Green Line LRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
DanPatchToget
Rice Park
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby DanPatchToget » March 26th, 2017, 7:35 am


RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 23rd, 2017, 1:53 pm

https://twitter.com/MetroTransitMN/stat ... 5231947777

Average weekday ridership was just shy of 49k in Sept for the Green Line. Not bad.

nate
Landmark Center
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby nate » February 28th, 2018, 10:02 am

So I have been riding the Green Line daily in St Paul for nearly four years now. I know the ins and outs of the system. I can tell when there's an especially experienced operator who knows when to accelerate and how to brake without making the ride jerky. I have been unquestionably the most sober person on a given train car, and also probably the most inebriated person on a given train car. :-)

So those are my bonafides. I can also tell the biggest cause of delays on the line are where the train *just barely* misses the green light at a busy intersection (Snelling, Lex, Dale) and has to sit through a 90 second or two minute light cycle. That has impacts all down the line: it seems like if a train misses one light, it will tend to miss the next one as well. Overall, the train is remarkably reliable, given all the crossings, but it seems to me that if the train had the ability to hold a green light, if only for 10 seconds in those instances where it would otherwise just barely miss the light, that reliability would improve considerably.

I wonder if, after four years of operation and the fact that drivers are generally used to the system, there would be political will to experimenting with those kinds of tweaks to improve reliability. Not full signal preemption, necessarily - just priority to mitigate the worst of delays. I am thinking about spending some time this spring approaching the neighborhood groups along the line - all of whom have transportation committees, to see if there's a way to build support for this idea.

Ahead of that, does anyone here know if this idea would be technically feasible to implement? I would assume that it is, since the train gets priority at 80% of the intersections, so stoplight control would a matter of software programming, not hardware installation. Thoughts?

nstudenski
City Center
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby nstudenski » February 28th, 2018, 3:02 pm

Not an expert, or even completely familiar with the way signal control usually works. My first thought is that 'holding' the light would impact the crosswalk countdowns.

I'm sure this is a naive question, but why not full preemption everywhere?

Didier
Capella Tower
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby Didier » February 28th, 2018, 3:24 pm

There are a few lights that are wack. At 280 the trains often have to stop so like two cars can turn left onto the highway. But then the University and Huron stop lights skip a straight-on cycle when the train comes, so you can easily sit there for several minutes while it cycles through the left turn signal while nobody is turning left, etc.

tmart
Landmark Center
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby tmart » February 28th, 2018, 3:25 pm

I always assumed signal preemption was a question of political will in the face of worried drivers. If that's the case, perhaps we could eventually use this line's above-expected ridership as a reason to reevaluate and possibly generate the needed political will.

I'm curious if anyone at MT would have data on signal-induced delays, on how many "near misses" there are, etc., and if they'd be willing to share it.

EOst
Capella Tower
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby EOst » February 28th, 2018, 5:13 pm

I'm under the impression (not sure from where) that MnDOT vetoed preemption at University/280.

HiawathaGuy
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby HiawathaGuy » February 28th, 2018, 5:55 pm

One nice thing is that both cities now have new (pro-transit) Mayors in office, plus a lot of new Council Members. Might not be a bad idea or a bad time to reach out to the respective Transportation Committee members and/or Mayors to voice interest in looking into the Green Line lights once again. I seem to recall that Minneapolis uses a different software than St. Paul too? Either way, I think a renewed look at this line now that it has proven itself (very) successful isn't a bad idea!

jebr
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor)

Postby jebr » March 1st, 2018, 2:15 pm

nstudenski wrote:
February 28th, 2018, 3:02 pm
Not an expert, or even completely familiar with the way signal control usually works. My first thought is that 'holding' the light would impact the crosswalk countdowns.

I'm sure this is a naive question, but why not full preemption everywhere?
Full pre-emption would likely mess with some of the crosswalk countdowns. The countdown starts at...23, I think?, at Snelling/University when crossing University, and so you'd be looking at minimum 23-24 seconds to trigger a full countdown. Holding the light wouldn't have that problem; you'd just have a green light for cars with a red stop hand for pedestrians longer (which isn't great in having people trust those signs, but considering how many other intersections seem to kill the walk sign with a significant green light cycle left anyways, I'm not convinced it'd matter anyways.)

My gut feeling is that Snelling/University would be the hardest to control. MnDOT has some say there since it's a state highway, traffic volumes are heavier, and the A Line has competing transit needs and is supposed to have some signal priority as well. If we had the funds to grade-separate select areas of the light rail system, the Snelling/University intersection would likely be #2 priority for me after downtown Minneapolis; the intersection is quite busy and winds up causing quite a bit of delay, but there's enough automobile traffic that I'm not sure we could get the political will to do priority or pre-emption here.

