Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Wedgeguy
Capella Tower
Posts: 3785
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 6:59 am

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby Wedgeguy » November 14th, 2012, 7:51 am

THis is my opinion now! But you have two political heavy weight that want the 28th street exit, Wells Fargo for their Mortgage building, and Allina hospital for a faster route to Abbott for ambulances. The second one does have public safety and good one the surface so that is why I think it will still be included.

User avatar
woofner
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1327
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:04 am

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby woofner » November 14th, 2012, 11:56 am

Gah! I totally forgot about this meeting! Thanks for the pics, which are almost as good as seeing the model in person.

That space where the crescent meets the greenway is not going to be pleasant - it will be in shade most of the time and will be quite noisy. The very preliminary plans from the Lake St AA assumes a station there (as well as at Nicollet), so I'm guessing there will just be an at-grade crossing of the tracks. The station will help make it feel less gloomy.

Jim Grube is a bit of a character. Don't mistake his niceness for willingness to compromise - he knows what he wants and how to get it.
"Who rescued whom!"

UptownSport
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 607
Joined: July 23rd, 2012, 12:07 am

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby UptownSport » November 14th, 2012, 2:57 pm

twincitizen wrote:I had a conversation with an older fellow (like retirement age) about ... double-decking the tunnel (he brought it up first), etc.
What'd you learn??????

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7918
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby mattaudio » November 30th, 2012, 4:03 pm

Interesting to see how little has changed over 20 years...
http://www.mnvideovault.org/mvvPlayer/c ... opup=yes#0

Also interesting to see certain people like Jean Wagenius and Peter McLaughlin who are sort of the same spots they were that long ago.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6193
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby twincitizen » November 30th, 2012, 7:54 pm

It actually makes me kind of sad to see McLaughlin talking about LRT in 1993, in the respect that
A. it never happened, and now (or 2018, 25!!! years later) it's going to be buses with no ability to easily convert to LRT
B. He hasn't moved up, and I think he has earned it. Should've run for Governor or US Congress or something. Say what you want, the guy has vision and a good sales pitch.

lordmoke
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1377
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:39 pm
Location: Nicollet Island

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby lordmoke » February 19th, 2013, 9:56 am

From F & C: Hennepin County seeks bonding.
http://finance-commerce.com/transit/201 ... t-station/

Edit: The construction timetable on this is a bit depressing. :(

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 19th, 2013, 11:51 am

Ok so a few positives of this project (there are few): BRT station/Lake St bus bays will likely make for better pedestrian use and connections of current/proposed transit lines. The connection to the greenway reinforces this. Mild streetscape improvements seem to be proposed. Other than that... I'm confused how anyone could consider this project a good idea.

We're talking about adding ax exit ramp on to Lake St - essentially flooding the area with cars (whilst also making it MORE enticing to own a car if you live in the area - getting in and out of there will seem quicker/easier). We're talking about extending the one-way nature of Stevens up a few blocks (making one-way pairs on either side of the freeway), which would continue to increase car speeds through those streets (especially since drivers on Stevens SB would be competing with vehicles exiting the freeway at high speeds). This makes the entire area that feels like a freeway even wider than it is today. The proposed street sections of Lake Street don't add a bicycle lane for local bikers, they don't add any on-street parking to protect pedestrians and give access to businesses (while simultaneously encouraging reduction of surface parking).

I just do not see how anyone could say the positives of this project outweigh the negatives. It's the same old story - city/region claims to want to increase livability/walkability of an area and improve access to transit. For every $1 they spend or 1 project they undertake for these improvements, $10 or 10 projects are undertaken for freeway expansion/access (ramps). When are Minneapolis and MnDOT going to get serious about really improving our core areas?

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6193
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby twincitizen » February 25th, 2013, 4:10 pm

How is there not a Knox Avenue pedestrian bridge? Ok, I know the answer to that question...MNDOT doesn't care about pedestrians.
But really though, how are there not even plans for one?
Of all the places along 494 to have one, this seems the most critical. There are tons of apartments and jobs on both sides of the freeway.

If you believe that the Orange Line (current Route 535) will cease operating out of the Best Buy park & ride (no longer exiting at 76th and dicking around on local streets), then a Knox avenue ped bridge is absolutely necessary to connect Best Buy corp and the P&R with the future in-line station at American Boulevard.

Make fun if you want, but I am going to start advocating for this ped connection. I'm going to start by contacting MNDOT and 494 Commuter Services, along with the state Reps and Senators for the area.

