Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

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mulad
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mulad » February 10th, 2015, 1:24 pm

woofner wrote:
VAStationDude wrote:Only us naive people refuse to believe tunneling under an airport and excavting a single deep station adjacent to a parking ramp are at all comparable to tunneling through north Minneapolis.
What is different about tunneling under an airport vs tunneling under a low density residential area? Except that the airport has a surface use that is more expensive to disrupt.
I doubt any of us on this board have enough information to know for sure -- we can assume that there's a denser network of utility lines through the city neighborhood than the airport, but there is definitely stuff underground at the airport too -- probably a lot of it at a bigger scale but arranged in different ways. Does the stuff in the neighborhood go deep enough to affect a deep-bore tunnel? Would cut-and-cover still be more cost-effective, even if it did mean digging down through water lines, sewer lines, and gas lines (some of which might be old enough to need replacement anyway)?

They dug down pretty deep to work on everything below the Central Corridor -- I for one don't think it's all that crazy to think about going down a bit wider and deeper to make a transit tunnel rather than just a space for utilities.
woofner wrote: ...
The honest answer is that I felt so dejected by his immediate dismissal when I brought up tunneling that I not only felt it pointless to respond, I went into a deep depression. I did write several responses over the course of a few months, but never felt courageous enough to send them. I went to several meetings for Bottineau, but never saw him in person. Are you satisfied now, David Greene?
Reminds me of how things went for me after politics swooped in to stop efforts at intercity rail in Wisconsin. Too much of the decisionmaking in these situations gets driven by whoever yells the loudest, and that tends to mean cutting back efforts at public transportation because it's seen as "wasteful" by the anti-tax crowd, even though the projects are often the more cost-effective way to get people to move around. Folks are just too afraid of the costs (they manage to turn a blind eye to highway spending, though state DOTs tend to do a masterful job of slicing big projects up into relatively bite-sized pieces, so the spending is often a lot less obvious).

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 10th, 2015, 1:36 pm

woofner wrote:
David Greene wrote:So why didn't you educate him?
Really? This is your question? What exactly do you want me to say to this? The honest answer is that I felt so dejected by his immediate dismissal when I brought up tunneling that I not only felt it pointless to respond, I went into a deep depression. I did write several responses over the course of a few months, but never felt courageous enough to send them. I went to several meetings for Bottineau, but never saw him in person. Are you satisfied now, David Greene?
I'm not the one needing satisfying. It's not fair to blame Joe for decisions when you didn't take any action to get what you want. Maybe action wouldn't have helped but I'm tired of the victim mentality on this, SWLRT and basically every other transit project people complain about.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby FISHMANPET » February 10th, 2015, 1:38 pm

I'd like to live in a world where building sane transit isn't an adversarial processes going against thoughtless bureaucrats.

But hey maybe that's just me.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 10th, 2015, 1:40 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:I'd like to live in a world where building sane transit isn't an adversarial processes going against thoughtless bureaucrats.
IME there aren't thoughtless bureaucrats, but regardless, we don't live in your ideal world. Take action to create it and in the meantime, fight. Everything else is wasted effort.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby FISHMANPET » February 10th, 2015, 1:42 pm

Well it's not like we live in a world where you can just take the project lead to coffee and explain everything wrong with not only what he's doing now, but everything he's done for his entire career, and then have him do a sudden 180 and champion a much improved project.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 10th, 2015, 1:51 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Well it's not like we live in a world where you can just take the project lead to coffee and explain everything wrong with not only what he's doing now, but everything he's done for his entire career, and then have him do a sudden 180 and champion a much improved project.
No, that's not how you do things. You build relationships with the people in power and over time you influence them. You introduce them to new ideas. You debate them. You *listen* to what they have to say. You build trust and mutual respect. You discover your common self-interests. Then you decide together what you can do.

You don't go around calling people idiots.

This kind of work takes lots of patience and perseverance.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » February 10th, 2015, 1:55 pm

I think the price of a cup of coffee is the least you could offer a planner for asking them to ignore the political and financial realities that they have to operate in, and instead design projects for the future world that you envision.

