Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

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mattaudio
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » October 13th, 2014, 10:01 am

Ridiculous. They can safely stripe three lanes on the existing bridge. 2 for the 10k cars, and one for BRT. Done.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby froggie » October 15th, 2014, 8:25 am

Looking at revising my own version of the Gateway corridor, and wondering why they didn't consider routing the line through the heart of the 3M campus (along "3M Road") instead of along the I-94 edge of the campus. Thinking a station on the back side of the headquarters building in the wide 3M Road median would be a much better location than the suggested location.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » October 15th, 2014, 8:30 am

I've seen a few references to this line, and a dedicated guideway, as a justification for a new Kellogg Blvd bridge (I call bs on that, btw). But is the plan to have a two-lane guideway? Or a single dedicated bidirectional lane with some sort of signalling? I've seen allusions to the latter (and I like the idea of less pavement) but it's hard to believe.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby at40man » October 20th, 2014, 11:40 am

froggie wrote:Looking at revising my own version of the Gateway corridor, and wondering why they didn't consider routing the line through the heart of the 3M campus (along "3M Road") instead of along the I-94 edge of the campus. Thinking a station on the back side of the headquarters building in the wide 3M Road median would be a much better location than the suggested location.
I wonder this too. It would provide better connections all over the campus, and would also keep the 220 ("3M Tower") lobby for visitors. A skyway could be built to a median station that would then connect the "Quad". My only guess has to do with having an easement on private property? I think 3M would be welcome to the idea of having a train stop. The parking situation at 3M is insane; get there after 8:45 am and you will be lucky to find a spot in an overflow lot.

I have no idea why Google calls it 3M Road -- it is the only place I can find that reference, which is incorrect. All the signage in the area and employees call it "Innovation Blvd".

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby froggie » November 4th, 2014, 8:04 am

Updated my rendition of a Gateway Corridor "ultimate buildout":

Image

Thoughts/concepts:

- If St. Paul is itching to use this as an excuse to rebuild the Kellogg bridge, might as well add dedicated transit lanes.
- General alignment and station locations between Mounds Blvd and McKnight Rd are similar to what's suggested for the I-94 alignment in the official study. Compared to my older concept, I've added two more stations (at Earl St and Sun Ray) and cut down on the amount of bridge and tunnel.
- Rather than take it along Hudson Rd (the westbound I-94 frontage road) in front of 3M, I opt to take it along the wide median along Innovation Dr for a station in the heart of the 3M campus area.
- I generally follow the official study corridor east to Inwood Ave, but then I turn south to hit Tamarack Village and the center of Woodbury, ending at "Colby Lake" at Valley Creek Rd and Woodbury Dr. Though the last two stations are effectively park-and-rides with limited redevelopment, this puts it closer to the heart of Woodbury.
- Compared to my old concept, I basically trade Woodbury Plaza for Tamarack Village, Inwood, and a station serving the small (and generally disadvantaged) town of Landfall. I think the potential redevelopment in Tamarack is much larger than anything that could be done along I-94.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » November 4th, 2014, 9:18 am

If the Gold Line is going to look anything like the Red Line™ then it's already dead to me. Except for calling out major BS on the need for a new Kellogg Bridge.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby David Greene » November 5th, 2014, 1:25 pm

mattaudio wrote:If the Gold Line is going to look anything like the Red Line™ then it's already dead to me. Except for calling out major BS on the need for a new Kellogg Bridge.
Amen.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby at40man » November 6th, 2014, 12:02 pm

Just curious in what way you view this as looking like the Red Line?

From what I can tell, unlike the Red Line this is connecting an actual transit hub (Union Depot) in a central city (Saint Paul) to a populous suburb (Woodbury) and the campus of one of the most important -- if not THE most important -- companies in the state (3M) along the most important transit corridor in the state (I-94). IMHO this might as well be called the "3M Line" because most 3Mers seem to live in Woodbury, followed by Lowertown St Paul and Maplewood.

