Snelling Avenue redesign

This topic contains 12 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of jitterjepp jitterjepp 1 year, 1 month ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #789028
    Avatar of euterpe
    euterpe
    Participant

    Watch out Mipples! Shelbyville is working hard to overtake your whole “we’re #1″ crap.

    Please read and comment on this plan for Snelling Ave from Selby to Midway Avenue by December 14.

    http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/snellingstudy/

    Send comments to:

    Bill Goff, MnDOT Project Manager
    william dot goff at state dot mn dot us

    It’s pretty sweet.

    Remember, Saint Paul is punk as fuck.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #793070
    Avatar of SDHO
    SDHO
    Participant

    It seems that the biggest problems in this area are the freeway-style interchanges at Como Ave, Energy Park Dr, and the Pierce Butler Rte, and the matching 45 mph speed zone. Unfortunately, according to the Existing Conditions report:

    There are no infrastructure improvements programmed for the Expressway Context Zone at this time. According to MnDOT, the Snelling Avenue Bridge over Pierce Butler Route (Bridge ID 62011), the Snelling Avenue Bridges over the BNSF Railroad (Bridge ID 62012 and 62012), and the Snelling Avenue Bridge over Energy Park Drive (Bridge ID 62013) are projected to be replaced during the 2028 to 2034 time period. The current bridges were built in 1965 and carry six lanes of traffic. The Snelling Avenue Bridge over Como Avenue (Bridge ID 62015) is projected to receive an overlay during the 2019 to 2027 time period. Bridge ID 62015 was built in 1965, remodeled in 1983, and currently carries four lanes of traffic.

    They also include this lovely graphic of the current “Expressway Context Zone” of Snelling, inserting two novelty bikes, but also showing them being passed unlawfully closely.

    2034 is a long time to wait. The bridges would, at a minimum, need a dramatic overhaul to make them safe and comfortable for bicycle use.

    #793071
    Avatar of SDHO
    SDHO
    Participant

    Oh hah, spoke way too soon. They address the turning issues on the Expressway really well, though I don’t care for the transition from bike lane to cycletrack at Energy Park Dr in Option 2, or the fact that bikes are (virtually) forced to exit to Como Ave. I’m also disappointed there’s no plan to lower the 45 mph speed limit on the Expressway-style portion.

    The two-stage left turn boxes are a refreshing first, too.

    #845094
    Avatar of jitterjepp
    jitterjepp
    Participant

    Seems to me that the train would have been better located if it ran along 94. Have the stops at the freeway over passes.

    It would move along faster and be more useful as opposed to traveling and stopping at every block taking an hour to get from downtown MPLS to downtown St. Paul.

    We keep trying to pretend to be a big city by bringing in trains for mass transportation but what we’re doing on Snelling is all wrong in my opinion. If you want an effective mass transit system make them fast and put them on all the freeways. This means a loop on 494/694, 100, 169, 35w, 35e and 94. Then run 94 straight to st cloud and lay high speed tracks so trains can all beat car traffic all the time on runs to St. Cloud.

    #845095
    Avatar of Reverborama
    Reverborama
    Moderator

    Man, you got THAT right.

    I grew up a block away from high-speed rail. Elevated on an old freight line. I could get into Philly in 15 minutes. Running down the middle of already busy streets is stupid, stupid, stupid. We already have freeway and rail corridors that would allow trains to run without disturbing the existing streets. The idea SHOULD be to make Snelling and University have less cars on them because people are taking a fast train that is running somewhere else.

    #845096
    Avatar of jitterjepp
    jitterjepp
    Participant

    I saw an article in the Strib today where the mayor of St. Paul was saying that the train was going to “bring 40,000 riders a day to downtown St. Paul.” All I could think was “those poor people”

    A one hour ride from MPLS to St. Paul on a train that stops every 45 seconds? No thank you. I can ride my bike there faster.

    I’m not buying the 40,000 people taking a train to downtown St. Paul. I can’t think of any reason 40,000 people would take a train to downtown St. Paul. There isn’t even anything to do there. Not even on hockey nights.

    Maybe if they gave you a $100 bill when you got there they could get that many riders.

    Maybe.

    #845097
    Avatar of prof
    prof
    Participant

    It’s worth noting that Philly has regional rail, commuter rail, light rail, subways, AND buses. Sure, you can get into the city, but once you are there you can also get around to various places. I live in Minneapolis. I could care less about more suburbanites being able to get in and out of my city for work more easily. I want to be able to get around the city.

    I am totally looking forward to being able to take a train from where I live to Surly brewing or the Turf Club or Fasika etc. We need transit that encourages higher density development, creating walkable neighborhoods, not encouraging the sprawl and big box store, non-walkable, sidewalk free culture that is the suburbs.

    Light rail is just one step in the transit mix, not the only one.

    @Reverborama wrote:

    Man, you got THAT right.

