Green Line / Central Corridor construction thread (archive)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
UptownSport
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby UptownSport » December 10th, 2013, 2:28 pm

Sure, I understand Washington was designed - envisaged originally as a freeway, not (necessarily) for servicing the U.
I don't know that the U needs to have claim for everything that runs thru the campus- Whether convenient or not.

I think that's a separate issue than the tunnel, though. Issues We're talking now, are without those cars.
talindsay wrote:
UptownSport wrote:Instead of 'take what you can get' transit, there should have been a tunnel thru this area, as planned.
I respectfully disagree, and here's why: after two years of Washington being closed people may well have forgotten, but Washington was *HORRIBLE* for campus before: it cut a deep gash right through the middle of campus, with people whose destinations had nothing to do with the U but who knew they could use Washington as a shortcut. In a perfect world, the light rail would have been in a tunnel and the street would be closed to traffic *anyway*, become a bus, bike, and pedestrian mall. But that was never even on the table as an option. Basically, the choices came down to the train in a tunnel with Washington continuing as-is, or else a transit mall as built. The transit mall was acceptable to planners because it was the *only* way to get the project under the Bush-era limits for funding, but it was also a much better outcome than allowing Washington to continue as a major thoroughfare. This never would have been accomplished otherwise, and it is a definite good for the campus.

Over the next year we'll hear a lot of people complaining about how difficult the transit mall is to use, and I agree that it could have been designed better. First and foremost, the sooner they ditch the stupid idea of buses running on the tracks, the better; the traffic signaling and signs are very poor as well, and provisions for bicycles need some big adjustment. All those things are fixable, and in time I'm sure they'll be fixed. But it's worth noting that as it stands today, the transit mall is a HUGE improvement for all remaining uses as compared to the old quasi-arterial Washington Avenue that divided campus and snarled up everything around it for hours every day. While in theory this could have been accomplished while still routing the train underground, in reality that was never an option. With the choice between an underground train with the old heavy-traffic street on one hand, and the transit mall that was built on the other hand, the transit mall is a definite win.

orangevening
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby orangevening » December 10th, 2013, 5:24 pm

nBode wrote:Does anyone have any idea how difficult it would be to build bike-able ramps from the end of the upper-level bridge down to the ground level? Like in the space from STSS to the west pedestrian bridge or so?

They could maybe even be done with the lower ends in the center, adjacent to the LRT wall, so that there wouldn't be interference with the bus stops (not sure if there's the extra ROW though).
I think this the long term goal. A engineering student sent out a email to students on their idea's (short and long term) for better bike and pedestrian infrastructure. As a biker himself he proposed several ideas himself including relative easy ones like painting the new bike lanes through Northup mall green to the ramps from WATM to the bike lanes on the pedestrian deck. Not sure what they would cost, but they would solve the STSS problem and make things easier for bikes on WATM.

MNdible
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby MNdible » December 10th, 2013, 5:27 pm

No bikes on Northrop Mall, please. Respect pedestrians.

Silophant
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Silophant » December 10th, 2013, 6:37 pm

There's defined, permanent bike lanes crossing the mall now, between Ford and Murphy Halls. Been there for months.

aeisenberg
Union Depot
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby aeisenberg » December 11th, 2013, 1:22 pm

This time-lapse tour of the Green Line is pretty amazing.

http://vimeo.com/81240982
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eazydp
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby eazydp » December 11th, 2013, 1:23 pm

I agree that it is much better than when Washington was an arterial highway. That was the configuration when I was a student. Busing took forever, crossing the sidewalk was a circus act. WATM is an improvement and a much friendly environment has been created. Even during the bus "rush hour" the traffic is light compared to the old mess. It just needs some small tweaks.

The bike only lane is the only really poor decision. I am an every day warm weather and occasional winter bike commuter, and see it being dangerous. Maybe it will be better in the summer with heavier usage, but I'd think leaving it bus only and not having the "track cross over" would have been better.

Something needs to be done about the "no car zone". It is clearly not obvious enough. I have seen multiple cars following buses on to tracks every day.

twincitizen
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby twincitizen » December 11th, 2013, 2:12 pm

If it isn't obvious to everyone, I just wanted to note that the person who shot that time-lapse video of the Green Line did it by walking the entire line. Impressive!

orangevening
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby orangevening » December 11th, 2013, 6:24 pm

eazydp wrote:I agree that it is much better than when Washington was an arterial highway. That was the configuration when I was a student. Busing took forever, crossing the sidewalk was a circus act. WATM is an improvement and a much friendly environment has been created. Even during the bus "rush hour" the traffic is light compared to the old mess. It just needs some small tweaks.

The bike only lane is the only really poor decision. I am an every day warm weather and occasional winter bike commuter, and see it being dangerous. Maybe it will be better in the summer with heavier usage, but I'd think leaving it bus only and not having the "track cross over" would have been better.

