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Author Topic: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN  (Read 5205 times)

edwaleni

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2022, 09:14:35 AM »

Over 60% of Duluth's population live north of Canal Park. So who is this really serving?

Also, what happens during holiday migrations? People who drive to the TC to see relatives?

How about when they come back?

With no functional bypass of the inner city, they will all try to navigate through this parkway to reach the north side.

Small part of the overall traffic mix perhaps.

Also, Duluth is a port. With rail at the port declined somewhat, where do all the trucks go? Will you ban trucks on the parkway?

Mark my words, if the parkway concept goes through, watch for pressure increase to construct a western bypass.

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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2022, 01:12:33 PM »

Over 60% of Duluth's population live north of Canal Park. So who is this really serving?

People who live near downtown and tourists. Going N/S in Duluth is not fun as it is, but building this won't really make that any better or worse.

Quote
Also, what happens during holiday migrations? People who drive to the TC to see relatives?

How about when they come back?

With no functional bypass of the inner city, they will all try to navigate through this parkway to reach the north side.

Small part of the overall traffic mix perhaps.

1. The would-be affected interchanges aren't where most people are getting off to get to the north side; they either get off at Mesaba or at 21st Avenue East. This would probably suck for people going to the colleges and for people who live in Lakeside the most. The parkway would still be the downtown "bypass"; I can't imagine they would remove the tunnels due to its disruption to Duluth's street grid as well as the caps containing some of the most popular and revered greenspace in the city, which would work counter to what these people are trying to do.

2. From what I can tell from their proposal, the affected area is just around 5th and Lake. So if they were to actually build this, we're talking about one mile becoming non-freeway. It's not like they're considering removing the freeway all the way out to US 2 (not that a few knuckleheads wouldn't support that, though), especially considering the multi-year rebuild of the interchange at I-535 now underway.

Quote
Also, Duluth is a port. With rail at the port declined somewhat, where do all the trucks go? Will you ban trucks on the parkway?

No. Trucks aren't even banned from the existing tunnels today because they have nowhere else to go; also see my above comment.

Quote
Mark my words, if the parkway concept goes through, watch for pressure increase to construct a western bypass.

Will never happen. One was studied before deciding on sending 35 through downtown in 1988. The terrain along with Duluth's sprawling layout makes such a bypass fiscally impossible, but if you think people are complaining about current 35 now it would be nothing compared to the outrage of trying to ram a bypass through the hills.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2022, 01:16:09 PM by TheHighwayMan394 »
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edwaleni

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2022, 02:34:29 PM »


Quote
Mark my words, if the parkway concept goes through, watch for pressure increase to construct a western bypass.

Will never happen. One was studied before deciding on sending 35 through downtown in 1988. The terrain along with Duluth's sprawling layout makes such a bypass fiscally impossible, but if you think people are complaining about current 35 now it would be nothing compared to the outrage of trying to ram a bypass through the hills.

If the locals can change their minds on I-35 going through the city proper, they can certainly change their minds on a western bypass/airport access.

Never under estimate the willingness of the general public to change their minds.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2022, 04:26:56 PM »

If the locals can change their minds on I-35 going through the city proper, they can certainly change their minds on a western bypass/airport access.

Never under estimate the willingness of the general public to change their minds.

No. Trust me. It will not happen.

1. The city's enviro policies have taken a hard left turn in the last 30 years.

2. There's a big difference between sending a freeway through decaying industry and railyards, and trying to route an entirely new freeway through the city's largely intact forested hillsides.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2022, 10:34:34 AM »

2. From what I can tell from their proposal, the affected area is just around 5th and Lake. So if they were to actually build this, we're talking about one mile becoming non-freeway. It's not like they're considering removing the freeway all the way out to US 2 (not that a few knuckleheads wouldn't support that, though), especially considering the multi-year rebuild of the interchange at I-535 now underway.


This is what I mean.  How is removing a mile or so of freeway "anti-car?"

