Road Diet for University Avenue along Central Corridor


Two lane alternative

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The Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition requests that the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) and the Metropolitan Council reexamine the current street programming plan for University Avenue post-light rail transit construction. The current plan calls for two vehicle travel lanes in each direction (four total travel lanes). A review would examine the benefits of having a single vehicle travel lane in each direction, a parking lane with bus pull-outs and right turn lanes, and a bike lane. The Avenue's planned minimum width of 25'would permit an 11' travel lane, 8' parking lane and 6' bike or buffer lane, creating a "Complete Street" to accommodate all modes of transportation. We request that the FTA and MET Council restudy and commit to at least try this programming configuration when the LRT project is completed. We are not suggesting any physical street design changes but only changes in how the avenue is striped and programmed.

Comment: If The Twin Cities were serious about making the Central Corridor work as a transit-oriented area, it would do this. The extra capacity is only needed at intersections (where it would be available), but not on the linehauls. University Avenue vehicle traffic is approximately the same as it was 60 years ago (pre-interstate) ! See the traffic flow maps from City of Minneapolis, In 1954, University Ave had an AADT of 21,306 at the city line with St. Paul, vs. 21,200 at 27th Avenue in 2005. That is 2 way traffic. If the peak hour is 10% of daily, this is 2120 peak hour flow, which is 1060 in each direction (probably more in the peak direction. In any case, well below the per lane capacity on an arterial aside from the intersections. If the intersections flare out as proposed, the capacity should be sufficient with 1 lane in both directions in most places.

(Via Twin Cities Streets for People.)


Still a bit on the high side for a 2-lane facility, even with turn lanes at intersections. Plus 2009 volumes at the city line are 24,200, and there's one segment near Raymond that's at 27,000. Given past planning/precedent for "4-to-3 road diets", you could only really do this between Cleveland and Hamline.

"Road diet", huh. Induced congestion is not a fashionable term, I see.

David Levinson

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on April 15, 2011 7:18 AM.

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