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mattaudio
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » October 16th, 2012, 2:21 pm

I like the idea of coupling the need to improve bus facilities with the need to put all the five-lane chunks of asphalt on a diet. We really only need two traffic lanes on any of these streets, and then we can be creative with the rest of the ROW. Median-separated taxi stands? Bus bulbs for more waiting areas? Bumpouts at intersections? Let's do it.

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woofner
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby woofner » October 16th, 2012, 5:41 pm

Nick wrote:All I was saying is that it's unfair to label the downtown business and property owners as racist for not wanting to deal with bad, occasionally dangerous behavior.
Look, no one's accusing anyone of burning any crosses here. I think the majority of us are talking about systemic racism, where the actions (or inaction) of a powerful group of predominantly whites (the City Council, the Downtown Council) have a negative impact of a powerless group of predominantly african-americans (people who catch the bus on 7th St). Personally I think the most relevant case to the outcome that is the pathetic accommodation for transit boarders here is the winner-takes-all political system, which in a nation with a history of racism has almost without exception has created under-representation of minorities in politically powerful positions. An example of that is the Minneapolis City Council, which currently has one african-american councilmember in a city that is about 20% african-american. Another example would be the Downtown Council pushing for remediation of crime at the bus stop in ways that are punitive towards the riders, rather than remediation that would benefit the riders.

I think there is also some subconscious racism though, leading people to perceive that there is a bigger crime problem here than there is for the same reason that some people lock their car doors in african-american neighborhoods. The truth is that teenagers behave badly in groups regardless of what their race is. White teenagers just tend to do it at malls, or in spacious rec rooms in McMansions in Medina. I know this is true, because I was once a white teenager.
UptownSport wrote:Loads of idiots giving you some BS story, mixed with sob story and some intimidation thrown in, to get you to hand over money.
People standing in circles blocking sidewalk passage-
People asking if you want to buy 'snow'
I don't get why I have such a different experience of downtown than everyone else. I get hassled by the charity stalkers as much as homeless people (which is still annoying), I see far more groups of people walking down the street than standing on the street, and I can't think of the last time someone tried to rip me off for drugs.

Regarding the bus stop, I'd be interested in learning more about transit station applications of temporary streetscape treatments. One concern I have is that you'd need to have a platform at curb height for accessible boarding.
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twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » October 16th, 2012, 11:43 pm

Temporary curb installations sound great but I can tell you they are not looked upon kindly by Metro Transit (the bus tire could catch/drag it) or by public works (most likely snow plowing blah-blah excuse)

MNdible
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby MNdible » October 17th, 2012, 8:42 am

Blah-blah stupid snow plowing.

mattaudio
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » October 17th, 2012, 9:31 am

^we'd be better if DID took over street snow plowing downtown anyways... I'm sure they'd do a cleaner job of it.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby UptownSport » October 17th, 2012, 12:59 pm

redisciple wrote: I think the majority of us are talking about systemic racism, where the actions (or inaction) of a powerful group of predominantly whites (the City Council, the Downtown Council) have a negative impact of a powerless group of predominantly african-americans ...
An example of that is the Minneapolis City Council, which currently has one african-american councilmember in a city that is about 20% african-american.

Only one African-American city council member, 20% African-American population- Sounds like you're saying the African-American's are racist, but against themselves, and at the same time claiming they're powerless (to vote) ?????

We have had a Jewish man fill one Senate seat for decades, a Black, Muslim man Representing me in Congress and an African-American in the White House. If the racism is systematic, the system's not working very well.

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woofner
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby woofner » October 17th, 2012, 5:05 pm

UptownSport wrote:Only one African-American city council member, 20% African-American population- Sounds like you're saying the African-American's are racist, but against themselves, and at the same time claiming they're powerless (to vote) ?????
Please use google to figure out how the government works.
UptownSport wrote: We have had a Jewish man fill one Senate seat for decades, a Black, Muslim man Representing me in Congress and an African-American in the White House. If the racism is systematic, the system's not working very well.
Oh yeah, I forgot that racism ended on November 4th, 2008. After at least 516 years of racism in North America, it's hard to remember that racism no longer exists. Thanks for the reminder. While you're googling how the government works, you may want to try "racial diversity in congress." It's even worse at local levels of government.
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twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » October 17th, 2012, 6:25 pm

Alright, we're kinda going off the rails here. Can we steer this back to talking about the east-west spine or 7th and Nicollet?

