Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Bakken2016
Union Depot
Posts: 311
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Location: North Loop

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » May 15th, 2018, 2:39 pm

mattaudio wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 2:13 pm
Is it, uh, too late to...
1. Eliminate 21st St Station
2. Single track the LRT between West Lake and Penn Ave
3. Not do the shallow tunnel, but instead run a single track of LRT next to a single track of freight
4. Save piles and piles of money?
2 billion is still relatively cheap for 14.5 miles of rail, 2nd Ave Subway in NYC is going to cost well over 20 billion for 8.5 miles....

tmart
Landmark Center
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » May 15th, 2018, 2:52 pm

Bakken2016 wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 2:39 pm
mattaudio wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 2:13 pm
Is it, uh, too late to...
1. Eliminate 21st St Station
2. Single track the LRT between West Lake and Penn Ave
3. Not do the shallow tunnel, but instead run a single track of LRT next to a single track of freight
4. Save piles and piles of money?
2 billion is still relatively cheap for 14.5 miles of rail, 2nd Ave Subway in NYC is going to cost well over 20 billion for 8.5 miles....
Comparing at-grade LRT to subway is not a fair comparison at all, even setting aside all the other hurdles to working somewhere as dense and valuable as Manhattan.

To answer mattaudio's question, I am curious at what point we were locked into this alignment, and what it would take to change it. I guess we'd have to redo the EIS, be reevaluated for federal funding, and reengineer the section in question. At the very least it would be a few years of delay, and the price of major construction is only climbing right now.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » May 15th, 2018, 3:20 pm

Those ideas are from this plan (which is over four years old, which shows how ridiculously long this project has drawn on).

Bakken2016
Union Depot
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Location: North Loop

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » May 15th, 2018, 3:42 pm

tmart wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 2:52 pm
Bakken2016 wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 2:39 pm
mattaudio wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 2:13 pm
Is it, uh, too late to...
1. Eliminate 21st St Station
2. Single track the LRT between West Lake and Penn Ave
3. Not do the shallow tunnel, but instead run a single track of LRT next to a single track of freight
4. Save piles and piles of money?
2 billion is still relatively cheap for 14.5 miles of rail, 2nd Ave Subway in NYC is going to cost well over 20 billion for 8.5 miles....
Comparing at-grade LRT to subway is not a fair comparison at all, even setting aside all the other hurdles to working somewhere as dense and valuable as Manhattan.

To answer mattaudio's question, I am curious at what point we were locked into this alignment, and what it would take to change it. I guess we'd have to redo the EIS, be reevaluated for federal funding, and reengineer the section in question. At the very least it would be a few years of delay, and the price of major construction is only climbing right now.
I still don't think $2billion is too high, the project has many bridges and a few tunnels. The geography of the area restricts planning and blows up the cost compared to many standard LRT projects that only run down a prominent street(like the Green Line currently)

Korh
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 105
Joined: March 8th, 2017, 10:21 pm

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Korh » May 15th, 2018, 7:29 pm

wondering anyone know how long the paperwork part (studies, environment impact documents, engineering designs, etc.) of the SWLRT is good for till it needs to be renewed? Cause if we can safely wait a while I'm starting to think putting the actual construction phase on hold till
a) price of steel and other goods go down
b) the construction inflation goes down
c) better political backing and can open more lines to have a stronger case
d) all of the above

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » May 16th, 2018, 7:37 am

Bakken2016 wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 3:42 pm
the project has many bridges and a few tunnels.
Lots of flyover bridges in Eden Prairie and Minnetonka, and of course a nine figure tunnel in the Kenilworth corridor despite it being a railroad corridor since before the area was developed. Those are bugs, not features.

Multimodal
Union Depot
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Location: Oh, no, the burbs!

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Multimodal » May 16th, 2018, 8:24 am

Maybe Elon will show us all how cheap tunneling/boring will be, and in 20 years we’ll have a whole network of cheap subways with no rights of way issues or NIMBY issues (what about Not In My Basement?). One can dream.

In the meantime, this project is shovel-ready, and we’ve seen how long that takes. Risking more anti-transit elected and appointed officials in the coming 6 months is not something we should do.

Just. Do. It.

Multimodal
Union Depot
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Multimodal » May 16th, 2018, 8:25 am

And who says Nicollet can’t be part of a future LRT line aimed at *existing* density?

Chef
Landmark Center
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Chef » May 16th, 2018, 1:42 pm

Once this line is built it will be the rail line for this slice of the metro for centuries (probably). That means that the urban parts of south west Minneapolis will likely never be served by a Downtown rail line if this project goes through. This line is a mistake of a historic magnitude. It was designed around the political imperatives of spreading transit money to the suburbs, without regard as to whether or where that made sense. To date, the results of our suburban transit improvements have been underwhelming at best, and this one looks no different to me. If we build expensive lines that don't work, it will destroy public support for continued investment in transit. At minimum a southwest line should connect Downtown, Uptown, Excelsior and Grand and Downtown Hopkins. Those are the walkable nodes in the corridor. That is the urbanism we should be building outward from. This line doesn't do that. We shouldn't build a bad line just because it is shovel ready. We should kill it and start from scratch.

I know some people are sick of the routing discussion, but the routing issues are the reason why this line doesn't have the public support a project like this needs to push through the inevitable obstacles. Every rail line we build needs to be done right, we shouldn't half ass it just because it is cheaper. If all we can afford are Dallas style lines through farm fields and unwalkable cul de sacs, then we shouldn't build anything until the money is there.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » May 16th, 2018, 2:08 pm

We can build it now and fix it later:
https://streets.mn/2014/02/11/southwest-lrt-plan/

HiawathaGuy
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1479
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 12:03 pm

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » May 16th, 2018, 2:11 pm

Chef wrote:
May 16th, 2018, 1:42 pm
Once this line is built it will be the rail line for this slice of the metro for centuries (probably). That means that the urban parts of south west Minneapolis will likely never be served by a Downtown rail line if this project goes through. This line is a mistake of a historic magnitude. It was designed around the political imperatives of spreading transit money to the suburbs, without regard as to whether or where that made sense. To date, the results of our suburban transit improvements have been underwhelming at best, and this one looks no different to me. If we build expensive lines that don't work, it will destroy public support for continued investment in transit. At minimum a southwest line should connect Downtown, Uptown, Excelsior and Grand and Downtown Hopkins. Those are the walkable nodes in the corridor. That is the urbanism we should be building outward from. This line doesn't do that. We shouldn't build a bad line just because it is shovel ready. We should kill it and start from scratch.

I know some people are sick of the routing discussion, but the routing issues are the reason why this line doesn't have the public support a project like this needs to push through the inevitable obstacles. Every rail line we build needs to be done right, we shouldn't half ass it just because it is cheaper. If all we can afford are Dallas style lines through farm fields and unwalkable cul de sacs, then we shouldn't build anything until the money is there.
If we lived in a perfect universe, we wouldn't need transit - because we could all fly. But since we have to live in reality, I'm thankful that something has been planned, albeit clearly not to your liking, than nothing at all - which is exactly what would be the case waiting "until the money is there." There's so much about your post that makes me shake my head, but such is life. Hopefully this will break ground this year, and we can actually see progress on a line extension that will be very successful.

SurlyLHT
Target Field
Posts: 522
Joined: February 21st, 2017, 3:50 pm

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » May 16th, 2018, 2:30 pm

HiawathaGuy wrote:
May 16th, 2018, 2:11 pm
If we lived in a perfect universe, we wouldn't need transit - because we could all fly. But since we have to live in reality, I'm thankful that something has been planned, albeit clearly not to your liking, than nothing at all - which is exactly what would be the case waiting "until the money is there." There's so much about your post that makes me shake my head, but such is life. Hopefully this will break ground this year, and we can actually see progress on a line extension that will be very successful.
I agree, even if it's an imperfect connection to the SW Metro a LRT line to this important part of the metro is good for the region.

Squidward
Metrodome
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Joined: August 2nd, 2015, 9:19 pm

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Squidward » May 16th, 2018, 4:56 pm

The future of transportation is drones.

phop
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby phop » May 16th, 2018, 8:21 pm

Southwest LRT makes a heavily pedestrian/transit focused Hennepin Ave redo more likely.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mplsjaromir » May 17th, 2018, 8:56 am

phop wrote:
May 16th, 2018, 8:21 pm
Southwest LRT makes a heavily pedestrian/transit focused Hennepin Ave redo more likely.
I never thought of it this way, it is a great point. I am in the camp of Minneapolis, outside of the CBD, has plenty of surface ROW to make an excellent transit system. People lament the fact that there isn't political will to buy a subway, a more transformative move that would cost almost nothing would be a reconfiguration of Hennepin. Find the political will to do that and make the area better in way less time.

tmart
Landmark Center
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Joined: October 6th, 2017, 10:05 am
Location: Expat

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » May 17th, 2018, 11:10 am

phop or mplsjaromir, could you be a bit more specific about the connection between the two?

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1593
Joined: October 31st, 2014, 12:50 pm

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby amiller92 » May 17th, 2018, 1:33 pm

I assume it's that people needing to get between downtown and west of the lakes will have the option of riding the train, and thus don't need as much priority along Hennepin.

EOst
Capella Tower
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Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby EOst » May 17th, 2018, 2:14 pm

Hey, so would the Southwest Diagonal freeway. Wonder if the neighbors along Kenilworth would like this better?

Image

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
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Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » May 17th, 2018, 2:19 pm

Only if it has an interchange at 21st St

kirby96
Union Depot
Posts: 357
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 11:30 am

Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby kirby96 » May 17th, 2018, 2:27 pm

mplsjaromir wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 8:56 am
phop wrote:
May 16th, 2018, 8:21 pm
Southwest LRT makes a heavily pedestrian/transit focused Hennepin Ave redo more likely.
I never thought of it this way, it is a great point. I am in the camp of Minneapolis, outside of the CBD, has plenty of surface ROW to make an excellent transit system. People lament the fact that there isn't political will to buy a subway, a more transformative move that would cost almost nothing would be a reconfiguration of Hennepin. Find the political will to do that and make the area better in way less time.
Yeah, it actually is a really good point. Drive around the lakes at rush hour to see the need for the diagonal route.

Dare I suggest building a park and ride at Beltline?


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