77th/76th Street Corridor - Richfield / Edina

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby twincitizen » June 18th, 2015, 1:18 pm

mattaudio wrote:Ok then, shame on Richfield city leaders too. That's been their top legislative priority. That's sad.
Wedgeguy wrote:Other than replacing the HUB, what are the other pressing matters for the city of Richfield? I'm curious.
Likewise. Particularly pressing matters that would warrant state funding (besides just a general bump in LGA funds)? TBH, This is something I haven't thought much about.

Other Richfield-adjacent infrastructure projects that could use the funding would include 494/35W reconstruction and related Orange Line stuff, the supposed expansion of 62, west of Penn. But those projects are more likely to get funded through traditional MNDOT streams or Corridors of Commerce or something.

Richfield doesn't really have anything that is regionally significant within its borders. The most regionally significant thing about Richfield ARE its borders (the highways that surround it) and its amazing location (relative to other 1st ring burbs).

IMO, infrastructure-wise, Richfield is doing pretty well on adding bike lanes and trails (big thanks to 3 Rivers Parks & Hennepin County too!). Hennepin County is making the rounds over the next decade redoing every county road, which improves sidewalks, adds bike infra, etc. More sidewalks on city streets would be nice, but I don't see how they could get state funding for that...unless it was part of a larger package directed at improving walkability in older suburbs.

My point is, what else would you have them lobby for bonding money? Nothing at all? This underpass is far from necessary, but it certainly isn't going to harm Richfield (perhaps aside from higher local property taxes to pay for the damn thing).

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby mattaudio » June 18th, 2015, 1:25 pm

That's precisely what's so sad about how we plan and fund our current investments. Anti-place land uses like the 494 strip are "regional" in nature. Expensive tunnels-to-nowhere are "regional" in nature and can get bonding. Working to accelerate 66th Street into a string of high-value, human-scale nodes is not of regional significance. Getting sidewalks on the residential grid is not of regional significance.

I realize this is a broader topic than just 77th/76th/Canadian Boulevard, or Richfield as a city. But it seems nuts that our state sees building high-cost low-return infrastructure, and all the future liabilities it adds, as a regional benefit. But investing in things which cities may not be able to afford on their own at a given point in time, but would create low-cost high-return outcomes in perpetuity (including higher tax receipts to local governments and likely the state as well) are not seen as a regional benefit. We're taking on future additional expenses, and giving up future additional revenues.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby Mdcastle » June 18th, 2015, 4:08 pm

If it gets motorists off the traffic Armageddon that is I-494 than it's regional significance. And I'm not sure what "anti-place' means. Is it a word used by urbanists to insult any kind of development that has roads adequate to move traffic and parking lot big enough for cars? If you look up the word in a dictionary the Richfield Menards is just as much a "Place" as the super deluxe cute neighborhood co-op". And one that a lot more people want to go to.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby Tyler » June 19th, 2015, 9:47 am

Party on 494 tonight! 9pm. Bring your own car.
Towns!

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » June 19th, 2015, 10:08 am

twincitizen wrote:Richfield doesn't really have anything that is regionally significant within its borders. The most regionally significant thing about Richfield ARE its borders (the highways that surround it) and its amazing location (relative to other 1st ring burbs).

and now I have concluded the process of stating what my opinion is, infrastructure-wise, Richfield is doing pretty well on adding bike lanes and trails (big thanks to 3 Rivers Parks & Hennepin County too!). Hennepin County is making the rounds over the next decade redoing every county road, which improves sidewalks, adds bike infra, etc. More sidewalks on city streets would be nice, but I don't see how they could get state funding for that...unless it was part of a larger package directed at improving walkability in older suburbs.
I think twincitizen is right. In my opinion, Richfield's big underfunded items are:

1. Parks and recreation amenities. The CIP only has about $45k/yr for parks improvments, yet almost $100 million in road projects over the next five years (so avg out to 20 million-ish a year). There was a community center proposal some years ago, but it failed at referendum.

2. Pedestrian and living streets investments. According to staff, we can't even afford to put a sidewalk on W 69th St between Penn and Xerxes -- and this is a busy street through a residential area, an important connection from Penn to Southdale. Because we've used up our local funding sources for the street repaving project, there's just no free cash left to do even that one critical sidewalk. Likewise, we could use more money for Living Streets amenities -- boulevard trees, rain garden, etc.

However, these are local issues that require local funding. I think Richfield's share of the tunnel should be seen as a local opportunity cost, although it's likely to mostly come from MSA funds -- we *could* spend that on our other MSA routes, at least, to improve the walkability and neighborhood experience throughout our city. But we couldn't spend it on just any old thing, and we certainly can't spend the $12 million that the state allocated on anything else.