    I grew up a block away from high-speed rail. Elevated on an old freight line. I could get into Philly in 15 minutes. Running down the middle of already busy streets is stupid, stupid, stupid. We already have freeway and rail corridors that would allow trains to run without disturbing the existing streets. The idea SHOULD be to make Snelling and University have less cars on them because people are taking a fast train that is running somewhere else.

    #845098
    Avatar of jitterjepp
    jitterjepp
    Participant

    @prof wrote:

    It’s worth noting that Philly has regional rail, commuter rail, light rail, subways, AND buses. Sure, you can get into the city, but once you are there you can also get around to various places. I live in Minneapolis. I could care less about more suburbanites being able to get in and out of my city for work more easily. I want to be able to get around the city.

    I am totally looking forward to being able to take a train from where I live to Surly brewing or the Turf Club or Fasika etc. We need transit that encourages higher density development, creating walkable neighborhoods, not encouraging the sprawl and big box store, non-walkable, sidewalk free culture that is the suburbs.

    Light rail is just one step in the transit mix, not the only one.

    @Reverborama wrote:

    Man, you got THAT right.

    I grew up a block away from high-speed rail. Elevated on an old freight line. I could get into Philly in 15 minutes. Running down the middle of already busy streets is stupid, stupid, stupid. We already have freeway and rail corridors that would allow trains to run without disturbing the existing streets. The idea SHOULD be to make Snelling and University have less cars on them because people are taking a fast train that is running somewhere else.

    I think that some of us are thinking beyond taking a train to get a growler. What is the most effective comprehensive system that we can provide ourselves to minimize automobile traffic and meet the transportation needs of the future. We don’t want to pay to remove bad decisions.

    Snelling Avenue was a very bad decision.

    #845099
    Avatar of prof
    prof
    Participant

    @jitterjepp wrote:

    I think that some of us are thinking beyond taking a train to get a growler. What is the most effective comprehensive system that we can provide ourselves to minimize automobile traffic and meet the transportation needs of the future. We don’t want to pay to remove bad decisions.

    Snelling Avenue was a very bad decision.

    I was commenting on the remarks about the University Avenue light rail project, not on Snelling. I don’t disagree with you about Snelling. My point was, part of an effective mass transit system is getting people around WITHIN the city, not just getting them in and out of a downtown area.

    #845101
    Avatar of jitterjepp
    jitterjepp
    Participant

    @prof wrote:

    @jitterjepp wrote:
    I think that some of us are thinking beyond taking a train to get a growler. What is the most effective comprehensive system that we can provide ourselves to minimize automobile traffic and meet the transportation needs of the future. We don’t want to pay to remove bad decisions.

    Snelling Avenue was a very bad decision.

    I was commenting on the remarks about the University Avenue light rail project, not on Snelling. I don’t disagree with you about Snelling. My point was, part of an effective mass transit system is getting people around WITHIN the city, not just getting them in and out of a downtown area.

    I’m sorry. I meant University. That’s what I meant.

    University Avenue was a very bad decision – bad design – bad all the way around. It doesn’t remove the traffic, it replaces an existing cheaper public transportation system with one with costs that are EPIC and it provides no real benefits beyond the old system. It’s a slow moving frequently stopping system just like the buses. I think it’s ridiculous to suggest this is worth the money.

    It absolutely 100% SHOULD have been on the freeway where it could go fast. This is how you do it. You have the buses get you to the trains which go much faster so that you have a system that actually works and people will actually use because it is fast. The majority people drive during rush hours and need to get to work on a non-meandering fast and not a frequently stopping method. Nobody wants to ride a lollygagging train to or from work and that is the time we need to get people out of cars the most. That is when they drive the most.

    The thing is a waste of money because it doesn’t fix the problem. It actually could have been a great thing but instead it was a complete waste of money. It’s about a system that gets the most people around at the most congested times. Its not about the casual shopper that wants a slow ride through a four mile strip mall.

    I really wish they would just stop right now and not spend another penny on it. It was a bad mistake. Stop and move on as far as I’m concerned.

    #845100
    Avatar of jitterjepp
    jitterjepp
    Participant

    Also with this rail going from downtown MPLS to St. Paul on the freeway I’m not sure how that moves people from the burbs around unless they could take another fast moving on the freeway train to either downtown. ….as it should be to be both useful and effective at removing large numbers of people off of the roads during peak times. Which is exactly what is needed. We don’t need a pretty little train that stops every other block. That is no more useful than a bus and it costs hundreds of millions more.

    This line cost around $940 million. Nearly a billion dollars!!! The roads the bus uses are already there. The signs for buses are already there. The bus is already there. This isn’t a positive addition to the transit system. It is a negative one because it shows a poorly designed infrastructure change and the effect of this is going to further perpetuate negative feelings towards trains and give public transit opponents ammunition against future updates. Also to consider is that now that this stupid train runs parallel to 94 – a mere block away – it is so unlikely that one will ever be placed where it should be on 94.