Also, I found this organization, which seems to be a joint-powers agreement between various city & county governments to advocate for 35W corridor improvements between Lakeville and Downtown. http://35wsolutions.com/index.php

Viktor Vaughn
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 607
Joined: July 10th, 2012, 6:37 pm

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 13th, 2013, 9:45 am

The Star Tribune reports use of the 35W MnPass lanes is on the rise. 9,217 people have electronic toll accounts to use the I-35W managed lanes, which is on track to match the 12,800 account holders who use I-394.
Star Tribune wrote: Because they offer an alternative to sitting in traffic and move 50 percent more people than regular lanes during rush hours, the Minnesota Department of Transportation plans to start construction this year on a third MnPass lane on I-35E north of St. Paul that would open in 2015, said Brian Kary, freeway operations manager.

...The number of users has not reached a plateau, but already the number of people — bus riders, carpoolers and toll payers — carried in the MnPass lane during rush hour is equal to the number of people carried in the other two general-purpose lanes combined, Kary said.
It's great to hear that MnPass lanes carry more people than general purpose lanes. Motorist frequently complain the MnPass lanes are "empty" because they are uncongested. But I'm thrown off by these seemingly conflicting statistics. Can the MnPass lane both carry 50% more traffic than a general purpose lane AND the same amount of traffic as the other two lanes combined?

If a general purpose lane carries 10,000 people. Then the MnPass Lane would carry 15,000, or 50% more. Assuming both general lanes carried about the same, that would be 20,000 people for both vs. 15,000 for MnPass. So then based on this 50% statistics the combined general purpose lanes would carry a third more people than MnPass. Am I missing something? Which is the true statistic? The two seem mathematically irreconcilable.

mulad
Moderator
Posts: 2798
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm
Location: Saint Paul
Contact:

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby mulad » March 13th, 2013, 10:45 am

The high passenger volume in the MnPASS lanes can be mostly attributed to the large number of buses that use them ("during rush hour", anyway). If you've got general-purpose lanes that typically carry 1.1 people/vehicle, it can be pretty easy to match or exceed the passenger traffic if there are a lot of buses carrying two or three dozen riders -- plus there's a larger proportion of carpoolers in that lane, so the average passenger load per car goes up somewhat (I'd guess somewhere between 1.5 and 2 people/car on average, but it might be higher than that).

This has been one of the fundamental problems with traffic engineering over the past several decades -- believing that moving more vehicles equals moving more people. It's not always the case.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7918
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby mattaudio » April 12th, 2013, 8:52 am

Responding to twincitizen's comments about the 38th St Orange Line station over in the general transit thread...

As someone who uses the 46th St interchange frequently, I'm wondering if it would have been much better to built inline BRT stations at bridges without interchanges. The nature of a tight urban diamond interchange, with small sidewalks and busy traffic turning on/off a freeway, really isolates inline BRT stations from the surrounding neighborhoods. It's like blue line stations on the Kennedy Expressway, but worse.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6193
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby twincitizen » April 12th, 2013, 9:22 am

As long as they have connecting crosstown bus routes, then yes, stations at bridges without interchanges would certainly be better. Obviously that wasn't an option at 46th St. W.R.T. 38th, I think the long-long term plan is still to close the 35th/36th exit and move it to 38th, but it isn't a priority given the more pressing needs in the corridor (fracture critical flyover bridges, connect HOT lanes to Marq2, etc).

I wonder if it's possible to make a better exit at 36th instead of the split-diamond and make 38th better for peds & buses.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7918
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby mattaudio » April 12th, 2013, 9:32 am

With those split diamonds, and with University/4th, I've always thought it would be possible to split the onramps so traffic turning left onto the freeway would not have to cross two stoplights and weave with traffic exiting the freeway. Obviously I'd be hopeful this could be designed in a way that enhances the pedestrian environment rather than detracting from it.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1350
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » April 12th, 2013, 9:43 am

One of the main reasons behind moving the interchange to 38th St is the lack of merging room between the 35th St and 31st St ramps.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6193
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby twincitizen » April 12th, 2013, 10:11 am

If we can have a non-split diamond at 46th (and presumably at 38th), why not elsewhere? The one at 31st and Lake is abysmal, especially for NB 35W to WB Lake/31st in the PM peak. Having stoplights at Stevens, 1st, Nicollet, and Blaisdell on both streets does not help. I guess I don't really see any obvious benefit to the split diamond vs a regular one. If cars exiting the freeway have to wait longer to keep traffic on surface streets flowing, so be it, provided there is sufficient queueing space on the exit ramps.