All the same arguments in this thread were used years ago when Milwaukee removed the Park East Freeway, which was about a mile long.  How would cars get out of downtown?  This is going to make traffic worse elsewhere? 

It didn't do any of that.  It actually took down a barrier and created a nice new urban area that was prominently featured on television this past summer when the Bucks won the NBA championship.  (Fiserv.forum and the "Deer District" all are where the freeway used to be.)

I doubt you could find a dozen people who long for the days of the Park East Freeway, though a lot of people thought its removal would be a disaster at the time.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2022, 01:25:31 PM »

2. From what I can tell from their proposal, the affected area is just around 5th and Lake. So if they were to actually build this, we're talking about one mile becoming non-freeway. It's not like they're considering removing the freeway all the way out to US 2 (not that a few knuckleheads wouldn't support that, though), especially considering the multi-year rebuild of the interchange at I-535 now underway.


This is what I mean.  How is removing a mile or so of freeway "anti-car?"

Just remember who the audience here is, though. That's the answer. The usual "freeway good, all other considerations bad" are in this thread in all their various forms.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2022, 03:38:46 PM »

2. From what I can tell from their proposal, the affected area is just around 5th and Lake. So if they were to actually build this, we're talking about one mile becoming non-freeway. It's not like they're considering removing the freeway all the way out to US 2 (not that a few knuckleheads wouldn't support that, though), especially considering the multi-year rebuild of the interchange at I-535 now underway.


This is what I mean.  How is removing a mile or so of freeway "anti-car?"

All the same arguments in this thread were used years ago when Milwaukee removed the Park East Freeway, which was about a mile long.  How would cars get out of downtown?  This is going to make traffic worse elsewhere? 

It didn't do any of that.  It actually took down a barrier and created a nice new urban area that was prominently featured on television this past summer when the Bucks won the NBA championship.  (Fiserv.forum and the "Deer District" all are where the freeway used to be.)

I doubt you could find a dozen people who long for the days of the Park East Freeway, though a lot of people thought its removal would be a disaster at the time.
Unlike Milwaukee, this is the only N-S freeway in the area. What are the traffic counts here? Iíd bet a lot of people that use it do so as a bypass of downtown. Why slow traffic? How about capping more of it. Then you achieve the same thing by better connecting the downtown area to the waterfront.

But converting from a freeway to a boulevard is a downgrade and I absolutely view it as being anti car as other methods to achieve a win win situation exist. This isnít like 375 in Detroit. Iím not against all freeway removals. I am against removing a freeway using logic like ďah, itís only a mile.Ē
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JREwing78

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2022, 05:08:52 PM »

Unlike Milwaukee, this is the only N-S freeway in the area. What are the traffic counts here? Iíd bet a lot of people that use it do so as a bypass of downtown. Why slow traffic? How about capping more of it. Then you achieve the same thing by better connecting the downtown area to the waterfront.

But converting from a freeway to a boulevard is a downgrade and I absolutely view it as being anti car as other methods to achieve a win win situation exist. This isnít like 375 in Detroit. Iím not against all freeway removals. I am against removing a freeway using logic like ďah, itís only a mile.Ē

I agree - they can address the pedestrian access issue without completely scrapping what's there now. Besides the freeway, there's a rail line that goes up the shore that would not be easily replaced if they tear out what's there now. The NE-SW mobility needs along the I-35/Hwy 61 corridor don't require it to be freeway, but they already put a huge investment in pedestrian access to the lake just north of 5th and Lake. They just need to bring that south a bit.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2022, 06:17:57 PM »

I don't disagree that there are alternatives to the boulevard that can work for everybody.

1. Part of the urbanist proposal is converting the heavy rail line to light rail to make it easier to condense the transportation corridors together - this would not work, because that would cause serious issues for the wildly popular North Shore Scenic Railroad tourist trap.

