Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

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

Postby twincitizen » February 23rd, 2015, 8:36 am

froggie wrote: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...
I've been saying this for quite a while, and I don't get it either. There was a station directly serving North Memorial in the Penn-Broadway alternative. It makes no sense for the chosen alternative to omit a station there entirely.

Honestly, if this line winds up with both stations at Plymouth & GVR, and we get the ball rolling on discussions for a station at 34th-36th, this really isn't all that bad compared to the city route that wasn't chosen. Quite a bit of the same walkshed will still be included by way of Olson/Penn and Plymouth. Obviously it doesn't capture 100% of the NoMi walkshed that the Penn alignment would have, but it's not a total loss either (whereas I'd call SW a total loss in that regard, in that it captures zero Uptown walkshed, not including bus transfers)

EDIT: Since we're on a new page, I'll quote the reminder for the upcoming meeting:
Tcmetro wrote: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

xanadu
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby xanadu » February 27th, 2015, 10:28 am

A summary for those unable to attend: It started with a short and rather uninspiring PowerPoint presentation on the current status of Bottineau, reiterating multiple times how the purpose of the meeting is to discuss whether or not the community wants both stations or one. Currently, the budget only allows for one station. After the presentation was finished, each table was given 45 minutes to discuss a series of questions on a paper handout.

There were a couple of very anti-LRT community members in my group, but even so the sentiment at my table was 50/50. After the group discussions wrapped up, each table was given the opportunity to share their thoughts. I was relieved to find that most others were generally more positive than mine. A summary of the main points raised:

Positives
  • Promotes economic development and transit use amongst the community.
  • Positive impact on older residents who may not be able to continue to drive as they age.
  • Could potentially raise property values of nearby homes.
  • Increase connectivity with other areas of the metro, including the MoA, U of M and both downtowns.
  • Makes the area more attractive to younger home buyers.
Concerns
  • Because stations are below-grade, potential for station crime arises. One person went so far as to say that she would never use the station, nor let her kids use the station, unless an armed guard was present at all times.
  • Concerns about ease of pedestrian/cyclist access to these stations.
  • Having freight (especially with the recent BNSF proposal) run next to pedestrian platforms in such a narrow channel was a flawed and unsafe plan.
  • Could potentially lower property values due to noise and crime, leading long time residents selling their homes at a loss and a deflation of the current tax base.
  • Another person mentioned that they were previously for both stations, but had changed their mind when finding out that they were looking at re-zoning the area on Golden Valley road to allow for mixed-use development. They felt it would destroy the natural beauty of the area and remove the wildlife that resided nearby, but were still largely positive about the potential benefits of the light rail in theory.
  • Piggy-backing off the previous point was a lot of concern about this impacting the parks and wildlife nearby.
  • Questions about how redevelopment/re-zoning near the GVR station would even happen. A few comments on how they don't understand where condos/businesses would be built without cutting into park land or removing homes.
  • Everyone pretty much agreed on the north platform orientation for the Plymouth Ave station.
Other thoughts
  • It seemed that most attendees were more supportive of the GVR station than the Penn station.
  • A number of residents seemed resigned already, stating "Well it's happening either way" or "I don't want to stand in the way of progress, but..."
  • A surprising amount of people questioning why the Penn alignment wasn't chosen. I'm not sure if it was actually due to them wishing to provide transit to an underserved area or if they simply didn't want it in their back yards.
  • Most of the very vocal opposition came for older (60+) residents who have lived in the area for a very long time. The younger members of the audience seemed more receptive, though I did catch one younger guy saying that he felt it would destroy the character of the neighborhood.
  • One GV commissioner was trying to gather support for his idea of tunneling from GVR to North Memorial, bypassing Sochaki Park and the Rice Lake nature area entirely. Although everyone liked the idea, it seemed unlikely to happen. Nonetheless, he was pushing for a study of the option.
These were my observations. I can't claim full objectivity, but I'm trying to stay impartial while reporting. :)

NickP
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby NickP » February 28th, 2015, 12:17 pm

Thanks Xanadu! Good report :)

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 28th, 2015, 7:45 pm

I was there but arrived 20 minutes late so I missed the presentation. Xanadu's summary is about what I got out of it too. I did an eye roll at the armed guard comment. My table was pretty evenly divided. No one expressed opposition to the line but about half wanted both stations and half only one. I think all of the other people at the table were from Golden Valley so that was encouraging.

As for the proposed density, I told one lady not to worry, that these images are complete f antasy, which they are. Nothing's gonna happen unless people start selling houses en masse.

I think staff was a bit nervous going in, not being sure what they'd hear. I expect they all breathed a collective sigh of relief afterward.

I heard a bit of, "well it's gonna happen anyway so..." It was an interesting contrast to the noise from SLP and CIDNA/Kenwood on SWLRT. It struck me that there's a Ph.D. in psychology or sociology somewhere in all of this.

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woofner
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby woofner » March 4th, 2015, 8:37 am

Olson Hwy. redesign 'essential' for light rail, mayor's office says:

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/294865921.html

Kudos to Hodges' office for making this an issue. I've been concerned since I saw the preliminary drawings showing Olson retaining six lanes and the median obliterated. This was listed on the Technical Issues list in the Blue Line newsletter and targeted for resolution in Q1 2015, but I haven't seen anything in the Corridor Mgmt Committee meetings about it yet. It's encouraging to see MnDot is willing to look at all options, including lane reduction (this section sees lower traffic than four-lane sections of Hwy 55 further west).

