Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

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EOst
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby EOst » November 17th, 2019, 1:13 pm

University LRT guideway is 12' at stations and 14' elsewhere, as in the Riverview dimensions above. Hennepin County will also at minimum require 2' of gutter for those travel lanes.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby gopherfan » November 17th, 2019, 4:32 pm

Even still they can make it work and it would be nice.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » November 18th, 2019, 9:20 am

I live in the Northside and my first thought about LRT going down Broadway is that it's a very car-centric culture and that there would be a lot of pushback. But, then there are also a good number of transit users. I'm also willing to wager much of the traffic on W Broadway is passing through. If you remove the lanes and jam it up more those cars will go elsewhere. You could also maybe route the LRT up to 26th and over back to W Broadway and Robbinsdale. Vice versa you could rip out the nice cycletrack and add lanes to make up for the lost lanes on Broadway. Intersting to think, if we charged people for entering a road like Broadway if they don't live within 5 miles of the road would reduce congestion while allowing local folks to avoid congestion.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Oreos&Milk » November 18th, 2019, 10:11 am

I like the broadway route idea, but only as a more temporary solution until they can eventually get the railroad to agree. The Broadway BRT line goes all the way to Robbinsdale and building 6 more ideally temp BRT stations north of that would be a good investment to get the line fast tracked. Maybe it be to long and slow to make it viable but on a map it looks like a good solution for now. Plus it would get some transit improvements rolling in that area.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » February 13th, 2020, 8:46 am

Locked MSPBJ article, but it sounds like Hennepin is quietly investigating other options. I imagine they'd have been better off doing this years ago, but better late than never?

https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/ ... b-for.html

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » February 13th, 2020, 9:09 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 8:46 am
Locked MSPBJ article, but it sounds like Hennepin is quietly investigating other options. I imagine they'd have been better off doing this years ago, but better late than never?

https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/ ... b-for.html
Quite unfortunate. Hopefully someday we'll have a federal government that isn't afraid to tell the railroads to play nice. BNSF being very protective of this spur line that sees a local freight train per day just doesn't make sense. Either this is getting back at Hennepin County for blocking the Crystal Connection or they don't want to deal with the Met Council after Southwest LRT.

CalMcKenney
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby CalMcKenney » February 13th, 2020, 9:51 am

Couldn't this be a good thing if they change the route to something more beneficial to residents? Or does this push the timeline back 5+ years?

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » February 13th, 2020, 9:56 am

Using the spur alignment was our regional leaders looking for a shortcut to the ribbon cutting in the first place. Assuming BNSF's participation was incredibly stupid and doubling down on that decision with no progress being made towards reconciliation only burnt up time and money for the project.

I don't blame BNSF nearly as much as I do the boosters who wanted the easiest way to get a shiny train out to Brooklyn Park greenfield sites without considering either the needs of transit dependent populations they were passing on the way out there or the fact that they didn't own the land they were planning to use. They should have learned from SWLRT and dealing with TC&W. They didn't, and the NW suburbs paid the price.

This undoubtedly will push BOTLRT off the shortlist for federal funding. And I think that's fine, come back with an actual good project that's worth spending 1.5 billion on and don't assume third parties (especially ones who aren't accountable to anyone) are going to give you their right of way.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 13th, 2020, 12:07 pm

Adopting a different route will delay the project by many years. The project is already at 90% engineering, so millions have been spent on designing for the existing alignment, and all of that work would need to be redone for the realigned portion. More problematic would be that the project would lose its spot in the FTA's Capital Investment Grant funding queue. It would all probably result in a 3-5 year delay at the shortest.

It's absolutely incredible that the project advanced so far without a written agreement with BNSF.

Despite the long delay and the sunk cost, the project really should be redesigned with a new route. It would be worth fighting for the existing route if it were a good one. But it is not, it's a garbage route that barely serves North Minneapolis. It was chosen because it was assumed that it would be easy to avoid taking lanes of traffic on Broadway and Bottineau Blvd. But taking the easy route often leads to unforeseen complications later on, and that's what has happened here.

Metro Transit and the County should go back to the drawing board and get it right.

acs
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby acs » February 13th, 2020, 1:07 pm

Or the county could just admit they screwed up, offer BNSF the crystal connection they want, and move on. If the railroad still won't budge after that then it looks far worse on them.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » February 13th, 2020, 2:44 pm

I'm wondering if this would be just better with BRT? I don't see the advantages of LRT once you go with a different more expensive route. There really isn't a ton of density along this route and it is pretty car-centric, but not as congested as the roadways near the SWLRT.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » February 13th, 2020, 2:45 pm

acs wrote: Or the county could just admit they screwed up, offer BNSF the crystal connection they want, and move on. If the railroad still won't budge after that then it looks far worse on them.
At this point, that's a terrible trade-off. BNSF shutting down the northwest suburbs with mile-long trains going ten miles an hour? No, Hennepin made the correct move. And if it also happened to set wheels in motion to force a change to the bad BOTLRT routing, all the better. Mike Opat doesn't get a feather in his cap but we might get a better transit line in the end.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 13th, 2020, 3:43 pm

SurlyLHT wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 2:44 pm
I'm wondering if this would be just better with BRT? I don't see the advantages of LRT once you go with a different more expensive route. There really isn't a ton of density along this route and it is pretty car-centric, but not as congested as the roadways near the SWLRT.
This is putting things in the wrong order. The alignment should respond to the mode. The mode should not respond to the alignment. In other words, it's not a good argument to say "well the rail track was just sitting there, that's why we needed to use LRT, now that the rail track is off the table, we should go to BRT." That's a recipe for bad transit.

