Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
David Greene
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » January 7th, 2015, 11:07 am

The Met Council can always move money around. I don't think funding is really the issue. The real problem is the lack of political support for transit. SWLRT is just the convenient scapegoat.

Look at all the rhetoric around the "transportation session." It's all roads. Now there's no way a bill will pass without metro transit but what we'll get will be much worse than we would have gotten had the DFL made transportation a priority.

The lesson here is wield the power when you have it.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » January 7th, 2015, 11:19 am

If we see much more of this, I'd say it would be wiser for metro/urban interests to scuttle any chance for transportation funding, rather than give more money over to road-first transportation funding.

I've been saying it for a year, though the position may become more mainstream. https://streets.mn/2014/03/10/podcast-60 ... e-mn-bill/

MNdible
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » January 7th, 2015, 11:57 am

As if Dayton needed another opportunity to demonstrate his utter incompetence. His staff must cringe every time he steps in front of a microphone.

(And I voted for him.)

mullen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mullen » January 7th, 2015, 12:08 pm

why is any of this surprising. old news since the election results. state government is akin to high school, one big clique of crap. except to insiders, lobbyists and politcal reporters who live at the capitol and feel validated when some self important legislator smiles at them. i interned at the capitol during college and it's one big chumming pile of dog manure.

but i thought the funding for the southwest line was basically in place..that's what i heard peter mclaughlin crowing about.

David Greene
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » January 7th, 2015, 12:16 pm

mattaudio wrote:If we see much more of this, I'd say it would be wiser for metro/urban interests to scuttle any chance for transportation funding, rather than give more money over to road-first transportation funding.
I tend to agree. I still want to see SWLRT happen, obviously, but I can wait a year or two if it doesn't scuttle the project. Even so, I'm pretty confident it'll move forward. As much as sunk costs shouldn't matter, they do. It seems like we've got some funding in place for the enhanced bus routes which is an important urban-wide investment. They certainly can't replace LRT but they're just as important. I'm fine moving forward with those now in lieu for a larger transportation package.

I'm a bit more worried about what this SWLRT posturing will do to Bottineau and Midtown. Midtown was always going to be a massive lift but Golden Valley must be just licking its lips over what's going on with SWLRT. There's gonna be some extortion there for sure.

I would like to understand travel patterns around Bottineau more. I haven't been able to keep up with the project as I have on SWLRT. Do the folks in North want it because it links to downtown or to the suburbs or both? The answer to that question will drive me to push for a Broadway streetcar before Bottineau. Or not.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » January 7th, 2015, 1:12 pm

Rural anti-transit types always talk about how buses are more efficient, but I haven't heard Tim Kelly or Kurt Daudt talk about how they'd like to throw $100 million into accelerated building of 4-5 urban aBRT lines rather than spend it on a shallow tunnel or anything to that effect. That's the problem I'm seeing, and the reason why any viable strategy if this gets worse needs to be denial of any new funding until our infrastructure strategy shifts.

Rich
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Rich » January 7th, 2015, 2:53 pm

mattaudio wrote:any viable strategy if this gets worse needs to be denial of any new funding
Deny funding to whom?

ECtransplant
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby ECtransplant » January 7th, 2015, 5:11 pm

So are we allowed to start bringing 3C back up yet?

imperator3733
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby imperator3733 » January 7th, 2015, 9:49 pm

I haven't been keeping track of SWLRT as much as I would have liked (I no longer live in MN), but I just read the last few pages of this thread and it sounds like there are still some issues with the line. It made me wonder how much longer until it would make sense for Bottineau to jump ahead of Southwest in the queue. Then, the 3C vs 3A issue could be revisited, ideally with a subway under Hennepin.

I would have stations at Uptown (in the trench with a nearby platform for the Midtown streetcar), 25th Street (underground), Franklin Ave (underground), Dunwoody/Hennepin (street level), and maybe Royalston/North Loop. If needed 25th St and Franklin could be combined into one station at 23rd or 24th, but two stations would be preferable.

This would avoid the whole Kenilworth mess and serve a much more transit-friendly area.

acs
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby acs » January 7th, 2015, 9:56 pm

http://www.startribune.com/politics/sta ... 70451.html

More coverage (finally from the strib). Nothing new to report but as with anything SWLRT related on the strib expect the comments to be off the walls.