Personally I'd like to see them simply use the 17' wide inside lane in each direction for a transit guideway. That leaves 26' for the remaining two lanes, so curb changes and reconstructions will only be necessary at left turns. Existing left turn lanes can be reconstructed into station areas. This would minimize the amount of highway reconstruction necessary, thus minimizing the amount of transit dollars that go to highways, and keep the overall project budget lower. It would also retain a comfortable refuge median for pedestrians.

One more note: I'm not sure why the pedestrian environment of the corridor needs to be justified in terms of future development when there are existing neighborhoods of people would would cross the corridor every day (including riders of hi-frequency route 19). On top of this, Wagenius is incorrect in suggesting that there is a large amount of developable government-owned land along the corridor. The only significant, vacant, government-owned parcel is a future phase of Heritage Park at the southwest corner with Van White. The rest of the corridor is composed of small parcels splintered into private ownership, and frankly doesn't hold much development potential.
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twincitizen
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » March 4th, 2015, 8:59 am

Perhaps he was referring to portions of the ROW itself (the huge road, the frontage roads, etc.)?

Of course, they would still have to acquire additional private property adjacent to the existing public ROW to create buildable lots, but it's not totally unfeasible.

mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » March 4th, 2015, 9:43 am

#multiwayboulevard

It would be easy to build blockfaces with slip lanes and on-street parking over time, instead of those failed two-way frontage roads.

Also, re: four vs six lanes, the outer lanes are basically worthless during rush hour due to buses stopped in the lane for long periods of time. LRT, coupled with possible aBRT with offboard farepayment, would result in four usable lanes being maintained but two lanes being removed.

MNdible
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » March 4th, 2015, 1:03 pm

I give you a lot of grief about preaching for Multiway Boulevards, but this is probably an instance where the ROW and usage patterns actually would make it a good choice.

xanadu
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby xanadu » March 4th, 2015, 11:05 pm

Absolutely agree that turning 55 into a multiway boulevard would be a great option. It's such an ugly road; having a tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly median would be fantastic.

froggie
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby froggie » March 5th, 2015, 7:20 am

Question for such a multiway boulevard is where would you put the transit? In the median? On the outside? There's pros and cons for both.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 5th, 2015, 8:46 am

The lot lines & buildings along this stretch jump all over the place, so it's kinda hard to pick where a proper MWB would go to a) be quasi-urban feeling from day 1, b) be a template for redevelopment, and c) not impact anyone too badly (or at all). That said, the area just east of Van White seems the most restrictive at 210' from lot line to line (though there's a parking buffer to the south and grassy space to the north). I would think using that northern lot line as the future edge of the ROW would be a good start, and do a 160' MWB from there (http://streetmix.net/alexcecchini/89/olsen-memorial-mwb), transit down the middle. 4 lanes of traffic plus slip lanes for parking/bike access.

Given the extreme amount of space available, it's not crazy to entertain separate bike facilities somewhere for another 12'. You could also convince me of an additional dedicated bus lane on the outside for the aBRT and highway buses, but then we're talking close to a 200' ROW, which is a pedestrian barrier (though still a slight improvement over today's design in many places). Something like this.

The first option opens up 50' to the south, oftentimes much more, for turnover to landowners for redevelopment.

As woofner points out, this stretch of highway sees a ridiculously low AADT relative to its size/design - 25-26k west of 94 and down to 10k east of 94. I've seen 4 lane MWBs that handle 35k or more AADT, so this should be no problem, especially if there's any mode shift to the highway bus/LRT/aBRT running around the area (assuming they're all implemented).

mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » March 5th, 2015, 9:46 am

your streetmix link is failing for some reason

fehler
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby fehler » March 5th, 2015, 10:13 am

Ugly road? This is a very beautiful road, with wide, green medians and mature trees galore. I wish 55/Hiawatha was as beautiful as this.

grant1simons2
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » March 5th, 2015, 10:24 am


mattaudio
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » March 5th, 2015, 10:26 am

I will say, one redeeming characteristic is the mature tree canopy (west of Humboldt)... though it seems like we rip out trees as soon as they mature only to replace them with little twigs.

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » March 5th, 2015, 10:33 am

fehler wrote:Ugly road? This is a very beautiful road, with wide, green medians and mature trees galore. I wish 55/Hiawatha was as beautiful as this.
This. I'm asking because I honestly don't know. Do we really want to cram all that stuff in here or do we want to maintain a wide, green median with some medium-density development along the sides? I'm thinking of something like:

- Return dedicated left turn lanes to the green median
- Square off all corners
- Take a center traffic lane in each direction for LRT/BRT/aBRT (a la WATM)
- Remove the service roads
- Former service roads + adjacent land could be developed
- Station areas could extend into the median to create pocket parks (a la WATM)

You end up with two lanes in each direction which should be plenty. It's mostly what's used now due to the bus issue mentioned above. The above allows for some density while maintaining the pleasant greenspace.

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » March 5th, 2015, 10:34 am

You literally picked the worst spot to show - a freeway interchange. Head west a bit.

grant1simons2
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » March 5th, 2015, 10:34 am

Exactly! Cause this is the closest area to where the station will go.

David Greene
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » March 5th, 2015, 10:37 am

The big question is, where does Floyd go?

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » March 5th, 2015, 10:40 am

grant1simons2 wrote:Exactly! Cause this is the closest area to where the station will go.
?? The station is nowhere near there. Van White is several blocks west.

Now, Van White needs some love due to the Summit OIC parking lot but problems like that are solvable.


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