Franklin Avenue

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
EOst
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1987
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

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

Postby EOst » July 29th, 2015, 7:01 am

Good thing they're planning the Franklin bridge replacement with Franklin Ave as a four-lane road for all eternity. :(

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7276
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

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

Postby mattaudio » July 29th, 2015, 8:09 am

As someone now working on trying to shoehorn bicycle lanes onto 46th Street, and I know others are doing on Diamond Lake Road further south... these bridges such as Franklin NEED to be rebuilt with the future, rather than the past, in mind.

EOst
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1987
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

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

Postby EOst » July 29th, 2015, 9:28 am

mattaudio wrote:As someone now working on trying to shoehorn bicycle lanes onto 46th Street, and I know others are doing on Diamond Lake Road further south... these bridges such as Franklin NEED to be rebuilt with the future, rather than the past, in mind.
-1

It certainly could be worse; the bridge at least has bike lanes (if only 6' ones). But it's going to be hard to adapt that layout to a 4-3 on Franklin, which is necessary if those bike lanes are ever going to link to anything. One more reason these things should be designed together, not piecemeal...

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5053
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

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

Postby MNdible » July 29th, 2015, 9:31 am

While most of Franklin probably could be rebuilt as a three lane configuration, my gut tells me that this section (probably from Clinton to Chicago) will demand a 4/5 lane configuration remain.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2577
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

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

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 29th, 2015, 9:43 am

I'll mostly copy this from a streets.mn comment:
It’s notable that AADT never actually cracks 20k in that terrible stretch from Chicago to Lyndale. It’s about 12k from Lyndale to Nicollet, 19.8k from Nicollet to 35W, and 17k from 35W to Chicago (and beyond).

Unfortunately, the right of way also narrows at times. Between Portland and Chicago it’s only 66′ wide. From Portland to Nicollet it’s 70′ wide, and then 80′ from Nicollet to Hennepin. I know the city shied away from pushing for protected bike facilities on Franklin, and this is probably the reason why. You could probably get a 6+2 buffered/protected bike lane on each side of a 4-3 diet, but you’d be leaving the wholly inadequate sidewalks as they are. This would be an improvement in traffic calming & bike safety today (within the existing curbs), but not a good long-term solution if we want better pedestrian amenities.

Something needs to be done at Nicollet & Franklin. It’s the #1 spot for pedestrian crashes in the city per 2010-13 data. My kid’s daycare is right there and I can confirm tons of people speed around stopped cars waiting on peds to cross, egregiously run red lights, swerve between lanes on Franklin at intersections. More anecdotal experience east of 35W says it’s basically the same behavior.
I can't see how 4 or 5 lane sections can be justified given traffic volumes & pedestrian safety/ADA needs. But, this is mostly tangential to the Orange Line, and moot since a Franklin station isn't going to happen. (also, woofner, the links don't work for me either..)

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5053
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

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

Postby MNdible » July 29th, 2015, 9:53 am

Setting aside for a moment what exactly the ROW allows, I don't think you'll find many impartial observers who will tell you that 20,000 vehicles per day in an area with significant turn movements can be handled in a three lane configuration.

EOst
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1987
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

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

Postby EOst » July 29th, 2015, 9:59 am

Which is crazy, because those vehicles move through this area at the expense of (literally) every other interest the city and county has. The road profile necessitates sub-standard (less than 4'!) sidewalks, prevents bike lanes in the only 35W crossing between downtown and 26th/28th, drastically lowers the property values of the surrounding area, etc.

(It's also a nightmare to drive once off-peak parking begins; constant weaving, constant near-accidents. Frequent actual accidents. But none of it matters, because traffic flow.)

User avatar
woofner
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1329
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:04 am

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

Postby woofner » July 29th, 2015, 10:05 am

MNdible wrote:I don't think you'll find many impartial observers who will tell you that 20,000 vehicles per day in an area with significant turn movements can be handled in a three lane configuration.
Is the FHWA an impartial observer? http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/re ... /index.cfm

It's actually streets with high turning volumes that benefit most from 4 to 3 conversions. Most crashes in a 4 lane configuration (that is to say, most urban crashes) happen as a result of turns. If you remove the turning traffic from the main line, you reduce the incidence of interaction. Franklin has very heavy turning volumes on this segment, and rather than the two-way continuous center turn lane, I'd prefer to see some block-long turn lanes. Another advantage to theses is that at the tail end of the turn lane, they leave a nice space for a refuge island.

On the Franklin bridge, half of EB Franklin's volume is turning. The bridge itself could be converted from 5 to 4 lanes, with two through lanes and two bridge-length turn lanes. Then buffer the bike lanes with extra space.
"Who rescued whom!"

