Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4760
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » November 14th, 2019, 1:02 pm

I don't know how realistic this is but perhaps this is an opportunity to redesign the line to follow West Broadway instead of BNSF. Start with a shorter segment to Robbinsdale with later extension to Brooklyn Park. Yes, it would start the process over but if BNSF isn't going to budge, better to do that now and hopefully hit a much better federal administration when it reaches that point.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk


User avatar
VacantLuxuries
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 724
Joined: February 20th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » November 14th, 2019, 1:55 pm

I've been beating the drum for short, self-fundable extensions to our LRT ever since we kept running into issues with SWLRT. Scrap the half-cent cap on county transit taxes, build station by station heading northwest, and have something immediately useable instead of where we are now - spending money planning for a project that's been dead now for several years.

alexschief
Rice Park
Posts: 437
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » November 14th, 2019, 2:07 pm

David Greene wrote:
November 14th, 2019, 1:02 pm
I don't know how realistic this is but perhaps this is an opportunity to redesign the line to follow West Broadway instead of BNSF. Start with a shorter segment to Robbinsdale with later extension to Brooklyn Park. Yes, it would start the process over but if BNSF isn't going to budge, better to do that now and hopefully hit a much better federal administration when it reaches that point.
What's your plan from getting from Target Field to North Memorial? A tunnel?

It'd be expensive, but you could build the ends with cut and cover and only bore the diagonal from Plymouth to Penn. If you placed stations at Plymouth/Emerson-Fremont, Broadway/Penn, and Broadway and Lowry, ridership would be quite a bit stronger than what's proposed in the existing alignment.

Online
EOst
Capella Tower
Posts: 2314
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » November 14th, 2019, 2:11 pm

I think the AA proposed taking Lyndale to Broadway. I imagine that might require some ROW acquisition (strangely, only a 60' ROW right now), but you might be able to do it without demolitions. Penn is impossible without demolishing a lot of houses.

gopherfan
Metrodome
Posts: 84
Joined: January 15th, 2013, 5:09 pm

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby gopherfan » November 14th, 2019, 2:22 pm

The Blue Line we deserve:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=109s4P ... sp=sharing

Here, I'll do what you shoulda did (Met Council) 10 years ago...
https://youtu.be/K4GAQtGtd_0?t=243

Throw out that old plan already!!!

alexschief
Rice Park
Posts: 437
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » November 14th, 2019, 2:27 pm

Lyndale N makes sense, as long as you are willing to give trains their own ROW for the length of the route.

ADT on that stretch of Lyndale is just 7,800, and there doesn't seem to be a single property that relies on it for access, I see no reason why you'd have to acquire property, just turn the street entirely over to transit. Broadway is a wider street, but also more heavily used, that would seem to be a tougher political fight (but again, any alignment that actually goes through North Minneapolis is much more worthwhile than the existing proposal).

Online
CalMcKenney
Metrodome
Posts: 59
Joined: April 2nd, 2019, 8:54 am

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby CalMcKenney » November 14th, 2019, 3:06 pm

I like the sounds of both of those alternative routes. You would still need a way to connect to Target's northern campus, correct? Or is the alternative to skip that entirely?

Online
EOst
Capella Tower
Posts: 2314
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » November 14th, 2019, 4:27 pm

Broadway is only 80' wide, so LRT down the middle would require some pretty serious compromises for every other mode. University is 120', only 26 of those extra 40' are spent on keeping it 4 lanes, and I don't know that anyone would pick University as their ideal street.

(Setting aside the idea of making Broadway completely car-free, which regardless of its desirability or lack thereof, just isn't happening for this project.)

alexschief
Rice Park
Posts: 437
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » November 15th, 2019, 8:54 am

EOst wrote:
November 14th, 2019, 4:27 pm
Broadway is only 80' wide, so LRT down the middle would require some pretty serious compromises for every other mode. University is 120', only 26 of those extra 40' are spent on keeping it 4 lanes, and I don't know that anyone would pick University as their ideal street.
You could bring it down to one lane in each direction with staggered stations, turn lanes, and some midblock parking. ADT is 13k or lower west of the highway, so it's completely possible. University is overbuilt, it doesn't need four lanes, and shouldn't be used as the model.

