Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
sad panda
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby sad panda » March 25th, 2014, 11:04 am


Ubermoose
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Ubermoose » March 25th, 2014, 11:39 am

sad panda wrote:The Xcel letter can be found at https://www.facebook.com/download/65500 ... 202014.pdf
Thanks.

illman00
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby illman00 » March 25th, 2014, 7:33 pm

MSPtoMKE wrote:Even removing parking wouldn't be enough, if you want to fit such luxuries as turn lanes, station platforms, and well, sidewalks. This isn't totally scientific, but here is more or less what a 4 lane Hennepin Ave. with light rail would look like with split side station platforms like most of those along University Ave.

http://streetmix.net/-/118658

This is with pretty narrow lanes. There was simply much more room to work with along University Ave. The only option to make it all fit would be to have Hennepin be 2 lanes, which I certainly don't see happening. But just for fun:

http://streetmix.net/-/118666
What if the trains were on the outsides and the "Shelter" would allow people to walk by like a sidewalk. So you got 9' sidewalks but when there is a stop there is just a overhang that people can walk under:

http://streetmix.net/-/119526

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » March 25th, 2014, 7:37 pm

Unless we get rid of all cars on Hennepin, which would be nice but probably won't happen, there's not enough room for LRT at grade. There's lots of stuff that's required: Buffer zones, curb reaction zones, ADA space for sidewalk turnarounds, etc. Not gonna happen.

illman00
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby illman00 » March 25th, 2014, 8:01 pm

Or another random thought I just had. What about going from the west lake stop all the way down to the Hiawatha line and directly into downtown. You could make it so the train doesn't stop at the blue line stops and goes into downtown where it stops at all downtown stops. You eliminate 4 stops and add 4 stops and the light rail has right of way the entire way until into downtown so it won't need to worry about stop lights so it may not be too much longer time wise than kenilworth. It would probably be cheaper than the tunnel plan as the major expense I see is just the bridge over 55. I'm new here so maybe its been talked about already.

edit: and down the road you can add the hennepin or lyndale street cars to serve the business along those streets. This would also make it quicker for someone to get to St. Paul from the Southwest line as they could get on the central corridor at the dome.

Image

Scott Wood
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Scott Wood » March 25th, 2014, 8:28 pm

I think that would still add a lot of time -- and even on a grade separated segment, an "express train" would get held up behind a Blue Line train that does make the stops.

You're also dropping stops that would have been on the Greenway line. At the very least there needs to be a stop where it meets the Blue Line.

David Greene
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » March 25th, 2014, 8:49 pm

This option was also discussed during the LPA process. I think it was dropped fairly quickly as infeasible.

A lot of ideas people have floating around are really not new. They've been looked at and rejected. There are good reasons that only 3A and 3C made it into the DEIS.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby FISHMANPET » March 25th, 2014, 11:28 pm

Are there any maps around that lay out all the options the study looked at? Most of the human readable documents got buried on the project website as decisions were made, so you have to dig in to the actual technical reports, which is kind of difficult.

froggie
Rice Park
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby froggie » March 26th, 2014, 6:08 am

I still have a PDF of the Alternatives Analysis. Can search around for that when I have the opportunity to.

NickP
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby NickP » March 26th, 2014, 8:21 am

Yes please Froggie :-)

sad panda
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby sad panda » March 26th, 2014, 8:27 am

The AA can be found at the Southwest LRT Community Works site here.

mulad
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mulad » March 26th, 2014, 8:35 am

Given the impasse we currently have, running through the Greenway should be given proper consideration.

Pluses:
  • Planning is already underway in the corridor for a "streetcar" service which we're hoping will use LRVs
  • Rail service in the Greenway is a fairly popular idea
  • We already know what many of the engineering challenges are
  • The (generally) larger budget available under a New Starts program instead of Small Starts could allow for some more elegant solutions to those challenges
  • It could encourage faster development of rapid-bus service along Hennepin, Lyndale, or other corridors in South Minneapolis, to diminish the transfer penalty
  • The Southwest line ends up being disconnected from the need to through-run 3-car trains originating in Saint Paul, potentially allowing cost savings on suburban stations.
Minuses:
  • It's a longer route for anyone who wants to go downtown, whether entirely using rail or transferring to buses. That likely has a very negative impact on suburban ridership, though that's offset by 9,500 to 11,000 added rides in the Greenway corridor (probably higher than that since the line would actually continue somewhere rather than only being a few miles long).
  • Determining the right way to interline with the Blue Line is tricky, especially if the existing Sabo Bridge for bikes/peds is retained. If these trains continued to downtown, it would probably justify a grade-separation at 26th Street, and that's hard to do without removing the fancy bridge.
  • If trains continue downtown, we'd be tripling the number along the 5th Street corridor from what we have with just the Blue Line, or adding 50% to what Blue+Green traffic will be.
  • The existing streetcar plans are looking at single-tracking at pinch points in the Greenway, and the Southwest folks have been unwilling to consider that. But as I said earlier, the (likely) higher budget would probably allow that to be resolved.
  • There's a tendency to overbuild light rail. Out of respect for the folks who want the Greenway to stay as green as possible, that tendency needs to be held back as much as possible, which will be difficult.
  • The existing streetcar plans are only looking at single-LRV operation, with smaller platforms. Running Southwest through the Greenway probably requires at least 2-car platforms, possibly 3-car ones.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » March 26th, 2014, 8:55 am