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5053
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

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

Postby MNdible » July 29th, 2015, 10:11 am

I'm not arguing that the status quo is good. Certainly the sidewalks are grossly inadequate in the area, and something needs to be done to address this (and this may involve using eminent domain and actually widening the ROW by a few feet). But given all of the competing interests in this tight area, I think this is a spot where the bike lanes will need to be the losers.
EOst wrote:prevents bike lanes in the only 35W crossing between downtown and 26th/28th
This sounds SHOCKING until you realize that there is and will be a bike bridge at 24th, and there's another at 15th, and in spite of the numbers, that's the equivalent of five city blocks.

EOst
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1987
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

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

Postby EOst » July 29th, 2015, 10:20 am

MNdible wrote:I'm not arguing that the status quo is good. Certainly the sidewalks are grossly inadequate in the area, and something needs to be done to address this (and this may involve using eminent domain and actually widening the ROW by a few feet).
I've heard that a lot, so I'd like your opinion: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.962691, ... 312!8i6656

Should we tear out the fairly mature trees and gardens in front of the historic building on the left, or demolish the historic building on the right?
MNdible wrote:This sounds SHOCKING until you realize that there is and will be a bike bridge at 24th, and there's another at 15th, and in spite of the numbers, that's the equivalent of five city blocks.
Not to be that guy, but have you ever biked either of those? The 15th Ave bridge has easily some of the scariest bike interactions in the city, and the 24th Ave bridge leads to a long staircase. And actually getting to 15th from Stevens Square requires crossing another interstate (94) on a bridge with no bike lanes (Third), then navigating 16th Street (basically a freeway onramp, and drivers treat it (and you) that way), and then turning into what is usually oncoming turning traffic onto 15th. It's madness.

I know the 24th Street Bridge is getting redone for the braid project, so that should help. But it isn't a panacea.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5053
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Franklin Avenue

Postby MNdible » July 29th, 2015, 10:21 am

woofner wrote:Is the FHWA an impartial observer?
Who says:

However, for road diets with AADTs above approximately 20,000 vehicles, there is an increased likelihood that traffic congestion will increase to the point of diverting traffic to alternative routes.

I guess we're going to start splitting hairs here, but I would read that as an advisement that an area that has 20,000 AADT wouldn't be a good candidate. Other sources I've seen have placed that number lower, closer to 15,000. But I guess we'll all cherry-pick the statistics that support our opinion.

Is it worth mentioning that the 2 bus has to sit through multiple light cycles along with the rest of the traffic?

acs
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1358
Joined: March 26th, 2014, 8:41 pm

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

Postby acs » July 29th, 2015, 10:27 am

MNdible wrote:I'm not arguing that the status quo is good. Certainly the sidewalks are grossly inadequate in the area, and something needs to be done to address this (and this may involve using eminent domain and actually widening the ROW by a few feet). But given all of the competing interests in this tight area, I think this is a spot where the bike lanes will need to be the losers.
Now if only the bike lobby had come to this conclusion on SWLRT, we'd have saved several years and hundreds of millions of dollars. Maybe enough to build a Franklin Ave station here. When there's so much pushback against using eminent domain to widen roads let alone transit, do bike lanes stand a chance?

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7276
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

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

Postby mattaudio » July 29th, 2015, 10:29 am

So why exactly do we suggest that bicyclists go to 15th St or 26th St (or 28th St for eastbound bicyclists)? But we don't assume motorists can distribute themselves along the grid as well? That's the whole point of having a dynamic grid... If Franklin backs up, then *cars* can hop over to 15th or 28th or whatever else. And cars have a much easier time detouring via the grid than bicyclists.

Also, bicycle lanes (and quality sidewalks) shouldn't lose out to parking or traffic lanes where lanes > 2. Serving local land uses is a much higher priority than serving car storage or through traffic needs when we're talking about constrained ROW.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5053
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

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

Postby MNdible » July 29th, 2015, 10:30 am

EOst wrote:Should we tear out the fairly mature trees and gardens in front of the historic building on the left, or demolish the historic building on the right?
Obviously this isn't easy; otherwise, we would have fixed it already. In this case, I'd tear out the trees and not shed too many tears about it.
EOst wrote:Not to be that guy, but have you ever biked either of those?
Again, thanks for your interest. I bike 15th Street with some regularity, and have never found it to be particularly scary. You're right that the existing 24th Street bridge isn't great, so hopefully that's improved in the rebuild.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5053
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

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

Postby MNdible » July 29th, 2015, 10:34 am

It may (or may not) be worth noting that we're already in the process of removing auto capacity from all of the east-west cross streets in the area.

