Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
User avatar
Nathan
IDS Center
Posts: 4001
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby Nathan » October 1st, 2012, 4:12 pm

I don't think it's for political reasons, the initiative was assigned to the team months ago. You have to have justification for selecting the projects you select on such special projects. Transit has been a big part of Obama's platform from the beginning so it only concretes his original plans in these areas.

I believe there is a whole thread somewhere where you can discuss who you are, or almost voting for.

MSPtoMKE
Target Field
Posts: 505
Joined: June 20th, 2012, 8:15 pm
Location: Loring Heights
Contact:

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby MSPtoMKE » October 1st, 2012, 4:59 pm

Yeah, I have a hard time believing a pledge to help streamline construction on a single infill station in already Democratic-leaning Northeast Ohio will have much of an effect on the decisions of swing voters in the center of the state.

I will say that I find this announcement a little confusing. It doesn't seem to award any money (another strike against the argument that it is pork for getting votes), so there do seem to be several things that could still slow things down for the Southwest Corridor. If the Republicans retain control of the Minnesota Legislature, I have a hard time seeing the needed state money for this project being appropriated in a timely manner.
My flickr photos.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5817
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby MNdible » October 1st, 2012, 6:51 pm

I'd expect that there will be a great deal of pressure on the Republicans to pass this from a lot of traditionally conservative locations, including the communities it passes through and the MN Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps I'm being naive, but I do see this being funded regardless of who controls the House and Senate next year (although it becomes much easier if the DFL can pick off one or both).

mulad
Moderator
Posts: 2802
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm
Location: Saint Paul
Contact:

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby mulad » October 2nd, 2012, 5:17 pm

My understanding is that this is part of an overall effort to streamline the environmental review and permitting processes for transit systems all across the country. The way I look at it, SWLRT has just been chosen to use an early experimental version of an expedited process that will eventually be applied everywhere. Ideally, this should really save millions of dollars on this project, and many times that in future years as it gets used on other lines.

Transit advocates have been pushing for a while now to have regulations loosened up with regard to transit planning since the reviews just take an extraordinary amount of time and lead to cost escalations. I'm not sure if there's really a "loosening" here, but if you can simply get all of the different agencies and departments involved in the permitting and review to talk to each other and work jointly or in parallel rather than sequentially, a lot of time and money will be saved.

Lancestar2

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby Lancestar2 » October 3rd, 2012, 12:06 am

Ok experts!

What is your predictions to when SW LRT will open? (Month Day and Year) should we start a forum "office pool bet" lol

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
Posts: 3131
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:19 am

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 3rd, 2012, 7:35 am

mulad wrote:My understanding is that this is part of an overall effort to streamline the environmental review and permitting processes for transit systems all across the country. The way I look at it, SWLRT has just been chosen to use an early experimental version of an expedited process that will eventually be applied everywhere. Ideally, this should really save millions of dollars on this project, and many times that in future years as it gets used on other lines.

Transit advocates have been pushing for a while now to have regulations loosened up with regard to transit planning since the reviews just take an extraordinary amount of time and lead to cost escalations. I'm not sure if there's really a "loosening" here, but if you can simply get all of the different agencies and departments involved in the permitting and review to talk to each other and work jointly or in parallel rather than sequentially, a lot of time and money will be saved.
You could say the same thing about healthcare, for that matter. LOTS of room for efficiencies!

pfreyre
City Center
Posts: 26
Joined: June 2nd, 2012, 2:52 pm

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby pfreyre » October 3rd, 2012, 7:50 am

Lancestar2 wrote:Ok experts!

What is your predictions to when SW LRT will open? (Month Day and Year) should we start a forum "office pool bet" lol
Since it will take the Central Corridor a full 10 years to open after Hiawatha's opening... I'm guessing with the expedited process, it will STILL take the Southwest Corridor several years to start construction... say 2017, and then it will finally open in 2020.