The mode properly responds to the needs of the corridor. Either the corridor justifies LRT or it doesn't. Once we've established what the service needs of the corridor are and chosen a mode, then it's appropriate to figure out the correct alignment.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby SurlyLHT » February 13th, 2020, 4:24 pm

alexschief wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 3:43 pm
SurlyLHT wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 2:44 pm
I'm wondering if this would be just better with BRT? I don't see the advantages of LRT once you go with a different more expensive route. There really isn't a ton of density along this route and it is pretty car-centric, but not as congested as the roadways near the SWLRT.
This is putting things in the wrong order. The alignment should respond to the mode. The mode should not respond to the alignment. In other words, it's not a good argument to say "well the rail track was just sitting there, that's why we needed to use LRT, now that the rail track is off the table, we should go to BRT." That's a recipe for bad transit.

The mode properly responds to the needs of the corridor. Either the corridor justifies LRT or it doesn't. Once we've established what the service needs of the corridor are and chosen a mode, then it's appropriate to figure out the correct alignment.
In that case if the mode is LRT then other alignments will go through a cost-benefit analysis and due the extra costs of not going through an existing rail corridor and be found as more costly with greater pushback from neighbors.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mister.shoes » February 13th, 2020, 5:03 pm

I'd be curious to see if the pushback actually is greater now than it was however long ago the original alignments were being debated/chosen. The Green Line has proven wildly successful and the combination of having both Green and Blue is starting to open eyes to the benefits of a proper rail system. Additionally, it seems the general attitude toward rail (through dense areas and otherwise) in MSP is improving. I can't help but think/hope/dream an alignment which actually goes through the heart of North would be resisted less now than before.
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alexschief
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 14th, 2020, 8:11 am

SurlyLHT wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 4:24 pm
alexschief wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 3:43 pm
SurlyLHT wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 2:44 pm
I'm wondering if this would be just better with BRT? I don't see the advantages of LRT once you go with a different more expensive route. There really isn't a ton of density along this route and it is pretty car-centric, but not as congested as the roadways near the SWLRT.
This is putting things in the wrong order. The alignment should respond to the mode. The mode should not respond to the alignment. In other words, it's not a good argument to say "well the rail track was just sitting there, that's why we needed to use LRT, now that the rail track is off the table, we should go to BRT." That's a recipe for bad transit.

The mode properly responds to the needs of the corridor. Either the corridor justifies LRT or it doesn't. Once we've established what the service needs of the corridor are and chosen a mode, then it's appropriate to figure out the correct alignment.
In that case if the mode is LRT then other alignments will go through a cost-benefit analysis and due the extra costs of not going through an existing rail corridor and be found as more costly with greater pushback from neighbors.
Yes of course, all proposed re-alignments should be closely studied. There are additional costs created by going on city streets (there are also some costs saved, for instance, you would no longer need lifts to access the two platforms along the western edge) and there are additional benefits created by putting transit where people actually live and work. I certainly think the marginal benefits are greater than the marginal costs, but nobody should take my word for it.

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Re: RE: Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 14th, 2020, 8:30 am


alexschief wrote: it's a garbage route that barely serves North Minneapolis.
The route is far from perfect and I'd personally prefer a different alignment but the current route down Olson would serve quite a large number of North residents. It does a lot more than "barely" serve North Minneapolis.

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Bakken2016
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Re: RE: Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » February 14th, 2020, 8:41 am

David Greene wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 8:30 am
alexschief wrote: it's a garbage route that barely serves North Minneapolis.
The route is far from perfect and I'd personally prefer a different alignment but the current route down Olson would serve quite a large number of North residents. It does a lot more than "barely" serve North Minneapolis.

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And especially since the C Line would then be rerouted via Glenwood serving more people as well.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mamundsen » February 14th, 2020, 10:25 am

Anyone have a link to the routes originally studied? I assume they'd start with those if the route was reassesed.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » February 14th, 2020, 11:12 am

mister.shoes wrote:
February 13th, 2020, 5:03 pm
I'd be curious to see if the pushback actually is greater now than it was however long ago the original alignments were being debated/chosen. The Green Line has proven wildly successful and the combination of having both Green and Blue is starting to open eyes to the benefits of a proper rail system. Additionally, it seems the general attitude toward rail (through dense areas and otherwise) in MSP is improving. I can't help but think/hope/dream an alignment which actually goes through the heart of North would be resisted less now than before.
One would think, now that we're committed to building tunnels though parks and under freeways, that a tunnel under a major street wouldn't be seen as a complete non-starter.


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