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

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

Postby mattaudio » July 29th, 2015, 7:14 pm

I've wondered the same thing... we're already significantly redoing the braid and the entire freeway at this spot. Might as well depress it so we can get a normal bridge at 24th Street.

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

Postby Mikey » July 29th, 2015, 7:17 pm

acs wrote:So, to steer this marginally back on topic, if not at Franklin Ave, what other infill stations would be viable and useful along this line? I know they plan to make 66th an online station whenever that bridge is rebuilt, but how realistic would it be to have a station paralleling each of the ones along the blue line or at least somewhere around the 1~ mile stop spacing of the metro system?
38th definitely should be added whenever they finally replace the 42nd to 35th bridges. Maybe Minneapolis could agree with moving the 35th/36th ramps to 38th in exchange for the station.

66th really should be rebuilt as a median station when the time comes, along with BRT-only ramps directly to/from the HO/T lanes around 77th. That way the line would be median only north of 494

Not sure if there's a reason to infill a station around 90th. As far as extending it south, I liked the idea (I think it was Matt's) of running down Nicollet through HOtC and over a new bridge to the mall.

Also, would there be a future need to extend the line north? I'm thinking turning east from Marq2 along 3rd/4th back to 35W, with stations at University, Hennepin, etc
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Mikey » July 29th, 2015, 7:20 pm

mattaudio wrote:I've wondered the same thing... we're already significantly redoing the braid and the entire freeway at this spot. Might as well depress it so we can get a normal bridge at 24th Street.
It's probably a conspiracy to prevent the future freeway cap we'll want from 24th to 26th ;)
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby seanrichardryan » July 29th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Mikey wrote:...

38th definitely should be added whenever they finally replace the 42nd to 35th bridges. Maybe Minneapolis could agree with moving the 35th/36th ramps to 38th in exchange for the station.
...c
That's already been vetted and is unfortunately out of the planning process.
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby Mikey » July 29th, 2015, 7:41 pm

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

Postby woofner » July 29th, 2015, 7:41 pm

I'm pretty sure we discussed the 24th St bridge quite a ways up-thread. They were considering a level ped bridge but it would have been more expensive because they would have had to excavate the freeway roadbed a bit more. You can probably find out how much more at the 35lake website, after much digging. It sounds like nobody thought it was worth it enough. Personally I thought a roadway connection should have been considered, but it sounds like no one cared about that either.

I don't think a final decision was ever made about moving the 35/36 interchange to 38th. My understanding is that the project was considered too large so they wanted to separate the different segments into smaller individual projects. Presumably now that the planning phase for 35/lake is wrapping up, there will be another process started for 38th sooner or later. The county likely won't have a dog in that fight, so the city should really take the lead if they don't want MnDot to 'forget' about the transit station there (don't count on it though, since no one at the city cares about buses).
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby twincitizen » July 29th, 2015, 7:51 pm

[Wrote this before seeing woofner's post, but it appears to say most of the same.]

^Yeah it is not part of this project. It could easily be another decade before we see the bridges at 35th/36th/38th/42nd replaced. Aside from the perfect 1-mile exit spacing issue, I think it would actually be the preferable outcome of most parties to keep the freeway exit at 36th Street - but as a dogbone/dumbell interchange (dual roundabout) and a two-way 36th Street. Why?
A. Politically, it would be much easier.
B. Why destroy Nicollet-38th with all of that car traffic? Why inundate a potential BRT station at 38th with all of that car traffic?
C. Why decimate property values along those near-35W parts of 38th? (i.e. property owners & residents along 36th are already used to the traffic/noise, etc.)
D. The bridge at 35th would have to be removed (and not replaced), and in exchange the City could demand a bike/ped bridge at 33rd or 34th for better spacing of freeway crossings.
E. This also keeps the exit situation a totally separate issue from a possible station at 38th. I mean, right now it looks like there are no plans for that station whatsoever. The City would really have to scream for it, AND convince CTIB to pay for it, which I think will be quite difficult considering the eventual "35th/36th/38th/42nd bridge replacement project" will ostensibly be a road-only project, without any financial involvement of Metro Transit, CTIB, etc.

It sucks but I would say the prospects of a 38th St Station are slim, unless the City of Minneapolis becomes a real champion and is super-prepared to advocate for it in 10 years or whenever.
And for the love of god everyone STFU about Franklin already - not remotely part of this project.

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

Postby mattaudio » July 29th, 2015, 8:40 pm

A takeaway from 46th Street (an interchange and a BRT station) -- too much in one spot. It would definitely be preferable to keep interchanges and BRT stops on separate bridges. I've said many of the same things before regarding 36th, and now with the resurgence on 38th I see moving the ramps as a non-starter.