    #845102
    Avatar of prof
    prof
    Participant

    Transit is about more than speed. Capacity and access are important too. First off, light rail is significantly faster than bus, and it is even faster than BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). But its real advantage comes in terms of capacity. The population in Downtown Minneapolis rose 32% during the last census period, and the city expects the existing population to double by 2025. Our roads weren’t designed with that many people in mind.

    Saint Paul is experiencing similar trends, and throughout the city you are beginning to see a lot of areas where large, multi-unit buildings are replacing single family homes. There is over $1 Billion in multi-unit housing going in to the city of Minneapolis alone at this very moment. Over the course of the construction of the University avenue, that figure will dwarf the amount spent on the light rail project. That means denser living, and more demand on roads that were designed around lighter density development.

    THAT’s the point of light rail. Increasing transit capacity along these corridors and lessening the strain on the roadways around this development.

    Finally, my point about the suburbs was that getting between Downtowns is a very suburban point of view. Most of the people I know who live in the city do not go Downtown much unless they work there (if the live there, they are already there, of course), but they DO move from place to place within the cities. The point of this isn’t to get people from one downtown to another as quickly as possible, it’s to enable people to move about the metro more easily. UofM students who want to go shopping or to a concert. Hamline students who want to go out to dinner somewhere else in the Midway. Etc.

    Now, onto access. It is five blocks from the middle of the freeway to University Avenue, assuming where you wanted to go was exactly where the stop was. If you lessen the number of stops, the more likely this will not be true. If I have to walk a mile or more after I take the train, what’s the point? How is this going to increase ridership?

    #845103
    Avatar of jitterjepp
    jitterjepp
    Participant

    @prof wrote:

    Transit is about more than speed. Capacity and access are important too. First off, light rail is significantly faster than bus, and it is even faster than BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). But its real advantage comes in terms of capacity. The population in Downtown Minneapolis rose 32% during the last census period, and the city expects the existing population to double by 2025. Our roads weren’t designed with that many people in mind.

    Saint Paul is experiencing similar trends, and throughout the city you are beginning to see a lot of areas where large, multi-unit buildings are replacing single family homes. There is over $1 Billion in multi-unit housing going in to the city of Minneapolis alone at this very moment. Over the course of the construction of the University avenue, that figure will dwarf the amount spent on the light rail project. That means denser living, and more demand on roads that were designed around lighter density development.

    That’s the point of light rail. Increasing transit capacity along these corridors and lessening the strain on the roadways around this development.

    Finally, my point about the suburbs was that getting between Downtowns is a very suburban point of view. Most of the people I know who live in the city do not go Downtown much unless they work there (if the live there, they are already there, of course), but they DO move from place to place within the cities. The point of this isn’t to get people from one downtown to another as quickly as possible, it’s to enable people to move about the metro more easily. UofM students who want to go shopping or to a concert. Hamline students who want to go out to dinner somewhere else in the Midway. Etc.

    Now, onto access. It is five blocks from the middle of the freeway to University Avenue, assuming where you wanted to go was exactly where the stop was. If you lessen the number of stops, the more likely this will not be true. If I have to walk a mile or more after I take the train, what’s the point? How is this going to increase ridership?

    I still disagree. A billion dollars for buses that are already there? No thanks. And yes it is also about speed and moving the most people around at peak times. Bus routes and pick times revolve around those two things. They don’t revolve around slow-poking through the city on a Saturday afternoon to get a growler.

    As far as 5 whole blocks goes? In some places yes. In others no. I would hardly call it 5 whole blocks from 94 to University at Snelling and it still doesn’t take into account the idea of actually making it so riders could go north OR south of 94 when they use the train. There are schools, housing and business on both sides of the freeway. I live a couple blocks off Hennepin Ave and I see people walking further than 5 blocks to catch buses every single day of the week in my neighborhood. They probably don’t want the bus going in front of their house and have no problems walking. Otherwise they would live on Hennepin Ave I guess.

    As far as a train on University goes? That doesn’t make less traffic there. It doesn’t make it more walkable. It doesn’t make it more bike friendly. It adds another traffic element and creates more congestion. IMO all that makes it less bike friendly and less walkable. It could have been in a place that is designed to keep noise at bay and is unhindered by stoplights. You could say that buses being gone is taking away a traffic element? They used the same lanes that cars do. They didn’t need a dedicated one smack dab in the center creating a situation where businesses only have single side of street (one direction) access to their front doors because of a set of tracks and in the center of the road.

    I am very aware of things going on for building permits in MPLS and population growth. It still doesn’t change my opinion. The idea that how this looks now is going to remain the same with population growth? Soon Zimmerman will be a suburb of MPLS. The first second and third tier suburbs BETTER be taken into account in this process because there will be more people there as well. It would be short sighted to discount that fact and not plan for it today. And it wasn’t planned for.

    We just have a difference of opinion. Not going to change.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.