Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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HoratioRincewind
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby HoratioRincewind » April 14th, 2014, 10:57 pm

Anondson wrote:SWLRT must be generating huge page views for the Star Tribune. They got another one counting up council votes.

http://www.startribune.com/local/west/255042221.html
Well, I mean god forbid the newspaper of record for the region actually try to record stuff.

"New Council Member Lisa Bender, whose ward includes Uptown, also is undecided. She expects the City Council to initially deny consent, leading to some offers and perhaps guarantees, and is “very hopeful” of reaching a deal."

This is just getting too cute for words. How it is anyone at the city of Minneapolis could think that this would be acceptable to the Met Council or Hennepin County is beyond my comprehension. Negotiate now.

froggie
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby froggie » April 15th, 2014, 5:24 am

...and the prospect of spending tens of millions more on heavy rail trainsets that idle near downtown all day while waiting to bring commuters home seems like a stupid idea on so many levels.
When I biked by a couple weeks ago, it appeared to me that the trainsets were shut off, not sitting in idle.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mulad » April 15th, 2014, 5:37 am

Well, that's an improvement -- they've done that in the past, and I've never really understood why. But whether they're sitting with the engines on or off, it's very frustrating that each piece of Northstar equipment is only in motion an average of 2 hours a day.

David Greene
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2014, 9:40 am

HoratioRincewind wrote:"New Council Member Lisa Bender, whose ward includes Uptown, also is undecided. She expects the City Council to initially deny consent, leading to some offers and perhaps guarantees, and is “very hopeful” of reaching a deal."

This is just getting too cute for words. How it is anyone at the city of Minneapolis could think that this would be acceptable to the Met Council or Hennepin County is beyond my comprehension. Negotiate now.
That's part of negotiation. Same thing happened with the Crosstown Commons rebuild. This is really nothing too exciting. The exciting part is *what* will be negotiated, not the mechanics of it.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » April 15th, 2014, 2:59 pm

This was posted in the Target Field Station topic:
downfall wrote:Slides 40 & 41 from this presentation show the area really well:

http://www.metrocouncil.org/getdoc/91b8 ... ation.aspx
Good gravy the "Penn Ave" station location is bad. Due to the track location, it's as far away from actual Penn Avenue and Bryn Mawr as possible, nestled away at the bottom of the Kenwood bluff.

Dear deity, please let common sense prevail here. Cancel the northern shallow tunnel and restore the 21st Street Station. Cancel the ridiculously expensive (and laughably inaccessible) Penn Station. Pour the money saved into fast, frequent bus connections at 21st, Van White, and Royalston.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » April 15th, 2014, 3:02 pm

It's also thrilling to see so much money being spent on grade separation near the Golden Triangle...

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woofner
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby woofner » April 15th, 2014, 3:26 pm

The Penn Station will be only about 250' from the Penn Kiss and Ride - that's less than a third of the distance of the Royalston Station from the 7th/Olson transfer point. Considering a viable & convenient Van White feeder route isn't really geographically possible, it makes a lot more sense to at least have a branch of the 19 that terminates at Penn Station, thus making it by far the most convenient transfer point to SWLRT from the Northside.
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woofner
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby woofner » April 15th, 2014, 3:30 pm

So the plan is to cross Glenwood at grade. That's kinda weird.
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mattaudio
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » April 15th, 2014, 3:40 pm

Regarding Royalston: I guess it's impossible for the LRT to rise from BNSF trench grade to street grid grade between the Glenwood and Royalston bridges.

Also, it seems like this is a missed opportunity to reimagine the 7th St + 6th Ave/Olson + Royalston + Oak Lake/10th Ave cluster. Granted, the flyover above 5th Ave N and 7th St will afford flexibility down the road. But this area will still be wholly inhospitable to humans and the infrastructure TOD-value-kill equivalent of the SPUI at Lake and Hiawatha. A possible negotiating point for Municipal Consent?

---

Regarding CityWest: If we're going to spring for spendy grade separations, can we at least get a bus loop? This simple modification would allow future Hwy 169 freeway BRT buses to interchange with SWLRT using the existing 62/212 cloverleaf. Without any new/additional bridges. And without encountering a stoplight.
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nate
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby nate » April 15th, 2014, 3:45 pm

mattaudio wrote:It's also thrilling to see so much money being spent on grade separation near the Golden Triangle...
That's something that doesn't seem to get enough press. Seems like 3/4 of the stations on the line have an 800' viaduct before or after them, and a "future park and ride" providing a couple hundred parking spots immediately adjacent to them. I know this line hits big employers and has some regional importance, but I can't imagine being less enthusiastic about a 1.6bn transit investment.

froggie
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby froggie » April 15th, 2014, 4:18 pm

To be fair, some of the grade separation down Eden Prairie/Minnetonka way is due to topography and/or freeways being crossed.

Regarding the Penn Station, I could envision a new bus line (or branch of a line as woofner suggests) using Penn Station as a termini point and heading north along Penn Ave.

Regarding Royalston, there's no way to bring the LRT out of the trench at-grade without cutting off Holden St. The grades just don't support it. I was also under the impression that the LRT will tunnel underneath (instead if flying over) 7th St.

I like matt's suggestion for 62/212 CityWest bus access.

HoratioRincewind
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby HoratioRincewind » April 15th, 2014, 4:57 pm

David Greene wrote:That's part of negotiation. Same thing happened with the Crosstown Commons rebuild. This is really nothing too exciting. The exciting part is *what* will be negotiated, not the mechanics of it.
First of all, the Crosstown Commons never had the second largest stakeholder with an absolute drop dead date. Southwest does, in 76 days CTIB will walk away. Secondly, Crosstown Commons was not funded by as competitive and as limited a federal match as is Southwest.