But that brings up the current problem of weaving between 31st and 35th St ramps... a major contributor to 35W performance failure during a large window of the day. Moving the ramps a block south from 35th to 36th won't be enough of an improvement. The upcoming Lake Street Access project should really be moving the ramps from 31st to Lake to create even more separation from the 35th St ramps. Of course I've long suggested a split diamond configuration with ramps connecting both 28th St (two way) and Lake Street, leaving 26th and 31st Sts for local traffic (including bike/ped) without ramp conflicts.

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

Postby jw138 » July 30th, 2015, 10:00 am

jw138 wrote:
woofner wrote:You should, however, email Elizabeth Glidden and Betsey Hodges and let them know that you support a station there. Do it now and do it when they start talking about 35W at 38th St again.
Done. This could really help accelerate the positive trajectory that this area of South Minneapolis is currently on.
An excerpt from Councilwoman Glidden's response to my email:
There is a stop in the larger plan for BRT on I35W at 38th Street - the stop was a 2nd tier stop, however, such that it would be a consideration only after the major stops were funded and implemented.
She also forwarded our email exchange to Met Council Chair Adam Duininck.

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

Postby HiawathaGuy » July 30th, 2015, 1:29 pm

Better yet, we should figure out a way to get someone (or multiple people from MNDOT) to be on this forum!

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

Postby Silophant » July 30th, 2015, 2:00 pm

Better better yet, we should figure out a way to get multiple people from this forum to be decision makers at MnDOT!

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

Postby Mikey » July 30th, 2015, 2:45 pm

I'll volunteer for that!

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

Postby PigsEye » July 30th, 2015, 2:51 pm

Silophant wrote:Better better yet, we should figure out a way to get multiple people from this forum to be decision makers at MnDOT!
I'd disagree on that one. The concept of few stops on the orange line in south Minneapolis would make the line much faster. While allowing riders to transfer to the Nicollet corridor would allow people wanting transit into places in south Minneapolis is the best concept for the corridor.

In fact it would prevent making the line almost worthless (for commuters to downtown) such as the Red line did by not having an express option from MOA to downtown.

Nicollet corridor and the Orange lines will function perfectly once you understand they are both opposites that will either let riders have slow frequent stops and access into south Minneapolis, or fast and quick transit into downtown. If the Nicollet corridor terminates at an orange line station around American Blvd then it would be a perfect corridor.

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jw138
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Re: Orange Line (35W BRT) & Lake St Transit Access Project

Postby jw138 » July 30th, 2015, 3:13 pm

How would having many stops on the Orange line prevent fast transit into downtown for commuters? You can have both slow buses (stop at many stops) and fast buses (stop at few stops) on the same line using the same stations. Nicollet and 35W are two short blocks from each other so why not kill two birds with one stone. It's cheaper to build, run, and maintain a single BRT than a BRT plus another BRT/streetcar on Nicollet. If you put enough stations on the Orange Line and make the "slow bus" high frequency then you can decrease the frequency of the #18 on Nicollet (and maybe the #11 on 4th) to save even more money. If someone on the "fast bus" wants to stop at a station not serviced by it then they get off at the closest station and wait for the "slow bus". No need to walk two blocks to Nicollet (very appealing in winter).

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

Postby twincitizen » July 30th, 2015, 4:41 pm

mattaudio wrote:I've wondered the same thing... we're already significantly redoing the braid and the entire freeway at this spot. Might as well depress it so we can get a normal bridge at 24th Street.
I believe they are depressing the freeway by a few feet already. The new bridge will have ramps and stairs on both sides, AND will open a (small) lot for development on the Whittier side. Depressing the freeway low enough to allow a fully at-grade bike-ped bridge was actually studied. Would've cost a minimum of $8MM more than the other options, and possibly more due to stormwater/stormtunnel issues from lowering the freeway more.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3h0hti2upyqu ... gYSDa?dl=0

See "Options 1-6" for all the options looked at (full vehicle bridge was briefly considered & dropped earlier in the process )
"Options 7-8" document in my drop box folder appears to be two versions of Option 6 from the previous document. I don't know which one they chose of 7 or 8. Definitely prefer 7. Since this doc is nearly 18 months old, I'm sure a decision has been made

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

Postby PigsEye » July 30th, 2015, 7:57 pm

jw138 wrote:How would having many stops on the Orange line prevent fast transit into downtown for commuters? You can have both slow buses (stop at many stops) and fast buses (stop at few stops) on the same line using the same stations. Nicollet and 35W are two short blocks from each other so why not kill two birds with one stone. It's cheaper to build, run, and maintain a single BRT than a BRT plus another BRT/streetcar on Nicollet. If you put enough stations on the Orange Line and make the "slow bus" high frequency then you can decrease the frequency of the #18 on Nicollet (and maybe the #11 on 4th) to save even more money. If someone on the "fast bus" wants to stop at a station not serviced by it then they get off at the closest station and wait for the "slow bus". No need to walk two blocks to Nicollet (very appealing in winter).