User avatar
VacantLuxuries
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 724
Joined: February 20th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » November 15th, 2019, 9:59 am

CalMcKenney wrote:
November 14th, 2019, 3:06 pm
I like the sounds of both of those alternative routes. You would still need a way to connect to Target's northern campus, correct? Or is the alternative to skip that entirely?
It would be great to have the flexibility to change course. Eventually Maple Grove will have the same realization that Eden Prairie did that the next generation of workers and employers want an easier way to get to and from downtown, and at that point, it would be nice to avoid building this line out to a field in Brooklyn Park.

Online
EOst
Capella Tower
Posts: 2314
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » November 15th, 2019, 10:58 am

alexschief wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 8:54 am
EOst wrote:
November 14th, 2019, 4:27 pm
Broadway is only 80' wide, so LRT down the middle would require some pretty serious compromises for every other mode. University is 120', only 26 of those extra 40' are spent on keeping it 4 lanes, and I don't know that anyone would pick University as their ideal street.
You could bring it down to one lane in each direction with staggered stations, turn lanes, and some midblock parking. ADT is 13k or lower west of the highway, so it's completely possible. University is overbuilt, it doesn't need four lanes, and shouldn't be used as the model.
That's exactly my point. Broadway is fully 40' narrower (1/3rd narrower!) than University, and taking University down to 2 lanes would only have netted you 26'. That means putting LRT down Broadway requires coming up with a design that has 14' less pedestrian amenities and greening and whatever than University did, and University's not great to begin with.

Compare these concept layouts for Riverview, on the 80' of West 7th:

Image
Image

That's... not a great street.

alexschief
Rice Park
Posts: 437
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » November 15th, 2019, 11:08 am

EOst wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 10:58 am
alexschief wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 8:54 am
EOst wrote:
November 14th, 2019, 4:27 pm
Broadway is only 80' wide, so LRT down the middle would require some pretty serious compromises for every other mode. University is 120', only 26 of those extra 40' are spent on keeping it 4 lanes, and I don't know that anyone would pick University as their ideal street.
You could bring it down to one lane in each direction with staggered stations, turn lanes, and some midblock parking. ADT is 13k or lower west of the highway, so it's completely possible. University is overbuilt, it doesn't need four lanes, and shouldn't be used as the model.
That's... not a great street.
I think it's fine. It's a substantial improvement over the existing condition, which has sidewalks narrower than 10' and four lanes of fast-moving car traffic. Trading a high capacity transitway for a lane of parking and two lanes of car traffic is a significant win.

LakeCharles
Foshay Tower
Posts: 833
Joined: January 16th, 2014, 8:34 am
Location: Kingfield

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby LakeCharles » November 15th, 2019, 11:21 am

Agreed with alexschief. That sidewalk design is worse than an optimal future vision, for sure, but it's better than what is currently there!

Online
EOst
Capella Tower
Posts: 2314
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » November 15th, 2019, 11:24 am

But the choice isn't LRT or existing conditions. Putting LRT down Broadway directly prevents a design that emphasizes pedestrian safety, business vitality, greenspace, etc.

We should be careful not to restrict our vision such that good transit is the only thing we care about.

Online
EOst
Capella Tower
Posts: 2314
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » November 15th, 2019, 11:28 am

Put another way, "your main business corridor has to be an unpleasant street so that we can run limited stop transit service through your neighborhood" is not actually much better than "your main business corridor has to be an unpleasant street so we can run a highway through your neighborhood."

HiawathaGuy
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1574
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 12:03 pm

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » November 15th, 2019, 12:09 pm

EOst wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 11:28 am
Put another way, "your main business corridor has to be an unpleasant street so that we can run limited stop transit service through your neighborhood" is not actually much better than "your main business corridor has to be an unpleasant street so we can run a highway through your neighborhood."
So aside from tunneling through the North Side, which honestly seems like an impossible endeavor, do you have other ideas? Just curious. I do hate that Broadway would go from being pretty hostile to staying pretty hostile if LRT did run down the center. But honestly, where else could it run, that it wouldn't result in lost properties?

alexschief
Rice Park
Posts: 437
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » November 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm

EOst wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 11:28 am
Put another way, "your main business corridor has to be an unpleasant street so that we can run limited stop transit service through your neighborhood" is not actually much better than "your main business corridor has to be an unpleasant street so we can run a highway through your neighborhood."
Disagree: it's much better. The street gets significantly safer and more comfortable because the lanes for cars and their speed is reduced. The street gets more equitable because transit is more accessible to all ages and incomes.