And unfortunately, if Richfield doesn't advocate for that state funding, another community will take it for a likely even more useless project -- like Bloomington's absurd E Bush Lake Rd interchange improvement.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » June 19th, 2015, 10:11 am

twincitizen wrote:My point is, what else would you have them lobby for bonding money? Nothing at all? This underpass is far from necessary, but it certainly isn't going to harm Richfield (perhaps aside from higher local property taxes to pay for the damn thing).
The one detail I would point out is that the project will remove at least a couple dozen units of affordable housing (not section 8 or 42, but cheap market-rate housing), plus the Motel 6. I think city leaders see the loss of the Motel 6, at least, to be a benefit, although its taxbase is actually about double the homes lost on W 66th St for that street widening (where loss of taxbase was cited as an issue).

However, new development -- while it may not be everything we dream of -- is likely to be greater than the buildings taken out for the underpass.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby mister.shoes » June 19th, 2015, 10:30 am

sdho wrote:...like Bloomington's absurd E Bush Lake Rd interchange improvement.
I know this is OT and you were just using this as an example, but I found the concept you're talking about and am impressed/gobsmacked (not a compliment) by the solution. That's a hell of a lot of infrastructure for such a minor movement. I mean, sure, it'll make my evening commute home easier by reducing the number of cars going EB on Edina Industrial at MN100, but it's also going to jack up the number of cars going 45mph WB on Edina Industrial right at E Bush Lake Road. Can't wait for that mess.

That entire interchange is stupidly designed. The exit from WB 494 has a double-left turn lane, that never has more than 2 or 3 cars in each in the mornings. The right turn lane, by contrast, is packed. Ditto the exit from EB 494, the few times I've used it: why are there two left turn lanes? Did Bloomington convince everyone that SB E Bush Lake Road is soooooo important it requires that many lanes to hold all the people desperate to go that direction?

Edit: I guess this wasn't entirely off-topic. This interchange can legitimately be considered the west end of the 77th/76th corridor.

Edit again: I see we're discussing this better elsewhere
Last edited by mister.shoes on June 19th, 2015, 10:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby twincitizen » June 19th, 2015, 10:46 am

sdho wrote:The one detail I would point out is that the project will remove at least a couple dozen units of affordable housing (not section 8 or 42, but cheap market-rate housing), plus the Motel 6. I think city leaders see the loss of the Motel 6, at least, to be a benefit, although its taxbase is actually about double the homes lost on W 66th St for that street widening (where loss of taxbase was cited as an issue).

However, new development -- while it may not be everything we dream of -- is likely to be greater than the buildings taken out for the underpass.
Offhand, I've also heard there are a lot of police calls to the SE corner (including the Motel 6 specifically), so there are more factors to consider than the raw "loss of tax base" numbers. Hence why some see tearing down Motel 6 (and maybe some troublesome apartment buildings) as a plus. Yes, they pay property taxes, but are also heavy users of very expensive city resources.

Whatever development replaces Motel 6 and an apartment building or two will very likely contribute more to the tax base than what's there today, although it will be relatively marginal. It's certainly not going to pay for the underpass by itself, even under the rosiest development scenarios for E 77th and the lower Cedar Corridor.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » June 19th, 2015, 1:25 pm

twincitizen wrote:Hence why some see tearing down Motel 6 (and maybe some troublesome apartment buildings) as a plus. Yes, they pay property taxes, but are also heavy users of very expensive city resources.
A very good point on that front. What concerns me with demolishing apartments for any purpose, however, is just that there's not a whole lot of space designated for high-density residential that isn't already high-density residential. I worry that as we demolish apartment buildings, we're simply going to be losing housing units, with little recourse to recover them later.

Like a 10% version of what's happened in Minneapolis, Richfield has lost significant population since its peak, even as number of housing units have increased. Short of major cultural change, I don't think we're going to start having families of five living in tiny bungalows again, so we need to not be losing housing units if we're to have any hope of maintaining our population.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » June 22nd, 2015, 10:06 am

Tonight at 7p, Richfield Planning Commission will be considering a cluster home development on the 76th St corridor, at Sheridan Ave S (facing Sheridan).

Image

The property is owned by the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of the City. Packet is here: http://ci.richfield.mn.us/modules/showd ... entid=6882 (toward the end)

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby mattaudio » June 22nd, 2015, 10:45 am

Five curb cuts? And they're spaced too close to allow any meaningful on street parking. Why didn't they sneak in an alley stub behind this somehow?

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » June 22nd, 2015, 11:02 am

mattaudio wrote:Five curb cuts? And they're spaced too close to allow any meaningful on street parking. Why didn't they sneak in an alley stub behind this somehow?
Good question. The only other cluster home development in Richfield (NE corner of 69th and Penn) uses this approach -- a single curb cut for 7 units. One possible complicating factor here may be that doing an alley would probably require a curb cut on 76th, which Public Works might be loath to grant for such a busy street. (The previous house had an address on W 76th, but curb cut was on Sheridan.)