2. Superior Street, Duluth's main street, runs parallel to I-35 just a block away. How would a no longer free-flowing 35 connect the boulevard to Superior without causing disruptions and backups for cars hopping between the two?
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2022, 07:20:28 PM »

Interstate 35 in Duluth should be left the way it is. About the only thing I would change would be to make the Can of Worms interchange a free-flow interchange in all directions, no more signaled intersections.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2022, 08:16:48 PM »

Interstate 35 in Duluth should be left the way it is. About the only thing I would change would be to make the Can of Worms interchange a free-flow interchange in all directions, no more signaled intersections.
I thought they are doing that?
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froggie

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2022, 09:32:18 AM »

^ They're not.  A signal will remain where the NB 35 to NB 53 ramp crosses the SB 53 mainline, but that signal has not been a significant issue.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2022, 02:36:05 PM »

^ They're not.  A signal will remain where the NB 35 to NB 53 ramp crosses the SB 53 mainline, but that signal has not been a significant issue.

The worst thing about the old stoplight was the sightlines. I remember having to wait for at least one clueless motorist to run their red at that light. Hopefully that improves in the rebuilt version.
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midwesternroadguy

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2022, 01:34:23 PM »

Unlike Milwaukee, this is the only N-S freeway in the area. What are the traffic counts here? Iíd bet a lot of people that use it do so as a bypass of downtown. Why slow traffic? How about capping more of it. Then you achieve the same thing by better connecting the downtown area to the waterfront.

But converting from a freeway to a boulevard is a downgrade and I absolutely view it as being anti car as other methods to achieve a win win situation exist. This isnít like 375 in Detroit. Iím not against all freeway removals. I am against removing a freeway using logic like ďah, itís only a mile.Ē

I agree - they can address the pedestrian access issue without completely scrapping what's there now. Besides the freeway, there's a rail line that goes up the shore that would not be easily replaced if they tear out what's there now. The NE-SW mobility needs along the I-35/Hwy 61 corridor don't require it to be freeway, but they already put a huge investment in pedestrian access to the lake just north of 5th and Lake. They just need to bring that south a bit.

People loved the caps built over I-35 near Fitgerís.  I agree, build a land bridge over the freeway at Canal Park. 

Crossing a six-lane urban boulevard at grade level as a pedestrian isnít that much better. 
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midwesternroadguy

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2022, 01:45:49 PM »

2. From what I can tell from their proposal, the affected area is just around 5th and Lake. So if they were to actually build this, we're talking about one mile becoming non-freeway. It's not like they're considering removing the freeway all the way out to US 2 (not that a few knuckleheads wouldn't support that, though), especially considering the multi-year rebuild of the interchange at I-535 now underway.


This is what I mean.  How is removing a mile or so of freeway "anti-car?"

All the same arguments in this thread were used years ago when Milwaukee removed the Park East Freeway, which was about a mile long.  How would cars get out of downtown?  This is going to make traffic worse elsewhere? 

It didn't do any of that.  It actually took down a barrier and created a nice new urban area that was prominently featured on television this past summer when the Bucks won the NBA championship.  (Fiserv.forum and the "Deer District" all are where the freeway used to be.)

I doubt you could find a dozen people who long for the days of the Park East Freeway, though a lot of people thought its removal would be a disaster at the time.
Unlike Milwaukee, this is the only N-S freeway in the area. What are the traffic counts here? I’d bet a lot of people that use it do so as a bypass of downtown. Why slow traffic? How about capping more of it. Then you achieve the same thing by better connecting the downtown area to the waterfront.

But converting from a freeway to a boulevard is a downgrade and I absolutely view it as being anti car as other methods to achieve a win win situation exist. This isn’t like 375 in Detroit. I’m not against all freeway removals. I am against removing a freeway using logic like “ah, it’s only a mile.”

The Park East makes a poor case study.  It was a stub freeway on both ends. It finally connected directly to Fond du Lac Avenue in the 80s, but the eastern end just died at the ramp termini at residential streets north of downtown.  It never comprised a downtown loop, and it was a freeway to nowhere.  When they razed it, it was just truncated 10 blocks farther west.  No major changes to circulation, no big deal. 

