Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

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alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 18th, 2020, 12:32 pm

I mean, the central problem that's illustrated here is that we design our streets by first thinking about what the green book tells us that cars need, and then trying to jam other modes in the space that is left over. It's telling that impinging upon car travel in various ways is unthinkable, even on this forum, while impinging upon transit by having a $2B train get stuck in traffic is considered by some to be the Good and Wise compromise solution.

What I'm saying is that, instead of designing billions of dollars of transit investment with the primary objective not to make AASHTO mad, maybe the first priority should be to make the transit really really good.

amiller92
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby amiller92 » February 18th, 2020, 1:44 pm

If there was a way to make Broadway one way, and thus eliminate the "need" for a travel lane in one direction, that should be on the table. But part of what makes Broadway the choice for where this should go is that it diverges from the grid (and it's where stuff is), so there's no obvious way to do that.

tmart
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby tmart » February 18th, 2020, 3:40 pm

MNdible wrote: Note that Broadway is in fact less than 80' in width for a critical stretch, and also that you've cut the street section where there isn't a station. And the magical thinking that you can have a 10' drive lane smacked right up against the curb without accounting for the gutter and snow storage is a streets.mn classic.

Smart people studied putting LRT on Broadway. There's a good reason that it was dismissed as on option.
Those smart people were also working under the assumption that locating in railroad ROW would be significantly easier, cheaper, and faster to complete than elsewhere, and that these advantages would justify choosing less-practical station locations. Now that that assumption no longer holds, it makes sense to reassess.

Re: the specific widths, IMO it would be entirely reasonable in the most constrained sections to cut to one car lane each way, with no turn lane and no parking. Banning left turns on major arteries, particularly transit-supporting arteries, is a relatively common practice, and most of the affected area on Broadway is surrounded by a well-connected, functioning grid that softens the blow. That would leave ample space for LRT tracks, one 10' lane each way, a gutter, a buffer, and a generous sidewalk.

Perhaps it would take some political courage to remove the parking in particular, but as a practical matter, the area is already a sea of underutilized surface parking and a number of cross-streets also serve as alternatives.

mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » February 18th, 2020, 4:53 pm

MNdible wrote:
Smart people studied putting LRT on Broadway. There's a good reason that it was dismissed as on option.
Are those the same smart people that got us a mile-long $160 million tunnel along Southwest LRT so that freight trains can operate above light rail trains?

SurlyLHT
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » February 19th, 2020, 10:09 am

It's probably best to just put it on W. Broadway. Do a parking study and probably find out they'll be fine with parking on the cross streets. A lot of the congestion is people passing through and they can either find another route to the NW Metro (55, 100, 94) or get on the LRT. Treat the businesses on W Broadway well and make friends with the most influential ones like Cookie Cart, Juxta and Cub Foods and then build the darn thing and make sure the new bridges across Theo Wirth Parkway can handle LRT. Bottom line is this will serve the folks in North well and the suburbanites passing through will get upset but oh well. (Putting LRT in would also be an opportunity to remove some lights. ) I also would like to see some sort of actual stations where this intersects the C an D lines. The one near Emerson and Fremont should maybe have a police substation.

twincitizen
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » February 20th, 2020, 9:33 am

BP Mayor Jeff Lunde is going to run for Opat's seat on the County Board. Despite his status a member of the Republican party, Lunde is quite popular in Brooklyn Park and I think most people have been happy with his run as mayor. He came around to supporting light rail and would almost certainly make it a huge priority on the county board to continue on with the current alignment and station locations in Brooklyn Park. Lunde will be a formidable candidate in this race...the only way to beat him will be with a candidate who already has name recognition in the area and could get a DFL endorsement. Hopefully one of the current state reps/senators in this district is considering a run (for reasons that extend well beyond Bottineau, obviously)

Oreos&Milk
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Oreos&Milk » February 20th, 2020, 10:34 am

If a new route that includes a (or two) west end station were to be considered I would say that’s a great victory for the delay.

gopherfan
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby gopherfan » August 3rd, 2020, 11:08 am

Breaking News: BNSF right-of-way is officially dead for Bottineau.

https://content.govdelivery.com/account ... ns/29891ee

Bakken2016
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » August 3rd, 2020, 11:16 am

gopherfan wrote:Breaking News: BNSF right-of-way is officially dead for Bottineau.

https://content.govdelivery.com/account ... ns/29891ee
This is honestly for the best! Let’s choose a route that will actually serve transit dependent people!


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grant1simons2
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » August 3rd, 2020, 11:24 am

They're going to keep pushing forward with a new alignment

https://content.govdelivery.com/account ... ns/29891ee
We are optimistic that moving this project in a new direction presents an exciting opportunity to revisit and improve the METRO Blue Line Extension project to serve even more people and destinations, while maintaining as much of the existing alignment as possible.

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

Postby Tom H. » August 3rd, 2020, 11:29 am

Does anyone know if the BNSF property in question is the entirety of the proposed BNSF co-location, or only a portion of it? It seems to be like all alternatives considered originally require some amount of BNSF co-location, especially in the vicinity of downtown Robbinsdale.