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » June 22nd, 2015, 7:10 pm

CUP and variance to make the townhomes happen passed Planning Commission 5-1.

Apparently one of the issues with the rear garages was that the Nine Mile Creek watershed, which SW Richfield is in, is much more stringent with this sort of thing than Minnehaha watershed (which the rest of Richfield is in). I guess they required all water to be retained on-site. To make room for enough storage area for the water, they needed to dedicate pretty much the whole back yard.

Because the units are designed to be one-story living, they've got a lot of roof relative to their size, so a lot of runoff to manage.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby Anondson » June 22nd, 2015, 7:29 pm

Wonder if more places will do underwater cisterns for dealing with water runoff.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby mister.shoes » July 9th, 2015, 11:46 pm

Speaking of the area between 100 and the RR tracks, the section of Edina Industrial between Bush Lake Road and Metro Blvd has always had one fewer lane in each direction than the rest of that route, but no one ever observed the lane drop (disclosure: myself included) as the pavement was wide enough to function as a 4-lane death road and the only paint was the double yellow in the center.

Until recently. Edina has painted a white line narrowing the road to a single lane in either direction. The jury is out on how well this works. I was on vacation for a week until today, so I'm not sure when the paint actually went down (was just spray-painted dots last Wednesday). I know that Edina plans to add a sidewalk along this stretch of road, so they must actually be serious about making it less terrifying. It's typically been a way-over-the-speed-limit free-for-all.
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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » July 10th, 2015, 10:48 am

I've complained about that section, but it seems to be a relatively low priority for a new sidewalk. Painting the shoulders in was a way to discourage the behavior that's been happening now, where people continue to use it as a four-lane road. It does also provide a bit more breathing room for peds walking in the street.

Unfortunately, the section that really needs a sidewalk the most badly -- TH 100 to Metro Blvd -- is still 5-lane, no place for pedestrians at all except the travel lane.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby mister.shoes » July 10th, 2015, 11:23 am

Here's the most recent sidewalk plan map that I can find. There's no timetable given for any of these, but your Metro->100 connection would be a pretty short stretch that would get used a ton. I see lots of people at the bus stop in front of the Shell and I always worry about the danger that presents.

My hope is that the relocation of Public Works to the corner of 74th and Metro is the catalyst to get a lot of these sidewalks built. The brand new sidewalk on the west side of Metro sure went in quickly after all those city employees moved into the area and had to walk on the street to Subway/Cheetah/Eddington's/Caribou.
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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby Mdcastle » July 10th, 2015, 2:18 pm

Have they considered building any of these as multi-use paths instead?

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby sdho » July 10th, 2015, 8:50 pm

Mdcastle wrote:Have they considered building any of these as multi-use paths instead?
Interesting question. Until very recently, it was illegal to ever bike on a sidewalk on Edina, so there was very little incentive to create sidewalks that accommodate bikes. The new 8', sawcut sidewalks around Southdale Center are probably the first to really meet a MUP standard.

In general Edina builds new sidewalks with 5' boulevard + 5' concrete. (Sometimes as little as 1' exposed aggregate buffer + 5' concrete, no grassy boulevard.)

I expect that both due to aesthetic issues and property impacts, they'd be unlikely to build MUPs outside of trail corridors.

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Re: 77th/76th Corridor - Richfield / Edina

Postby min-chi-cbus » July 11th, 2015, 9:05 pm

sdho wrote:
Mdcastle wrote:Have they considered building any of these as multi-use paths instead?
Interesting question. Until very recently, it was illegal to ever bike on a sidewalk on Edina, so there was very little incentive to create sidewalks that accommodate bikes. The new 8', sawcut sidewalks around Southdale Center are probably the first to really meet a MUP standard.

In general Edina builds new sidewalks with 5' boulevard + 5' concrete. (Sometimes as little as 1' exposed aggregate buffer + 5' concrete, no grassy boulevard.)

I expect that both due to aesthetic issues and property impacts, they'd be unlikely to build MUPs outside of trail corridors.
You're not kidding either.....when I was 9 or 10 I was pulled over TWICE by Edina police while riding my bike on the sidewalk AND in the street (doing their very best to keep the mean streets of E-D-I-N-A safe from scoundrels like me). It scared the bejesus out of me as a child and it was totally unnecessary -- it didn't make me a safer rider, it just made me loathe the cops. They were pricks about it too, which didn't help.

In short, I feel that sidewalks should be utilized by children with bikes until a.) they reach the age of 16 and they no longer require a bike for commuting, or b.) they purchase a road bike and can bike about as fast as a moving vehicle, similar to what you see grown adults with speedo suits doing on a daily basis in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul.


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