Speaking to Matt's point about turning cars interfering with pedestrian movements near BRT stations, I would be interested to see how a full interchange at 31st Street could be implemented, keeping Lake Street (a little) less congested for peds and buses. Obviously many of the freeway traffic would want to access or cross Lake Street at some point, but it shouldn't ALL be happening right there at 2nd/Stevens.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 12th, 2013, 12:37 pm

twincitizen wrote:If cars exiting the freeway have to wait longer to keep traffic on surface streets flowing, so be it, provided there is sufficient queueing space on the exit ramps.
I'm confused why this is a bad thing, from a pedestrian/resident perspective. Make it easier to drive at higher volumes (and likely at higher speeds) will never allow this area to crawl back out of the hole it was put in with 35W, closing Nicollet, and the vast parking lots in the first place. Is Lake Street near the freeway somewhere to drive through or somewhere to be in?

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6193
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby twincitizen » April 12th, 2013, 12:47 pm

The primary benefit would be to keep more freeway-related traffic on 31st, where there are far fewer pedestrians, rather than accomodate more freeway-bound vehicles at Lake St. Lake Street is a place to be in, and freeway-bound traffic hurts that. However, I have no idea how you build a SB exit directly to 31st without ruining Lake Street even more. Just skip the additional ramps entirely and stick with the half-exit?

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5796
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby MNdible » April 12th, 2013, 1:08 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
twincitizen wrote:I'm confused why this is a bad thing, from a pedestrian/resident perspective.
Without wading into the specifics of this location, there are a lot of comments that suggest that cars in any given area are always people from the stupid suburbs driving through an area causing traffic jams. In fact, many residents also drive cars and would like to be able to leave their house and get to their house without having streets gridlocked.

There's a weird circular logic operating -- it's OK if we take away auto capacity on our local streets, because a lot of those cars should be on the freeway anyway, but don't spend any money getting rid of bottlenecks on the freeways.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6193
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby twincitizen » April 12th, 2013, 2:20 pm

Well yes, obviously there is an anti-car echo chamber going on here, which most of us participate in to varying degrees, but I think you're twisting words a little bit. With regards to 31st & Lake, I was simply suggesting that moving more of the freeway-bound traffic to 31st (currently a shared pain between 31st & Lake, and not fun for anyone) could possibly improve conditions on Lake Street, which has a very high volume of pedestrians, transit riders, and local auto traffic.


Aaaanyways, the project website is live: http://metrotransit.org/metro-orange-line

Imma get on that CAC, either as Whittier's representative or...well that's probably my only option.

Look at that project timeline...barf. I bet that's optimistic too, I mean is the American Blvd Station even on the CIP? Are the 66th St stops still going to be nearside, mired in all of the other exiting traffic? Will pedestrians be allowed to cross intersections at all points at 66th and 98th? (currently limited to certain crossings and only triggered by beg button)

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: Orange Line (35W BRT)

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 12th, 2013, 5:15 pm

MNdible wrote:
RailBaronYarr wrote:
twincitizen wrote:I'm confused why this is a bad thing, from a pedestrian/resident perspective.
Without wading into the specifics of this location, there are a lot of comments that suggest that cars in any given area are always people from the stupid suburbs driving through an area causing traffic jams. In fact, many residents also drive cars and would like to be able to leave their house and get to their house without having streets gridlocked.

There's a weird circular logic operating -- it's OK if we take away auto capacity on our local streets, because a lot of those cars should be on the freeway anyway, but don't spend any money getting rid of bottlenecks on the freeways.
I don't think my point is to ban or eliminate cars from the streets. There are, what, 45,000 residents in Lyndale, Carag, Whittier, and Lowry Hill East? That number of people today looking to drive their car at any given moment is dwarfed by the number of people who don't live in the area and are driving there. I never actually suggested taking away capacity (ie reducing lanes). Our local streets do currently have more than enough capacity to handle foot/bus/car traffic even if we tripled the density of S Minneapolis (having been to many, many cities with even higher density than this and skinnier streets/boulevards I can say this with good confidence). You can make Lake AND 31st streets better by REMOVING the exit from the freeway (which would also serve to reduce congestion on the freeway.

You can't make the argument that "the cars have to go somewhere." Vehicle miles traveled are already declining despite more road projects and expansions. Make local streets better by reducing speed and total vehicle traffic by improving foot/bike/transit (which will increase resident density). Yes, people live in the area and currently own cars and would like to get around without gridlock. The answer isn't to widen Lake or free up the lights, as it will have the same effect as widening freeways on demand for road travel.


Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest