Blue Line Extension - Bottineau LRT

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mulad » May 29th, 2014, 10:30 am

"We need to tear down your house in order to preserve the parking lot on the other side of the highway."

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MumfordMoses » May 29th, 2014, 10:33 am

I'm as anti-suburb, anti-car, pro-transit, as they come, but their point is 100% valid. Why should we raze less privileged peoples' home for light rail when we'll spend hundreds of millions so wealthy people, WHO LIVE NEXT TO A RAIL CORRIDOR, don't have to see light rail trains? The comparison is perfectly valid no matter how much the powers that be pretend it's not.
Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat said: “We are planning this complicated project. We’re always taking the long view of 50 to 60 years.”
If that were the case, SWLRT would tunnel through uptown and Bottineau would go down Broadway in North Minneapolis

Thanks for posting this. I don't reflect here much, too many annoying armchair posters raise awful points or share absurd opinions, but at least they are saying something, free speech is far from abused here.

It's absolutely valid, the points you raise, as well as the BP residents compared with the dumb, dumb tunnel.

I realize my thoughts don't ultimately matter with SWC & the Uptown-Midtwon Greenway option is dead - but I'll scratch my head at this decision (Kenilworth) for the rest of my life & unlike Kmart & Nicollet, once done - this won't be something that can be ultimately razed or changed in my lifetime. You could say the same for Kmart block - it's still there - dissecting a classic, prime street that truly needs continuity.

Part of me holds out hope that Bryn Mawr & the Basset Creek plans will truly turn into something visionary. But this aint helping the marginalized of North Mpls as some claim - this is clearly a more wealthy area that will remain more exclusionary unless this damn city finally starts seeking affordable, mixed income, classy, walkable neighborhoods.

Wealthy people usually will their way.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mister.shoes » May 29th, 2014, 10:39 am

The quote that struck me most in that Strib article was this one:
County officials want to start preliminary work on the road project this year, including buying homes in the way. The county could spend more than $10 million to do that.
So even if Bottineau doesn't happen the county wants to buy up houses, knock 'em down, and build this massive stroad. About the *only* good thing that could come out of this would be the road project budget being separate from the LRT, a marked change from how things are normally done.
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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby schmitzm03 » May 29th, 2014, 10:44 am

Thanks for posting this. I don't reflect here much, too many annoying armchair posters raise awful points or share absurd opinions, but at least they are saying something, free speech is far from abused here.
Talk about ironic...I really don't want to start a pissing match, but I just can't resist given how silly the preface to your comment was. Seriously, how is your post any more insightful than anyone else's?

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » May 29th, 2014, 12:14 pm

The quote that struck me most in that Strib article was this one:
County officials want to start preliminary work on the road project this year, including buying homes in the way. The county could spend more than $10 million to do that.
So even if Bottineau doesn't happen the county wants to buy up houses, knock 'em down, and build this massive stroad. About the *only* good thing that could come out of this would be the road project budget being separate from the LRT, a marked change from how things are normally done.
Buying ROW at current prices for a project nearly certain to happen a decade later. It is a wise cost saving. The proposed design will be far from whatever pedestrian-friendliness University will have. The county must really want Broadway here to prioritize autos.

Wonder if any property could be untouched if a University-like design could be done.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MumfordMoses » May 29th, 2014, 3:52 pm

Thanks for posting this. I don't reflect here much, too many annoying armchair posters raise awful points or share absurd opinions, but at least they are saying something, free speech is far from abused here.
Talk about ironic...I really don't want to start a pissing match, but I just can't resist given how silly the preface to your comment was. Seriously, how is your post any more insightful than anyone else's?


I don't know you, so say whatever. My point was far more general & certainly not specific like yours. You're an alias as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby LRV Op Dude » May 30th, 2014, 10:40 am

Did I read that right Bottineau Corridor is on track to be operating by 2019? That mean that Southwest is coming on line in 2019. That would be cool if they both came on line in the same year.
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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby papazim » May 30th, 2014, 12:26 pm

That's the very optimistic timetable. The more realistic date being discussed is 2021.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » May 30th, 2014, 8:37 pm

The only good that could come out of this mess is that the Kenwood "deal" pisses people off so much that they won't stand for their houses being torn down. Then maybe there can be some pushback on ever-widening roads.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » May 30th, 2014, 8:38 pm

Apparently the City of Minneapolis is opposed to LRT signal pre-emption on Olson Highway:

http://minneapolismn.gov/meetings/tpw/WCMS1P-124484
They also want embedded track. Any reason why ballasted isn't good enough? It's more environmentally friendly, right?

