Green Line LRT

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

Postby HiawathaGuy » July 3rd, 2014, 1:01 pm

EOst wrote:Keep in mind those other systems aren't standing still, though--Denver, Portland, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, and Phoenix all have new ones coming down the line as well.
Right, but looking at the numbers, none of those other cities (aside from Portland) really shows any sign of being as successful as our rail system. Dallas is just sad... 85 miles and only 100,000 riders/day! So them adding more track miles really doesn't impress me if people aren't using it.

EOst
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby EOst » July 3rd, 2014, 3:13 pm

Don't rule out Phoenix, though; they might not be as good as we are per mile (though they're close), but they've got big plans and their ridership is still exploding upward (it's probably quite a bit higher than the Wikipedia list would suggest). Denver's too, mostly because they're pouring tons of money into it.

You're definitely right about Dallas, though. You can lead a horse to water, but he doesn't stop being in Dallas.

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Suburban Outcast » July 3rd, 2014, 3:42 pm

This is great news. To add to Nate's comment, I bet that there will be around at least 35-37,000 daily riders once school starts up in the fall. and possibly even more during the colder months. Honestly I think the 42k/day was a bit low for a 2030 projection, I think it could make it to 50k/day by 2030 as long as they keep building along the line.
Last edited by Suburban Outcast on July 3rd, 2014, 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

emcee squared
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby emcee squared » July 3rd, 2014, 5:36 pm

If ridership could increase by 20,000 in the future, how would congestion on the train be handled? I've been on a few three-train cars during rush-hour that were packed full (both Green and Blue). Is it possible to increase frequency a great deal, or would that mess up the traffic pattern?

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Suburban Outcast » July 3rd, 2014, 7:08 pm

Putting trains to 7.5 or even 5 minute frequencies would definitely cause problems given the train is already having with signaling, but if the ridership does actually get that high they will probably have no choice but to add more service.

The rail portion in Downtown Minneapolis would probably have to be changed given it shares the line with the Blue Line (which may increase in ridership as well), it would probably be difficult to make upgrades to suffice the increased ridership. It seems we build our transit in a way where it's difficult to make changes for possible increases in ridership on existing lines. For the stretch along University, they could up with a traffic algorithm where cross traffic and left-turners on University or even the train itself won't be stuck at a light for a long time.

My 50k projection is pretty optimistic, but that does still leave the possibility on what they are going to do when another 10-15.000 more riders start using the Green Line by 2030, which is still a big increase. Otherwise, they will have to retrofit some trains to allow more standing room (but that won't solve the crowding problem much).

EOst
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby EOst » July 3rd, 2014, 7:25 pm

The simplest way to ease train congestion downtown would either tunnel it--which would improve service a lot, but would probably also be prohibitively expensive--or to make it into a loop on the shared section, with the existing track/stations serving either northbound or southbound traffic (depending on whether 6th or 4th was deemed more suitable; both would involve some tight turns).

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby PhilmerPhil » July 3rd, 2014, 7:33 pm

I'm sure high quality BRT with exclusive right of way down 94 would do a lot to lighten the load on the Green Line.

acs
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby acs » July 3rd, 2014, 8:05 pm

Or a commuter rail connection between SPUD and TFS.

EOst
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby EOst » July 3rd, 2014, 8:12 pm

It'll have to be addressed either way eventually, though; if they ever do any spurs off the existing lines, they'll either need to increase service levels or have them awkwardly stop at a certain point like TFS.

mattaudio
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mattaudio » July 3rd, 2014, 8:20 pm

Or interline two services on this section

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Suburban Outcast » July 3rd, 2014, 9:03 pm

I would want commuter line service to TFS so the commuter rail station is actually used more lol.

About the Green/Blue Line, I wish we could just make it elevated the Chicago L if not underground at least in DT Mpls despite the skyways being in the way. One issue other than money is, if they were connected to the skyway system, people might never step outside ever (though I guess you could say the same for a underground station with paths to building lobbies).

ProspectPete
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby ProspectPete » July 3rd, 2014, 9:36 pm

Someone on this thread once said that a SPUD-TFS intercity rail connection is about 50 years away. I have to agree.
However, if the green line numbers continue to meet and beat expectations, then this connection might become more realistic and could accomplish 3 things:
1) take pressure off the green line
2) utilize the under utilized
3) utilize the underutilized North Star tracks at TFS

Maybe in 25 years when I'll be wearing a diaper again:-(
But I can dare to dream.
Last edited by ProspectPete on July 3rd, 2014, 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

talindsay
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby talindsay » July 3rd, 2014, 9:42 pm

I don't think a downtown tunnel would be prohibitively expensive; expensive, but not unreasonably so. back in about 2008 I used then-current numbers to calculate cost for a downtown tunnel along 5th and ended up with a number around $600m. I don't remember all the inputs - they may still be up at minnescraper - but I actually think it's more likely they would cut across downtown in order to have the Nicollet station at 6th or 7th. Still, I think a downtown tunnel starting near the DTE station would be under a billion.

mulad
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » July 3rd, 2014, 11:46 pm

I guess I don't see what all the fuss is about regarding running trains more often. We have seen them run one right after another during this startup phase -- not really a good way to run on-time, but if you've got a crush load of passengers for a special event, go ahead and cram as many trains on the line as you feasibly can.

Given the pace at which we study and re-study things around here, a downtown tunnel should start being looked at soon. But I did get confirmation today that there isn't signal priority on the existing line downtown, and that's something that really should get corrected whether we have eventual plans for a tunnel or not.