People wouldn't have to walk 2 blocks to transfer IF the Nicollet line is extended from 494 and Nicollet to 494 and American. Then riders can transfer station to station. The orange line would only be able to have stations that are in the mediums of a freeway. Not as inviting and as connected to the community as if they were running down Nicollet Ave. Cost wise yes, it would be cheaper. Also much less ridership from users within the community if you plan on decreasing the frequency of the 17 bus.

I don't think having Orange line A, Orange line B, ect ect. buses would be a good idea to keeping it simple and easy to understand. Realistically I don't think they will extent the Nicollet line to the Orange line station, so riders may have to transfer to the Amercian Blvd line to Nicollet line. That level of inconvenience would be somewhat significant. However provided most riders are intending an ending destination of downtown it still would seem the better idea. Also keep in mind that what you are suggesting every rider getting of the orange line would have to walk 2 blocks to Nicollet Ave anyways (if they get off in south Minneapolis) so I'm not sure you can use that as an argument.

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

Postby jw138 » July 31st, 2015, 6:55 am

PigsEye wrote:People wouldn't have to walk 2 blocks to transfer IF the Nicollet line is extended from 494 and Nicollet to 494 and American. Then riders can transfer station to station.
Even the pie in the sky streetcar plans don't have it going that far south. I have a feeling that we'll never see streetcar south of Lake on Nicollet. BRT, perhaps... but it would probably be a fight to to justify the cost of two BRTs running side by side (they'd be only two short blocks apart).
PigsEye wrote:The orange line would only be able to have stations that are in the mediums of a freeway. Not as inviting and as connected to the community as if they were running down Nicollet Ave. Cost wise yes, it would be cheaper. Also much less ridership from users within the community if you plan on decreasing the frequency of the 17 bus.
MUCH more inviting than Nicollet. The distance between Nicollet and 35W is negligible so it would still be very much connected to the community (and even more so for the neighborhoods east of 35W). And, any bus running down 35W is going to be far faster than its counterpart running down Nicollet even with the same number of stops because the one on 35W doesn't have to contend with traffic lights. I was also suggesting decreasing the frequency of the #18 and #11 only if there were far more Orange Line stations (every 3-4 blocks) and a high frequency bus (every 5-8 minutes) that stopped at every one of them.
PigsEye wrote:I don't think having Orange line A, Orange line B, ect ect. buses would be a good idea to keeping it simple and easy to understand.
Yeah, I don't think that would be a good idea either. It's easily fixed with the color wheel though. Let the Orange Line continue being the fast express bus with few stops and invent a Yellow Line to represent the slow high frequency bus that stops at every stop. That makes it easy to immediately understand what's going on when you look at a station map.
PigsEye wrote:Also keep in mind that what you are suggesting every rider getting off the orange line would have to walk 2 blocks to Nicollet Ave anyways (if they get off in south Minneapolis) so I'm not sure you can use that as an argument.
No, my point there was if they needed to transfer from a fast bus to a slow bus/train, then they can do so on a 35W stop without having to walk to Nicollet to catch their transfer.

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

Postby PigsEye » July 31st, 2015, 11:30 am

You're right about the streetcar line having much limitations in the proposed length. That's why I think it would be better if we built a aBRT line down Nicollet Ave. Then in say 20 years or so it could be converted to streetcar if the benefits are there. The concept of building one aBRT line per year is going to start making these lines needing to be low cost and quick to build. The greenway needs to be streetcar given it's location, beyond that buses will do OK. Also Chicago Ave will also be aBRT to so there will be 3 aBRT lines within a few blocks of each other (around franklin station) I wonder if maybe once we all see the A Line up and running we will understand the overall concept.

A bit off topic but does anyone know if the A line is being built in a way that it could be converted to a streetcar line without having to change the existing construction? Most likely not considering I remember somebody saying the station heights were all different.

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

Postby Mdcastle » August 1st, 2015, 6:21 pm

HiawathaGuy wrote:Better yet, we should figure out a way to get someone (or multiple people from MNDOT) to be on this forum!
They probably do read this forum. From my communication with them they're aware of people like myself and Froggie and take an interest in transportation related forums. Because they read the forum doesn't mean that they're going to get an idea and make a project happen. That's now how projects start. Nor are they probably at liberty to comment on projects.

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

Postby David Greene » August 2nd, 2015, 12:55 pm

PigsEye wrote:Nicollet corridor and the Orange lines will function perfectly once you understand they are both opposites that will either let riders have slow frequent stops and access into south Minneapolis, or fast and quick transit into downtown. If the Nicollet corridor terminates at an orange line station around American Blvd then it would be a perfect corridor.
Setting aside the fact that the Nicollet streetcar is a stupid idea, I completely disagree with you. You aren't considering the many other potential uses of the corridor, most prominently for reverse commutes. Why is (only) "slow, frequent stops and access into south Minneapolis" at all a good idea?

I support SWLRT because of the reverse commute possibilities. I wouldn't support it if it only stopped at West Lake.


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