Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

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

Postby SurlyLHT » June 19th, 2019, 2:24 pm

Tiller wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 2:13 pm
Would be nice to use the West Broadway streetcar alignment between Robbinsdale and downtown (then 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.

Edit: if they still want to move the C line to Glenwood, then highway brt along 55 can serve Olson.
Image
If you look at a map, Target Field is really close to the 94 viaduct. Put it underneath, untop, tear it down..etc.

This is s a totally different thought. But why not just go up Lyndale to Lowry and then over to Robbinsdale?

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » June 19th, 2019, 3:05 pm

SurlyLHT wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 2:24 pm
If you look at a map, Target Field is really close to the 94 viaduct. Put it underneath, untop, tear it down..etc.

This is s a totally different thought. But why not just go up Lyndale to Lowry and then over to Robbinsdale?
Sure, Target Field is close to the 94 viaduct... but getting from Target Field Station (elevated) to the viaduct would be damn near impossible with the all the new development around the station. I think it would make more sense to go out N 7th St and then cross 94 on a new bridge to Lyndale, up to Lowry, then to Bottineau Blvd up to Robbinsdale, then following the previously planned alignment.

WhoaCanyonero
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby WhoaCanyonero » June 19th, 2019, 5:49 pm

Here's a potential bonkers option that touches on two goals of this Forum: removal/reuse of the 4th street viaduct and a more urban, sane Blue Line Extension route. Using the stub at the Interchange, an elevated Blue Line curves north and uses the Metro Transit Heywood Garage Bus exit toward 6th Ave to cut through Metro Transit land (highlighted in Yellow) towards the 4th street viaduct. This can be done either by pairs of columns along this route (like the 'EL' in Chicago), or by continuous concrete walls until it switches to single columns at the parking lot next to Inbound Brewing. Because this is Metro Transit land, ROW would not have to be obtained until it hits the parking lot across 5th Street from Inbound. At that point, the routing would join up with a partially removed (from 2nd Ave to the LRT connection point) 4th Street viaduct. The viaduct would carry the LRT across 94 and Plymouth Ave. The removal of the northbound viaduct would free up land around 10th Ave for a new West North Loop Station (elevated), as well as other land uses. The one thing that would be challenging would be the connection to Broadway after crossing 94/rerouting the 94 ramps to 7th, but for this purpose I'm going to handwave that geometric problem away for someone else to solve. Once it gets to Broadway, it follows that avenue via at-grade center street routing (like the Green Line on University) to at least North Memorial, and on to wherever the best route beyond take it (again, somebody else figure out where this should go that isn't a cornfield.)

Please let me know what you think, or if I've overlooked a building under construction that would impede this plan, as I am going off Street View and satellite imagery.[attachment=0]Blue Line Alternate Route-min.jpeg[/attachment

TLDR: Use mostly Metro Transit ROW to carry an elevated Blue Line to the 4th Street viaduct, over 94/Plymouth Ave, turn west onto Broadway, and run the train at grade to North Memorial at least.
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blo442
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby blo442 » June 19th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Heard from a friend involved that Bottineau's project office staff are in the process of being reassigned to SWLRT and other projects. They could still be called back if BNSF changes its tune, but Metro Transit is definitely hedging their bets for if/when the project gets cancelled.

mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » June 20th, 2019, 7:54 am

To think we chose *multiple LRT project alignments* based on the presumption that building along freight railroads would be easy. Anyways, any way they can salvage this project on a different alternative? Run it through near north with some sort of grade separation (maybe along the riverfront?) then put it at-grade in Bottineau Blvd northwest from North Memorial. End it at Robbinsdale if budget requires.

alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » June 20th, 2019, 8:44 am

Far more likely that plans will be mothballed at 90% engineering and the Met Council will wait around until BNSF changes their mind, or the national political situation changes in a way that gives urban transit more leverage. Just insane that the region's transit efforts were tied up for a decade on projects that were entirely at the whim of far-away freight railroads.

Anyway, it would be nice if Bottineau's difficulties result in work being moved up on Riverview and money being reallocated to aBRT. Since Bottineau ostensibly would serve North Minneapolis, maybe you can more easily transfer money from it to close the funding gap on the D Line. One can hope, right?

Bakken2016
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » June 20th, 2019, 9:04 am

[IMG]//uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201906 ... 6e336d.jpg[/IMG]

Looks like Opat is still pretty sure it will work out...


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mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » June 20th, 2019, 9:06 am

I heard someone else at the county mention that the entire Bottineau Project Office staff has been reassigned to other projects or offices, so that seems to speak louder than a hopeful tweet.

Silophant
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » June 20th, 2019, 9:43 am

Opat has spent about 20 years dragging this project along, so he's probably not the most reliable source on this topic.

Bakken2016
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » June 20th, 2019, 9:44 am

Silophant wrote:
June 20th, 2019, 9:43 am
Opat has spent about 20 years dragging this project along, so he's probably not the most reliable source on this topic.
I was being sarcastic, lol

Tom H.
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Tom H. » June 20th, 2019, 9:53 am

Not that I necessarily disbelieve the rumors being mentioned on the thread, but has there been any objective reporting on the supposed mothballing of this project? Or is it just on the level of hearsay at the moment?

COLSLAW5
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby COLSLAW5 » June 24th, 2019, 11:54 am

Addressing the office being reassigned the exact same thing happened with the southwest project office staff as well. There are other large Metro transit projects that need support and the staff can be used to support the departments. When the project picks up again they are just all called back.

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » June 24th, 2019, 8:43 pm

Man, that tweet gives me all kinds of creepy, mixed feelings.