This would all be the case even if the design were as sterile as the bare-bones renderings from the Riverview project. But it does not need to be. Outside of station areas, the Riverview design allocates 15' on both sides for sidewalks. That's about 4' short of the Manhattan standard, but it's more than enough room for planters, swales, street trees, benches, even loading areas and short-term parking.

Could you really do a lot more with an extra 10' or 20'? Of course. But you can absolutely put dedicated ROW transit in 80', plus lanes for cars, and still have room for a good pedestrian environment.

Online
EOst
Capella Tower
Posts: 2314
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » November 15th, 2019, 1:05 pm

HiawathaGuy wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 12:09 pm
So aside from tunneling through the North Side, which honestly seems like an impossible endeavor, do you have other ideas? Just curious. I do hate that Broadway would go from being pretty hostile to staying pretty hostile if LRT did run down the center. But honestly, where else could it run, that it wouldn't result in lost properties?
I'm not sure what other alternative I would suggest, but I am not willing to buy into the trap of treating Broadway as a nail because all we have is a hammer. If we don't have a good surface ROW to run this down we shouldn't run it down a surface ROW.
alexschief wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Disagree: it's much better. The street gets significantly safer and more comfortable because the lanes for cars and their speed is reduced. The street gets more equitable because transit is more accessible to all ages and incomes.
Again, you're presenting the choice as status quo (terrible street, terrible transit) vs. this (terrible street, good transit). In reality, the universe of choices is much broader, including such options as great street, decent transit (4-3, wide sidewalks, Broadway streetcar) and great street, terrible transit (4-3, wide sidewalks, bus). I think the future vitality of the Northside depends a lot more on having a non-terrible main street than it does on having better limited-stop transit.
This would all be the case even if the design were as sterile as the bare-bones renderings from the Riverview project. But it does not need to be. Outside of station areas, the Riverview design allocates 15' on both sides for sidewalks. That's about 4' short of the Manhattan standard, but it's more than enough room for planters, swales, street trees, benches, even loading areas and short-term parking.
No, it has room for some of those options in any given area, but not all of them, and none of them well.

alexschief
Rice Park
Posts: 437
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » November 15th, 2019, 1:51 pm

EOst wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 1:05 pm
alexschief wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Disagree: it's much better. The street gets significantly safer and more comfortable because the lanes for cars and their speed is reduced. The street gets more equitable because transit is more accessible to all ages and incomes.
Again, you're presenting the choice as status quo (terrible street, terrible transit) vs. this (terrible street, good transit). In reality, the universe of choices is much broader, including such options as great street, decent transit (4-3, wide sidewalks, Broadway streetcar) and great street, terrible transit (4-3, wide sidewalks, bus). I think the future vitality of the Northside depends a lot more on having a non-terrible main street than it does on having better limited-stop transit.
I guess we could argue endlessly about the ways you define the situation. Let me just say that I don't think 15' sidewalks make a terrible street, and I don't think that a streetcar is "decent transit."

But I mean, I'm not wedded to this alternative at all, by far the best transit option for the northside and all riders beyond would be a tunnel that makes the diagonal from Target Field Station to North Memorial with the two stops in between, and then ran aBRT down Broadway. I'm not sure the money for that would be readily available, but it'd be a better value than the current plan, and a better transit investment than some of the metro's current projects.

I think it's possible to have both a great main street and limited stop rail transit, and I think there's a strong argument to be made that the former is more important than the latter. But if you are going to use the Lyndale-Broadway alignment for a multi-billion dollar investment, you do need to start with dedicated ROW for the train, otherwise the entire thing not worth doing at all. You can then work from there with your design to make a great streetscape. The dimensions are constraints, but they don't make it impossible, and that seems to be where we disagree.

gopherfan
Metrodome
Posts: 84
Joined: January 15th, 2013, 5:09 pm

Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby gopherfan » November 16th, 2019, 3:06 pm

Based on real world dimensions from University for LRT right-of-way and station platform dimensions, I think below would work and still be a great street for Broadway. This also leaves 12' of pedestrian space on each side of the street. Per Siemens, the manufacturer of our light rail, the trains are only 8.7ft wide. https://assets.new.siemens.com/siemens/ ... -sheet.pdf

Image


Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest