Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Qhaberl
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Qhaberl » June 18th, 2019, 8:59 am

I was looking at some of the engineer in plans for the blue line extension. He travels and Olsen Memorial Highway for a good distance. Does anyone know if the plans are to give trains priority how long is the memorial highway? I believe the highway is owned by the state or county, they can be difficult when it comes to letting transit get priority.

Also, does anyone have any updates on the ongoing discussion/conversation with the railroad? I really want to see this being under construction at the same time as the south west line.


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HiawathaGuy
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » June 18th, 2019, 2:26 pm

Qhaberl wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 8:59 am
I was looking at some of the engineer in plans for the blue line extension. He travels and Olsen Memorial Highway for a good distance. Does anyone know if the plans are to give trains priority how long is the memorial highway? I believe the highway is owned by the state or county, they can be difficult when it comes to letting transit get priority.

Also, does anyone have any updates on the ongoing discussion/conversation with the railroad? I really want to see this being under construction at the same time as the south west line.
See my last post for information about progress. I wouldn't hold your breath about it happening at the same time as the Green Line extension. Even if an agreement happened today with the railroad, it likely wouldn't be until 2021 before any work started.

Also, you can go to Met Council's Blue Line Extension page, where they have simulation video of the train and it's alignment.
The train will run down the center of Hwy 55 - Olsen Memorial, so it would function like the Green Line on University Ave, with the train having priority, but not exemption.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 18th, 2019, 7:43 pm

Heaven forbid this happens, but if the Blue Line Extension gets cancelled what happens next?

Does the C Line still get moved to Glenwood Avenue?

Will other modes and/or a different route get looked at even though it means more bureaucratic sludge we have to trudge through? Or will the Met Council just leave that area in the dustbin and focus on other areas?

Qhaberl
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Qhaberl » June 18th, 2019, 7:46 pm

So what exactly are the freight real companies throwing a fit about? In simple terms.



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DanPatchToget
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 18th, 2019, 9:13 pm

Since BNSF isn't talking we don't know for sure. Possible reasons:
-getting back at the county for buying the land to prevent the Crystal connection, which would've rerouted some Canadian Pacific trains onto the BNSF tracks that the Blue Line Extension would parallel
-concern over liability if there's a derailment and BNSF is at fault

That's pretty much it. This is a spur line serving a few industries (including once in a blue moon the Monticello Nuclear Plant) so I don't see this line ever getting expanded.

MattW
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MattW » June 18th, 2019, 10:13 pm

From a credible source that explicitly requested to remain anonymous, BNSF has effectively killed this project for the above reasons.

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Anondson
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » June 18th, 2019, 10:14 pm

I’ve cynically put my hunch on a spiteful move over the Crystal blocked connection.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 18th, 2019, 11:23 pm

MattW wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 10:13 pm
From a credible source that explicitly requested to remain anonymous, BNSF has effectively killed this project for the above reasons.
Well then I wish they'd just make it official so we can start the alignment process over and hopefully learn this time that assuming railroads are going to cooperate is a bad idea.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 19th, 2019, 7:57 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 11:23 pm
MattW wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 10:13 pm
From a credible source that explicitly requested to remain anonymous, BNSF has effectively killed this project for the above reasons.
Well then I wish they'd just make it official so we can start the alignment process over and hopefully learn this time that assuming railroads are going to cooperate is a bad idea.
No kidding. How long has this been in serious planning, over a decade? At any point did they ask BNSF about this besides the last minute?

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mamundsen » June 19th, 2019, 8:38 am

If this is killed... move the money to fund the aBRTs.

Could the C and/or D line be extended north to provide similar coverage?

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » June 19th, 2019, 8:45 am

OR let's just do some more piecemeal extensions, such as extending the Blue Line to Van White and Penn down Olson Hwy.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » June 19th, 2019, 8:56 am

I agree move it to BRT. What were the other alignments? Could it follow the viaduct up to W. Broadway? I have no idea how it would fit on that road, however most of the traffic there doesn't consist of Mpls residents and includes many who would probably use the LRT.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 19th, 2019, 10:22 am

Really, the alignment they have could have worked if they had planned to put it in the center of Bottineau instead of in the rail corridor. I have no idea why this wasn't considered.

