Northside - General Topics

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
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Anondson
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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby Anondson » March 16th, 2014, 8:05 pm

Where are the pinch points on Broadway that made LRT a problem?

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby MNdible » March 16th, 2014, 8:47 pm

Anondson wrote:Where are the pinch points on Broadway that made LRT a problem?
All of it.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby alleycat » March 16th, 2014, 8:49 pm

Anondson wrote:Where are the pinch points on Broadway that made LRT a problem?
The area from Girard to I-94 is a tight squeeze with on-street parking and a driving lane. Once you hit the curve things settle down and then you have another pinch point near Penn and Broadway.
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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » March 17th, 2014, 7:49 am

Saying that there's a pinch point in right of way for one particular use is disingenuous without noting the assumption of deference to another particular use... things like moving cars, parked cars, etc. Not saying Broadway would have worked for LRT in all spots, but when engineers say something can't be done it's usually a copout answer. Can't be done, because of what?

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » March 17th, 2014, 9:09 am

MNdible wrote:
Anondson wrote:Where are the pinch points on Broadway that made LRT a problem?
All of it.
Really?

West of Penn, and especially west of Thomas, Broadway would be pretty compatible with LRT infrastructure.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby MNdible » March 17th, 2014, 9:23 am

OK, you got me. I was exaggerating.

But take a look at University Avenue, with its 120' ROW, and look at all of the difficulties they had squeezing LRT in there while still maintaining some semblance of a street that functions for all users. And now cut out 40' of ROW and try the same exercise.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby ECtransplant » March 17th, 2014, 3:03 pm

Remove the on street parking. Problem solved.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby MNdible » March 17th, 2014, 4:44 pm

[This should get moved to the Bottineau thread]
ECtransplant wrote:Remove the on street parking. Problem solved.
Problem not solved.

Broadway's ROW is apparently as little as 75' in some locations, but let's be generous and assume that it's the 80' that's more typical of Minneapolis's commercial corridors. So, take a look at a typical Central Corridor Station area, like this one at Hamline. Remember, this has 120' of ROW.

You'll notice that they've already removed the parking, so no dice there. Thanks for playing.

Let's assume that in addition to getting rid of the parking, that you can also eliminate a lane of traffic in each direction and still service the demand on the primary E-W commercial through street in North Minneapolis (I'll leave it to somebody else to look up the daily traffic counts through here and decide how workable that would be). Let's be generous and assume that you can save 15' in each direction by doing that. Remember that this doesn't leave you any additional room for the remaining buses to pull over when they're stopped, so every time a bus has to stop to let on somebody in a wheelchair, that bus will be completely obstructing Broadway for several minutes.

So now you're down to 90' total. What's left to cut? Somebody might argue that you could get rid of the left turn lanes, but you can see that because of the geometry of the staggered stations, that's really not saving you any room.

The sidewalks are already relatively narrow for what should be a pedestrian focused area at about 10' each, so not much you can cheat there.

So in order get LRT to fit on Broadway, you're going to have to trim one of the remaining two traffic lanes. That leaves you with a single, one way lane of traffic and means that you'll no longer be able to run bus service on Broadway. It also means that the mid-block properties on one side of the street will no longer have direct auto access.

It will effectively be the same condition that we see downtown on 5th Street today, but 5th Street is part of a redundant system of downtown commercial streets, and arguably one that wasn't very important to begin with which is why it was selected. Broadway, on the other hand, does not have parallel streets nearby that can take the displaced traffic.

Some may say that this makes sense and is a good solution. I do not.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby Anondson » March 17th, 2014, 4:50 pm

What I was leading to, with that map showing vacant and surface parking lots, was the question of if it was at all possible to take from a vacant lot and widen Broadway to fit the LRT if the pinch points happened to be adjacent to the vacant lot.

But if the pinch points exist in a commercial zone where buildings exist, then obviously no go. That was what I was leading towards with the map.