For that matter, why wasn't turf track used on University? It's be a hell of a lot more attractive. Apparently maintenance isn't a problem if they're going to use it on Midtown.

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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MSPtoMKE » May 30th, 2014, 8:48 pm

Turf track is an option under consideration for the Midtown line, but it hasn't been decided. From reading the comparisons of the options, it seemed like there were concerns about maintenance. Reading between the lines in the reports, it seemed to me that ballested track had an edge.
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Re: Bottineau Corridor (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Archiapolis » August 8th, 2014, 8:38 am

Maybe the point is that to maximize benefit, something drastically different should be done?
It's extremely unlikely the plan will change. This project has already had one do-over. Given that, why waste the time and energy tilting at windmills?
I seem to recall you making a LOT of arguments about what Bottineau was going to do for the north side while you were supporting 3A.
Did I? Bottineau will help but I've pretty consistently said it isn't a replacement for SWLRT 3A. That's why I support 3A.
Oh, I think I know what you're referring to. The Bottineau LPA alignment does serve Near North quite well. With that and SWLRT 3A Harrison becomes rail transit central which is really a transformative thing for that neighborhood. The LPA doesn't help communities further north as much as it could with, say, a W. Broadway alignment but they'll have decent bus connections so it's not like it's a disaster for the city.
Thank you for writing this.

I know that you have the interests of the North side citizens in your heart and you are an advocate for transit as a way to serve those interests - all noble causes that I agree with and support.

Where we diverge is your obliging acceptance of what is on offer instead of pushing for the BEST possible outcome.

Just up from this post you say, "It's better than nothing." You said this over and over in the SWLRT fight. You went further to say [paraphrased], "This (3A) is the best we are going to get (for SWLRT), let's do better on [Bottineau, Midtown Corridor, etc.]. But, here we are on Bottineau and you are already saying, "It's better than nothing" and "why waste time and money tilting at windmills." My question to you is when is "next time?" When do we stop accepting what we are given without fighting for better or BEST solutions?

Respectfully, you don't have a monopoly on caring about the "equity" on the north side. I lived on the north side which means that I've inhabited the streets and shopped at the retail. I am friends with a fellow who works in the government representing the area. To see Bottineau miss Broadway (without a TRULY imminent streetcar) is a huge mistake. When we are talking about a $1B+ investment I think it is depressing in the extreme to shrug our shoulders resignedly and say, "Well, it's the best we can get, let's do better next time." Sorry, but these offerings just aren’t good enough. Nick Magrino has a piece in streets.mn which asks exactly this question. “So what we could do is try to not repeat this process (edit: the flawed and less than ideal SWLRT process), if possible. Is it too late to stop the Blue Line (Bottineau) extension from cutting around North Minneapolis on Olson Memorial Highway, through Theodore Wirth Park on its way to a literal cornfield in Brooklyn Park? If it’s too late for that, what about the Gateway Corridor planning process, where we recently decided to go with $450 million dollars in bus rapid transit to run through mostly undeveloped areas of Oakdale and Lake Elmo?”

I'm not a transit expert, I’m an architect, and I haven't poured over the documents but to read comments like, "MT says the curves are difficult", and "...engineer that I talked to didn't think curves are a problem" seems to indicate that a Broadway alignment hasn't been explored adequately. You mention the surface parking lots fronting broadway, I'd take it a step further and look at also taking decrepit properties and redesigning a street, widening ROW where possible as a further step to accommodating a turning radius if it meant an incredible transit asset for the actual, developable, north side retail corridor.

The broader point is that engineers (in my experience) always want the path of least resistance to suit THEIR needs - that isn't good enough in my opinion. Here is a quote by someone who is actually questioning infrastructure “design” (Ben Hamilton Baillie in Britain): “One of the things that struck me is that 80% of the public realm is designed by traffic engineers.” With all due respect to traffic engineers, I don’t think creative thinking and problem solving that puts pedestrians and neighborhood equity first are high on their list of concerns. EOst says as much here, "Traffic disruption" is cited as the primary reason that 2f (Broadway->Washington) get a low score on alternative studies. Sorry to be obtuse but I'm guessing that car traffic has been "disrupted" by Central Corridor. I just tried making a right turn on to Washington in Stadium Village to find out that it isn’t possible anymore because that stretch of Washington is closed to car traffic. I took a different route and disrupted my day by approximately 3 minutes. It appears it is possible to “disrupt” traffic in cases where we decide to put transit/bicycling and pedestrians ahead of cars. I'm on "the record" as saying that I wouldn't trust the group that did the 3C ridership studies to count my fingers so suffice to say that without a massive and undeniable fatal flaw in a Broadway alignment, I don't think the idea should be discarded because "curves."

I’ve already stated my distrust of these studies based on the bogus numbers used on 3C but EOst cites "Service Area" as a negative with 2f. I’m sorry but the opportunities and EQUITY that is just staring us in the face on the commercial corridor that is West Broadway and the adjacent residential densities there appear to contradict arguments against “service area” for such an alignment. It may not be a “slam dunk” in terms of ease of design and ROW but West Broadway (and specifically 2f) should not be dismissed because of “geometric challenges” or bogus “service area deficiencies”. It *may* be that the design challenges and demolition make a West Broadway alignment impossible in terms of a cost/ROI but I’d like to see a FULL exploration of this alignment before throwing in the towel and saying “streetcar line” which we all now is 10 years away (at a minimum) and in the meantime, West Broadway continues to languish. Throwing up our hands, accepting what is on offer by traffic engineers and saying, “this is the best that we can get” when we are discussing ANOTHER $1B investment isn’t good enough.
Last edited by Archiapolis on August 8th, 2014, 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » August 8th, 2014, 9:16 am

Image

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby twinkess » August 8th, 2014, 9:52 am

Image

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby crizmois » August 8th, 2014, 10:11 am

On another issue...

I am a Maple Grove resident still upset that they chose the Brooklyn Park (B) northern alignment viruses the Maple Grove (A) alignment. Although the Maple Grove alignment would have meant more ridership, Maple Grove leadership didn't do anything to advocate for the line (NIMBY?) and Brooklyn Park fought hard for it. It is what it is.

I was taking a look at the location of stations in the preferred alignment and noticed that the current plan is for a Park and Ride at the 93rd Street Station and then a station in the middle of Broadway at 85th Street. I think a lot of commuters (like me coming from Weaver Lake Road) would be willing to use the 85th Street Station but unwilling to detour to the 93rd Street Station to use a Park and Ride. the Park and Ride is a farther station and would only add time to commuters from the East (85th) and West (Weaver Lake Road). This might mean a lot of commuter cars left all day near the intersection of 85th and Broadway. This would probably negatively impact NHCC and the new library planned for the NE corner of the intersection. As the gravel pit area of Maple Grove along 85th gets developed with high-density residential, this commuter car issue would likely get worse.

I noticed that the SW corner of the intersection has an unoccupied (at least according to Google Maps) fast food restaurant and parking lot. I think this is where many commuters would naturally want to park. Project planners should consider acquiring or leasing a portion of this lot for a formal park and ride. Although this area is some-what dense, it will also pull a lot of commuters coming from farther away. Planners should prepare for this.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby alleycat » August 8th, 2014, 10:37 am

I have to question the remote possibility of a surface running LRT along Broadway. The row is significantly narrower than University. Maybe it's wide enough, but I'm not an expert. Also the assertion, that's been made a couple of times, that we could just widen the corridor is questionable at best. Street-fronting surface parking alternates between the south and north side of the street from 94 to Emerson. Meanwhile the curve, which sat fallow for years, is currently seeing the Broadway Crescent being constructed. Since that building is 1/3rd of the vacant curve parcels, the idea of widening the row is pretty much moot. The only way to run LRT down most of Broadway would be a subway, which is even more unlikely then surface running LRT.

I do think that the Penn/Oliver/Queen pair (whichever pair one might deem best) was the correct alternative. Once you get to Penn/Broadway I think Broadway west of there could handle LRT. By choosing the Penn only alignment they torpedoed any chance of LRT in the heart of north. No one was going to be supportive of demoing a 100+ properties even though we have plenty of vacant land to move said homes.

I do think that the AA was weighted in favor of the Wirth routing to placate suburban fear of North. I'd say that it was unfounded, but we just had a shooting off of the 19.
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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » August 8th, 2014, 1:00 pm

But it's so easy to say no, or to say that I've thought of a better way. Indeed, it's what this forum is built on. And let me tell you, it never gets old.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby Viktor Vaughn » August 8th, 2014, 3:52 pm

Isn't it easier to be resigned and complacent?

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 8th, 2014, 7:59 pm

I've always said 3A was the best outcome for SWLRT.
Last edited by David Greene on August 8th, 2014, 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bottineau LRT (Blue Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » August 8th, 2014, 8:06 pm

You fight the fights you can win. Bottineau does in fact serve Near North well and alleycat is correct that things have changed with development since the LPA. It would be significantly more difficult to make W. Broadway work at grade in a new study.


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