Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » January 14th, 2020, 11:32 am

BoredAgain wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 9:59 am
Possibly incorrect list of Non-Freeway roads that got grade separated crossings from existing Green Line:
1. 3rd st and 4th st (the second crossing) downtown.
2. Cedar Ave and 19th Ave for west bank station.
3. Cedar St near the Capitol (may have already been there?)
All three of those grade separations already existed. The second crossing of the 3rd/4th trench was an old single-track industrial spur to the Strib building for printing, which they widened to double track for the LRT when the Blue Line was built in the early 2000s. The other grade separations listed were just repurposed space for University Ave to Green Line.

BoredAgain
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby BoredAgain » January 14th, 2020, 11:41 am

Silophant wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 11:05 am
My take is more that the CC got uniquely screwed up than that there's a systemic suburban speed bias. If you look at the non-downtown portions of the Blue Line, its pretty similar to SWLRT, except for the godforsaken tail south of the airport. Grade separated for major (>15,000AADT) crossings, full preemption with signal arms at minor crossings.

Basically, CCLRT should have included downtown tunnels at both ends and significant elevated section in the middle, but I don't think previous mistakes should lock us into making the same mistakes in subsequent projects.
I failed to mention it as a potential explanation, but one possibility is that we have learned from the mistakes of the Green line, though given the very different character of the areas the different lines run through, it is hard to say.

The plan for the discarded alternative for SWLRT that sent the line in a tunnel down Nicollet either indicates that we learned how important grade separation can be or it could indicate that Nicollet was just too narrow to run at grade and keep space for cars.

The Blue line has grade separation for Franklin and Cedar in Seward and then again at Lake street. Both Grade separations are also used to create elevated platforms in otherwise crowded areas. Personally, I think that this would have been a great model for the station at Snelling to allow easy access from any corner of the intersection without needing to cross snelling to access the platform.

The Blue line also had the "advantage" of following a highway with very few crossings to interrupt. The south end, is (in my opinion) a mess.

NickP
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby NickP » January 14th, 2020, 1:39 pm

I keep reading that there are 8 tunnels on the SW LRT. Can anyone shed some like on this, because from watching the flyover video, I only count two.

Didier
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Didier » January 14th, 2020, 2:39 pm

Not that it was an either/or situation, but adding the Green Line tracks did a lot to improve University Avenue overall, which to that point had been a really wide, ugly, industrial corridor.

The Snelling intersection, though, especially now with the stadium there, appears shortsighted.

alexschief
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » January 14th, 2020, 3:39 pm

People talk about the "mistakes" of the Green Line as if they were inevitable and in the past, but it is true today that the Green Line has not been given signal priority entirely along its route. The majority of the issues with street running would be avoided if there was a willingness to have the Green Line's approach trigger traffic signals and ensure that it never gets stuck at a stoplight.

There's virtually never a situation where the number of people going NB/SB on Snelling is greater than the people going EB/WB on University plus the occupants of a train, and the math gets even more lopsided when you get to other occasional delays, like at Cromwell Ave/Eustis Street by the 280 ramps.

BoredAgain
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby BoredAgain » January 14th, 2020, 4:16 pm

alexschief wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 3:39 pm
People talk about the "mistakes" of the Green Line as if they were inevitable and in the past, but it is true today that the Green Line has not been given signal priority entirely along its route. The majority of the issues with street running would be avoided if there was a willingness to have the Green Line's approach trigger traffic signals and ensure that it never gets stuck at a stoplight.

There's virtually never a situation where the number of people going NB/SB on Snelling is greater than the people going EB/WB on University plus the occupants of a train, and the math gets even more lopsided when you get to other occasional delays, like at Cromwell Ave/Eustis Street by the 280 ramps.
I don't disagree that many of the "design problems" on the green line could be corrected with current operation changes, but we were talking about the green line design and how it is different from and has influenced the design of SWLRT which is the topic of this thread.

I would like our Engineering teams to acknowledge that many politicians will not sacrifice maximum car movement for the sake of transit operations. They should then design transit projects so that poor political decisions will have minimal negative effect on transit operations. This is where we should recognize that grade separation should be a priority when crossing roads might be a problem without proper light timing/priority.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » January 15th, 2020, 8:54 am

Getting bad political decisions changed is, in theory, cheaper than designing around them.

HuskyGrad
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby HuskyGrad » January 15th, 2020, 11:13 am

NickP wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 1:39 pm
I keep reading that there are 8 tunnels on the SW LRT. Can anyone shed some like on this, because from watching the flyover video, I only count two.
I believe that they are referring to the pedestrian tunnels along the corridor as well.

BoredAgain
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby BoredAgain » January 15th, 2020, 11:25 am

alexschief wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 8:54 am
Getting bad political decisions changed is, in theory, cheaper than designing around them.
In theory, Communism works.

NickP
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby NickP » January 15th, 2020, 12:48 pm

HuskyGrad wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 11:13 am
NickP wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 1:39 pm
I keep reading that there are 8 tunnels on the SW LRT. Can anyone shed some like on this, because from watching the flyover video, I only count two.
I believe that they are referring to the pedestrian tunnels along the corridor as well.
Got it. Cheers. I hadn’t even thought of those lol.

talindsay
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » January 15th, 2020, 4:40 pm

BoredAgain wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 4:16 pm
I would like our Engineering teams to acknowledge that many politicians will not sacrifice maximum car movement for the sake of transit operations. They should then design transit projects so that poor political decisions will have minimal negative effect on transit operations. This is where we should recognize that grade separation should be a priority when crossing roads might be a problem without proper light timing/priority.
Hear hear.

