Green Line / Central Corridor construction thread (archive)

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EOst
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby EOst » June 2nd, 2014, 7:03 pm

WHS wrote:It doesn't bother you even a little bit that the private developers are all getting paid while the public isn't seeing the benefits they promised?
Any investment is a gamble. That's true regardless of whether the money is public or private.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby exiled_antipodean » June 3rd, 2014, 6:20 am

I think the potential of the line to catalyze private development can be seen pretty obviously round the Raymond Avenue station. Mostly private money, I think (historic tax credits for C&E building).

Good transit doesn't suddenly make a ghetto good, but from Hamline west I think we're going to see good things in the next year or two. ~ equidistant from the two downtowns, and a reliable 20 minute journey either way. That's desirable and people will pay to live there.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mullen » June 3rd, 2014, 9:51 am

the line hasn't even opened yet. this isn't miles of tar out in the exurbs with big box retail and spec industrial parks popping up like crab grass. this is dense urban area. developement is and will be happening. failure? you're stuck in the 90's minnesota mindset. we're a big urban city. bigger than seattle, portland, denver.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby David Greene » June 3rd, 2014, 9:54 am

I also think we're likely to see more happening around Dale and maybe Western. Dale has a very nice library there (my wife takes Julian there for story time every week) and there are some nice restaurants close by (BBQ Row). Unidale seems like a great redevelopment opportunity. Western also has some great food nearby and is the heart of Little Mekong (*fantastic* branding idea there!).

Victoria is probably a tougher sell. My favorite coffee shop is at Selby and Milton but that's a walk across the freeway and people won't just happen upon it. Victoria and Grand is just a bit too far to walk for most people. If we're going to target public dollars, this seems to be the place for it. A nice public rec center could go here, a park, some public amenity that will draw private dollars. I'm not big into handing developers money directly.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » June 3rd, 2014, 10:29 am

I've noticed a lot of test trains with advertising wraps over the past few days. They may be even more popular with advertisers on the Green Line than they have been on Blue, since the routing is much more visible. Hopefully a nice little bump to the bottom line, though Saint Paul doesn't really need more billboards...

I think I've been wrong about some of the speed limits on the Green Line -- I thought that stations had 25 mph limits at them, but I haven't really seen signs for those. I think I got a bit confused since there are 35 mph signs just beyond most stations -- mostly just reminders for operators, I guess.

According to a few PDFs from San Diego, it looks like the Siemens S70 LRVs have acceleration and deceleration rates set at 3.0 miles per hour per second, or 1.34 m/s^2 (emergency braking is variously quoted at 2.25 or 2.33 m/s^2). For a half-mile station spacing like there is between Snelling and Western, that works out to about 63 seconds to get from one station to the next at full accel/braking (and stopping perfectly), or about 75 seconds for 50% accel/braking (more reasonable).

Doing the math on a couple of other segments leads me to believe the 41-minute running time originally presented was based on very strong coordination with traffic signals, pretty close to the absolute priority that is seen along the Hiawatha corridor -- a little leeway, but not much. I've only figured out a few chunks so far -- I still need to put together a proper spreadsheet or program to do the math for the whole line.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby nate » June 3rd, 2014, 10:53 am

David Greene wrote:I also think we're likely to see more happening around Dale and maybe Western. Dale has a very nice library there (my wife takes Julian there for story time every week) and there are some nice restaurants close by (BBQ Row). Unidale seems like a great redevelopment opportunity. Western also has some great food nearby and is the heart of Little Mekong (*fantastic* branding idea there!).

Victoria is probably a tougher sell. My favorite coffee shop is at Selby and Milton but that's a walk across the freeway and people won't just happen upon it. Victoria and Grand is just a bit too far to walk for most people. If we're going to target public dollars, this seems to be the place for it. A nice public rec center could go here, a park, some public amenity that will draw private dollars. I'm not big into handing developers money directly.
Western seems space-constrained, and it will be a tough sell to demo any of the building stock in that area, I imagine. There is a big parking lot on the south side of the street a block or so east of Western that's a good candidate.

Dale is a great candidate for redevelopment. Actually, the transformation of University and Dale since 2006-ish is kind of incredible. I heard that the Wendy's at that corner has a preposterously long, cheap lease and will probably never leave. Unsure if that's true, though.

Victoria is probably the roughest stretch of University along the whole line. I agree that it will be a good candidate to spend some money to catalyze growth.

Lexington is very intriguing. There's a lot of space to the south of University and west of Lexington. The old city planning documents show a new park and a lot of high density housing planned for that area.

I just purchased a house to the west of Lexington. Proximity to LRT was important, but not the sole factor, when we were looking at neighborhoods. Houses in Hamline-Midway do not seem to have increased greatly in price due to LRT...we paid somewhat less for ours than the previous owner paid for it in 2008. Supply is very tight though...I feel like lots of people are waiting for the LRT to get running to sell.

The neighborhoods in St Paul where you pay a premium for location are still Como Park and Mac Groveland/Highland. It will be interesting to see if LRT changes that dynamic.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby exiled_antipodean » June 3rd, 2014, 12:04 pm

I feel like MetroTransit missed a trick by not getting the Snelling Ave BRT thing up and running at the same time. It will really tie those neighborhoods into the LRT network at both ends.

