Minneapolis Streetcar System

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
HuskyGrad
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby HuskyGrad » January 23rd, 2015, 10:28 am

EOst wrote:That said, if you look at a map of the Atlanta streetcar, it should be clear that it isn't really trying to do the same thing that Nicollet-Central is; it's purely a downtown circulator (which doesn't even meet up with MARTA!).
The Atlanta Streetcar meets up with MARTA at the intersection of Carnegie Way and Peachtree.

MSPtoMKE
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby MSPtoMKE » January 23rd, 2015, 10:34 am

In one direction only, it is several blocks away going the other way. That is one problem with designing transit as one-way loops.
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EOst
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby EOst » January 23rd, 2015, 10:39 am

HuskyGrad wrote:The Atlanta Streetcar meets up with MARTA at the intersection of Carnegie Way and Peachtree.
I'm more referring to the fact that it avoids Five Points, which is by far the more important station for connectivity. But yes, you can get on MARTA from the streetcar if you know where you're going.

The bigger problem is the frequency--10 to 15 minutes, which is way too long for a route of its length. They've said before that Nicollet-Central will be every 7, though I'm afraid they might try to nickel-and-dime that down.

talindsay
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby talindsay » January 23rd, 2015, 11:50 am

MSPtoMKE wrote:In one direction only, it is several blocks away going the other way. That is one problem with designing transit as one-way loops.
One-way loops are incredibly stupid, as are outside-lane-running systems without crossovers. Symmetrical service and redundant double-tracking are very nearly requirements for a functional system. This is an aspect of the SLUT in Seattle that I don't like - the outside-lane tracks may make for nice curbside stations, but they degrade service substantially.

I wish Toronto, not Portland, were held up as the model for streetcars. Their system is much more transit-oriented.

mattaudio
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby mattaudio » January 23rd, 2015, 11:57 am

Agreed. One way loops should only ever be used on far ends of a line where extension is unlikely. But even then, why not just go down to single track for the last bit and reverse the train.

I still think we ought to look at gauntlet track in dedicated ROW as preferable to shared ROW. It seems to work well for European trams.

MNdible
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby MNdible » January 23rd, 2015, 1:57 pm

Someday, Matt, we'll have to meet up and you can explain to me why gauntlet track works better than single track. In either case, you can't have trains pass each other, right?

Apparently, I am literally too stupid to understand this.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby FISHMANPET » January 23rd, 2015, 2:01 pm

It looks to me, in a case like this, the biggest advantage is no switches, though it also requires the same amount of rails as double track (assuming we'd do it this way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauntlet_t ... -double.29)

EOst
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby EOst » January 23rd, 2015, 2:19 pm

I assume he's imagining something like this, with single tracked sections in the medians and passing areas at intersections. Is that right?

mattaudio
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby mattaudio » January 23rd, 2015, 3:00 pm

ya ya ya! I mean, it could be switching for all I care... but gauntlet track would likely be less expensive and less complex technologically... you just need to have block signalling for each section between stations/passing, but points don't need to be set.

EOst
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby EOst » January 23rd, 2015, 3:06 pm

I don't understand, though, where would you put the stations? I don't see where you would put center stations or sidewalk stations without forcing the streetcars to merge back into the drive lane, which would probably nullify any speed increase won by the dedicated ROW.

mattaudio
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby mattaudio » January 23rd, 2015, 3:23 pm

Median stations. 10' width stations (with shared amenities, thereby roughly halving station costs), surrounded by 9.5' dedicated streetcar ROW + 1' buffer, leaves space for a 10' driving lane + 5' bike lane + 10' sidewalk + amenity zone on each side of a 80' ROW street like Nicollet.

MNdible
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby MNdible » January 23rd, 2015, 4:16 pm

It's an interesting plan. You seem like you're at bare minimums for everything in terms of widths. Since First and Blaisdell already have bike lanes, I'd say that eliminating those and increasing sidewalk/platform space should be an easy trade-off (he says, knowing full-well that people will go ape-shit over that idea).