I-35 provides a significant through routing to the North Shore and Canada.  I say, it’s in place, removes a lot of congestion from downtown, and therefore leave it and build a land bridge over it at Canal Park.   And this comes from someone that supports many New Urbanist principles. 
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rte66man

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2022, 05:15:18 PM »

I-35 provides a significant through routing to the North Shore and Canada.  I say, itís in place, removes a lot of congestion from downtown, and therefore leave it and build a land bridge over it at Canal Park.   And this comes from someone that supports many New Urbanist principles. 

Not sure how you could do that given 35 is at ground level and the Transportation Center and parking ramp are nearly on top of 35.
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skluth

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2022, 05:48:49 PM »

I-35 provides a significant through routing to the North Shore and Canada.  I say, itís in place, removes a lot of congestion from downtown, and therefore leave it and build a land bridge over it at Canal Park.   And this comes from someone that supports many New Urbanist principles. 

Not sure how you could do that given 35 is at ground level and the Transportation Center and parking ramp are nearly on top of 35.
I can't see how to build one either. There's already a land bridge of sorts over I-35 at the east edge of Canal Park. Even if one is built between the Transit Center and parking structure across I-35 (replacing the current pedestrian crossing), it would need stairs and/or ramps on each side to connect to ground level.
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Lyon Wonder

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2022, 07:00:14 PM »

MN-61 might as well be renumbered as MN-35 since its southern end is at the north end of I-35 and I doubt US 53 will ever be fully upgraded to Interstate standards.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2022, 08:17:11 PM »

I-35 provides a significant through routing to the North Shore and Canada.  I say, itís in place, removes a lot of congestion from downtown, and therefore leave it and build a land bridge over it at Canal Park.   And this comes from someone that supports many New Urbanist principles. 

Not sure how you could do that given 35 is at ground level and the Transportation Center and parking ramp are nearly on top of 35.
I can't see how to build one either. There's already a land bridge of sorts over I-35 at the east edge of Canal Park. Even if one is built between the Transit Center and parking structure across I-35 (replacing the current pedestrian crossing), it would need stairs and/or ramps on each side to connect to ground level.

I think an option in the middle could be taking out the last block of 1st Avenue West between Michigan and Superior and putting the ped bridge across I-35 there. The parking lot on the southwest side of the plant is city-owned already. It takes you from the heart of downtown right to the heart of Canal. It's probably too perfect to work.

MN-61 might as well be renumbered as MN-35 since its southern end is at the north end of I-35 and I doubt US 53 will ever be fully upgraded to Interstate standards.

What tangible benefits would come by doing this?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2022, 08:20:45 PM by TheHighwayMan394 »
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Rothman

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Re: Future of I-35 in Duluth, MN
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2022, 08:37:07 AM »

Unlike Milwaukee, this is the only N-S freeway in the area. What are the traffic counts here? Iíd bet a lot of people that use it do so as a bypass of downtown. Why slow traffic? How about capping more of it. Then you achieve the same thing by better connecting the downtown area to the waterfront.

But converting from a freeway to a boulevard is a downgrade and I absolutely view it as being anti car as other methods to achieve a win win situation exist. This isnít like 375 in Detroit. Iím not against all freeway removals. I am against removing a freeway using logic like ďah, itís only a mile.Ē

I agree - they can address the pedestrian access issue without completely scrapping what's there now. Besides the freeway, there's a rail line that goes up the shore that would not be easily replaced if they tear out what's there now. The NE-SW mobility needs along the I-35/Hwy 61 corridor don't require it to be freeway, but they already put a huge investment in pedestrian access to the lake just north of 5th and Lake. They just need to bring that south a bit.

People loved the caps built over I-35 near Fitgerís.  I agree, build a land bridge over the freeway at Canal Park. 

Crossing a six-lane urban boulevard at grade level as a pedestrian isnít that much better.
I got a big gift card to Fitger's from my boss as a token of appreciation one year...
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