Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

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Nathan
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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Nathan » November 20th, 2012, 5:16 pm

MNdible wrote:DFW population is twice that of MSP.
And our area is 2/3rds of theirs. so that offsets the population differences somewhat.
They are also a TOTALLY car centric city our core population density is much higher than theirs. The population of Downtown Dallas is only 6,000 as compared to 30,000 in Downtown Minneapolis. We should easily have a comparable system, if not in length, the number of lines.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby NickP » November 20th, 2012, 6:21 pm

Also, aren't our headways better that Dallas's? I would prefer our system of frequent trains over a smaller area, than massive rail infrastructure, but trains only every 15 or 20 minutes.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby aguaman » November 21st, 2012, 11:10 am

i don't think minnesota is more conservative than utah. i have never lived there but i think that is true, based on pretty much everything i have heard about politics there and here. so i don't think the urban/suburban and republican/democrat argument is accurate. and i think they built most of their system after the olympics so that argument is also not accurate. so why is the bottineau corridor a bus route and not a rail route? that is what i'm trying to get at. also, i'm not trying to compare rail mileage from one city to another; portland has a large percentage of transit trips served by it's rail system but the system size is small compared to newer systems on competing metro areas. i think places like salt lake city and denver and seattle and others are implementing rail corridors to replace bus corridors. so we can talk all day about how awesome our bus system is compared to our peers, but does that come at the expense of or reason for not having an extensive rail system? or is there another reason why don't already have 4 or 5 lrt lines like we arguably should have by now?

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » November 21st, 2012, 11:52 am

The justification for building the SLC LRT system in the late 90's was that the Winter Olympics were going to happen. After the initial line opened, SLC came up with a financing deal with the FTA to build an entire network by 2015. It also helps that most of the lines run in old railroad ROWs and in undeveloped areas making them cheap to build. SLC is getting ~60000 riders on 35 miles of track. When the 4-line (Hiawatha, Central, SW, Bottineau) system is complete here, I would imagine we will have ~130000 riders on ~50 miles of track.

Bottineau WILL be LRT. It was proposed as a busway, and funding was secured for construction in 2007, but Hennepin County went back to the beginning steps and initiated a new study process to get the light rail outcome. Bottineau now needs to advance into the preliminary engineering phase, then begin construction. I would put an opening date in the 2019-2021 range of things.

As for our bus system... I wouldn't say it is that great. Probably better than Portland's and Atlanta's, but worse than Seattle's and Cleveland's and it is probably on par with San Antonio or Denver. Any Canadian city definitely has a better bus system than us.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby UptownSport » November 21st, 2012, 2:21 pm

So there's supposed to be some train running North West of Minneapolis?

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby helsinki » November 22nd, 2012, 12:37 am

The D2 option seems like a no-brainer to me. D1 is effectively an electrified commuter rail line (and still a boon to the city); it would be a missed opportunity, I think.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » December 4th, 2012, 9:40 pm

"missed opportunity"

I think that was the original name for CTIB

stp1980
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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby stp1980 » December 18th, 2012, 4:28 pm

Hopefully this headline works out as is. This would allow the blue line extension to go forward.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... ail-route/

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » December 18th, 2012, 4:58 pm

This is only good news if you're the sort of person who settles for the good over the perfect. Haven't you read this thread? Better to kill this now with the hope that someday we'll tunnel under north Minneapolis.

Sorry in advance for my snark.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » December 18th, 2012, 9:53 pm

stp1980 wrote:Hopefully this headline works out as is. This would allow the blue line extension to go forward.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... il-reoute/
Head the version of this before the vote. I was particularly struck by the quote from Golden Valley resident Debra Schumacher:
Debra Schumacher wrote:Yes, houses would be displaced, but there are more houses. But there isn't more parkland to be taken up.


Almost unbelieveable. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » December 18th, 2012, 9:57 pm

Just came from a meeting where a Northsider asked why this isn't running on Broadway. He meant ALL the way down Broadway, not down Penn.

Yes, I had the same question a year ago. The answer I got from Hennepin county was, "it's too slow."

Bollocks. This thing should go down Broadway and Washington to downtown.

But still, the BNSF alignment is good, though not perfect. I'm certainly supportive, though a Broadway streetcar should be developed in parallel or even before the LRT.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby seanrichardryan » December 19th, 2012, 12:19 am

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

Paula Pentel
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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Paula Pentel » December 19th, 2012, 8:42 am

Hello-
Do you know me? Do you believe all you read in the Strib? If you would like to HEAR what I said at the meeting last night please take the time to watch the streaming video - you can link to it from this page and then click right on the "old Business" portion of our meeting last night:
http://www.nwsccc.org/golden_valley.aspx

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » December 19th, 2012, 9:17 am

I don't think her concerns are out of nimbyism:
https://streets.mn/2012/11/13/podcast-1 ... la-pentel/

Edit: Owned! Didn't see the most recent post by Paula! Welcome to the forum.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby woofner » December 19th, 2012, 10:30 am