Also, I'd like to see the numbers as to whether or not there's a meaningful time benefit to dedicated ROW, but needing to wait for use of gauntlet track. The other downside is that buses (which I'm assuming would continue to use these routes) can't use these center median stations because the doors are on the wrong sides.

I wonder if you could work up a vision where Eat Street businesses trade their on-street parking for a city owned structured parking solution.

mattaudio
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby mattaudio » January 23rd, 2015, 5:14 pm

Actually, you bring up a good point. 1st/Blaisdell provide a good option for covering long distances by bike. And each side of the streetcar ROW could be built with a 20 or less design speed, or even a curbless woonerf, to make the space truly equal in terms of speed and hospitality for all users.

Also, to clarify, there wouldn't be much of a loss of parking - just the area where there are stations, which probably is about the same as if parking was sacrificed for bus bulbs. The majority of the blockfaces could retain on-street parking, or if that's determined to not be as important, the ROW could be re-purposed for wider sidewalks, more amenity space, and greenery.

Here's another thing: I think most of the length could be built within the existing curb profile, which appears to be roughly 46' curb to curb. At stations, it would need to get cut out a little, to over 50', to include roughly 28' in the middle for the island platform and two tracks, as well as two travel lanes with inside buffer and outer curb reaction space (probably 12' x2). Yet probably not to the point where it would constrain the sidewalk area - street trees could likely remain.

EOst
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby EOst » January 23rd, 2015, 8:25 pm

Would cars then have to veer into (what was) the parking lane to pass the streetcar station area?

mattaudio
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby mattaudio » January 24th, 2015, 6:43 am

Veer implies a vehicle speed that would not be appropriate in an urban context. But yes, car lanes move around parking lanes on plenty of streets like Lyndale, 50th, Cedar, etc.

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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby grant1simons2 » February 12th, 2015, 7:37 pm

http://metrocouncil.granicus.com/MediaP ... ip_id=2122

Here's last nights meeting at the Met Council about support for streetcars. You can click on the links below the video to skip ahead to the presentation

tabletop
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby tabletop » February 13th, 2015, 2:26 am

Judging by the disinterest of a few of the commissioners (one man making funny faces swiveling in his chair and the other more interested in her cell phone than the person talking) I became distracted in the fact that they were distracted and couldn't fully follow along. Too bad, we're probably doomed.

tabletop
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby tabletop » February 13th, 2015, 2:50 am

Have the people presenting street cars to the metro council ever seen a city with street cars? Im not talking about reading a few reports about Portland but actually walked around Toronto or all the cities in Europe you hear of local official touring to see their transit "choo choo's," the metro council chairs have not based on their questions. Boston was raised in a question about it being different how the discussion would be on streetcars regarding climate? They have had a working streetcar in the Green line for like ONE HUNDRED YEARS!!! AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby HiawathaGuy » February 13th, 2015, 9:47 am

tabletop wrote:Judging by the disinterest of a few of the commissioners (one man making funny faces swiveling in his chair and the other more interested in her cell phone than the person talking) I became distracted in the fact that they were distracted and couldn't fully follow along. Too bad, we're probably doomed.
Personally, this is the type of accountability that news reports ought to be focusing attention on when they write their damn stories. Why are people in this role if they can't pay attention or 'be present' during important regional discussions. Sure you may not be personally in favor of it - but dammit, you represent more than just yourself as an appointed member of the Metropolitan Council.

Frankly, I'd love to see Minn Post or someone do a story about the pathetic lack of interest in solving our region's long-term transportation issues. Specifically focusing on key leaders and their points of view. I can't expect the Strib or Pioneer Press to report on it... sadly.

I just get so sick of today's journalists - it's as though any sort of investigative writing has died.
Perhaps we need to email those Council Members and share our point of view regarding their lack of interest into something that's pretty damn important. Why aren't the Minneapolis Council Members making more noise about this? It just seems odd.

mattaudio
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Re: Minneapolis Streetcar System

Postby mattaudio » February 13th, 2015, 9:55 am

I was more frustrated at some of the generalizations by the PB consultant... that streetcars should be "walk accelerators" (and LRT should bring people in from the suburbs). So much wrong in their understanding of good transit. Yet they're paid as experts and they're the ones speaking in front of the Council.


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