Personally, I like the idea of the 22 and 14 moving over to 4th Street. The contra-flow lane works really well and the facilities are already in place. Also, I'd like to see one damn bus route run the entire length of Washington Ave downtown, from roughly 10th Ave N (edge of N. Loop n'hood) down to 7 Corners/West Bank Station. The 14 runs on Washington through North Loop, but turns off at Hennepin. The 7 and 22 run on Washington, but only east of 4th Ave S. The section of Washington Ave between Hennepin and 4th/5th Ave S does not have any local bus service.

The 7 could easily be modified to meet this need, but it doesn't run frequently enough (30 mins during peak!!) to do any good.

What do you think? Look at a map of the Route 7...why does it need to make that jog way over to 7th Street? Does every single route have to serve the core of the CBD? I think not. If you need to get to 7th&Nicollet from 4th Street or Washington, you can hoof it or take one of the Nicollet mall buses running every 3 minutes or less most of the day.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby FISHMANPET » October 17th, 2012, 11:50 pm

I think a straight shot from North Loop to the U would do quite a bit to open that area up to students and faculty. I'd like to live there, but it would be a huge pain to commute to the U, though maybe the Green Line would make the downtown transfer a bit easier.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby ECtransplant » October 21st, 2012, 4:32 pm

I expect a lot of the students that live in uptown and take the express buses to the U will be considering downtown once the green line opens up.

mattaudio
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » October 22nd, 2012, 9:12 am

FISHMANPET wrote:I think a straight shot from North Loop to the U would do quite a bit to open that area up to students and faculty. I'd like to live there, but it would be a huge pain to commute to the U, though maybe the Green Line would make the downtown transfer a bit easier.
http://goo.gl/maps/D9SV3
The gold streetcar line would do just that, with three major sections. It would replace the inter-campus connector, then interline with Green LRT from Stadium Village to West Bank, then hop over to Washington Ave on the old MILW alignment and street-run along Washington Blvd. through the North Loop.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby FISHMANPET » October 22nd, 2012, 10:02 am

Isn't anything on that map other than L1-L5 just a fantasy?

mattaudio
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » October 22nd, 2012, 10:22 am

Honestly most of it is... at least in our current climate. The lines are inspired by the City plan but there are some major changes (more shared ROW such as Nicollet Mall, and the L3 and L4 loops through NE/SE that return downtown via Riverside and Washington).

In other threads, we've mostly agreed that many of the current streetcar proposals face challenges. Arterial BRT would stretch our dollars further for now. I question if it would be unwise to build Nicollet/Central now, making it more challenging to build beefier transit on that corridor in a decade or two.

The Greenway seems like a no-brainer for a streetcar since it's grade separated, but I hope they at least build the stretch from West Lake to Nicollet to LRT spec or easily upgradable, since it would interline nicely with Nicollet/Central sometime down the road. After that, I'd start with Washington Ave, and convert the campus connector. This would leverage Green Line stations and the existing dedicated ROW between campuses, and it would also leverage plans to completely redo the Washington Ave streetscape downtown. We'd get many miles of connectivity for less cost.

After that, I'd suggest another line starting at Stadium Village station and heading to Uptown, generally replacing the 6. This would only overlap with potential Nicollet/Central LRT from the Hennepin Bridge to 10th St/Nicollet Mall, so it would be easier to leave that upgrade option open at a lower price point.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby PhilmerPhil » October 22nd, 2012, 10:18 pm

Random observation:

I decided to take the bus to work this morning from about Franklin & Nicollet to about 3rd Ave. & 4th St. downtown. Usually I bike and it takes 12 minutes. Taking the bus took me 27 minutes.

My fiance works in Plymouth, near 55 and 394. For her to drive to work, it takes her 20-25 minutes.

When it takes longer to get from a neighborhood outside of downtown into downtown than it does to get to PLYMOUTH, I feel that shows how truly out of balance our transportation/transit system is...

Thoughts?

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby MSPtoMKE » October 22nd, 2012, 11:04 pm

Well, first off, I don't think your experience is typical. Yes, there are delays at times, but it seems like you had bad luck. The scheduled amount of time from Franklin and Nicollet to 3rd and Nicollet is about 14 minutes on the 18. Keep in mind that the section you rode was also the section most delay prone, longer trips would tend to move faster the farther from downtown you get. It also sounds like your fiancé is a reverse commuter, so traffic would not be as much of an issue for her.