I'm not picking a day, but as far as month goes, probably July- it seems that summer openings draw the most attention.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1353
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby Tcmetro » October 3rd, 2012, 8:27 am

The current schedule is 2018. But I'm going to say 2019. The contract for preliminary engineering is supposed to be awarded in January, and that will take about 2 years, IIRC. So construction will begin in 2015, and wrap up a few years later. Of course, the schedule could be faster if they decide to open up in two phases, one to Hopkins, the next to EP.

bandar_seri_begawan
Block E
Posts: 22
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 4:35 pm

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby bandar_seri_begawan » October 3rd, 2012, 9:38 am

Right now, is there any chance that the 3C alignment will be used instead of the 3A? As someone who knows basically nothing the details of these type of projects, I just have to ask.

ECtransplant
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 751
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:56 am

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby ECtransplant » October 3rd, 2012, 9:57 pm

bandar_seri_begawan wrote:Right now, is there any chance that the 3C alignment will be used instead of the 3A? As someone who knows basically nothing the details of these type of projects, I just have to ask.
My understanding is, quite unfortunately, no. I would be more than ok with the project being delayed a year or two if it meant we got the 3C alignment or something similar.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6203
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby twincitizen » October 3rd, 2012, 10:05 pm

ECtransplant wrote:
bandar_seri_begawan wrote:Right now, is there any chance that the 3C alignment will be used instead of the 3A? As someone who knows basically nothing the details of these type of projects, I just have to ask.
My understanding is, quite unfortunately, no. I would be more than ok with the project being delayed a year or two if it meant we got the 3C alignment or something similar.
I totally agree, and I'd be willing to wait even longer. OR let's build the damn thing as is, but take the money earmarked for 21st, Penn, & Van White Stations, and put it in a savings account until we pull our heads out of our asses and built the line correctly. Kenilworthless corridor can be used to run express trains during rush hour or something so it's not a complete waste :D
Last edited by twincitizen on October 3rd, 2012, 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6203
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby twincitizen » October 3rd, 2012, 10:12 pm

Tcmetro wrote:Of course, the schedule could be faster if they decide to open up in two phases, one to Hopkins, the next to EP.
That would be ideal, and kind of makes sense considering how expensive and complicated the route gets after Shady Oak Station. The more I study the history of this thing, the clearer it becomes that Minneapolis completely got the shaft at the expense of a better suburban routing. One of the alternatives that was dropped early on (4C I think) was the urban routing through Uptown and Whittier, but the line terminated near downtown Hopkins. That seems like the most common sense alternative, with the Hopkins to Eden Praire segment built later...much later.

User avatar
FISHMANPET
IDS Center
Posts: 4602
Joined: June 6th, 2012, 2:19 pm
Location: Corcoran

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby FISHMANPET » October 3rd, 2012, 10:21 pm

There are way better ways to better serve uptown with transit than putting light rail through.

Uptown is too dense for light rail to do any good, for such a small distance that's so equally dense, something with more local stops would be better. A dedicated bus lane or streetcar would do a lot more for the area than light rail.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6203
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby twincitizen » October 3rd, 2012, 10:35 pm

Are you familiar with the 3C alignment that wasn't chosen? It isn't just about connecting Uptown locally or providing faster service to downtown. For me it's about a one-seat ride from Uptown to jobs in the SW corridor, or to the U of M and points beyond (eliminating the need for the 113-115 express buses). It's about putting Uptown on the REGIONAL map (Lyn-Lake & Eat Street too, to lesser degrees). Uptown is a BFD now and should be properly recognized as such by this regional investment. Streetcars on Hennepin or in the Greenway don't do any of those things and building SW on the 3C alignment doesn't preclude any improvements to bus service on the north-south streets (Hennepin, Lyndale, Nicollet). If anything, choosing 3C would have made those bus improvements happen sooner. (evidence: Snelling Avenue selection for first arterial BRT corridor)

mulad
Moderator
Posts: 2802
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm
Location: Saint Paul
Contact:

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby mulad » October 4th, 2012, 12:01 am

Well, Snelling was the most viable corridor that wasn't already being considered in other studies.
FISHMANPET wrote:There are way better ways to better serve uptown with transit than putting light rail through.