Also, yelling into the abyss, roads are part of a regional system.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2577
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

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

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 29th, 2015, 11:05 am

MNdible wrote:Also, yelling into the abyss, roads are part of a regional system.
Hypothesis: over 50% of the people driving along Franklin Ave in this stretch on a given day are going to/coming from points within Minneapolis or St Paul proper. Trips that, by and large, could be accommodated by other modes, or at slightly different times of the day, or perhaps even on some other nearby streets (which despite capacity reduction are still overbuilt for current traffic volumes, while also gaining safe bicycle connections in the process). A sliver of the rest of that 50% may be people going to destinations served by the type of regional transit you support (SWLRT, Bottineau, Orange Line, etc). As a city (or even region), I don't think it's reasonable to expect the only allowed changes to the ROW are ones that don't reduce vehicle LOS.

I actually agree that widening Franklin may be the best path here since, even with a 4-3, you still have to choose between bike infra and better sidewalks. Mature trees can be replaced given time.

User avatar
woofner
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1329
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:04 am

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

Postby woofner » July 29th, 2015, 11:08 am

MNdible wrote:Is it worth mentioning that the 2 bus has to sit through multiple light cycles along with the rest of the traffic?
Obviously your mind is made up here, but I'll point out that outside of your dystopian fantasy world, the capacity of Franklin would not decrease with a 3 lane configuration because of the high volume of turning traffic (again, between 1/3 and 1/2 the volume in most cases). The 2 bus would be unaffected at most of these intersections because the high turning volumes mean that two lanes would stack up, the same as they do now.
"Who rescued whom!"

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5053
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

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

Postby MNdible » July 29th, 2015, 11:51 am

Yes, it does seem like we've all made up our minds well before we got to this conversation. It's hard to say how things will play out with the actual decision makers, but my suspicion is that, should they do a 4-3 conversion here, the peak traffic will stack all of the way back to Pillsbury.

I'm generally a believer in 4-3 conversions, and as I noted previously, there's probably a good chunk of Franklin west of here that would benefit from them -- I've seen them work well in many locations. But I think the boosters need to admit that they break down at a certain traffic level, and that if you look at the situation out there today, this street and it's traffic levels are such an instance.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7276
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Franklin Avenue

Postby mattaudio » July 29th, 2015, 12:10 pm

The presumption you're making is that the current 4 Lane Death Road configuration works better than a potential 3 lane configuration. Of course a 3 lane configuration breaks down at some point. But the 4 lane config seems to break down at about the same point, especially in areas where significant amounts of traffic are turning. Of course, if you have no right-of-way constraints, you can say that five lanes would be better, or whatever. But that's not the reality here. The reality is, what fails less: Three lanes? Or four? I'd wager that even Hennepin County will say that three lanes will work here (with possible multiple-block queues heading towards high turn intersection for stacking space (freeway entrance) mixed with turn prohibitions at some intersections. Why do I say that? Because that's what's likely to happen on another project I'm involved with that has similar characteristics: AADT over 15,000, high turning volumes, constrained ROW, and a freeway crossing.

BoredAgain
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 174
Joined: July 3rd, 2014, 1:38 pm
Location: Lyndale Neighborhood

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

Postby BoredAgain » July 30th, 2015, 11:09 am

MNdible wrote:
EOst wrote:Not to be that guy, but have you ever biked either of those?
Again, thanks for your interest. I bike 15th Street with some regularity, and have never found it to be particularly scary. You're right that the existing 24th Street bridge isn't great, so hopefully that's improved in the rebuild.

I used to live at 24th & Chicago and I biked all three of these connections (15th, Franklin, 24th) frequently depending on my destination.

I never had a problem with 15th, but unless I was going/coming from somewhere north of 94, I never would consider using it instead of Franklin. 24th worked well enough, but it required dismounting for the stairs on the east side. The ramp on the west side with its hairpin turn wasn't ideal either. The new planned bridge will improve this and make it a convenient connection.

Neither of those is great if your destination is actually on Franklin. It is similar to Lake and its nearby bike lane alternatives. The alternatives are great if you are just trying to get across town, but there are bikes (and bike/car crashes) on Lake all the time because Lake is where people are trying to get to.

I went to one of the public meetings awhile back on the entire 35W re-do that involves the new Franklin bridge. At the time I told them that bike lanes on the bridge are great, but I would never use them. Even when I bike along Franklin I will stay in the car lane. Once I have a place in the lane, I am not going to surrender it for one block when I know that I will just have to re-merge with traffic at the other end of the bridge. A one block separated path with no facility at either end is useless.

Also, I do the same when coming south out of downtown on LaSalle. North of 94, you have a sharrow. South of 94, you continue in the sharrow. On the bridge itself, there is plenty of room to move out the way, but I never do because I know that re-claiming my spot in the lane in one of the more dangerous things I would have to do.


Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests