Met Council Ignores Tunnel Drama, Presents SWLRT Bridge Designs

Categories: Transportation

Met Council
Top right: The channel as it is today. Other three presented as future options. Click for a bigger view.

The Met Council is not taking the Minneapolis Park Board's increasingly loud requests to send Southwest Light Rail trains underneath the Kenilworth Channel very seriously.

Yesterday it released three potential designs of a new bridge spanning the channel between Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake, despite the Park Board's recent decision to drop $245,500 on a study looking at whether a tunnel is feasible there.

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Al Franken Grills Uber Over Privacy Policy

Uber Press Kit
Uber stores data about where you've been and Senator Franken wants to know why

Sen. Al Franken wants some answers from Uber after a BuzzFeed story quoted one of Uber's top executives suggesting the company should dig up dirt on journalists critical of the company.

Franken, the chair of a Senate subcommittee on privacy and technology, sent a letter to Uber's CEO yesterday asking 10 pointed questions about Uber's privacy policy.

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Mpls Approves Lyft/UberX Regulations; Blong Yang Casts Sole 'Nay' Vote

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Minneapolis Cracks Down on Pedicabs

Twin Town Pedicab
Minneapolis is trying to curb crazy pedicab drivers

Any time there's an event in downtown Minneapolis, traffic turns into an impatient mess of cars, buses, taxis, light rail, semis, bikes, and pedestrians all jostling for position so they can blow through the next yellow light on the way to (or away from) the action.

Now the city is trying to rein in perhaps the most unwieldy combatant in the traffic jam ecosystem: the pedicab.

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How was Metro Transit Bus Service During Winter's First Storm? [GRAPH]

Ben Johnson
A look at Metro Transit's bus service during the winter's first storm (No data available at 9:00)

Most of the metro didn't get nearly the 6-15 inches of snow the weather terrorists meteorologists said we were getting yesterday, but that didn't stop the roads from freezing and turning traffic into the crawling hellscape we've come to expect every winter.

We know the agony of waiting at a bus stop, late and cold, wondering when (or if) your ride will ever show up. Here's a graph made using Metro Transit's frequent social media updates showing it pays to hop out of bed and get going early. (Or just hit the snooze and take a half day.)

See also: Jason DeRusha offers perfect comeback to Dan Barreiro's gripe about Snownami coverage

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CNN Says Twin Cities "Got Transit Right" with Green Line

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Michael Hicks
A Green Line train rolls through the U of M campus.
A CNN Money piece gives the Twin Cities props for getting transit right with the Green Line.

"Big projects often divide cities," the article notes. "But Minneapolis' light rail line is creating jobs and driving development in underserved areas." (The line serves St. Paul as well, of course, so CNN's way of putting things in the second sentence isn't quite right.)

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Anti-LRT protest on Green Line's opening day was a bust

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Metro Transit Offers Possible Explanation for Green Line Train "Running Red"

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Shortly after this still, the train passed through the intersection while another car with a green light waited precariously for it to get through.
Yesterday, we shared the answers Metro Transit gave us to questions raised by a video that appears to show a Green Line train blowing through a red traffic signal immediately after almost hitting a vehicle that was passing through the intersection with a green light.

One of the responses, however, raised another glaring question.

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Metro Transit Answers Questions About Video of Green Line Train "Running Red Light"

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Photo via Laura Baenen
A Green Line train in St. Paul near the Fairview Avenue stop.
:::: UPDATE :::: Metro Transit Offers Possible Explanation for Green Line Train "Running Red"

A couple days ago we featured video of a Green Line train that appeared just about poised to hit a vehicle passing through an intersection with a green light.

The clip raises questions about how train operators, um, conduct themselves as they navigate alongside automobile traffic on busy University Avenue, so we asked Metro Transit a bunch of questions on the topic. Yesterday, spokesperson Drew Kerr got back to us with some answers.

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Anti-LRT protest along Green Line was a bust

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Video Appears to Show Green Line Train Running Red Light, Nearly Hitting Vehicle

:::: UPDATE :::: Metro Transit Answers Questions About Video of Green Line Train "Running Red Light"

There have been at least 13 car-involved Green Line accidents since the service opened in June, and in typical cases, train operators haven't been at fault.

But a video shot in Prospect Park on September 29 and posted to YouTube by Critical Minneapolis appears to show a Green Line train blow through a red traffic signal immediately after almost hitting a vehicle that was passing through the intersection with a green light.

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Green Line Set to Push Twin Cities up Transit System Rankings

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Mass Transit Study Ranks Twin Cities 13th, but Doesn't Include Green Line [MAP]

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Michael Hicks
The Green Line has benefits that go beyond the line itself, a transportation expert says.
A new University of Minnesota study looking at the number of jobs accessible by transit in 46 of America's largest metros ranks the Twin Cities 13th, but it doesn't account for the Green Line, Andrew Owen, director of the U's Accessibility Observatory and lead researcher for the project, tells us.

"All of the data across all the cities [comes from] January 29 or as close to it as possible, so it doesn't include the Green Line," he says. "Within the next month we're preparing to release a report that compares the accessibility data in the current report with a new calculation that includes the Green Line, a map that shows where and by how accessibility was changed as a result of the Green Line, and supporting bus schedule changes."

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Green Line construction didn't scare businesses from Central Corridor -- quite the opposite

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Minneapolis-Based JPods to Test Solar-Powered Commuting System

Categories: Transportation
This rendering gives you an idea of how the JPods concept would work in the suburban Twin Cities.
A Minneapolis-based company called JPods will soon be testing a futuristic solar-powered transit system in the New York City suburb of Secaucus, New Jersey.

The company's founder, Bill James, describes his concept as "a way to make our cities independent of foreign oil."

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Mpls approves Southwest LRT, paving way for legislature to wrangle over funding

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