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"Rethink" I-94 (Twin Cities)

Started by triplemultiplex, May 08, 2024, 03:57:14 PM

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triplemultiplex

This might stir the pot.

https://talk.dot.state.mn.us/rethinking-i94/news_feed/alternatives

MinnDOT is looking at what to do with I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul as it comes due for a major overhaul.  And they've got some alternatives in there that I'm sure will raise some hackles:


or


But, they've also got a 10-lane freeway alternative:


Discuss.
 :popcorn:
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The Ghostbuster

I'd go for the one of the Expanded Freeway Alternatives, with covers over the freeway to reconnect neighborhoods. The At-Grade Alternatives are ludicrous, they shouldn't make the roadway at-grade unless Interstate 94 is placed in a deep-bored tunnel (which would be insanely expensive). The Local/Regional Roadway Alternative, and the Reduced Freeway Alternative would increase congestion along the corridor. The Reconfigured Freeway Alternative would turn one general-purpose lane into a managed lane, and I would oppose that.

paulthemapguy

If the at-grade roadway alternative only has three stops, I don't see how the BRT would be a sufficient condition to downgrade I-94 from a limited-access freeway. If there will only be a few stops, MNDOT could take a similar approach as that found on I-405 in Bellevue, Washington, for example. Left exits from the bus lane up to the surface street would be expensive, but it sounds like there would only be a few of them.   https://maps.app.goo.gl/ycivXMygTLLsrdE3A

To have no physical barriers between freeway traffic and bike/ped traffic sounds wildly unsafe. In some of this, I'm sensing some Phase I folks who are 100% theory and 0% pragmatism.  Dreams of transportation equity are fine and all, but they should be rolled out in a way that enables safety and serves travel demand. We don't need bikes/peds on every single traveled way.  Give the bikes/peds something robust, but parallel to I-94, rather than directly on the freeway:crazy:  :crazy:  :crazy:

Generally, equity is providing conduit to serve travel demand to all modes for as many trips as possible. It isn't about turning every single segment of trafficway into something that serves all imaginable modes.
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bschultzy

Quote from: paulthemapguy on May 20, 2024, 03:53:19 PMTo have no physical barriers between freeway traffic and bike/ped traffic sounds wildly unsafe. In some of this, I'm sensing some Phase I folks who are 100% theory and 0% pragmatism.  Dreams of transportation equity are fine and all, but they should be rolled out in a way that enables safety and serves travel demand. We don't need bikes/peds on every single traveled way.  Give the bikes/peds something robust, but parallel to I-94, rather than directly on the freeway:crazy:  :crazy:  :crazy:

Generally, equity is providing conduit to serve travel demand to all modes for as many trips as possible. It isn't about turning every single segment of trafficway into something that serves all imaginable modes.

Along these lines, robust upgrades to St. Anthony, Concordia, and Rondo Aves. along I-94 in St. Paul should be a high priority. I know there are some legitimate existing concerns about traffic speeds on those frontage roads, so efforts should be made to slow down cars and provide ample options for transit, bikes, and peds.

In my mind, the freeway is the toothpaste that's already out of the tube. The question is how do we improve the overall context in a meaningful way rather than wasting time on pie-in-the-sky fantasies that look nice on paper?

Bruce

Quote from: paulthemapguy on May 20, 2024, 03:53:19 PMMNDOT could take a similar approach as that found on I-405 in Bellevue, Washington, for example. Left exits from the bus lane up to the surface street would be expensive, but it sounds like there would only be a few of them.   https://maps.app.goo.gl/ycivXMygTLLsrdE3A

The ramp shown is for a major terminus that has few through-routes, so it's not quite the model. Something like the Totem Lake Freeway Station further north on I-405 makes more sense, but it's not a pleasant waiting environment:



Ideally, with a lid you can dampen noise and still have easy bus connections, as is done on SR 520:



Or this one being built now:

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vdeane

Quote from: paulthemapguy on May 20, 2024, 03:53:19 PMTo have no physical barriers between freeway traffic and bike/ped traffic sounds wildly unsafe. In some of this, I'm sensing some Phase I folks who are 100% theory and 0% pragmatism.  Dreams of transportation equity are fine and all, but they should be rolled out in a way that enables safety and serves travel demand. We don't need bikes/peds on every single traveled way.  Give the bikes/peds something robust, but parallel to I-94, rather than directly on the freeway:crazy:  :crazy:  :crazy:

Generally, equity is providing conduit to serve travel demand to all modes for as many trips as possible. It isn't about turning every single segment of trafficway into something that serves all imaginable modes.
Too many people care more about getting revenge on drivers than they do about providing the best balance between all modes of transportation (of course, roadgeeks can sometimes be the reverse... I remember when "bikey-wikey" was being thrown around a certain Facebook group).
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

TheHighwayMan3561

#6
I think at the end of the day the freeway will remain mostly the same with some desired neighborhood cross-freeway accessibility improvements, whether lids or otherwise. The urbanists consider anything short of total removal (i.e. lids) to be as unacceptable as 14-laning the freeway, but MnDOT usually gives them lip service and then ignores them at the end.

The only thing I really want is the lane drop through Snelling to be filled. Just that. Please.
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Plutonic Panda

I like the 10 lane alternative. What are the chances that gets selected?

TheHighwayMan3561

Quote from: Plutonic Panda on May 22, 2024, 12:03:51 AMI like the 10 lane alternative. What are the chances that gets selected?

Pretty much zero. The city is opposed to any expansion of the freeway.
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Plutonic Panda

Quote from: TheHighwayMan3561 on May 22, 2024, 05:51:49 PM
Quote from: Plutonic Panda on May 22, 2024, 12:03:51 AMI like the 10 lane alternative. What are the chances that gets selected?

Pretty much zero. The city is opposed to any expansion of the freeway.
Didn't they just vote for expanding a few others highways though?

The Ghostbuster

Another Saint Paul location I can think of that might also benefit from decks being built over the freeway is the short Interstates 35E/94 duplex. The segment between Wabasha St. N and Jackson St. seems like an ideal place to build some decks. Since there are already trees along the south side of the freeway's right-of-way, building decks there might lessen the barrier the freeway has towards the surrounding neighborhoods. Does anyone else have any ideas on where decks could be built in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area?

Molandfreak

Quote from: The Ghostbuster on May 22, 2024, 07:08:01 PMAnother Saint Paul location I can think of that might also benefit from decks being built over the freeway is the short Interstates 35E/94 duplex. The segment between Wabasha St. N and Jackson St. seems like an ideal place to build some decks. Since there are already trees along the south side of the freeway's right-of-way, building decks there might lessen the barrier the freeway has towards the surrounding neighborhoods. Does anyone else have any ideas on where decks could be built in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area?
Over 94 at 52 would be ideal to help redesign that awful bend from northbound to westbound. Alternatively they should ban the trucks who are causing it to be so awful and direct them over to the 61 interchange instead.
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