Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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

Postby UptownSport » August 10th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Come to think of it, I don't recall seeing freight pass Cedar with any frequency- It was my daily running circuit while in the Guard.
North of Cedar, yep.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » August 11th, 2013, 2:48 pm

I would rather find a way to get the freight line out permanently, but being a tremendous fan of the High Line in NYC, I like this perspective of the elevated trail option. http://www.startribune.com/opinion/comm ... 52991.html

The tl;dr summary, an elevated bike path above the rails through Kenilworth doesn't have to be ugly, it can be as attractive and an ammenity as the NYC High Line elevated park.

I never thought of the elevated bike trail option in that light, but I believe the dismissed elevated trail option even grants interesting development options, such as apartment buildings adjacent to the elevated trail building their own bridge out to it for their occupants. Plus having the unique perspective for trail riders of riding up in the tree tops briefly.

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woofner
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby woofner » August 12th, 2013, 11:10 am

the other scott wrote:
orangevening wrote: After biking this trail for 10 years I think I saw my 2nd, maybe 1st, freight train there.
Huh. Just two weeks ago I had to bike down to the bridge at Burnham road to get around a stopped freight train, and that's not the first time I've been stopped by a train there at Cedar Lake. I've also seen trains parked next to the trail but not blocking the intersection (they would be blocking Thatcher's reroute) a few times. We must bike at different times of the day.
According to a map I have produced by MnDot in 2009 there are (were) 4 trains a day coming through Kenilworth. There were 9 a day at the time on the BNSF track that runs through Cedar Lake Valley, and I'm pretty sure there are more now thanks to North Dakota and our willingness to ruin the economic viability of future generations.
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby uptowncarag » August 12th, 2013, 3:41 pm

Who are these bike terrorists that don't like to be near trains? This is ridiculous.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby min-chi-cbus » August 13th, 2013, 8:13 am

redisciple wrote:
the other scott wrote:
orangevening wrote: After biking this trail for 10 years I think I saw my 2nd, maybe 1st, freight train there.
Huh. Just two weeks ago I had to bike down to the bridge at Burnham road to get around a stopped freight train, and that's not the first time I've been stopped by a train there at Cedar Lake. I've also seen trains parked next to the trail but not blocking the intersection (they would be blocking Thatcher's reroute) a few times. We must bike at different times of the day.
According to a map I have produced by MnDot in 2009 there are (were) 4 trains a day coming through Kenilworth. There were 9 a day at the time on the BNSF track that runs through Cedar Lake Valley, and I'm pretty sure there are more now thanks to North Dakota and our willingness to ruin the economic viability of future generations.
Your last sentence threw me off, because for a second there I thought you and I agreed that there weren't many trains going through this corridor on a daily basis. I don't know what, if anything, Bakken oil has done to change this, as BNSF has more than one route to/from the Twin Cities (within the metro area), and my understanding was that the primary route was northeast from downtown Minneapolis.

Either way, when you live in the city, parks and urbanity need to coexist side by side. I don't think it destroys much to have a glorified trolly (in LRT) running along a bike path that was recently converted from a rail corridor, nonetheless. I'm still in favor of a tunnel but only because I think "tubing" under the city or major parks is the most efficient way to add this infrastructure in the long run (key notion.....LONG RUN).

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ofrw/maps/MNRailMap.pdf

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mulad » August 13th, 2013, 8:39 am

I think redisciple was referring to BNSF's Wayzata Subdivision, which runs from Willmar to Minneapolis, roughly paralleling US-12. In St. Louis Park/Minneapolis, the North Cedar Lake Trail. The TC&W line goes through the Kenilworth corridor to meet up with the Wayzata Sub right around I-394/I-94 at Cedar Lake junction.

A majority of overall BNSF traffic comes down the Staples Subdivision, mostly paralleling US-10 from Staples through St. Cloud and on to Minneapolis -- that route is largely double-tracked (except, annoyingly, between Big Lake and Becker). The Wayzata Sub is single-tracked except for periodic sidings for passing or access to rail-served businesses, so it sees less traffic. I heard at one of the open houses about the reroute that TC&W hosts one BNSF train per week (a long unit train carrying Bakken oil). I'm sure both the Wayzata and Staples subdivisions carry some amount of oil from North Dakota.
Last edited by mulad on August 13th, 2013, 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby FISHMANPET » August 13th, 2013, 10:25 am

I've read in a couple of places that since we haven't built a pipeline from North Dakota that a lot more oil is being shipped via rail, though I don't have anything at hand to back that up.

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woofner
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby woofner » August 13th, 2013, 10:31 am

Thanks mulad for the proper names. Do you know of an online map with subs labeled?

I've spent a lot of time around the Wayzata Sub where it runs in the Cut in Downtown Minneapolis (e.g. east of Cedar Lake Jct) since 2008 and have noticed a significant increase in tanker traffic. I would be really surprised if there were still only 13 trains a day there.
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 14th, 2013, 8:40 pm

thatchio wrote:My belief is that they will do co-location and route the bike path at grade across LRT and Freight Rail to the N side of the Lake Street bridge and run it straight west. Then turn at the first street and take out parking on one side running a two-way path off-street all the way along St Louis Ave to Cedar Lake Parkway. I biked that route the other day and it wouldn't be outrageously expensive. There is already a wide cowpath running from the tracks there and the area is a forest.
I walked this tonight, with a baby in a stroller no less. The cowpath is in fact some kind of official trail as there is signage directing people there all the way along St. Louis Ave. The forest is a protected wetland (also signed), which could create some problems but hopefully nothing we couldn't solve.

I've mapped the route on Google to provide a visual reference. The whole reroute is at most a block out of the way of the current trail and St. Louis Ave. is pretty bucolic.


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Anondson
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » August 14th, 2013, 9:34 pm

Were a trail moved to St. Louis how well would that fit on that street? Would that take away needed parking for residents? Or is there easily enough parking there would be enough left over? Does it cross a ton of driveways with poor sight lines?

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 14th, 2013, 9:47 pm

Anondson wrote:Were a trail moved to St. Louis how well would that fit on that street? Would that take away needed parking for residents? Or is there easily enough parking there would be enough left over? Does it cross a ton of driveways with poor sight lines?
Thatcher's proposal is to eliminate parking on the south side and (I think) build a raised cycletrack in the existing public right-of-way. The townhomes front that side of the street and they have ample private parking. The driveways are very visible. I think there are about six of them.
.
I was there about 8:30pm and there were very few cars parked on the street.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby min-chi-cbus » August 15th, 2013, 8:17 am

FISHMANPET wrote:I've read in a couple of places that since we haven't built a pipeline from North Dakota that a lot more oil is being shipped via rail, though I don't have anything at hand to back that up.
I saw that same thing, either in the BizJournal, Strib, or through other links. And we're not talking about one or two more trains per day/week, we're talking hundreds!

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » August 17th, 2013, 10:42 am

The last committee meeting discussed possibilities of scope expansion/reduction, most notably:

- Adding a bicycle path along the Hopkins-Minnetonka bridge
- Adding a bicycle path along the bridge over Excelsior Bl
- Bicycle underpasses at Blake Rd, Wooddale Ave, and BeltLine Rd
- Relocating Louisiana Ave Stn closer to Methodist Hospital
- Ending the line at Southwest Station instead of Mitchell Road
- Removing the northern tunnel in the shallow tunnel option

http://www.metrocouncil.org/getdoc/b473 ... ation.aspx

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » August 17th, 2013, 11:04 am

Another subtraction mentioned for cost savings was removing the vertical circulation from West Lake Station. It's mind boggling that this would even be mentioned. How would people get down to the platform from the Lake Street bridge?

Now, I don't think this would actually happen. Minneapolis would find a way to pay for the elevators/escalators even if it fell out of the main project budget. Losing vertical circulation at Lake would be a ridership killer.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MSPtoMKE » August 17th, 2013, 11:25 am

Hmm, the current diagram on page 30 shows ramps only to the east at Lake St, no elevators. There is a request for a betterment from Minneapolis to include "Vertical circulation elevator/stairs north and south of the West Lake Street bridge" for an additional $5-$6 million. The detailed diagram also does not show how the connection with the Midtown Corridor would fit, only the more generalized diagrams at the beginning show it.
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 19th, 2013, 11:49 am

twincitizen wrote:Another subtraction mentioned for cost savings was removing the vertical circulation from West Lake Station. It's mind boggling that this would even be mentioned. How would people get down to the platform from the Lake Street bridge?
The "cow path" mentioned by Thatcher is the current way people on Lake / north of Lake access the shopping center. Obviously something needs to be paved but we could get by without an elevator if need be. Since Lake goes up and over the rail it shouldn't even be an ADA issue. It would be harder for someone to go up the bridge and take an elevator.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 19th, 2013, 11:51 am

MSPtoMKE wrote:The detailed diagram also does not show how the connection with the Midtown Corridor would fit, only the more generalized diagrams at the beginning show it.
Isn't slide 11 what you're looking for?

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » August 19th, 2013, 11:55 am

I guess I just always assumed that West Lake would have full vertical circulation, at least to the scale of Franklin Station on the Blue Line (stairs & elevators on both sides of the bridge, no escalators). Not having those vertical access points on both sides of the bridge would kill bus transfers, perhaps literally as bus passengers would be scurrying across the wide/busy Lake Street bridge to make their connection.


It looks like the OMF building is destined for Hopkins: http://finance-commerce.com/2013/08/hop ... -facility/

Smart decision, especially now that we may potentially/temporarily end the line at Southwest Station in order to cut costs.
Last edited by twincitizen on August 19th, 2013, 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 19th, 2013, 12:00 pm

A lot of these betterments seem to be road projects. This project is already paying part of the Hiawatha rebuild project. Isn't that enough?

Even some of the bike enhancements seem out-of-line with an LRT project. The Wooddale intersection really needs a grade separation but should the LRT project pay for it?

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 19th, 2013, 12:03 pm

twincitizen wrote:I guess I just always assumed that West Lake would have full vertical circulation, at least to the scale of Franklin Station on the Blue Line (stairs & elevators on both sides of the bridge, no escalators). Not having those vertical access points on both sides of the bridge would kill bus transfers, perhaps literally as bus passengers would be scurrying across too-wide Lake Street to make their connection.
I don't think it would at all. Franklin is different. Franklin is essentially at grade with a need to get up to the LRT. Lake and the LRT will be at the same grade except for the bridge expanse which goes up and over the LRT/freight. Why would someone walk up a hilly bridge to take an elevator when there is an at-grade path available?


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