Uptown is too dense for light rail to do any good, for such a small distance that's so equally dense, something with more local stops would be better. A dedicated bus lane or streetcar would do a lot more for the area than light rail.
There's a big temptation to put stops close together in dense areas, but that's not a good idea. A dense corridor is more likely to have people wanting to get on or off at almost every single stop. It doesn't matter too much if a lower-density corridor has stops every block, because a typical bus trip will skip past most of them simply due to lack of demand. As a corridor gets busier, you really have to force people to walk a bit farther in order to avoid stopping every block. A bus can't even accelerate up to the speed limit before needing to slow down again under those conditions.

But perhaps your thinking is colored a bit by the ways many light-rail lines have been planned out up until the past few years. The Hiawatha Line has some stops spaced more than a mile apart in south Minneapolis, which doesn't really make sense, and would be totally inappropriate for Uptown. Something more like 1/3 mile spacing would probably be optimal.

I also think light rail would be good in Uptown simply because the capacity of each train can be so high. Buses that run in the Hennepin and Lyndale corridors today are standard 40-footers, but they probably should be running articulated units. I'm sure a lot of people don't ride buses in the corridor today simply because they can get very cramped inside. There's probably a lot of latent transit demand in the area that would appear if the service was faster, more comfortable, and more reliable, and light rail offers all of those things.

Lancestar2

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby Lancestar2 » October 4th, 2012, 1:18 am

provided the street car network gets built I think it will be a good idea to use the route they have selected. Although there is that station in the middle of a lake that seems pointless :roll:

I was wondering does SW LRT have a repair shop planned? Or will they use the one in in St. Paul? Also when the Bott. Blue line addition I guess they will simple use the existing station for the blue line right?

Also anybody have any inklings or sings of what the next LRT line will be after the blue and green lines are finished? Not talking about the orange line btw. Just wondering... My short attention span is starting to make me get bored about talking about the same old routes :lol:

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6203
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby twincitizen » October 4th, 2012, 1:35 am

People like to speculate their transit fantasies, but I think that's going to be it for a long time. If the line isn't on a Met Council map by now, well...don't get your hopes up.

Gateway has been narrowed down to either BRT or managed lanes on 94 (and thank god because all the other options were dumb as hell). They need to work on refining the station locations a bit more though. I think that will get done sooner rather than later, perhaps ahead of Bottineau due to political pressure from Washington County to spend their CTIB share. Red Rock is looking like buses for the long haul as well, but that's a commuter line, not all-day BRT service. I'm not sure there's even a demand in that corridor that isn't being served by existing express bus service. I'm pretty sure that's it, between now and 2020.

This talk of streetcars from Nicollet/46th St to Central/40th Ave NE just baffles me. That's a long ass line for the frequent stops and mixed-traffic operation typical of a modern streetcar. I don't think there is a single example in the US of a streetcar that goes that kind of distance. Hell, there are light rail lines with shorter segments than that. Hence why I support the rapid bus plan that would travel faster and further, for way less money, and could begin operating sooner if Minneapolis would just put a stop to the streetcar fantasies. The line could always be electrified like the trolleybuses in San Fran, if it's pollution and noise we're concerned with. The only thing left to argue about at that point is if the tires are made of steel or rubber...

Personally, I'd like to see Metro Transit's entire arterial BRT plan implemented ASAP, with an eye towards switching to trolleybuses (or next-gen hybrids that don't need overhead wires) in the future. Just give us faster, better bus service NOW

Lancestar2

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby Lancestar2 » October 4th, 2012, 1:50 am

twincitizen wrote:People like to speculate their transit fantasies, but I think that's going to be it for a long time. If the line isn't on a Met Council map by now, well...don't get your hopes up.

