Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

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woofner
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby woofner » April 27th, 2016, 2:03 pm

A giant ravine will open in the earth and demons with pointy pitchforks will come streaming out if they build this as shown.

Which is to say, the proposed layout is almost exactly the same as the street is today.
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby mattaudio » April 27th, 2016, 2:15 pm

Which is to say, Lisa Goodman won't even have to bother getting the design changed at the last minute.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby woofner » April 27th, 2016, 2:20 pm

Why would she? All she wanted was the protected bike lanes and for everything else to stay the same. And that's what she got.

It's pretty misleading that they only pictured two buses at each stop area, when already it's common to see a 4, 6, 12, and 61 all lined up together. On top of those, there will be two additional routes added to Hennepin in the next 10 years (the Hennepin aBRT and the 15). This design will add several minutes to a bus trip through downtown in 2025.
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 27th, 2016, 2:29 pm

MNdible wrote:People are going to lose their minds with the gridlock that results if they build this as shown.
This is interesting, because traffic models assuming 0.25% annual traffic growth until 2040 show travel times from the Mississippi River to 16th St:

Northbound AM Peak 6.9 minutes (current design) 7.6 (proposed)
Southbound AM Peak 6.6 (current) 7.2 (proposed)
Northbound PM Peak 10.3 (current) 9.4 (proposed)
Southbound PM Peak 7.8 (current) 8.4 (proposed)

So, I dunno.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby grant1simons2 » April 27th, 2016, 2:34 pm

Could potentially speed up buses as well with the new configuration.

The biggest cause for delay for the buses on Hennepin are boarding times (the proposed stations look brt ready), getting behind bikes, and stacking. This design could potentially fix all of those. Besides the stacking. Thats more just because of route changes.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby mattaudio » April 27th, 2016, 2:38 pm

The existing configuration is (in theory at least) 2+ lanes for cars, and 2 dedicated bike/bus lanes (plus right turns). This proposed configuration doubles automobile capacity and removes transit advantage (not that transit advantage is doing much on Hennepin). I don't see this speeding up buses, but significantly slowing them down.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby grant1simons2 » April 27th, 2016, 2:53 pm

Based on problems I see while riding a 6 from my apartment in Marcy Holmes to Laurel, thats what I've come up with.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby Silophant » April 27th, 2016, 3:05 pm

I don't see how removing the completely unenforced transit advantage would slow buses down. If anything, getting bikes out of that lane will speed buses (and cars) up.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby MNdible » April 27th, 2016, 3:16 pm

As noted above, in the absence of left turn lanes and bus pull-outs, and with heavy pedestrian traffic making right turns more difficult than is typical, there will be effectively no through lane. Hennepin certainly isn't free-flowing now at most times of the day, but you at least have some confidence that if you drive in the through lane, you'll make it where you need to go.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 27th, 2016, 3:22 pm

I guess the engineer's models just didn't take all that into account, then.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby Qhaberl » April 27th, 2016, 3:35 pm

Not at all. I think the design has a long way to go. I like the protected bike lane. I would like to see the lanes narrowed. what is the posted speed limit? Can they slow down the traffic? If the Traffic is slowed, and the mode options are nurmious, we may be able to get some of the cars off.


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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby MNdible » April 27th, 2016, 3:38 pm

[Shrugs]

Maybe they're right. But do you honestly believe that removing the turn lanes really won't meaningfully affect things? Doesn't pass the smell test to me.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby EOst » April 27th, 2016, 3:44 pm

Stopped buses are only a meaningful impediment to traffic in the current design at two intersections, 4th and 10th, and at least at 10th it looks like there might be room to move the stop back a bit. Are delays in one direction at one intersection really going to have those kinds of systemic effects?

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby seanrichardryan » April 27th, 2016, 4:24 pm

Wow, two pages and no one has mentioned a transit tunnel yet?
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby Tiller » April 27th, 2016, 5:25 pm

^I was, and am, just about to.