Something needs to be done about the "no car zone". It is clearly not obvious enough. I have seen multiple cars following buses on to tracks every day.
Agreed. Took the bus home during rush hour and it was smooth. Better heated shelters are needed though. I was surprised how many buses there were. It made me appreciate what they did with buses the last 2 years. The less buses on pleasant is a good trade off to the WATM bike configuration.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » December 12th, 2013, 11:15 am

Looks like I'm not the only one excited about buses on Washington Ave. Saw this as I was getting off eastbound today.
Image

UptownSport
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby UptownSport » December 13th, 2013, 11:32 am

98% now

Image

the_elop
Block E
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby the_elop » December 14th, 2013, 1:09 pm

With respect to Washington Avenue, the train taking up one lane in each direction on the Washington Avenue Bridge would have already changed its use as a major thoroughfare for cars. The original vision with the LRT tunnel was to calm the street down to one lane in each direction plus a turning lane, so it would have been better for pedestrians either way.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby min-chi-cbus » December 16th, 2013, 8:44 am

UptownSport wrote:98% now

Image
So awesome! This is the line that is going to catapult the Twin Cities' mindset on mass transportation I think, now that we'll have the two downtowns, the airport and the MOA all connected by rail. The only MAJOR piece missing in the network in my eyes is a connection to Uptown and/or the Chain of Lakes, but even given its recent setbacks the Southwest Corridor is still fairly imminent.

Exciting times in the TC's, for sure!

UptownSport
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby UptownSport » December 16th, 2013, 1:41 pm

I'm hoping you're right- Certainly masses taking it to the U can't lose.
My worry is what it is doing to everything else.
University seems 'dead', and the hopes are the killer, itself, will bring new life to replace what was lost- We'll see.
Tom H. wrote:Yeah - go stand around the KSTP tower on University for a few hours someday, and tell me that it couldn't be handled by a single traffic lane.
UrbanMSP putting a good face on 34 businesses closing:
Nick wrote:Well-publicized carnage to businesses, you say?

http://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2011/ ... nstruction
MinnPost wrote:So far, according to the Central Corridor Project Office, more businesses (44) have opened along the corridor than have closed (34) since construction began. Another seven have relocated outside of the corridor and 13 have relocated within the corridor.
Old article, though.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » December 16th, 2013, 2:08 pm

You know businesses close sometimes, right? Like, for any multitude of reasons business close.

David Greene
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby David Greene » December 16th, 2013, 2:14 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:You know businesses close sometimes, right? Like, for any multitude of reasons business close.
For example, the biggest recession ever?

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » December 16th, 2013, 2:39 pm

Central Corridor was not a welfare project for the specific businesses that occupied the corridor when construction started. If it's any kind of welfare project, it's a welfare project for the corridor as a whole. If 34 business closed, leaving behind vacant storefronts, then that would be bad. And while it's bad for those particular business owners, that's wouldn't be the concern. The concern is that they left and nobody wants to take their place. The stat you quoted making us seem like unfeeling bastards that don't care about anybody is the exact opposite. 34 businesses closed. The recession hurt everybody. So maybe some of them closed because of that. Maybe some of them were on the edge before construction and the little hit was enough to send them over the edge. It's too bad that they couldn't be around to see the sucess of the line, but that's capitalism folks. Maybe some of them just didn't want to run their business anymore, a person is allowed to make that decision.

But these storefronts didn't end up vacant. Other people came and said "Yes I can make this work" and started businesses in those spots. And that means the corridor is healthy.

twincitizen
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby twincitizen » December 16th, 2013, 4:33 pm

Let's not forget that this corridor was no gem before construction or the recession hit. Failing businesses and high vacancy rate have been issues on University Avenue for several decades. To portray LRT as anything other than a much needed injection of life into this corridor is a lie.

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Suburban Outcast » December 16th, 2013, 5:04 pm

There's cons to everything and cities will always change as the years go by, sometimes for better or for worse. The solution to dealing with change is to make sure it is as beneficial for the general populace as it can be, and hopefully the Green Line will benefit the central cities.

University will change for the better, and it will get more people to ride transit imho. I do worry about gentrification though, but it's a 11-mile corridor so it's not like the entire corridor will be one long row of luxury housing. Property values will rise, but any restaurants or businesses along the corridor might get more customers in the long run with the influx of new residents. Plus they will be more accessible with the train.

Tom H.
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Tom H. » December 17th, 2013, 9:20 am

'Gentrification' is always the scary buzz word with urban neighborhood improvements, but what exactly do we want out of these investments? Do we want the neighborhoods to improve, or not? Do we want more supply to meet the residential demand, or not? I like the StrongTowns take on it - they call it residential maturing, and it's a natural part of an urban neighborhood.

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2012 ... rBrU_FJGmw

UptownSport
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby UptownSport » December 17th, 2013, 10:57 am

Suburban Outcast wrote:The solution to dealing with change is to make sure it is as beneficial for the general populace as it can be, and hopefully the Green Line will benefit the central cities.
That's the concern, here. Is the line overall beneficial , or, does the harm out weigh the good?


From the remarks above, most agenda driven UrbanMSP posters aren't capable of even considering there could be harm-


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