They could re-explore running it underground through N. Minneapolis. But I'm honestly fine if we just abandon it and fund more BRT instead. I don't feel like fighting for a train to go to Target is worth it at this point.

Maybe if we get more dedicated transit funding, we can revisit putting a 394/55 'blue line extension' to northwestern suburbs on a long term drawing board.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » June 19th, 2019, 11:09 am

The "center running down a surface expressway" is arguably one of the worst parts of the plan, so I'm glad they didn't duplicate it up on Bottineau. Barring a West Broadway subway, I'd want them to explore running it along 394 out to 169 or so, reusing a couple miles of SWLRT tracks and hitting West End, which even in its car-focused state is more transit-supportive than anything along the Blue Line Extension route.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby gopherfan » June 19th, 2019, 11:55 am

Silophant wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:09 am
reusing a couple miles of SWLRT tracks and hitting West End
Problem - St. Louis Park doesn't want light rail in their city.

Qhaberl
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Qhaberl » June 19th, 2019, 12:00 pm

This is bordering on fantasy map discussion, but since it relates specifically to the blue line, I’m going to put it here.

Anyone out there good at drawing fantasy maps? Could anyone dry up some maps of alternative alignments? I don’t think we would end up with a tunnel. Minneapolis seems to be against tunnels. I like the idea of Hanna Evan trains run in the middle of Broadway. In order for that to work though, I think trains me true priority.


I don’t know that going through North Minneapolis is necessary. It would be great to see the areas served by light rail, but I think with the opening of the bus rapid transit system, the area will get the transit service it deserves.

I also understand asking the feasibility of even building this light rail line. If memory serves correct, except for a few stations, and there didn’t seem to be that much development potential along the line. Maybe a bus rapid transit system would serve the line better.

Assuming we can actually get some dedicated transit funding, which I realize is a big assumption, maybe we could build the bus rapid transit system in half the time it would take to build the light rail.


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DanPatchToget
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 19th, 2019, 1:07 pm

gopherfan wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:55 am
Silophant wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 11:09 am
reusing a couple miles of SWLRT tracks and hitting West End
Problem - St. Louis Park doesn't want light rail in their city.
Southwest LRT will go through St. Louis Park so I don’t see why they would be against light rail through the West End.

talindsay
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » June 19th, 2019, 1:11 pm

mattaudio wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 8:45 am
OR let's just do some more piecemeal extensions, such as extending the Blue Line to Van White and Penn down Olson Hwy.
I strongly agree. I wish our region would more seriously consider piecemeal expansions as money becomes available, with simpler planning and without federal money, and then using those investments as the local "match" for federal dollars when they reach that threshold. Or not, frankly. Cutting out the federal process and expanding one or two stops at a time as funding comes available is a pretty decent strategy.

Qhaberl
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Qhaberl » June 19th, 2019, 1:24 pm

talindsay wrote:
mattaudio wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 8:45 am
I strongly agree. I wish our region would more seriously consider piecemeal expansions as money becomes available, with simpler planning and without federal money, and then using those investments as the local "match" for federal dollars when they reach that threshold. Or not, frankly. Cutting out the federal process and expanding one or two stops at a time as funding comes available is a pretty decent strategy.
That’s not a bad idea. The question is whether or not the state will go for it. Honestly, I’d much rather us cut out state funding. Assuming that the next presidential election goes the way I am thinking, we could see some big investments with the Green New deal. It seems to be the state that is the funding problem.

I like the idea of extending it to Olsen and Pen. That would mean you could switch the sea line over to Glenwood Avenue.



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Tiller
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Tiller » June 19th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Would be nice to use the West Broadway streetcar alignment between Robbinsdale and downtown (before going out to Brooklyn Park). It skips the Railroad bs and provides good crosstown & radial transit service instead. Just gotta get from the original blue line to Washington ave somehow to serve the north loop.

It's only like 2 miles until they could use Bottineau's right-of-way, so just spend an extra $100-200m per mile ($200-400m total) for elevated tracks or a cut-and-cover tunnel if there isn't enough ROW on Washington/Broadway. Apparently streetcar/LRT is fine now according to Riverview, but dedicated guideways are still better.

If they still want to move the C line to Glenwood, highway brt along 55 could serve Olson instead of the blue line. This light rail line shouldn't have been planned to run in the railroad's drainage ditch in the first place.
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Last edited by Tiller on June 19th, 2019, 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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