The Red Line, meanwhile, doesn't really match the prominence any of those important landmarks, except for the Mega Mall.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » November 6th, 2014, 12:25 pm

MOA is the biggest Suburban transit hub in the MetroTransit system, so that's nothing to sneeze at.

Once you get out of Ramsey county, the Gold Line is just nothing. It physically goes through the community of Woodbury, but Woodbury is built in such a way, and the routing is done in such a way, that it doesn't actually connect do anything. If it's going to be a commuter bus Woodbury residents to get to 3M, they're all going to park & ride anyway, and then you've got to make a really good reason for those drivers to get out of their car and get on the bus, rather than to keep driving in.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » November 6th, 2014, 12:57 pm

at40man wrote:IMHO this might as well be called the "3M Line" because most 3Mers seem to live in Woodbury, followed by Lowertown St Paul and Maplewood.
3M will get virtually zero suburban ridership to their campus (unless maybe they charge for parking). And "the most important transit corridor in the state" is definitely not I-94 east of Downtown St. Paul.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby at40man » November 6th, 2014, 1:26 pm

mattaudio wrote:
at40man wrote:IMHO this might as well be called the "3M Line" because most 3Mers seem to live in Woodbury, followed by Lowertown St Paul and Maplewood.
3M will get virtually zero suburban ridership to their campus (unless maybe they charge for parking). And "the most important transit corridor in the state" is definitely not I-94 east of Downtown St. Paul.
As someone who works at 3M Center, I respectfully disagree. You probably are not familiar with the parking situation here.

The parking lots and overflow lots fill quickly -- and take a look on Google Maps; they are huge. If you arrive between 8:30-8:45 and after, you are directed to a parking lot on the other side of campus -- and then you must either call a shuttle and wait for it to arrive, or walk quite a distance to your destination. If you leave at lunch (as I occasionally to run errands at my bank in downtown St Paul) -- then you lose your parking space and wind up in the situation I described above.

The parking situation is anything but convenient. Unless you arrive early, it is dysfunctional and building more parking lots or ramps won't solve the issues we experience here.

Since most 3Mers live where the Gold Lines goes, it thus makes a stop that comes close to the 3M "Quad" extremely attractive. Through informal discussions with fellow colleagues, most seem to approve of the idea due to the convenience factor and the fact that they wouldn't have to walk so far through the parking lots (especially in winter). You are moving large numbers of people from points A and C to point B and back again while easing up on I-94 gridlock that exists around 3M between 3:30-5:30 PM -- which is what mass transit should do. If it is convenient and efficient, people will use it. Don't be so quick to judge what people from the suburbs will or will not do.

In short, the Gold Line has virtually nothing in common with the Red Line.
Last edited by at40man on November 6th, 2014, 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mattaudio
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » November 6th, 2014, 1:34 pm

at40man wrote:Since most 3Mers live where the Gold Lines goes,
How many 3Mers live within a half mile walkshed of a proposed station?

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby at40man » November 6th, 2014, 1:39 pm

mattaudio wrote:
at40man wrote:Since most 3Mers live where the Gold Lines goes,
How many 3Mers live within a half mile walkshed of a proposed station?
When I worked in downtown Minneapolis, suburban people including myself drove to the Maplewood Mall transit station to take the express bus (which is about 3 miles from my house) - just as they do in Woodbury to go to Minneapolis. The express buses were packed. My neighbor and I found the bus to be more convenient than driving, even though our respective employers offered discount parking that made the cost competitive with the bus.

Again, don't be so quick to judge what suburban people will or will not do.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » November 6th, 2014, 1:43 pm

I'm very familiar with suburban peak express service downtown - rode it for years. But I've never heard of a suburban-to-suburban express bus demand, competing with free parking and (mostly) uncongested freeways.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby at40man » November 6th, 2014, 1:49 pm

mattaudio wrote:I'm very familiar with suburban peak express service downtown - rode it for years. But I've never heard of a suburban-to-suburban express bus demand, competing with free parking and (mostly) uncongested freeways.
3M is somewhat of a city in and of itself, with thousands of employees, dozens of buildings, its own skyway and road system, a shuttle service, and an uneven spread of parking. Have you ever been on I-94 around the 694/494 interchange heading towards Woodbury at rush hour? It's a nightmare, and is quicker for me to drive North on Century Ave to go home than it is for me to take 694 home. It is certainly not an uncongested freeway during peak hours.

Just because you haven't heard of it in general doesn't mean there aren't specific situations such as this one which would be quite attractive for workers along the corridor.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » November 6th, 2014, 2:17 pm

So sounds like an Express bus service from Woodbury to 3M would be valuable? So valuable in fact that maybe 3M should think about running it.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby at40man » November 6th, 2014, 2:36 pm

I like the idea earlier in the thread where a line was proposed to go as far as 3M, and then feeders from the Woodbury area. That makes a lot of sense. The Gold Line isn't perfect. But I see what the vision they are going for. I also see a lot of people here who are unfamiliar with the logistics of the 3M campus so I want to shed some light as to why some of these decisions are likely being made.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mulad » November 6th, 2014, 3:00 pm

I still tend to think some type of local bus would probably be best to handle the Woodbury to 3M commute situation -- Run a few mostly east-west routes on Tamarack Road, Valley Creek Road, and Lake Road -- at least two of those three would probably head north on Century Ave to get to 3M, and any or all of them could continue to downtown St. Paul or even Minneapolis via I-94 after reaching 3M/Sun Ray. Add a few north-south routes on Radio Drive and Woodbury Drive, and you've got most of the city technically covered. (Those north-south routes could also turn onto I-94 and head toward 3M, though maybe running along Hudson Road/Hudson Boulevard would be better.)

Of course, none of these arterial roadways are very comfortable environments for pedestrians -- some only have a single sidepath (combined sidewalk/bike path). Anywhere that has bus stops should have good straight sidewalks on both sides, plus connections into the nearby neighborhoods that give cyclists/pedestrians some good shortcuts.

No, I'm not very familiar with how people get to or around the 3M campus. I used to drive past it when I briefly worked out in Hudson while living in Minneapolis, but that's a long time ago now. I got to see the cars piled up in the opposite direction from where I was going.

Does 3M have some sort of on-campus circulator bus? The site is just big enough for that to be a decent idea, but it's one of those things where the frequency needs to be pretty high -- On the one hand, it's a mile across, so walking could take 20 minutes! On the other hand, it's only a mile across, so walking could only take up to 20 minutes.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby froggie » November 7th, 2014, 7:24 am

I also see a lot of people here who are unfamiliar with the logistics of the 3M campus so I want to shed some light as to why some of these decisions are likely being made.
On this note, what about a station on Innovation Dr (similar to what I posted above) versus the current proposal for a station on the I-94 side?

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby at40man » November 7th, 2014, 11:12 am

On this note, what about a station on Innovation Dr (similar to what I posted above) versus the current proposal for a station on the I-94 side?
I do think a station on Innovation would be ideal since it is so central. Ideally, it should be on Innovation Dr near Building 225, as this would provide easy access to the Quad. Given the capacity of Innovation Blvd, it shouldn't require any expansion of the existing roadway. This would also encourage greater ridership as opposed to the I-94 side. Currently there is a bus stop on Conway Ave, which is rather inconvenient.

Here is a more detailed map of the 3M campus: http://solutions.3m.com/3MContentRetrie ... =ImageFile
Does 3M have some sort of on-campus circulator bus? The site is just big enough for that to be a decent idea, but it's one of those things where the frequency needs to be pretty high -- On the one hand, it's a mile across, so walking could take 20 minutes! On the other hand, it's only a mile across, so walking could only take up to 20 minutes.
There isn't a circulator bus, per se. But 3M does have a fleet of vans used for the shuttle service. You can call the shuttle service or summon them via app and they will come pick you up. There are also usually a couple shuttles waiting near the Avenue B/222 entrance. I have only used the shuttle once, as I prefer walking for exercise and fresh air. However, the buildings are so large that you wind up walking around a bit inside them as well to get to your final destination -- these are the only office buildings I've been in which make extensive use of escalators to move people!


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