Also, f$%k the park board and f#@k the limousine liberals. It's truly sad to see a politician become beholden to campaign donations.

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » January 12th, 2015, 11:56 am

Well, now there's this: http://blogs.mprnews.org/capitol-view/2 ... ight-rail/

However, it's long been suggested by McLaughlin, et al, that the Met Council and CTIB can wriggle their way around the remainder of the state share. This alone won't hurt the project, but starving it of $100MM in state funding on top of the feds possibly requiring a 60% local commitment (instead of 50%) could certainly slow things down. At some point in the near future, we really ought to take this thing to the chopping block and trim off Mitchell Station, and perhaps one of the more expensive inner stations too (likely Penn, due to lengthy ped bridges and such). The burbs gotta know though that removing the Mpls tunnel is completely off limits...I can certainly see them suggesting it if we start hacking off Mitchell and a suburban P&R or two. Getting the total cost down near $1.5 Billion would really help move things along with the feds (once we get past the Park Board nonsense, that is)

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » January 12th, 2015, 12:16 pm

It's high time people start attacking the GOP on how fiscally irresponsible roadbuilding truly is.

acs
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby acs » January 12th, 2015, 12:21 pm

It's not like cutting a few stations and getting the price below 1.5 B is going to make a difference to the GOP on funding this is. Their strategy is to delay and deny until the cost increases naturally and it becomes unpalatable. Realistically though many people suspect that Daudt has no real power within his party, so I'd take Kelly's comments more seriously. The GOP's transportation plan has almost no chance as proposed.

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » January 12th, 2015, 12:38 pm

acs wrote:It's not like cutting a few stations and getting the price below 1.5 B is going to make a difference to the GOP on funding this.
Sorry, I didn't separate my statements clearly enough. I made those statements assuming that the state will withhold the rest of its 10% contribution (roughly $120MM), which will have to be made up by CTIB and/or Met Council jiggering of funding. This scenario has been in play long before the GOP took the House. It was part of the conversation throughout 2013-14 when the fully DFL-controlled legislature failed to provide any further funding.

That move by the state will pressure CTIB to trim the project budget. Now take that even further if the Feds will only pay 40% instead of 50%. In a $1.65B project, you're now trying to backfill some $280MM out of existing CTIB & Met Council funding streams. That probably could not happen without cuts to existing services.

Even if only one of those two possible 10% shortfalls were to occur, the project budget still needs to come down. Chopping off Mitchell Station is just so obvious. What was it again, some $80MM?

EDIT: Yes, $80MM. I think it would be fairly easy, politically. It's not like Eden Prairie would drop their support based on losing that station. It's been cut and re-added before. http://www.startribune.com/politics/sta ... 61831.html

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » January 21st, 2015, 12:57 pm

BREAKING: Agreements reached to design underpass for Beltline Blvd. LRT, freight rail, and bike trail would be constructed on a bridge(s) over Beltline Blvd.

Additionally, the bike trail would be grade separated from the street crossings at Blake Rd & Wooddale Ave. LRT and freight rail would remain at-grade in those areas. I presume this would be accomplished with simple box tunnels placed under the street crossings.

At this time, funding is approved for design & engineering only. Hennepin County & 3 Rivers Parks are splitting the cost of trail separation at Blake & Wooddale, while St. Louis Park will fund design (~$1MM) of Beltline. Construction of the underpass would cost $23MM and would be built as part of the SWLRT project budget.

EDIT: http://finance-commerce.com/2015/01/sou ... g-forward/ (locked)
I guess we'll have to wait for the press release.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » January 21st, 2015, 1:07 pm

Link?

acs
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby acs » January 27th, 2015, 12:30 pm

Remember back when we were all fretting that Dayton was supposedly anti-LRT and pro Minneapolis park board? That he was going to let the park board hold up the project for two years? Yeah, about that...

"Dayton proposes cuts to Park Board over Southwest light rail"

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/289950941.html

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » January 27th, 2015, 12:34 pm

Dayton's going all Chris Christie on their asses.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » January 27th, 2015, 12:53 pm

WhaaaaaAAA?!?

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » January 27th, 2015, 1:08 pm

Seems reasonable. They clearly had at least $500MM more than they needed in the 2014-2015 budgets.


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