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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby seanrichardryan » March 17th, 2014, 5:11 pm

Would gaunlet track or a shallow tunnel be an option?
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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » March 17th, 2014, 8:33 pm

No, this area is clearly too developed to justify grade separation.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby Tcmetro » March 17th, 2014, 9:27 pm

For W Broadway, I think that mixed-traffic trains would be alright with stations being built underground, but honestly, the fact that so many buildings are vacant and so many have suburban style parking lots, there wouldn't be too much opposition to building a cut and cover tunnel. Additionally, Lyndale Ave south of Broadway has basically no buildings fronting the road and that could be reduced to one lane or have a tunnel constructed.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby David Greene » March 17th, 2014, 9:32 pm

Anondson wrote:What I was leading to, with that map showing vacant and surface parking lots, was the question of if it was at all possible to take from a vacant lot and widen Broadway to fit the LRT if the pinch points happened to be adjacent to the vacant lot.
That's what would have to be done - when I drove through looking for this specifically, it seemed like there were plenty of parking lots to take from. There were one or two buildings in the way.

The reason Botineau isn't going down Broadway is not ROW but rather travel time, at least according to the county engineers.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby alleycat » March 17th, 2014, 10:12 pm

The problem with taking vacant land/surface lots for row is that they aren't on one or another side of the street. Vacant lots and surface parking jump back and forth and often are across the street from an entire stretch of good urban buildings.

The only way LRT would work is below grade on Broadway. I would actually prefer an at-grade route up 7th from Target Field followed by a split pair taking Emerson-Fremont. Then take 26th or Lowry to Robbinsdale. I'd still want the streetcar down Broadway plus a Penn Avenue BRT.
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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 18th, 2014, 6:58 am

Or, deep-bore through easy to tunnel sandstone: http://gettingaroundmpls.wordpress.com/ ... h-part-ii/

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 18th, 2014, 10:09 am

RailBaronYarr wrote:Or, deep-bore through easy to tunnel sandstone: http://gettingaroundmpls.wordpress.com/ ... h-part-ii/
From the Bottineau project planner's response when Alex inquiried about tunneling through North (at the link above).
It is instructive to consider that transitway tunnel construction in this country has been implemented through densely populated areas and/or high activity centers. Examples that come to mind include New York City, the Seattle Central Business District, and the San Francisco Central Business District.
...and lightly populated railroad corridors with no development opportunity.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby Tcmetro » March 18th, 2014, 12:25 pm

A tunnel on Broadway could probably get away with a length from Aldrich to James, about 1/2 mile. Another tunnel might be needed from Oliver to 26th, but it's a really easy project. I don't really believe that a Broadway alignment would have a lengthier travel time than Olson Highway.

In any case, the ship seems to have sailed on any W Broadway Ave alignment, and I suppose it's about as useful to debate this as it is SW LRT.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 18th, 2014, 12:54 pm

If one were to accept that the project will be built based on the LPA selected, it isn't useful to debate. But for someone who has watched the SW process play out it's reasonable to assume the debate's not over and we should continue to advocate building the train as an urban rapid transit line instead of commuter rail.

The preliminary engineering has been done with the assumption that freight stays in the corridor, correct? There's room for both? Hopefully, we won't be talking about a Mary Hills Nature Area LRT tunnel in a couple of years.

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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby alleycat » March 20th, 2014, 9:06 pm

The IOOF building and it's neighboring old school White Castle were bought by Kemps recently. They plan to turn it into more parking for their trucks. A big fence would likely go right at the gateway to north.

Image

It looks like they may be demoed this weekend. Apparently since Kemps has no plans they won't have to bring it in front of the planning commission and the city has no recourse in this demo. That seems like a huge loophole for property owners to skirt city policy, zoning, et al. This will put huge pressure on the neighboring Friedman's Department Store.

What a week...
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Re: Northside - General Topics

Postby Nick » March 20th, 2014, 9:14 pm

There aren't any recent permits pulled on 404 West Broadway, so that seems unlikely.

http://apps.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/PIApp/ ... 2924230173


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