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » January 22nd, 2020, 12:40 pm

You can already see construction activity showing up on Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.8587015 ... a=!3m1!1e3

It still seems surreal that this is actually under construction. Anyone heard any updates on when the FTA might finally execute the FFGA? Been a while since we've heard anything about that, but technically FTA still has not committed their share of the funding ($929MM). They effectively agreed that they would, by providing a "letter of no prejudice" for construction to begin, but still no FFGA signing. Green Line started moving dirt in 2010 and the FFGA came in mid-2011, so this isn't that different...but obviously the current administration can't be trusted. Met Council website says "early 2020", so we'll see...

Bakken2016
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » January 22nd, 2020, 12:44 pm

twincitizen wrote:
January 22nd, 2020, 12:40 pm
You can already see construction activity showing up on Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.8587015 ... a=!3m1!1e3

It still seems surreal that this is actually under construction. Anyone heard any updates on when the FTA might finally execute the FFGA? Been a while since we've heard anything about that, but technically FTA still has not committed their share of the funding ($929MM). They effectively agreed that they would, by providing a "letter of no prejudice" for construction to begin, but still no FFGA signing. Green Line started moving dirt in 2010 and the FFGA came in mid-2011, so this isn't that different...but obviously the current administration can't be trusted. Met Council website says "early 2020", so we'll see...
https://twitter.com/ByJanetMoore/status ... 7265259520

This tweet states first quarter of 2020.

Bakken2016
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » January 27th, 2020, 11:56 am

Does anyone have the Alternative Analysis document that broke down the different alignments for SWLRT?

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kellonathan
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby kellonathan » January 27th, 2020, 12:12 pm

https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation ... l-EIS.aspx

Probably one of the chapters on the EIS document has the AA information you're looking for.
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Bakken2016
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Bakken2016 » January 27th, 2020, 12:16 pm

kellonathan wrote:https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation ... l-EIS.aspx

Probably one of the chapters on the EIS document has the AA information you're looking for.
Thanks


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Qhaberl
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Qhaberl » February 4th, 2020, 7:19 pm

Does anyone know the service plan for existing and new bus routes that will be our in operation once light rail service begins in 2023?

I may have asked this before, but I don’t remember if I did.

Materials I have read, discuss how the light rail will help Golden The Golden triangle area. I understand that there are a lot of businesses in this area, but how exactly are people going to get from the light rail station to those businesses? There is going to need to be some coordination with bike share, rideshare companies, and possibly autonomous shuttle service. I have briefly looked over maps of the area, and it doesn’t look very walkable. The station area may be getting sidewalks and stuff, but I don’t see people walking from the station area to these businesses.




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David Greene
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Re: RE: Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » February 4th, 2020, 8:04 pm

Qhaberl wrote:Does anyone know the service plan for existing and new bus routes that will be our in operation once light rail service begins in 2023?

I may have asked this before, but I don’t remember if I did.

Materials I have read, discuss how the light rail will help Golden The Golden triangle area. I understand that there are a lot of businesses in this area, but how exactly are people going to get from the light rail station to those businesses? There is going to need to be some coordination with bike share, rideshare companies, and possibly autonomous shuttle service. I have briefly looked over maps of the area, and it doesn’t look very walkable. The station area may be getting sidewalks and stuff, but I don’t see people walking from the station area to these businesses.




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I should think biking would be a great option. But yes, there absolutely should be investment in other modes.

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DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » February 4th, 2020, 9:44 pm

Qhaberl wrote:
February 4th, 2020, 7:19 pm
Does anyone know the service plan for existing and new bus routes that will be our in operation once light rail service begins in 2023?

I may have asked this before, but I don’t remember if I did.

Materials I have read, discuss how the light rail will help Golden The Golden triangle area. I understand that there are a lot of businesses in this area, but how exactly are people going to get from the light rail station to those businesses? There is going to need to be some coordination with bike share, rideshare companies, and possibly autonomous shuttle service. I have briefly looked over maps of the area, and it doesn’t look very walkable. The station area may be getting sidewalks and stuff, but I don’t see people walking from the station area to these businesses.




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I thought I read on here that SW Transit plans to keep their express service to/from Southwest Station at existing levels, which I find hard to believe since during rush hour Route 690 has a 5-10 minute frequency. I guess we'll see what happens when Southwest LRT starts operating.

As for local routes, the Metropolitan Council was looking at several circulator routes originating from Southwest Station. Probably not the best idea since frequency would be extremely low (around every hour) and it's difficult serving a place like Eden Prairie with local fixed-route service. Expanding and improving Southwest Prime should be a goal, as I think a service like that would be great for getting to/from stations in the sprawled suburban areas.

alexschief
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby alexschief » February 5th, 2020, 11:35 am

What will be interesting is if Metro Transit experiments with some respectable suburban routes that feed the Green Line as it travels through St. Louis Park, where the built fabric is still quite conducive to transit, but where the existing buses are mostly radial to Minneapolis (along Minnetonka and Excelsior) or extremely low frequency suburban routes. It's extremely tricky however because the grid is interrupted repeatedly.

- Only one potential route really stands out to me. The #604 bus runs along Louisiana Avenue for a good stretch, and would connect with the SWLRT. However it's essential that the southern tail of the route needs to be fixed. The best routing is probably to Southdale via Grandview, along Yosemite, then Brookside, then Normandale, and finally Valley View. Current frequency is every hour, I'd love to see what would happen with a year-long pilot when SWLRT opens that provides service every 15 minutes.

- The other route that kinda is even worth mentioning is the #615, which would cross the SWLRT at Wooddale. I can only describe the current route as hallucinatory. Because Wooddale is cut off by Highway 100 to the south, and its antecedent, Dakota is cut off to the north at Dakota Park and the railroad tracks, there's not a good opportunity to build a straight route. You could just run a high frequency, very short service. Or you could duplicate service on Minnetonka, Excelsior, or both for a period. Either way, tough.


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