If you've got a problem with the transportation projects that get built, you need to start way higher up the food chain than a lowly planner. Like, start with convincing the voters that elect the politicians who give direction to the planners.

And I know a lot of you spend a lot of time advocating, but you're mostly preaching to the choir.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby woofner » February 10th, 2015, 4:43 pm

VAStationDude wrote:North Minneapolis tunneling and station building would be highly disruptive and expensive relative to the airport. Portals and stations would have to be excavated in populated areas. This means expensive impact studies, utility relocation, property acquisition and construction impact mitigation that just doesn't happen at an airport.

You're grossly under estimating tunneling costs. Your blog post linked by mattaudio lists a laughable ~$60 million/km cost for underground central corridor light rail. Sorry but you're being naive.
Why is it naive to extrapolate past experience to analogous circumstances? North Minneapolis has the largest proportion of government-owned land in the metro area and the population density of Richfield. I doubt it would be a problem to design any surface ventilation or utility structure for a tunnelized guideway to be built on one of the hundreds of government-owned lots there. Techniques to make excavation of an underground station no more disruptive than for a surface station has existed for decades and been used thousands of times. Utility relocation is less extensive for deep-bore guideways than for surface systems.

I'm not sure what you're referring to with the $60m/km estimate for Central Corridor, but I agree that that is less analogous to the airport. But either way, all I'm asking for is for it to be studied, given the experience of constructing tunnels in the Twin Cities and given the fact that the alternatives advanced for Bottineau mostly fail to meet the project's objectives to "improve regional mobility and meet long-range transit needs".
David Greene wrote: I'm not the one needing satisfying. It's not fair to blame Joe for decisions when you didn't take any action to get what you want. Maybe action wouldn't have helped but I'm tired of the victim mentality on this, SWLRT and basically every other transit project people complain about.
I did take action. Gladke made it clear that he didn't give a shit what I thought. I think it's easy for someone like you who doesn't actually use transit to look at these projects distantly, but for those of us who sit in freezing rain waiting with a dozen other people for a late bus or who have moved away from their hometown because there was no chance for them to ever lead a normal life while taking transit, we take the failure to pursue every alternative a little more personally. Yeah, I'm sure it's easy for you to forge relationships with highway engineers who don't care if they've improved transit one whit after spending a billion dollars of public money.
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby FISHMANPET » February 10th, 2015, 5:35 pm

David Greene wrote: I'm not the one needing satisfying. It's not fair to blame Joe for decisions when you didn't take any action to get what you want. Maybe action wouldn't have helped but I'm tired of the victim mentality on this, SWLRT and basically every other transit project people complain about.
Peter Wagenius wrote:There are folks who are extraordinarily invested in validating the process that has brought us to this point.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VAStationDude » February 10th, 2015, 8:26 pm

Whatever, I would have been fine with a study but, at this point, delaying the inevitable gets us nothing, except delaying what is, IMO, a good transit route. Clearly you're convinced tunneling can be done through north Minneapolis for less than $100 million a mile. I don't agree but whatever.

We can thank Waginus and Rybak, along with tc & w and Hennepin County, for the current predicament. Hennepin County biffed the planning. tc & w acted like an obstinate child. Wagenius and Rybak never advocated for 3C or otherwise questioned the planning process until at grade colocation became the only sensible alternative. I'm not sure quoting him jives with bitching about the planning process.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 10th, 2015, 8:44 pm

My quick take: there are real places on this planet building real tunneled transit systems for the price (in purchasing power parity $US) about the same as we build surface rail. In areas with much denser structures and more fragile utilities. Sometimes with more difficult terrain than ours.

I don't expect a project engineer/manager to have the type of influence to change our federal funding requirements, bidding processes, etc etc etc, or make changes to our regional political priorities and funding mechanisms to make that type of transit-building possible. But there needs to be some acknowledgment that those things I mentioned are factual. That maybe there's a deficiency in our ability to do things cost-effectively, and that other people may have answers that a handful of project engineers may never have and hours spent having coffee and building mutual trust will never accomplish.