Minnehahaha
Metrodome
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby Minnehahaha » March 1st, 2018, 10:04 pm

I am often frustrated by the lack of preemption at 280 and would love to see that happen to even a minimal extent -- it doesn't seem an unreasonable expectation given traffic volumes.

As far as Snelling (with 33,000 cars per day, the need to coordinate timing with the signal at Spruce Tree, and additional traffic volume from the State Fair and the soccer stadium) I just don't see it happening (as jebr points out, the political will is likely not there). And this is where my mind drifts off into grade separation fantasy...

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby mattaudio » March 2nd, 2018, 8:42 am

Considering the bridges at Territorial and Franklin flanking the University Ave bridge and the one-way nature of Eustis and Cromwell as frontage roads to 280...

Why not use these concepts to effectively do a Michigan Left for motorists turning left from University onto 280?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_left
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_U-turn

Not only that, but I bet there's very little need for the left from westbound University to south 280 given that Franklin serves as a shortcut for this movement.

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby talindsay » March 4th, 2018, 9:36 am

Michigan lefts are terrible. We definitely don't need to make this area even more confusing.

SurlyLHT
Target Field
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby SurlyLHT » March 5th, 2018, 9:12 am

I agree a terrible idea for University Ave. However, MnDOT put them in on MN 65 in the N. Metro and they're saving lives.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby mattaudio » March 5th, 2018, 9:41 am

OK this would be more Texas U Turn than Michigan Left. Completely gets rid of the left turn lanes on University at 280.

If you're going east on University, turn right onto one-way Eustis (towards I-94), then left on Franklin and left onto Cromwell towards 280. Or better yet, modify the Franklin bridge to have an actual Texas Turnaround on the north side of the bridge (eliminating the two left turns across westbound Franklin traffic).

The westbound turn lanes could be replaced by the same thing with Territorial, but even that seems redundant considering anyone going from Westbound University to I-94 would take the Franklin shortcut instead.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby mattaudio » March 5th, 2018, 9:41 am

Speaking of this design, has anyone seen the plans for the Corridors of Commerce proposal to redo the I-94 and MN-280 interchange to eliminate left entrances/exits from I-94?

Silophant
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby Silophant » March 5th, 2018, 10:04 am

On the one hand, that would be great, those are awful and in the way of future MNPass lanes.

On the other hand, ugh that's going to be like a hundred million dollars.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby mattaudio » March 5th, 2018, 11:04 am

Yep. I'm in the "Just MnPass the entire I-94 corridor between the two downtowns and use half the revenue as reparations to the neighborhoods it destroyed, and be thankful we don't just tear out the freeway" camp, but that's just me.

tmart
Landmark Center
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby tmart » March 5th, 2018, 12:25 pm

mattaudio wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 11:04 am
Yep. I'm in the "Just MnPass the entire I-94 corridor between the two downtowns and use half the revenue as reparations to the neighborhoods it destroyed, and be thankful we don't just tear out the freeway" camp, but that's just me.
If we really got serious about repairing the damage done by urban freeways, this would be the way to start. I'd go further and say the proceeds should fund median/shoulder-running light or heavy rail, with freeway caps around the stations serving as both transit access points and land bridges to finally make a serious effort at stitching these neighborhoods back together. It would also be a huge improvement over current travel times between the downtowns.

Here's a fairly meaty study on the subject of I-94 lids and community repairing that MnDOT commissioned recently: http://minnesota.uli.org/wp-content/upl ... Report.pdf

The problem IMO is just the "getting serious about repairing the damage" part. It would be a huge undertaking, and it would be fighting a deeply-rooted belief that people outside the cities are entitled to free, fast, single-occupancy travel through them.

structuralEIT
Block E
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby structuralEIT » March 5th, 2018, 11:29 pm

mattaudio wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 9:41 am
The westbound turn lanes could be replaced by the same thing with Territorial, but even that seems redundant considering anyone going from Westbound University to I-94 would take the Franklin shortcut instead.
There is one reason people need to left turn off of westbound University. The entrance to the underground employee parking at the Court International building (the large building west of 280) is on Eustis between University and Franklin. Currently to get there from northbound 280 (from 94 in either direction) cars cross Franklin, left turn onto University, and then left turn onto Eustis. If the left turn off of University was eliminated, any cars coming from 94 or westbound University would have to go through an additional 2 stoplights (one would have to be added at Territorial and Cromwell). That's a lot of extra time, especially considering that the people who park down there are typically partners who may come and go several times a day for business meetings.

Silophant
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Re: Green Line LRT

Postby Silophant » March 30th, 2018, 4:16 pm

A car took out a power pole near Lexington, so there's a bus bridge between Fairview and Western.

At-grade trains are gooooood.


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