Obviously dedicated lanes for the Snelling Ave line would make it even better. Perhaps peak period dedicated lanes as a first step.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby eazydp » June 3rd, 2014, 8:52 pm

As mentioned above, I caught a wrapped train advertisement for some UMN program. I'd imagine that is going to be a popular choice given the prominence to/from campus.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » June 4th, 2014, 8:25 pm

Something odd I've noticed while surveying speed limits along the line is that the signs aren't placed where I expect them to be. Maybe Metro Transit operates under different rules than regular railroads do, but I'd always heard that a train can't accelerate until the tail end has passed a sign upping the current limit. However, most speed limit signs that increase the allowed speed are placed at least two LRV lengths beyond the curves that caused the previous speed restriction. They seem to be placed so that the new speed should apply as the front end reaches the sign rather than the tail end. Depending on how the operators interpret that, it could be slowing end-to-end times by up to 60 seconds, if my math isn't horrible.


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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Snelbian » June 5th, 2014, 9:17 pm

WHS wrote:The concerns in the article in question are a bit more sophisticated than simply noticing a lack of "massive redevelopment," though. And the article isn't even about the train line itself so much as the public investment in the development of the surrounding areas. These investments were justified as being catalytic; the cities, state, and Met Council were (rather credulously) trusting the developers' assertions that they'd easily attract many times their cost in private development. If what we see instead is a very gradual transformation of the area (and I'd certainly expect to see some change over time) it's hard to understand why we just paid private developers nearly (or possibly more than) $100M to revamp the area. At best, it's just wasted money. And that's before we even consider the projects that are actually failing because they can't attract commercial tenants, or the fair housing objections of community leaders like Jeff Martin.
I get the impression you have no idea what's going on between Snelling and Hamline. Judging growth along the St. Paul portion by looking at just Victoria is silly. The Snelling megablock in the works will dwarf the already considerable redevelopment occurring on the north side of this stretch.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Snelbian » June 5th, 2014, 9:19 pm

And to be clear, talking about any stretch of University as a slum or ghetto makes it sound like the person talking has never seen either of those things and thinks they just mean "place with brown people"...

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby David Greene » June 5th, 2014, 9:22 pm

Snelbian wrote:And to be clear, talking about any stretch of University as a slum or ghetto makes it sound like the person talking has never seen either of those things and thinks they just mean "place with brown people"...
We don't have slums in the Twin Cities. I've been to slums.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby grant1simons2 » June 5th, 2014, 10:13 pm

There are no slums or ghettos. North Minneapolis is far from bad compared to what some cities deal with

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby LRV Op Dude » June 6th, 2014, 7:27 am

mulad wrote:Something odd I've noticed while surveying speed limits along the line is that the signs aren't placed where I expect them to be. Maybe Metro Transit operates under different rules than regular railroads do, but I'd always heard that a train can't accelerate until the tail end has passed a sign upping the current limit. However, most speed limit signs that increase the allowed speed are placed at least two LRV lengths beyond the curves that caused the previous speed restriction. They seem to be placed so that the new speed should apply as the front end reaches the sign rather than the tail end. Depending on how the operators interpret that, it could be slowing end-to-end times by up to 60 seconds, if my math isn't horrible.
Metro Transit LRV operator's operate on head-end restriction. So when the head-end of the LRV get to the speed sign they can accelerate to the speed. The signs are placed so a 3 LRV consist clears the curve.
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Tom H. » June 6th, 2014, 8:42 am

After watching many trains roll through campus over the last week or so, I can say that the signal timing issues seem to have been mostly resolved. Most trains that I've observed have only come to a full stop once along the WATM - at the East Bank station. Otherwise, they seem to be getting full priority along the whole stretch from Stadium Village Station to the river.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mullen » June 6th, 2014, 8:47 am

i can't wait for the 14th. the line looks fabulous through campus. best stretch of this line imo.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » June 6th, 2014, 10:08 am

I've seen a couple stop at the mid block crossing between Harvard and Walnut, which is especially funny since that means a 3 car train blocks the Walnut St intersection, but I haven't seen a train go by for a few days now.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby LRV Op Dude » June 6th, 2014, 10:12 am

I operated yesterday and made it to the East Bank Station and the Washington Ave bridge without stopping.
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » June 6th, 2014, 1:19 pm

LRV Op Dude wrote:Metro Transit LRV operator's operate on head-end restriction. So when the head-end of the LRV get to the speed sign they can accelerate to the speed. The signs are placed so a 3 LRV consist clears the curve.
Thanks for the info!
FISHMANPET wrote:I've seen a couple stop at the mid block crossing between Harvard and Walnut, which is especially funny since that means a 3 car train blocks the Walnut St intersection, but I haven't seen a train go by for a few days now.
I've been seeing contractors working on the interlocking signals on the Washington Avenue Bridge and along the UMN Transitway in afternoons/evenings over the past several days, so trains have either been ending testing relatively early in the day, or have been heading back to St. Paul before hitting the main UMN campus area.


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