We really need a transit tunnel under Hennepin. Minneapolis should just bite the bullet and pay for one itself. What would be the best way for the city to do so?

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby Nathan » April 28th, 2016, 7:49 am

Having been at the first meeting, the engineer was very clear to say that these drawings were so so so so preliminary, but needed to be done in order to get then submitted to get the federal funding needed for the project in time for construction. When asked about lane widths and whether or not they could be narrowed and if there would be left turn arrows etc etc, all he said that everything at this point was done by the book. State requirements, nothing is off the table, but this is the preliminary concept to get federal funding and there will be 4 years of upcoming planning to get it all squared away.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 28th, 2016, 8:02 am

MNdible wrote:[Shrugs]

Maybe they're right. But do you honestly believe that removing the turn lanes really won't meaningfully affect things? Doesn't pass the smell test to me.
I typically believe what the models say in terms of what delays and corridor travel times will be. I've seen traffic analyses that show the model's output compared to current conditions to give some credence to their accuracy (even if it's a bit silly they sometimes go down to a tenth of a second when talking delay 25 years out). I talked with staff about this particular project, asking if the model included all the known bus route frequencies, etc and they confirmed yes, so I have to believe it considered buses stopping in the travel lane.

So, while I'm not a traffic engineer, I trust the model enough to say it's probably accurate to +/- 5% in this (and most) situations. My gripe with traffic models is always the input assumptions (traffic growth projections, that we evaluate the peak hour for 5 days a week), broader assumptions about travel behavior (that people in cars won't shift time or mode of their trips), and what politicians and PW leadership choose to do with the data (3rd Ave is a great example, but there are less publicized decisions that use traffic models to justify driver time over equity arguments for saving an equal or greater amount of person-time in transit. We've basically drawn a line in the sand that we're willing to do road diets to improve walking, biking, and general safety on streets but ONLY if it doesn't reduce vehicle LOS in 25 years by more than 5% in peak hours. That's sad.

As to tunnels. Yeah. The city is fairly effortlessly committing to raising its levy (among other sources of cash) to the tune of $22m for 20 years to pay for reconstructing residential streets (and utilities beneath them) that carry 400 cars a day each (at most!). The city was also able to fairly effortlessly come up with $50m to pay for a cosmetic upgrade of Nicollet Mall (of which half comes from assessments on property owners). I have a hard time believing that, if the city really wanted to, it would not be hard to make a serious equity argument for a mix of issuing debt paid for by levy increases, assessing downtown landowners, and getting a little bit of help from either the state or feds to build two tunnels through downtown (my estimated price tag: ~$500m depending on length/number of stations).

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby acs » April 28th, 2016, 9:05 am

If the airport tunnel of the blue line cost ~$300 million how in the world do you think we can build two for $500m? Each tunnel would be considerably more complex, with multiple vertical circulation points, ventilation for buses, and potentially multiple vehicle portals. Not an engineer, buy $500m for just one tunnel sounds more likely.

In any case, I think we'd all love for the city to do something like taxing parking ramps rather than using the general fund. Back of the napkin math says you could raise $18m a year if you put a $1 per driver per day fee in place. (~150k DT workers, half drive, 240 workdays/year). That would be enough to cover a half billion dollar tunnel over 30 years with no fed or state money to boot.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby mattaudio » April 28th, 2016, 9:09 am

I'd give up pavement quality on my street to have fast transit (including tunnels downtown) in a heartbeat. Just saying.

Also, the airport tunnel was a deep-bore tunnel under extremely sensitive airport terminal and runway ops, with an extremely deep underground station. A hybrid with cut-and-cover downtown would be cheaper.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Washington to 12th)

Postby EOst » April 28th, 2016, 9:14 am

So, playing hypotheticals for a second: if you were in charge of the world, where would you put the portals for a Hennepin tunnel? I can imagine finding some land in the bottleneck on the south end, but I don't see a lot of great options near the bridge.


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