On the one hand, calling the line "suburban" may be a political ploy to make the project more appealing to <whomever>.

On the other hand, it's very insensitive, almost to the point of being outright racist. Opat is completely dismissing the importance of transit (and I would argue, this project) to North Minneapolis. "This project is only important because of the suburban component," he's saying. It furthers the narrative of the urban/suburban divide and the only winner there is those against transit.

And really, <whomever> Opat may or may not be trying to convince doesn't really change the fact that the railroad is blocking it. I suppose FRA could lean on BNSF but I just don't see a junior backbencher from Minnesota having the pull, much less a county commissioner with delusions of grandeur.

While the loss of job access to the Target campus for people on the Northside would be unfortunate, getting it completed at least to Robbinsdale should be a high priority. We can always extend it later. I would not mind seeing a re-route along W. Broadway (assuming the neighborhoods generally approve) but I don't really see that as realistic. It would set the project back at least another decade.

It would be a really bad look to go all-out to get SWLRT done (which I still very much approve of) and not do the same for Bottineau.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 24th, 2019, 9:58 pm

David Greene wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 8:43 pm
Man, that tweet gives me all kinds of creepy, mixed feelings.

On the one hand, calling the line "suburban" may be a political ploy to make the project more appealing to <whomever>.

On the other hand, it's very insensitive, almost to the point of being outright racist. Opat is completely dismissing the importance of transit (and I would argue, this project) to North Minneapolis. "This project is only important because of the suburban component," he's saying. It furthers the narrative of the urban/suburban divide and the only winner there is those against transit.

And really, <whomever> Opat may or may not be trying to convince doesn't really change the fact that the railroad is blocking it. I suppose FRA could lean on BNSF but I just don't see a junior backbencher from Minnesota having the pull, much less a county commissioner with delusions of grandeur.

While the loss of job access to the Target campus for people on the Northside would be unfortunate, getting it completed at least to Robbinsdale should be a high priority. We can always extend it later. I would not mind seeing a re-route along W. Broadway (assuming the neighborhoods generally approve) but I don't really see that as realistic. It would set the project back at least another decade.

It would be a really bad look to go all-out to get SWLRT done (which I still very much approve of) and not do the same for Bottineau.
I think you're over-analyzing a politician calling it suburban LRT, and saying his term for it is racist is really stretching it. Politicians aren't the best at using the correct terms for transit services. Some call Northstar light rail, some call Southwest commuter rail, and then there was someone on the Transportation Finance and Policy Division who's against light rail but spelled it "lite" in a tweet. I forget who, but I believe he's from Hutchinson. Also I think Jon Koznick referred to Route 467 as express BRT, which is just flat out wrong. Frequent service during rush hour but only during rush hour doesn't make your bus service BRT.

I would just call the Blue Line Extension light rail, but it's not right or wrong to call it suburban LRT since it will mostly serve suburban areas.

David Greene
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Re: RE: Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » June 25th, 2019, 2:34 pm


DanPatchToget wrote: Politicians aren't the best at using the correct terms for transit services.
Except Opat has been at the forefront of the project since it started as BRT. He absolutely knows what he's saying. And he had a history of snubbing the Northside, even when he represented part of it.

It's devisive language and reinforces the political narrative of division, which greatly hurts support for transit.

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tmart
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby tmart » June 25th, 2019, 3:26 pm

My 2¢ is that the project was never really designed around providing service to Northsiders, and the fact that some of the stops will sorta serve them is largely a side-effect. If I wanted to design a line to shuttle suburban commuters from the northwest to downtown while minimizing their contact with North, it would be hard to "beat" the plans being advanced: most of the line is through suburbs, and as soon as it does hit the Minneapolis city limits, it skirts around the edge and goes through a park on the periphery of the dense, transit-dependent neighborhood, then down the middle of a highway.

In that sense, it's a suburban line in the same way that the Orange Line is suburban transit despite part of its route lying in an urban area.

Tcmetro
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » June 25th, 2019, 9:02 pm

While it does skirt North Minneapolis, the Humboldt stop is adjacent to one of two family-orientated public housing developments in the city.

The unfortunate thing is that the county went full-steam on rebuilding Bottineau, with the anticipation that the light rail would go in the rail corridor.

mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » June 26th, 2019, 8:00 am

"Northwest light rail plan has stalled, but cities push ahead anyway"
https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/ ... s_headline

I'm actually thinking this isn't as bad as everyone is making it sound. Didn't this happen on SWLRT at one point? Yet here we are, under construction. Just as with SWLRT, I have my critiques of the chosen alignment and the process that brought us here. But despite that, this is still a useful project that I think should move forward.

I can't imagine BNSF will be an insurmountable roadblock here. They're probably just fishing for as much money as they can get. The branch line (Monticello Subdivision) was once part of the Great Northern Railroad's St. Vincent Extension and mainline to the Pacific Northwest. Now? Not so much - I doubt they have more than a couple customers on the entire 40+ mile line. I'm sure their real estate has a price.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 26th, 2019, 8:40 am

Based on looking at Google Earth, they have 14 possible active shippers plus the Monticello Nuclear Plant. I might be wrong but I think they’re required to have that rail connection.

alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » November 14th, 2019, 12:54 pm

Janet Moore on Twitter:
I've confirmed that BNSF Railway CEO Carl Ice met with Gov. Tim Walz recently. Bottineau Blue Line LRT extension with eight-mile co-location discussed along w/other projects. BNSF said it "has no interest in that project in that corridor."
In other news, the primary reason why the Blue Line extension needs to happen is to make it easier for people to enjoy downtown Robbinsdale's good restaurants.


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