MNdible wrote:This is only good news if you're the sort of person who settles for the good over the perfect.
If you think that building three miles of rail through parkland is good, then I have a great deal for you on real estate in Florida. And I don't agree that light rail would be do significant damage to the park's ecosystem or user experience - Wirth Pkwy, Golden Valley Rd and Olson Hwy are already far more disrupting than LRT would be - but the issue for me is that you're spending $200m on a medium-capacity transit facility in a place that is guaranteed to never attract decent ridership.
MNdible wrote: Better to kill this now with the hope that someday we'll tunnel under north Minneapolis.
Assuming this was directed at me, I should clarify that I don't think Bottineau should be stopped until they're willing to build a subway. Rather I think that the inclusion of several batshit alternatives while simultaneously failing to include a tunnel alternative (despite the fact that the Twin Cities have experience with cost-effective urban transit tunneling) was a significant flaw of the AA process.

But not the only significant flaw - despite pushing on the scales to make BRT seem less cost-effective that it would be (by assuming a much longer travel time than would be realistic), the AA still consistently found BRT would be more cost-effective than LRT (for example, the BRT version of the LPA was estimated to cost about half of what the LRT version would cost to build, but the projected ridership was more than half that of LRT). Yet somehow the conclusion ended up recommending LRT, for which I've never been able to find any quantitative basis.

So, to rehash, I think Bottineau should be halted because it's a very risky prospect as LRT (seemingly banking on massive job sprawl in Brooklyn Park), and because BRT would be a safer bet. But if you're offering to build that Northside tunnel, that sounds good too.
"Who rescued whom!"

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » December 19th, 2012, 11:03 am

The reason why the BRT effort was abandoned is because nobody wants BRT. Our metro is proving it again with the Red Line, which is discussed elsewhere... but I think Yonah or Jarrett or someone said, "BRT is nice in theory and sucks in reality." BRT has rarely been built in a way that actually resembles the service quality of LRT, and to do so would require nearly the expense of LRT anyways (dedicated ROW, etc). So not really sure why BRT should even be looked at here.

You make an excellent point about the AA flaws WRT tunneling. Honestly I think that's part of what Paula Pentel was alluding to last night in a general sense, since she knows how these lines progress through the political hurdles. Most "studies" are just ways of justifying the assumed outcome, so the alternatives are all framed and scored in a way that makes the assumed outcome look like the only obvious solution. Unfortunately we need to do a better job of separating out the political process of weighting criteria and selecting a choice with the technocratic process of accurately defining and scoring alternatives.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » December 19th, 2012, 11:16 am

mattaudio wrote:Most "studies" are just ways of justifying the assumed outcome, so the alternatives are all framed and scored in a way that makes the assumed outcome look like the only obvious solution. Unfortunately we need to do a better job of separating out the political process of weighting criteria and selecting a choice with the technocratic process of accurately defining and scoring alternatives.
QFT! Now how do we prove that and get people to care?

As complicated and heavy-handed as the FTA rules are already, I feel like a solution to this "problem" we're having in the Twin Cities would have to come from them. A rule change to weight ridership and residential density heavier than other factors (attracting new riders, marginal time savings between alternatives, etc). I know the rules were changed in 2009 (post-SWLRT desicion) to do basically what I just said, but it doesn't seem to be working. Why is moving current express bus riders to rail seen as a benefit, while moving urban local bus riders to rail is not? There's more subtleties to it than that, but I think you know what I mean.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby woofner » December 19th, 2012, 11:32 am

mattaudio wrote: to do so would require nearly the expense of LRT anyways (dedicated ROW, etc). So not really sure why BRT should even be looked at here.
No, as I said, BRT would cost literally half as much as LRT, even with quality stations and dedicated ROW. If you don't believe me, please review the AA document, which can be found at the project website.

Personally, I would take BRT or LRT to the NW suburbs all the time, which is part of the reason I prefer BRT - it would be great to have twice as much coverage.
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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby UptownSport » December 19th, 2012, 4:16 pm

Infrastructural Racism

wow.

We know you now

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » December 19th, 2012, 6:45 pm

redisciple wrote: Rather I think that the inclusion of several batshit alternatives while simultaneously failing to include a tunnel alternative (despite the fact that the Twin Cities have experience with cost-effective urban transit tunneling)
We do? What, the Selby streetcar tunnel? Tunneling is a non-starter. If it couldn't be done for Central Corridor, there's no way it will be done for Bottineau.
redisciple wrote:Yet somehow the conclusion ended up recommending LRT, for which I've never been able to find any quantitative basis.
Because transit (and transportation in general) is not only quantitative. We do _not_ want to make transportation decisions based solely on cost-effectiveness. That's why New Starts has additional criteria beyond cost.

Transit (and transportation in general) is not just about getting from point A to point B. There's a community-building aspect you're completely dismissing.

For the record, as stated earlier, I believe the LRT should be routed all the way down Broadway to Washington and then head south into downtown, precisely for the community-building effects mentioned above. But that ship has sailed and the plan we have now will improve things -- if North Minneapolis sees significant additional transit investmnet.


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