With that said, we certainly have spent the past 60+ years prioritizing quick transportation to the suburbs. Express buses from the suburbs are usually more time competitive with driving than urban local buses. It doesn't seem fair, but very fer people who had a choice would pick a bus at local speeds for long distance. It goes without saying that I think we need to work on improving mobility in urban areas.
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby lordmoke » October 23rd, 2012, 8:48 am

Phil's experience might not be typical of the bus system as a whole, but as someone who used to take the 17 and 18 on a regular basis, it's definitely the norm for Nicollet Mall. The bus congestion and delays on that street are a mess.

However, most of the system suffers from illogical routing, scheduling, and infrastructure placement, and would benefit well from an overhaul of some kind.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby MNdible » October 23rd, 2012, 11:19 am

I'd like Phil to critically assess his trip on the bus, to identify why it took as long as it did, and to tell us what he'd actually propose doing about it. It's not enough to just say "This isn't right!"

Anecdotally, I understand that the strange occurrence of water falling from the sky managed to mess up traffic all over the metro today, so it may not be a good day to compare.

I frequently ride the 18 from south Minneapolis and get off at Franklin, and the only thing that really slows the bus down is having a bus stop every block; otherwise, things flow pretty well. It would appear that the problem on Nicollet Mall is just too many buses stopping too frequently.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby PhilmerPhil » October 23rd, 2012, 12:42 pm

I was very quick in my previous post. (Fiance needed to use computer, so I rushed it).

There are a few significant clarifications I should make:

First, I was testing out my potential winter commute, for days that I don't feel like putting up with the cold on my bike, so the 27 minute duration was from door to door; it included walking time.

Because there's no way I'm about to pay $2.25 for such a short ride, I walked an extra few blocks (from 18th St., where I would normally catch the bus) to catch the free bus, which added no more than 5 minutes to the total commute.

In my mind the three biggest causes of delays were wheelchair ramp deployment (happened 2x), waiting at red lights, and payment delays. These can be mitigated for the most part with level boarding, traffic signal timing, and prepayment. (BRT)

In general, this more than doubling of my commute time has reminded me again that the bicycle is the fastest, cheapest, and most efficient way to get around the denser parts of town, and judging by how packed the bus was, a lot of people have yet to figure that out.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » October 23rd, 2012, 1:07 pm

Nicollet Mall has crappy signal timing, of course. Supposedly that's getting fixed, but we'll see.

Boardings are heavy enough on Nicollet Mall that there really should be off-board fare payment with ticket vending machines and Go-To card reader pedestals, just like light-rail stations. It'd probably cost around $1 million to get a decent complement of TVMs along that stretch.

Level boarding would be nice too -- I'm not sure how well this can really be accomplished with buses, though. I visited the Apple Valley Transit Station a couple weeks ago and watched how slowly the buses currently pull into the stops there in order to be aligned -- and even then, the floor of the bus was an inch too high and the ramp would need to be deployed for a wheelchair anyway. Perhaps the official Red Line buses will have floors at exactly the right height -- or at least might have ramps/plates that deploy very fast -- but I haven't heard anything one way or the other. (When I boarded at AVTS, I also got caught behind 3 people who paid in cash, completely negating the value of the not-quite-level boarding anyway...)

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woofner
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby woofner » October 23rd, 2012, 2:15 pm

I also wonder if there couldn't be further stop consolidation. Seems like the stops could be limited to between 11th & 12th, 7th & 8th, and 4th & 5th. This would work well in conjunction with a rerouting of east-west routes into 2 or 3 spines. The downside is that with a 2 lane facility you can't have the stops face each other or you lose what little passing space you have, so you have to pick a direction to have the less convenient transfers. (Edit: I wrote this primarily thinking of Nicollet Mall, but it does apply to Phil's unhappy trip in that it would be helpful to chuck at least the stop on Nicollet at I-94.)

However at this point further stop consolidation probably wouldn't have as much effect as TVMs or level boarding. Regarding the latter, it's funny that basically the only transit-related recommendation in the Downtown Council's recent plan was for a curbless mall, which would further exacerbate this issue (maybe, depending on how you did it).
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