I guess my dream outcome at this point would be for Alternative 2 (or some variation thereof) to be resurrected and built out to Robbinsdale, and let that portion serve as the "local match" for FTA funding for the remainder.

Does anybody know if the Green Line extension work near Target Field effectively forecloses any of the other routing alternatives?

alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » August 3rd, 2020, 11:44 am

Replacing BNSF right-of-way in the northern part of the project is easy to solve. It just requires the political will locally and at MnDOT to seize lanes on Bottineau Boulevard from cars. If they could do the same thing a decade and a half ago with University Ave, they can do it today, when the case for modal shift is even stronger.

Any reboot of the project has to include a new station at the hospital, it is an absolute crime that the previous plans did not include one.

The actual technical challenge of a realignment is in North Minneapolis. We've discussed this before, but Broadway is the only option in my mind, even if it's a tight fit with dedicated transit lanes and cars. But the current version of Broadway is appalling, and with reconstruction for light rail would also come the opportunity to completely rebuild and redesign the road in a much more appealing way. The best way to get the train from Target Field Station to Broadway is via Lyndale Ave N, which is a little-used road in this section that is relied on by nobody for egress.

The alternative to Broadway and Lyndale N, or at least part of it, would be to dig a short subway from Target Field perhaps to the end of the Broadway crescent when the street straightens out and heads almost due NW. You'd need a TBM to do this, and would have to excavate at least one station at Emerson and Fremont, and so I think it's difficult to justify.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby kellonathan » August 3rd, 2020, 11:51 am

I wonder if this move essentially kills the C Line aBRT relocation to Glendale.

I also hope this motivates MnDOT to take another look at rightsizing Olson Hwy, or just flat out decommission the Hwy outside the Mpls city limits.
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grant1simons2
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » August 3rd, 2020, 12:13 pm

Was there ever alignment discussion from 7th to Dupont, then onto Broadway? Dupont is somewhat wide, and this 90 degree could possibly work.

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SurlyLHT
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » August 3rd, 2020, 12:56 pm

I think Lyndale to Lowry is best. W. Broadway is too challenging technically and politically. Here's a new idea...Lyndale to the Canadian Pacific Right away near Camden? Maybe there is room on the Southern end of the yard to sneak LRT through?

Bakken2016
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » August 3rd, 2020, 12:57 pm

SurlyLHT wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 12:56 pm
I think Lyndale to Lowry is best. W. Broadway is too challenging technically and politically. Here's a new idea...Lyndale to the Canadian Pacific Right away near Camden? Maybe there is room on the Southern end of the yard to sneak LRT through?
Let's stop trying to take the easy way, that is how we end up with bad routes. Lets me loud and political for a good routing!

mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » August 3rd, 2020, 1:02 pm

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SurlyLHT
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » August 3rd, 2020, 1:10 pm

Bakken2016 wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 12:57 pm
SurlyLHT wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 12:56 pm
I think Lyndale to Lowry is best. W. Broadway is too challenging technically and politically. Here's a new idea...Lyndale to the Canadian Pacific Right away near Camden? Maybe there is room on the Southern end of the yard to sneak LRT through?
Let's stop trying to take the easy way, that is how we end up with bad routes. Lets me loud and political for a good routing!
The alternate of Penn to W. Broadway is feasible. Lyndale to Lowry is probably the best and 45th would also work well. Going through the heart of W. Broadway however I suspect is politically infeasible.

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MNdible
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » August 3rd, 2020, 1:13 pm

alexschief wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 11:44 am
The alternative to Broadway and Lyndale N, or at least part of it, would be to dig a short subway from Target Field perhaps to the end of the Broadway crescent when the street straightens out and heads almost due NW. You'd need a TBM to do this, and would have to excavate at least one station at Emerson and Fremont, and so I think it's difficult to justify.
I'd been largely dismissive of early discussions about a full subway through North Minneapolis, but I could envision a routing that would follow N 7th St at grade across I-94, and then enter a tunnel near Plymouth and re-emerge at the Broadway crescent, where the Broadway ROW relaxes. This would be a relatively short tunnel, and it could be done without requiring a subgrade station, which would escalate the costs.

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grant1simons2
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » August 3rd, 2020, 1:25 pm

MNdible wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 1:13 pm
alexschief wrote:
August 3rd, 2020, 11:44 am
The alternative to Broadway and Lyndale N, or at least part of it, would be to dig a short subway from Target Field perhaps to the end of the Broadway crescent when the street straightens out and heads almost due NW. You'd need a TBM to do this, and would have to excavate at least one station at Emerson and Fremont, and so I think it's difficult to justify.
I'd been largely dismissive of early discussions about a full subway through North Minneapolis, but I could envision a routing that would follow N 7th St at grade across I-94, and then enter a tunnel near Plymouth and re-emerge at the Broadway crescent, where the Broadway ROW relaxes. This would be a relatively short tunnel, and it could be done without requiring a subgrade station, which would escalate the costs.
This was the route I had in mind!


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