As a reminder, if one were to list all of the justifications in the history of humankind for making infrastructure decisions, "dismissed as unfeasible during the SWLRT Alt Analysis" would be near the bottom of the list.

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mister.shoes
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mister.shoes » March 26th, 2014, 8:57 am

sad panda wrote:The AA can be found at the Southwest LRT Community Works site here.
Very helpful. Thank you!

According to what I was able to find, the only two routes considered between West Lake and DT are Kenilworth or Greenway->Nicollet. Were both Greenway->Hennepin and Greenway->Lyndale even considered or immediately discarded due to ... the Triangle?
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

stp1980
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby stp1980 » March 26th, 2014, 9:14 am

I am sure at some point these things have been discussed over the course of the 105 pages in this thread, and I have not given this project up for dead, but I am very frustrated by the lack of leadership and vision on this project. Who is the project champion? Who is mediating disputes by putting decision makers together (in the same room at the same time) and really trying to get some compromise? I will give the Met Council some credit for being somewhat inventive on the alternatives they are presenting, but how can this be avoided when we are at the end of a planning process that is a decade or more in the making? Shouldn't these things have been anticipated (neighborhood opposition) and the freight rail question more aggressively taken care of years ago? (Sound of head slamming into wall repeatedly) Projects this big will never be perfect, but this is a chance to sew our metro together beyond the core and build a system, if we can't do this (even if it is a bit imperfect) than what can we do?

sad panda
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby sad panda » March 26th, 2014, 9:17 am

mister.shoes wrote:According to what I was able to find, the only two routes considered between West Lake and DT are Kenilworth or Greenway->Nicollet. Were both Greenway->Hennepin and Greenway->Lyndale even considered or immediately discarded due to ... the Triangle?
The Rail Feasibility Study(~2002) has a listing of the initial route segments considered.
http://old.swlrtcommunityworks.org/tech ... ation.html

The Greenway to Lyndale is E-3 (evolved into C), Kenilworth is E-1 (now A).

MNdible
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » March 26th, 2014, 9:21 am

mulad wrote:If trains continue downtown, we'd be tripling the number along the 5th Street corridor from what we have with just the Blue Line, or adding 50% to what Blue+Green traffic will be.
This is an absolute deal breaker for this plan. Game over.

(Until mattaudio builds his magical double decker tunnel of love.)

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mister.shoes
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mister.shoes » March 26th, 2014, 9:23 am

I had never seen that document before. Thanks, sad panda. Interesting that they only considered surface-running LRT on Lyndale. Clearly, even 12 years ago they already knew that tunnels were for parks ;)
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

sad panda
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby sad panda » March 26th, 2014, 9:47 am

You should also check out the Hennepin County LRT System DEIS from 1988/89. Chapter 3 page 12 has figure 3.5 that shows a big North/South tunnel option that would have been for both SW and Hiawatha. Two other tunnel options are mentioned and discarded, mostly due to poor geology downtown. I find it interesting to see how options have changed over the last 25 years (and to see how much Hiawatha is besting it's old projected ridership).

Archiapolis
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Archiapolis » March 26th, 2014, 11:37 am

stp1980 wrote:I am sure at some point these things have been discussed over the course of the 105 pages in this thread, and I have not given this project up for dead, but I am very frustrated by the lack of leadership and vision on this project. Who is the project champion? Who is mediating disputes by putting decision makers together (in the same room at the same time) and really trying to get some compromise? I will give the Met Council some credit for being somewhat inventive on the alternatives they are presenting, but how can this be avoided when we are at the end of a planning process that is a decade or more in the making? Shouldn't these things have been anticipated (neighborhood opposition) and the freight rail question more aggressively taken care of years ago? (Sound of head slamming into wall repeatedly) Projects this big will never be perfect, but this is a chance to sew our metro together beyond the core and build a system, if we can't do this (even if it is a bit imperfect) than what can we do?
I have been saying this for months...


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