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Frequently Asked Questions

> What is an Alternatives Analysis?

> What is the Midtown Corridor study area?

> What modes and alignments will be studied in the AA?

> What is the expected outcome of the AA?

> What is the schedule for the AA and when will the locally preferred alternative (LPA) be decided?

> How can I be involved in the AA process?

> When will we see new transit or construction in the area, and how long could construction take?

> What right of way/property impacts may occur from a new transitway?

> How much could a new transit alternative cost?

> How is noise and/or vibration of a potential transit alternative being considered as part of the AA process?

> Will parking on Lake Street be affected by a new transit alternative?

> What are the current plans for opening Nicollet Avenue?

 

What is an Alternatives Analysis?

  • An Alternative Analysis (AA) is a planning study that follows Federal Transit Administration guidelines to develop and evaluate transit alternatives. An AA analyzes the benefits, cost and impacts associated with various transit alternatives. Top

What is the Midtown Corridor study area?

  • The Midtown Corridor runs about 4.4 miles between the Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT) Lake Street/Midtown Station and the future Green Line (Southwest LRT) West Lake Station. See the corridor mapTop

What modes and alignments will be studied in the AA?

  • The modes to be evaluated in the AA include bus, street car, bus rapid transit (BRT) and light rail transit (LRT). The two alignments being studied are Lake Street and the Midtown Greenway in south Minneapolis. Top

What is the expected outcome of the study?

  • The AA will result in the selection of an alternative that best meets the transportation needs of the local community in terms of technical feasibility, costs and benefits. This is often called the locally preferred alternative, or LPA. Top

What is the schedule for the AA and when will the locally preferred alternative (LPA) be decided?

  • The Midtown Corridor AA began in fall 2012 and includes various stages, such as:
      1. Determining a clear purpose and need, and goals and objectives of the project
      2. Evaluating the various alternatives
      3. Presenting the draft alternatives
      4. Selecting a locally preferred alternative
  • The AA is expected to be completed and a LPA selected by early 2014. See project scheduleTop

How can I be involved in the AA process?

  • There are many ways to get involved in the Midtown Corridor AA project:

Check the project website. The site will be updated throughout the process as new information becomes available and public meetings are scheduled.

Sign up for email updates. You can sign up to receive email updates such as upcoming public open houses and project milestones. To sign up, send an email to midtown@metrotransit.org.

Attend an open house. Several public open houses will be held throughout the course of the Alternatives Analysis process. Information about upcoming open houses will be posted in advance on the project website and sent out to those signed up for project emails. See meeting schedule.

Contact the project team. If you have comments or questions, contact Michael Mechtenberg, Metro Transit Project Manager, midtown@metrotransit.org. Top

When will we see new transit or construction in the area, and how long could construction take?

  • The timeline for implementing a preferred transit alternative could vary depending on which alternative is selected, available funding, potential preparation work, etc. An exact timeframe for when the Midtown Corridor may have a new transit mode is unknown, but the current AA process will help determine the feasibility of alignment and mode.  Top

What right-of-way/property impacts may occur from a new transitway?

  • Potential right-of-way impacts will differ for each alternative; an LRT, a street car or BRT bus alternative would all have different potential right of way needs. An estimate of potential right of way impacts will be developed for the various alternatives and included in the final report.  Top

How much could a new transit alternative cost?

  • The overall capital cost of constructing a transit alternative depends on a variety of factors, such as corridor improvements, stations, vehicles, right-of-way as well as soft costs which include things such as engineering, construction administration and insurance. In addition to estimating the cost of constructing an alternative, costs will be developed to estimate how much it will be to operate and maintain an alternative. Both capital and operations and maintenance cost estimates will be prepared for each alternative as part of this AA.  Top

How is noise and/or vibration of a potential transit alternative being considered as part of the AA process?

  • The level of environmental review to be completed during this AA is a high level analysis to help identify critical areas of concern to avoid during the alternative development process. During this exercise, land uses which are sensitive to noise and/or vibration will be identified. Once an LPA is selected, a more detailed environmental study will be completed which will identify any adverse impacts due to noise and/or vibration.  Top

Will parking on Lake Street be affected by a new transit alternative?

  • Impacts to current traffic and parking on Lake Street, as well as to bicyclists and pedestrians on the Midtown Greenway trail, are important community considerations and will differ depending on the alternative selected. Traffic modeling and simulations will be prepared and included during the AA, and discussed with community representatives and at project open houses for public input.  Top

What are the current plans for opening Nicollet Avenue?

  • It’s anticipated that Nicollet Avenue will be reconnected between Lake Street and 28th Street in the future. An exact date is unknown, but the City of Minneapolis recently began a Nicollet-Central Transit Alternatives Project to help determine a long-range vision for the corridor. Visit the project website for more information.   Top

 

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