I haven't been on a really busy Green Line train since opening weekend, but I'm sure some trains to/from Twins games have gotten packed. That's kind of just the nature of the beast -- trains get full, buses get full. It is important to hold people back from relying on the train too much, since there is a limit to the line's capacity. At full crush load, a single 3-car train can fit 700 to 750 people, but it still takes a bunch of trains to serve places and events that bring tens of thousands of people together. There's a limit to what one or two lines can carry.

New Jersey Transit and their passengers learned this the hard way with the "Mass Transit Super Bowl" earlier this year (though their equipment was more similar to what we use for Northstar rather than our light-rail trains). Run the numbers, and their trains worked about as well as could be expected, but folks were too eager to use the trains rather than buses -- particularly after the game where there were 5,000 more people taking the train than beforehand. I imagine we'll do better than them when the Super Bowl comes to Minneapolis in 2018, partly since people will be able to disperse on foot into downtown rather than be stuck out in the middle of nowhere, and partly because Metro Transit has done that before -- there was a shuttle bus network for the 1992 game which morphed into the network now used annually for the State Fair. Big events need to be all-in, multimodal affairs.

mulad
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » July 4th, 2014, 8:34 am

I wrote a post about ridership by station. Half or more of the stations are exceeding their year-2030 projections so far, even the West Bank and Stadium Village stations at the U. Most of the busier stations aren't getting that high yet, but we'll see how things go.

https://streets.mn/2014/07/04/charts-of- ... y-station/

Minneapolisite

Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Minneapolisite » July 4th, 2014, 1:54 pm

mattaudio wrote:Exactly, we just need active space. Not a particular kind of space. Once our spaces fill up as active, then we will start getting the highest and best use as demand grows... possibly including a retrofit of commercial space into this parcel.
Problem is, a lot of those spaces are suburban in form and they are right next to the LRT stations: you can't eat,shop,drink, or do anything else even if you wanted to. Let's say Walmart goes bottom up and the one on University is now an empty shell. Sure, several other businesses could move into the structure, but it would still be an anti-pedestrian one. With one commercial spot in the Episcopal Homes project that will be pretty much the only draw aside from a shop or three nearby and it's telling that I didn't notice it despite having passed by numerous times, so it probably doesn't interact with the sidewalk very well. That's another issue: requiring good retail space designs. Also worth keeping in mind is that the two census tracts comprising roughly of Fairview to Mpls and Energy Park Dr to I-94 collectively more than doubled their populations: how are these 2,000+ new residents supposed to spend money in their neighborhoods if they've got almost no where to spend it? And I'm not even taking into account the tens of thousands of non-residents passing through who would stop off if there were reasons for them to do so. These stations are also really the only areas where dense concentrations of retail can occur in the city without people going apeshit over how much parking is available since those tens of thousands of passengers aren't going to be looking for parking to get there: why not use these stations' unique advantages to their potential?

This area offers a very small number of amenities to residents: only a couple of bars and a handful of dining options (not counting fast food garbage) and for utilitarian needs at least there's a co-op 1/2 mile from Raymond Ave station and it seems a couple of bike shops, motorcycle shop and a couple of big-box stores among others tucked away in industrial areas. Raymond pretty much has everything as far as local boutique retail: home decor, records, I think I saw a clothing store, but still not that much even though it's the densest commercial node in the area. I think there's clearly latent demand for more and if another wall of retail spaces were made available at this or the next nearest stations I'm sure they'd fill in sooner than later being that this area is underserved in just about every department of retail save for fast food and big boxes.

Minneapolisite

Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Minneapolisite » July 4th, 2014, 2:07 pm

exiled_antipodean wrote:
Commercial space is lovely, but it's like an empty parking lot if it sits empty. It doesn't do anything for the street. Better to have residential or office uses with good street frontage than mandate commercial space. We should learn something from the half-century disaster of minimum parking requirements and it is not to have minimum "things I think are desirable" requirements.
Apples and oranges: tens of thousands of people are now able to take a train to local businesses and need not look for parking, especially out-of-town visitors and residents who would never have bothered otherwise with the 16 or 50 bus routes. That's a pretty huge factor to consider and zoning should be in place to reflect that reality: small commercial spaces and lots of them within walking distance (1/4 mile) of each station should be the goal. It's not like it would all pop up at once and over-saturate the area anyway. An empty retail space is an opportunity and preferable to an empty parking lot which will have to be developed anew: a step removed from even being an opportunity.

xandrex
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby xandrex » July 5th, 2014, 11:08 am

We've sort of moved away from reporting on how the Green Line has been working, but I rode it yesterday and was incredibly pleased with how it all worked out.

I went from Target Field Station (those bells really DO go off the whole time) to Victoria for some Fourth of July celebrations and then took the same route back in the evening to catch the fireworks. Both times we zipped along. On the way there, we were slowed down (maybe a brief stop) when we hit Snelling and then a complete short stop at Victoria before we could reach the station. On the way back, our only stop was before hitting Downtown East.

That seemed pretty impressive to me. I'm sure the holiday helped, but they clearly are continuing to work the kinks out.

The people I rode with would never have taken the 16/50 and would have driven or cabbed, so I consider that another huge success.

Minneapolisite

Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Minneapolisite » July 5th, 2014, 1:54 pm

Don't think it was mentioned, but I'm glad google maps now has the stations with the train icons listed instead of just the 16.

mattaudio
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mattaudio » July 6th, 2014, 9:07 pm

Another side swipe of a left turner on University. Channel 11 had comment from the automobile driver. Epic.


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