Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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

Postby Realstreets » April 1st, 2015, 11:27 am

David Greene wrote:Good CAC meeting last night. A representative from the disability community came to have a discussion about station design. This gave me an opening to harp on the West Lake station again. Why are we requiring people to walk up a steeply-inclined bridge only to take an elevator down to the platform? For people coming from Whole Foods or the strip mall north of Lake, just build a damn sidewalk at grade over to the platform! Ditto on the other side of the tracks (which, to be fair, has the additional challenge of freight trackage).

I honestly don't see why we need elevators at all because there is no other way to get to the top of the bridge other than to walk from a point where an at-grade sidewalk would get you there more easily and more quickly. I talked to Jim Alexander about this but he was pretty stuck in "because budget" mode. Sidewalks would require easements or acquisitions and he's afraid of those costs. But how much cost savings would come from eliminating an elevator?
I think they could easily build a sidewalk off of the southwest corner of Lake Street. The county owns the parcel between there and the station (behind Whole Foods). The west side would be more difficult. But I agree walking up that viaduct with people flying by on Lake Street makes for a very hostile pedestrian environment.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » April 1st, 2015, 3:50 pm

mattaudio wrote:There are plenty of places around the country where pedestrians accessing rail transit have the option to cross freight tracks at grade. I hope that's still under consideration at West Lake.
Right now it is NOT. Elevator only. I suggest we all start making demands to staff and political leaders about this. Minneapolis station open house is tomorrow at 5:30pm at Dunwoody.

I've been nagging about this for at least two years now and it's gone nowhere. Time to turn up the heat,

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » April 1st, 2015, 5:15 pm

The biggest current threat is that there may be a fence on the north side of the RR tracks, completely cutting off the "wedge"-shaped neighborhood between Lake, France, and the tracks. The only access for all of those apartments & townhouses would be via Lake street - a massive detour & burden for those furthest from Lake.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby min-chi-cbus » April 1st, 2015, 7:15 pm

What about a ped bridge up and over or a tunnel down and under?

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mamundsen » April 1st, 2015, 7:52 pm

If you are pulling for at grade crossing... Can you ask them to connect Target Field station to the Cedar Lake bike trail??? (Sorry off topic)

I totally agree we should be able to have at grade crossings. Roads with sidewalks have RR crossings...

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » April 2nd, 2015, 1:25 pm

Reminder:

Open House Schedule
MINNEAPOLIS STATIONS

Thursday, April 2, 2015, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Dunwoody College of Technology
818 Dunwoody Blvd., Minneapolis

http://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/ ... -2015.aspx

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Nick
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Nick » April 2nd, 2015, 5:22 pm

Pretty sparsely attended.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » April 2nd, 2015, 5:35 pm

What is there to give public feedback on?

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Nick
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Nick » April 2nd, 2015, 5:55 pm

Mostly the architecture of the stations, there wasn't much discussion about design. I left a comment that it felt like salt in the wound to label the Minneapolis stations "landscape stations" and noted that they should really be planning on accommodating all these hypothetical Northside bus transfers, because it didn't seem like the existing plans did much of that.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » April 14th, 2015, 11:02 am

The Hopkins and Minnetonka stations design open house is tonight. 5:30 at the Hopkins City Hall.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » April 14th, 2015, 11:06 am

See you there?

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » April 14th, 2015, 11:11 am

Maybe a bit later towards 6:15. I'll be there, though after going to the SLP station open house I saw Nick was correct above. There really isn't much they want feedback on. They're pretty much wanting to see if their station design choice, from the four designs, is the right choice.

*shrug* I'm still going.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » April 16th, 2015, 8:29 am


EOst
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby EOst » April 27th, 2015, 7:20 am

The cost of this is now up to $1.994 billion due to delays, poor soil condition, and some contamination. It also won't open (at earliest) til 2020.

The Met Council's press release: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts ... ns/1014c7a

xandrex
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby xandrex » April 27th, 2015, 7:47 am

They're going to have to cut something, right? A $2 billion light rail project just seems like a nonstarter.

xanadu
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby xanadu » April 27th, 2015, 7:54 am

I'm curious if this will hold up development of all other transit projects (future LRT lines and BRT)? The last I heard, Bottineau was scheduled for service in 2021, which was probably optimistic to begin with.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 27th, 2015, 8:02 am

This thing just blew past the contingency that was already in the $1.65bn estimate, with no guarantee costs will actually remain under $2bn. We've gone around and around here about options that should be considered. Single tracking at grade through Kenilworth, terminating the line somewhere in the Hopkins to Golden Triangle zone, etc. I'm glad Duininck says all options are on the table; if he means it, we'll actually see these evaluated.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » April 27th, 2015, 8:05 am

Well it was one of the highest rated projects in the country by the FTA. This dramatic cost increase could certainly impact that rating, bringing it down to a "medium" rating, from "medium-high". I do believe FTA still wants to see this project get built, but yeah...things are going to get cut.

Things that are obviously on the table:
*cutting Mitchell Station (perhaps $80MM or more due to nearly 1 mi of additional track, additional P&R, etc.)

Things that should be on the table:
*cutting one of the 3 St. Louis Park stations (Beltline, Wooddale, or Louisiana)
*cutting one of Minneapolis' terribly sited stations. As has always been true, 21st has terrible ridership projects but is a low-cost station. Penn Station OTOH is very high-cost, one of the highest on the line. Cutting 21st is "easy", but it doesn't save you much money.
*cutting another Eden Prairie Station (though likely not Southwest Station, as you need that P&R location)

Things that probably are not on the table:
*Shortening the line even further (other than cutting Mitchell). If you shorten the line even further and don't serve Southwest Station P&R, I think that blows up your cost-effectiveness formula for this line entirely. Without a huge base of Eden Prairie riders taking long trips (time savings, etc.), you probably have to re-evaluate this entire line. If you stop short somewhere in the Golden Triangle area, then you have to build a massive P&R there to make up for not serving EP Town Center & Southwest Station. If you stop short at Shady Oak / Hopkins, I think you've probably killed the line's CEI. Stopping at Hopkins makes sense if this was an urban rapid transit line focused on serving walkable nodes. It is not that. It is a commuter-focused line, much of its value is derived from moving suburbanites long distances. Secondary value (in terms of ridership) was serving city residents doing reverse commutes out to suburban jobs, which are primarily in Golden Triangle, EP Town Center, etc... not in Downtown Hopkins, very little in SLP.

Things that are almost certainly not on the table:
*cutting the Kenilworth tunnel

Things that could maybe probably soon be on the table:
*moving Bottineau ahead of Southwest while they perform major surgery on Southwest

LakeCharles
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby LakeCharles » April 27th, 2015, 8:13 am

Remember when 3C was too expensive? :)

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » April 27th, 2015, 8:17 am

You know what would make a great infographic?

A segment-by-segment cost breakdown, including data on the most expensive stations, bridges, P&Rs, environmental mitigation, etc., supplemented with ridership projections.


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