parking, but maybe less of it. We'd figure out plowing (this would be a good test ground for if we wanted to use this model, say, elsewhere). I dunno, this would be a massive wasted opportunity to just do an improved version of the sidewalk/boulevard/paved street lined with parking design that's ubiquitous in this country.

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Sacrelicio
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Sacrelicio » December 6th, 2017, 3:51 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 12:16 pm
After a day thinking about this, I actually am more disappointed about the project on the whole. Yes, these designs check the "good sidewalk, bulb-out, street-tree, etc" list. The pavers will mean drivers go slow. Lanes are narrowed. It's all the core things you expect in a good street.

But, these are streets that carry literally 650 cars a day (per the city's CBR document). They have 600-700 peds a day. It's insane that 3rd St, 7th & 5th Aves (plus 6th Ave N, which isn't touched in this project) are MSAS routes (though the project doesn't anticipate using MSAS money). Other than maybe 6th or 5th Ave (but not both), none of these streets need to have dedicated car sections, certainly not 2-lanes in each direction for the full length of every block. The design still has many street sections with just 6-9 feet of sidewalk space for walking.

This neighborhood is insanely walkable, with a good mix of singles, retirees, and even families. We constantly hear how the North Loop is lacking some quality public spaces, particularly as you get further from the river. I refuse to use the W word, but these streets can and should look more like this or this or this. Curbless (with ADA-compliant tactile markers between the sides and the drive portions as well as more frequent smooth concrete crossing points). It would still meet the district's guidelines through re-use of pavers and maintaining access to loading docks. We could still fit in parking, but maybe less of it. We'd figure out plowing (this would be a good test ground for if we wanted to use this model, say, elsewhere). I dunno, this would be a massive wasted opportunity to just do an improved version of the sidewalk/boulevard/paved street lined with parking design that's ubiquitous in this country.
I cross 3rd street pretty frequently. Drivers go fast, and most don't slow down for pedestrians. I agree, we could do a whole lot more.

DanPatchToget
Rice Park
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby DanPatchToget » December 18th, 2017, 10:42 pm

Got an email from MnDOT about results for a survey from 2016, there were nearly 200 respondents. One of the highlights:
-"Almost half of the respondents believe their community is safe or very safe for bicycling"

Perhaps I'm looking at this as a glass half empty, but they make it sound like a good thing but to me this is nowhere near progress.

tmart
Landmark Center
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby tmart » December 18th, 2017, 11:13 pm

That does sound bad. My questions would be:

1. How does that compare to the same stat a decade ago? If it's a marked improvement, then it means we're on the right track, even if we're late in starting or slow in progressing.

2. Are those 50% concentrated in certain communities, or spread out throughout the state? If it's the former, then it suggests that there are certain bike-friendly communities which have largely been the beneficiaries of bike infra improvements, along with large swaths of auto-only communities which haven't received improvements. It's a bit of a positive feedback loop, and improving on that ratio would require lots of political will to expand bike infra into, and in some cases entirely reconfigure and rezone, lots of bike-hostile areas.


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