Gateway has been narrowed down to either BRT or managed lanes on 94 (and thank god because all the other options were dumb as hell). They need to work on refining the station locations a bit more though. I think that will get done sooner rather than later, perhaps ahead of Bottineau due to political pressure from Washington County to spend their CTIB share. Red Rock is looking like buses for the long haul as well, but that's a commuter line, not all-day BRT service. I'm not sure there's even a demand in that corridor that isn't being served by existing express bus service. I'm pretty sure that's it, between now and 2020.

This talk of streetcars from Nicollet/46th St to Central/40th Ave NE just baffles me. That's a long ass line for the frequent stops and mixed-traffic operation typical of a modern streetcar. I don't think there is a single example in the US of a streetcar that goes that kind of distance. Hell, there are light rail lines with shorter segments than that. Hence why I support the rapid bus plan that would travel faster and further, for way less money, and could begin operating sooner if Minneapolis would just put a stop to the streetcar fantasies. The line could always be electrified like the trolleybuses in San Fran, if it's pollution and noise we're concerned with. The only thing left to argue about at that point is if the tires are made of steel or rubber...

Personally, I'd like to see Metro Transit's entire arterial BRT plan implemented ASAP, with an eye towards switching to trolleybuses (or next-gen hybrids that don't need overhead wires) in the future. Just give us faster, better bus service NOW
aww :cry: I was hoping Gateway was gonna be LRT all the way to the boarder with a hudson shuttle bus and better sidewalks and trails to downtown Hudson... Im sure every Sunday that line would be packed of college students who are poor planners :lol: (because they sell booze on Sundays there!)

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7937
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby mattaudio » October 4th, 2012, 7:06 am

This is why I agree with TwinCitizen about waiting on 21st, Penn & Van White. 21st doesn't need a station, and it would be better to get Bottineau going and connect the north side with stops at Penn & Van White at Olson, where there are already transit riders.

I also agree with TwinCitizen's other post about Nicollet/Central streetcar. Upgrade this to Rapid Bus in the short term, and leave the streetcar to other corridors such as connecting the North Loop, connecting Stadium Village to Hennepin/University to Uptown via Hennepin. This would leave the Nicollet Ave and Nicollet Mall corridor there for future LRT (hopefully grade separated when we decide we finally mean business with this stuff).

Building Nic/Central Streetcar or the infill LRT stations on SW would just make plans more difficult right now.

Down the road, let's say we decide on a new north-south LRT line (or multiple lines). Southwest could then follow the greenway and turn north under Nicollet Ave, interlining with a future Nic/Central line, finally providing grade separated fast transit between Uptown and Downtown. This would double the benefit of future investment in a grade separated spine between Nicollet/Lake and Downtown, making it have a higher ROI than when it was proposed with the 3C alignment.

Then, what would we do with the stub of the green line after this reroute down the road? A few options. If they build it as planned, wasteful 21st St stop and all, then they could do a tiny bit of track work and create a second direct service between uptown and downtown by way of the Kenilworth corridor. Or they could stub it at Penn. Down the road, it would be great to connect a line to the west, connecting the West End, Golden Valley, Minnetonka, etc in the 394 or Olson corridors, and this could then become the green line extension west.

Then what would we do with the connector between West Lake and Penn which would then be on different lines? As long as we don't build the 21st St station, it would serve as a non-revenue connector between the two operational districts, the four lines that interline on 5th, and the four potential lines that could interline under Nicollet Mall.

I'm trying to bridge the gap here between what we're building in the next decade, and what we might want to build a few decades from now when gas is $8/gal, downtown has a few hundred thousand residents, and our current "crazy" ideas become a vision for the future of regional transit. I hope we make a few wise choices to ensure our current plans don't interfere with our future options.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6203
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Southwest LRT

Postby twincitizen » October 4th, 2012, 9:30 am



Return to “Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests