Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Minneapolisite » August 27th, 2014, 7:44 pm

I'd still use an Orange Line that only hits up Lake and 46th to rush suburban commuters out of the city as fast as it possibly can, but in the winter I'm not going to be willing to walk or bike an extra 8-10 blocks to some destinations and lots of other people won't either.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby twincitizen » August 28th, 2014, 6:33 am

I actually don't want to see this line extended to Lakeville, like ever. I'm not sure there is ever going to be all day demand that far south into the suburbs. Burnsville Center will make an excellent terminal and transfer station for future suburban local service. Lakeville service from further down 35W can rely on transfers there...Lakeville is a long ass way from downtown. I assume the 465 Lakeville Express isn't going anywhere. The Orange Line really isn't likely to displace any existing express or local service anyways, as it's basically a massive upgrade of the existing route 535.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby woofner » August 28th, 2014, 5:35 pm

froggie wrote:
I'm assuming you're not disputing the need for a fast, limited stop transit service in the Nicollet corridor?
Not disputing that at all. What I am disputing is the need to add BRT stations along 35W at 38th and Franklin. As others have already noted, adding a BRT stop at Franklin would be very difficult if not impossible.
How can there be a fast, limited stop transit service that doesn't use the 35W corridor? How can this service be useful if it only stops every 2-4 miles? Can you cite a single successful fast, limited stop transit service that runs in mixed traffic and/or only stops every 2-4 miles? Sorry if my questions seem naive to some or rhetorical to others, but there seems to be an attitude here that because MnDot already built this corridor to be difficult to overlay a useful rapid transit service, we should all just throw up our hands. Which is exactly why MnDot built this corridor to be difficult to overlay a useful rapid transit service on.
HiawathaGuy wrote:Not that ramps can't be added to Franklin in the future - but the space is very tight with the upgrades (unbraiding) coming for the 2017-2019 timeframe.

Here's a shot of the proposed re-do as 35W approaches downtown and Franklin: https://i.imgur.com/1CDxYZ0.jpg
I zoomed in the image of the Franklin Ave bridge too: https://i.imgur.com/nPlaVKQ.jpg.
You can see that adding anything to 35W in this area, as planned, would be nearly impossible.
When/how was the public outreach process conducted for this project? Obviously they did it in a way that excludes transit as a part of the discussion and possibly even conflicts with their own planning process on the Orange Line (which is considering a transit overpass to/from Downtown Minneapolis).

Sorry if this is shrill, but it seems clear to me that in a process beginning at least with the 76th St bridge and possibly extending at least to the "unbraid" project, MnDot has systematically and methodically designed and built in a way that makes all but token rapid transit along 35W expensive. I hardly think I'm the only one on this board who has a stake in making the Twin Cities' transit system usable, so I'm somewhat shocked at the apathy expressed here.
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby twincitizen » August 29th, 2014, 8:09 am

I believe it was Iggy Azalea who famously said, "First things first, I'm a realist"

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby mulad » August 29th, 2014, 9:33 am

[The best part of that song is Charli XCX.]

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Mdcastle » August 31st, 2014, 9:10 pm

I don't see why there would be very much traffic from I-35W trough the tunnel to I-394 west- the only people that would to that would be people in south Minneapolis going to the western suburbs. If you live near 62 or anywhere south, then 62 to 100 (or 169 of 494) make more sense for going to the western suburbs and that's the route I always take. When I go through the tunnel it's to either north Minneapolis or the northern suburbs where 100 would be way out of my way.

The other three movements- I-35W to I-94 north, I-94 to I-94, and I-94 to I-394, are probably a lot higher in volume and these are the ones better served by a multi-lane left entrance.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby TommyT » September 8th, 2014, 9:19 am

Not sure where to post this, but a truck somehow ran into the 35W bridge over Lake St. this morning. A friend of mine posted these pictures to facebook and I stole them.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/127628835 ... 992979808/

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby MNdible » September 8th, 2014, 9:22 am

Wow -- that outer girder looks like it's toast. It's the bottom of the girders that do most of the work structurally. Just from the pictures, it looks like that will need to be completely replaced, which probably means some major emergency construction work.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby BoredAgain » September 8th, 2014, 2:59 pm

Mdcastle wrote:I don't see why there would be very much traffic from I-35W trough the tunnel to I-394 west- the only people that would to that would be people in south Minneapolis going to the western suburbs. If you live near 62 or anywhere south, then 62 to 100 (or 169 of 494) make more sense for going to the western suburbs and that's the route I always take. When I go through the tunnel it's to either north Minneapolis or the northern suburbs where 100 would be way out of my way.

The other three movements- I-35W to I-94 north, I-94 to I-94, and I-94 to I-394, are probably a lot higher in volume and these are the ones better served by a multi-lane left entrance.
I happen to be one of those people who lives in south Minneapolis and commutes to the western Suburbs along this very route every day. I agree with everything you just wrote, with these two additions.

1. I think this change will actually be an improvement for those of us westbound on 394. Making that will still require a single lane movement (left to right instead of right to left), but it keeps us out of the Hennepin/Lyndale exit mess.
2. The people hurt are the ones coming from 35W and trying to exit at Hennepin/Lyndale. With this change, they are supposed to weave across three lanes to reach the exit. This would be a nightmare if the corridor is at all congested. Exiting into downtown or at Lake Street instead don't seem like great alternatives.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby twincitizen » September 8th, 2014, 3:35 pm

If one's destination is south of 31st, I hope people are taking the relatively uncongested 35th/36th St exit. Hell, I live on 28th and I take the 35th/36th exit because westbound Lake St is so backed up at rush hour. Not to mention the freeway is so congested in the right lane, it's much less stressful to get off at 36th (if not 46th) and take local streets to your final destination. Visitors from outside the city are less likely to use that option.

If one's destination is further north towards 24th or Franklin, I still think exiting at 31st/Lake and cruising up 1st Ave S is pretty efficient.

Once that direct exit to 28th St opens up (and assuming 28th remains a one-way), I think a lot of motorists headed to Whittier/Wedge will use that 28th St exit (eastbound), make a quick left at 5th Ave S, and left again at 26th (or Franklin I suppose) to head back westbound. A couple of left turns added to the trip, but avoids Lake Street entirely. I could see northbound 5th Ave S getting extremely backed up at 26th St, so they'll probably have to adjust the light timing to give extra time to 5th. I suspect the light today gives heavy preference to traffic on 26th.

I hate to say it, but 5th Ave S, north of 28th anyways, should probably see some (small) improvements to acknowledge that it has a direct connection to 35W north & 94 east. I'm thinking something like eliminating parking on one side, and adding left turn lanes at major intersections (26th, Franklin) would be sufficient to reduce delay. I wouldn't want to create a speedway, but that street is way too narrow to support parking on both sides, plus two lanes of traffic, for a street that directly connects to the highway (in the northbound direction only). I suppose you could also make it a one-way in the northbound direction, north of 24th St (keeping it to a single traffic lane, however, with left turn lanes as needed).

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby MNdible » September 8th, 2014, 5:09 pm

A bit more information about the crash at the Lake Street bridge. Looks like the best bus stop in the world will be closed for a while.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby David Greene » September 9th, 2014, 1:54 pm

twincitizen wrote:If one's destination is south of 31st, I hope people are taking the relatively uncongested 35th/36th St exit. Hell, I live on 28th and I take the 35th/36th exit because westbound Lake St is so backed up at rush hour.
121/Lyndale/46th/King's Highway FTW!

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby twincitizen » September 10th, 2014, 7:15 pm


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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby grant1simons2 » September 10th, 2014, 7:23 pm

Temp boards to catch any falling rock? I would think they'd have to shut down some lanes to fix this and until they can do so they might as well make it a bit "safer". I saw them do this on the 169 bridge too and it was fixed soon after

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Tcmetro » September 10th, 2014, 7:26 pm

The lane closest to the edge of the bridge is the bus stop, and it will be closed until the repairs are done.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Tcmetro » September 16th, 2014, 9:17 am

Orange Line update, nothing really new.

http://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meeting ... pdate.aspx

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby twincitizen » September 17th, 2014, 2:53 pm

Mike Opat being a dickwad, nothing really new.

http://finance-commerce.com/2014/09/fun ... ange-line/

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby HiawathaGuy » September 17th, 2014, 3:02 pm

twincitizen wrote:Mike Opat being a dickwad, nothing really new.
No doubt. How is it possible that anyone on the CTIB Board is unable to see a full regional transit system picture?!
I would maybe expect this from a City or County commissioner, but not anyone on the CTIB Board. He annoys me with that statement. His hypocrisy is astounding (since he was the one who inked the deal for the Twins ballpark).

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Tcmetro » September 17th, 2014, 3:11 pm

Ugh. Orange Line has been on the drawing board for over a decade now (and perhaps two or three, if anyone wants to count the old LRT studies). It's a more than overdue project, provides a good bang-for-the-buck, and does a lot to connect to suburban centers.

Unfortunately there is a line of thinking within the regional planning atmosphere that anything that goes to downtown Minneapolis is solely benefiting Minneapolis. That certainly isn't wholly true, as these lines are overwhelmingly helping suburban communities continue to be attractive commuter towns. And there's plenty of stuff underway in the East Metro now.

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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Silophant » September 17th, 2014, 3:14 pm

So, Opat's equally against the Blue Line Extension that runs from his district to Downtown Minneapolis, because it'll just benefit Minneapolis, right? If he's gotta be a dick, I'd prefer him to at least be consistent.


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