The city of Minneapolis denying local consent any number of times is playing with fire. It would assume that:

1. MetCouncil would play along and continue to devote staff and resources to the project regardless of Minneapolis' objection, on the hypothetical that there could be some sort of agreement reached in the near future to keep the project moving forward.

2. CTIB was bluffing with their drop-dead date.

3. The administrators of the New Starts program would not take the project out of the program.

None of these assumptions can be counted on. The first is unlikely, the second is for all intents and purposes explicitly untrue, and the third is up to the whimsy of some bureaucrat 1200 miles away.

Finally, all of this assumes that Hennepin County, CTIB, and the MetCouncil are willing to engage Minneapolis on some sort of scheme to win their support transactionally. This also shouldn't be counted on.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2014, 7:18 pm

HoratioRincewind wrote:Finally, all of this assumes that Hennepin County, CTIB, and the MetCouncil are willing to engage Minneapolis on some sort of scheme to win their support transactionally. This also shouldn't be counted on.
While not guaranteed, it's better than even money that the parties will come to an agreement. What we're seeing is the various entities operating their levers to get what they want. If you have seen the arm-twisting that goes on in the legislature, this really isn't a surprise.

I don't know exactly what the process is but I wouldn't be surprised if the Met Council is required to submit the CMC proposal as-is to the cities. Of course Minneapolis would deny consent. But there's absolutely nothing in the way of these negotiations going on right now, before any public hearings or votes. The negotiations will lead to another proposal by the Met Council which hopefully Minneapolis could then support. That second vote could happen rather quickly if everyone is agreed to a solution before the first vote even takes place.

Again, I don't know if this is the required procedure.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » April 15th, 2014, 7:58 pm

I just sat in at the City of Hopkins council meeting where a presentation of the TSAAP (Transitional Station Area Action Plan) for the Hopkins stations was discussed. The full document is out there for download. Lots of interesting items about what is expected to be out done around the stations on opening day worth discussing.

Seems the discussion of station area "betterments" is getting put off and off, with the costs rising with delays fewer and fewer betterments are seen as being implemented. The shocker was that around the Shady Oak Station the SPO isn't budgeting connecting 17th to the OMF, connecting 17th from Excelsior is the only budgeted connection. 17th from the station to the OMF is considered a "betterment", and one that might not happen. On opening day, OMF workers won't be able to walk to the station ... they'll have to drive to work or take a really really long walk.

Huh

exiled_antipodean
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby exiled_antipodean » April 15th, 2014, 8:53 pm

I know some people on this board are optimistic about the potential for re-development around Van White and Penn, but my gosh the maps from that link above make me skeptical.

The most valuable land around stations is typically immediately adjacent to it. But we've seen on Hiawatha that if you don't let that land get re-developed for whatever reason, or the immediate station surrounds are unappealing, the economic benefits of a high capacity reliable transit system won't be as large.

Here we have stations where it just won't be possible to develop right beside the station because the station is between a park and a freeway, or between an aggregate yard and a railroad line.

Furthermore, that same land use precludes making the connection to the station walkable. Not that you couldn't physically walk it, but ask yourself this, who finds a walk on a deserted pedestrian bridge over a freeway pleasant in the middle of winter? Which developers are really going to come and put housing that backs onto I-394?

The City West station looks nearly as bad, but presumably that grass and scrub land could actually be built on.

Surface parking lots are probably easier to re-develop (like at the Blake Station).

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2014, 9:33 pm

exiled_antipodean wrote:Here we have stations where it just won't be possible to develop right beside the station because the station is between a park and a freeway, or between an aggregate yard and a railroad line.
The plan has the concrete crushing facility and the impound lot going away. Have a look at the Bassett Creek Valley Master Plan on the city's website.

There are also development plans for the bluffs above the Penn station. There is currently some small office/light industrial there.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby exiled_antipodean » April 15th, 2014, 10:30 pm

David Greene wrote: The plan has the concrete crushing facility and the impound lot going away. Have a look at the Bassett Creek Valley Master Plan on the city's website.
There were/are some great plans for the Franklin and Lake stations too on the Blue Line, and here we are ten years later ...

In many ways conditions on the Blue Line are more favorable than at Penn and Van White, and progress has been slow.

I'd love to be wrong about this.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2014, 10:36 pm

exiled_antipodean wrote:
David Greene wrote: The plan has the concrete crushing facility and the impound lot going away. Have a look at the Bassett Creek Valley Master Plan on the city's website.
There were/are some great plans for the Franklin and Lake stations too on the Blue Line, and here we are ten years later ...
Certainly it won't happen without work but Harrison at least is deeply engaged in this. They aren't going to just walk away.

This site does have advantages over the Franklin and Lake stations, primarily that there is no freeway viaduct overhead. Yes, there's a freeway but that's on the other side of the LRT tracks. The land here will be wide open for whatever someone wants to put there. There is no built environment to contend with. Linden Yard has some geometric challenges but the impound lot is literally acres of nothing.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » April 16th, 2014, 6:26 am

But results take more than a charette or a master plan. They require demand and investors who can make money meeting that demand.

froggie
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby froggie » April 16th, 2014, 6:37 am

These things can take time. Even in Arlington County, VA, it took over 20 years for development to really start taking off on the DC Metro Orange Line.


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