Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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tmart
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » May 17th, 2018, 2:48 pm

kirby96 wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 2:27 pm
mplsjaromir wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 8:56 am
phop wrote:
May 16th, 2018, 8:21 pm
Southwest LRT makes a heavily pedestrian/transit focused Hennepin Ave redo more likely.
I never thought of it this way, it is a great point. I am in the camp of Minneapolis, outside of the CBD, has plenty of surface ROW to make an excellent transit system. People lament the fact that there isn't political will to buy a subway, a more transformative move that would cost almost nothing would be a reconfiguration of Hennepin. Find the political will to do that and make the area better in way less time.
Yeah, it actually is a really good point. Drive around the lakes at rush hour to see the need for the diagonal route.

Dare I suggest building a park and ride at Beltline?
The Louisiana station will have one.

Bakken2016
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » May 17th, 2018, 2:51 pm

It looks like SWLRT has satisfied the requirements from the FTA on the amendments to the project.
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Multimodal
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Multimodal » May 17th, 2018, 4:46 pm

kirby96 wrote:Yeah, it actually is a really good point. Drive around the lakes at rush hour to see the need for the diagonal route.

Dare I suggest building a park and ride at Beltline?
Good idea. Not sure about a park & ride, but Beltline will have some sort of shared multilevel parking with new TOD development anticipated there. I attended this public meeting in March, but there’s no PDF of the presentation on the site, apparently: https://www.stlouispark.org/government/ ... evelopment

HuskyGrad
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby HuskyGrad » May 17th, 2018, 8:04 pm

mattaudio wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 2:13 pm
Is it, uh, too late to...
1. Eliminate 21st St Station
2. Single track the LRT between West Lake and Penn Ave
3. Not do the shallow tunnel, but instead run a single track of LRT next to a single track of freight
4. Save piles and piles of money?
Ultimately adding a second track at later date comes at significant increase in cost. Portland is still dealing with the decision to single track the Red Line. Single tracking causes significant operational difficulties, if you thought the signals on University were bad, single tracking would degrade on-time performance.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » May 18th, 2018, 9:00 am


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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » May 18th, 2018, 9:09 am

My question: why do Hennepin County Board members tolerate a process designed to have abundant opportunities to drag out every step so that costs will rise?

tmart
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » May 18th, 2018, 9:52 am

Anondson wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 9:09 am
My question: why do Hennepin County Board members tolerate a process designed to have abundant opportunities to drag out every step so that costs will rise?
What exactly are they tolerating? It's not like they can change how Surface Transportation Board reviews, or FTA approvals, or federal appeals courts work.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » May 18th, 2018, 11:34 am

HuskyGrad wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 8:04 pm

Ultimately adding a second track at later date comes at significant increase in cost. Portland is still dealing with the decision to single track the Red Line. Single tracking causes significant operational difficulties, if you thought the signals on University were bad, single tracking would degrade on-time performance.
While that's partially true, it wouldn't be that bad operating a single service pattern on a single track section with no intermediate stations.

And when it does become a problem, that's when the "rehabilitation later" phase kicks in:
- Route these trains over the Greenway to a Nicollet Subway.
- Use the existing Green Line tracks west to Penn to extend on the BNSF or 394 corridors to West End or beyond.

Image

mamundsen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mamundsen » May 18th, 2018, 1:52 pm

mattaudio wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 11:34 am
HuskyGrad wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 8:04 pm

Ultimately adding a second track at later date comes at significant increase in cost. Portland is still dealing with the decision to single track the Red Line. Single tracking causes significant operational difficulties, if you thought the signals on University were bad, single tracking would degrade on-time performance.
While that's partially true, it wouldn't be that bad operating a single service pattern on a single track section with no intermediate stations.

And when it does become a problem, that's when the "rehabilitation later" phase kicks in:
- Route these trains over the Greenway to a Nicollet Subway.
- Use the existing Green Line tracks west to Penn to extend on the BNSF or 394 corridors to West End or beyond.

Image
This looks like a good goal for 2100. Only 82 years to go! (also, maybe this should be in Fantasy Maps thread) Is there a larger metro wide version of this map?

Why not just build Nicollet Streetcar (planned) to LRT standards? a Subway isn't happening.
How could the "interim" connection between Green and Yellow be used after SWLRT is rerouted?

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » May 18th, 2018, 2:03 pm

Minneapolis is on track to grow by more than 50,000 residents in less than two decades. That map might not happen by 2030 but it needs to happen far sooner than 2100.

Regarding the planned streetcar, my philosophy is that Nicollet-Central should get ABRT within 2 years and then plan for a subway within the next 20.

Back to reality and SWLRT, the point of that article is that we need to triage the SWLRT project if we want to get it done. My article was written four years ago, after many years of delay already. The LPA was selected in 2010, yet here we are! Build single track between West Lake and Penn, cut out a hundred million dollars or more in shallow tunnel expense, and be strategic in leaving the door open for reroutes in the future.

tmart
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » May 18th, 2018, 2:38 pm

When and how did it become conventional wisdom that any project involving any tunnel, anywhere in the state, now or in the future is complete fantasy and a waste of breath?

I get that, like, a tunnel to Wayzata isn’t going to happen. But it would be a legitimate mode choice for some targeted stretches of our busiest corridors, like a downtown spine or a north-south stretch from Lake to Downtown. We have portions of our network, and our planned network, with disproportionate ridership and disproportionate negative impact from consecutive high-traffic at-grade crossings.

Why do so many people in the transit community dismiss it off-handedly? Why is it never even considered in our years-long alternative analyses?

(Mods, it came up here but I’ve been thinking of making a thread on this topic so maybe it’s worth a split)

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » May 18th, 2018, 6:56 pm

mamundsen wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 1:52 pm
mattaudio wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 11:34 am
HuskyGrad wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 8:04 pm

Ultimately adding a second track at later date comes at significant increase in cost. Portland is still dealing with the decision to single track the Red Line. Single tracking causes significant operational difficulties, if you thought the signals on University were bad, single tracking would degrade on-time performance.
While that's partially true, it wouldn't be that bad operating a single service pattern on a single track section with no intermediate stations.

And when it does become a problem, that's when the "rehabilitation later" phase kicks in:
- Route these trains over the Greenway to a Nicollet Subway.
- Use the existing Green Line tracks west to Penn to extend on the BNSF or 394 corridors to West End or beyond.

Image
This looks like a good goal for 2100. Only 82 years to go! (also, maybe this should be in Fantasy Maps thread) Is there a larger metro wide version of this map?

Why not just build Nicollet Streetcar (planned) to LRT standards? a Subway isn't happening.
How could the "interim" connection between Green and Yellow be used after SWLRT is rerouted?

I'm willing to bet in the 1980s if you asked someone where our first underground rail line would be (if any) they would likely say between the downtowns, not a random pinch-point in Southwest Minneapolis because we let developers shave off some railroad right-of-way. This is besides the underground section of the Blue Line at MSP. If you told people in the 1980s that there would be a rail tunnel through the West Lake area they would have some beachfront property to sell you in Arizona.

My point being mattaudio's plan isn't based on fantasy, its based on reality even if you think its crazy. You wouldn't even need to single-track the whole section between West Lake and Penn, just the pinch-point between West Lake and Cedar Lake Parkway. And if Cleveland can get a subway then we definitely can, and we probably deserve it more (no offense to Cleveland).

I'll also add that someone on this thread said something along the lines of "anything built can be destroyed". Of course I mean legally destroyed, so if this crazy tunnel ever gets built we can always make it right and do something like mattaudio's plan.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » May 31st, 2018, 6:24 am

Is there a reason an alternative alignment along I-394 and Highway 100 was never looked at? In theory it would be easy since you have the right-of-way, and it could serve the West End. Only problem is its further west of Uptown than the current alignment.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » May 31st, 2018, 9:32 am

DanPatchToget wrote: Is there a reason an alternative alignment along I-394 and Highway 100 was never looked at? In theory it would be easy since you have the right-of-way, and it could serve the West End. Only problem is its further west of Uptown than the current alignment.
I imagine it has something to do with planners thinking (incorrectly in hindsight) that it would be easier to work with freight railroads than convince MNDOT to give them space for trains where there could be additional freeway capacity. As it stands now, building a I-394 line would probably mean removing the HOV lanes, which I'm fine with, but I'm sure you'd get some angry Minnetonka millionaires demanding the project be shut down.

Following the existing freight rail connects West End and downtown Wayzata, but not much else.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » May 31st, 2018, 9:52 am

Freight railroad corridors over highway ROW every day of the week. There's no better way to make transit a miserable experience than co-locating it with a highway. It's a one-way ticket to the most inconvenient and inaccessible station locations and the most horrible waiting experiences.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » May 31st, 2018, 10:15 am

It wouldn't necessarily have to be in the median of the highway (or at least not for the whole route), just along it. The existing alignment follows Highway 212, but its not on the highway.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » May 31st, 2018, 10:23 am

It's almost like you could... Take the center HOV lanes for transit, then make the outside lanes into HOV lanes and be just fine.

But yeah, agree that freeway medians should generally a last resort place for transit.

tmart
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » May 31st, 2018, 11:05 am

The median-located BART stations were totally fine when I used to take it. They did a great job on designing the stations to be real enclosed buildings just like any other station. They're not super walkable locations, true, but they're pretty busy even if they are park-and-rides.

It does have its drawbacks, but when our growth and development has happened along these corridors for decades, then sometimes going where the people are involves making those compromises. I think 394 is probably the top candidate where it could actually make sense in MN.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » May 31st, 2018, 11:13 am

tmart wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 11:05 am
The median-located BART stations were totally fine when I used to take it. They did a great job on designing the stations to be real enclosed buildings just like any other station. They're not super walkable locations, true, but they're pretty busy even if they are park-and-rides.

It does have its drawbacks, but when our growth and development has happened along these corridors for decades, then sometimes going where the people are involves making those compromises. I think 394 is probably the top candidate where it could actually make sense in MN.
A light rail line serving West End, Ridgedale, and Wayzata via the median of 394 with lots of thought put into the stations makes sense to me. The density along the corridor continues to grow.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby EOst » May 31st, 2018, 11:31 am

394 was included in the highway BRT study a few years ago. 2013 cost was estimated at $47m, which is a bargain compared to the cost of LRT here.


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