Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, images are screen grabs from www.metrotransit.org.
One of the common refrains we've heard about locating the Hennepin County Hub on West Broadway is that this particular location will make it easier for clients, many of whom use public transit, to get to. So I thought I'd examine whether or not that was really true. The first thing that one notices when looking at our bus routes is that virtually all of the bus routes wind up downtown. Only two, the 5 and the 14, arrive within easy walking distance of Broadway and Girard. So from the standpoint of routes that involve fewer transfers, it would actually be MORE convenient for such a development to be located downtown.
What about time? Can riders get from various points in NoMi to Broadway/Girard faster than they can get to Century Plaza downtown?
From the farthest northwest corner of NoMi, at 53rd and Xerxes, hopping on the #5 will get you downtown in 33 minutes, or to Broadway and Girard in 16. Let's venture farther east, closer to a different line, the 22. From 53rd and Logan, it takes 32 minutes to get to Century Plaza, and only 28 to get to Broadway and Girard. The downtown route requires several blocks of walking, but the Broadway destination has a transfer as part of the trip. Miss your transfer, and it will take at least another 15 to get to your destination.
If our service seeker starts farther south at Penn and 34th, he can get to Century Plaza in 23 minutes on one route, with .4 miles of walking. Seventeen minutes and a transfer gets him to Broadway and Girard.
Once someone gets between about 26th Avenue and Plymouth, the 5 and 19 will take riders to Broadway and Girard about 15 minutes faster than to downtown, with the caveat that the 19 will require a transfer.
From just about anywhere south of Highway 55, riders get downtown between two and fifteen minutes faster than they get to the proposed Hub site. And many of the routes to the Hub from there require an additional transfer. For much of north Minneapolis, there is little benefit to the Hub's proposed location in comparison to downtown, and in some areas its location is actually less convenient.
Is this a good enough reason to spend $10 million to rush an ill-conceived project through? I think not.