Also, as far as I can tell, claims that tunneling is outlandish are no more based in fact than claims of its feasibility. Do we have any formal studies showing tunneling wasn't cost-effective for Bottineau? No? Just napkin estimations to rule it out of the universe of alternatives from the project office? OK.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 10th, 2015, 9:39 pm

woofner wrote:I did take action.
No you didn't. You submitted some comments. That's not where the real work is.
woofner wrote:Gladke made it clear that he didn't give a shit what I thought.
Gladke isn't the target.
woofner wrote:those of us who sit in freezing rain waiting with a dozen other people for a late bus or who have moved away from their hometown because there was no chance for them to ever lead a normal life while taking transit, we take the failure to pursue every alternative a little more personally.
With respect to me (and your ad hominem) I don't think you know exactly what I have and have not done to advance transit in our region.
woofner wrote:Yeah, I'm sure it's easy for you to forge relationships with highway engineers who don't care if they've improved transit one whit after spending a billion dollars of public money.
I don't forge power relationships with engineers.

And it's your opinion that Bottineau doesn't improve transit "one whit." Many, many other people disagree, including those who actually live in the area.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 10th, 2015, 9:41 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:
David Greene wrote: I'm not the one needing satisfying. It's not fair to blame Joe for decisions when you didn't take any action to get what you want. Maybe action wouldn't have helped but I'm tired of the victim mentality on this, SWLRT and basically every other transit project people complain about.
Peter Wagenius wrote:There are folks who are extraordinarily invested in validating the process that has brought us to this point.
So...?

I don't think I've hidden the fact that I like SWLRT as it is and I'm fine with Bottineau.

It's no skin off my back what you and Peter W. think you may know about how I view "the process." For the record, there are about a million ways processes could be improved. I remember well a meeting with Mike Opat where we made the abundantly clear. His response? "People always want to talk about process and it's a waste."

So there you go. Guess who's validating the current process?

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 10th, 2015, 9:44 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:That maybe there's a deficiency in our ability to do things cost-effectively, and that other people may have answers that a handful of project engineers may never have and hours spent having coffee and building mutual trust will never accomplish.
If that's really true we may as well just give up now.

The *only* way change has ever happened in this country is through organizing.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » February 10th, 2015, 9:48 pm

Of course people who are stakeholders in a flawed process are blind to the need for reform.

We're past the need to organize for better outcomes. It is time to organize for creative destruction, a complete rethinking of how we invest as a society.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » February 16th, 2015, 10:50 am

Blue Line Community Workshops: Golden Valley Road and Plymouth Avenue stations

Date:

2/26/2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Event Locations:

Church of St. Margaret Mary – Visitation Hall
2323 Zenith Ave. N.
Golden Valley, MN 55422


http://metrocouncil.org/News-Events/Tra ... oad-a.aspx

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » February 20th, 2015, 5:20 pm

Same news, but in a spiffy flyer: http://www.metrocouncil.org/METC/files/ ... 1b0e4f.pdf

If you feel strongly about them including BOTH stations at Plymouth Ave and Golden Valley Road, now is the time to speak up. I've not seen one person on here disagree with the notion that both stations need to be included, but I would guess the powers that be are somewhat preferring to include only one, for various reasons (cost, speed, Golden Valley residents who don't want it, etc.)

Given that this line is already going to skirt the edge of NoMi, it's really critical that both stations be included. Consider attending the meeting or sending in your comments. Let's help make this happen!

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alleycat » February 20th, 2015, 10:17 pm

FWIW Linda Higgins is a big supporter of the two station option.
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby froggie » February 22nd, 2015, 7:26 am

Keep both and add one at 36th. The lack of a station at 36th is a glaring omission, though I'm not recalling why it was left out...

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mamundsen » February 22nd, 2015, 9:21 am

I agree they should do both stations in North Minneapolis and add another few further up the line. They should serve North Memorial and the areas that are more populated. I'm sure the stop spacing is due to time requirements for federal funding.


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