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Model Details - Part 2

January 19, 2008 8:31 PM

The second in a series of model photos. These feature the interaction of the ballpark with train tracks, and include some cool model trains! (Click on any image for a much larger version.)

Trains intersect

This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.


LRT configuration

This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.


Northstar configuration

This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.


Train stations

A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.


HERC side promenade

This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.


Looking north

Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.


VIP entrance

I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.

And, again, here are a couple of construction photos for context...

This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.


This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.

In case you can't tell, I think trains like Northstar are a huge part of the future of transportation in this region and in this country. The goal is not to force people out of their cars, but simply make it possible. Why anyone would not want to do that is beyond me -- regardless of cost.

Let me take this moment to offer a few words about the Dan Patch corridor which would run from Northfield to downtown Minneapolis (ending at the ballpark site). A few years ago some looney legislators got a bill through the Legislature to ban all future work on this particular route. In fact, the wording is such that no one is even supposed to ever mention this corridor again. Why, you ask? Because they were convinced that if anyone even so much as whispered the name of this corridor again there would never be another dollar spent on a single road between here and there.

I said they were looney.

I mention it here to make sure that as many people as possible know that not only does this corridor exist in the early plans, but it would be a fantastic way to take some pressure off of I-35, I-494, Highway 169, Highway 100, I-394, Highway 7 -- I could go on.

And I'll even go so far as to predict here and now that this route will be built one day -- probably long after those particular legislators (who represented the very districts which would benefit most from this project), and maybe all of us, are long dead. And it will be built last of all the routes. And the people will be screaming for it as they see the success of the other routes which were not blackballed. And they won't care how much it costs, but it will cost 100 times the first estimates because of the delay. And they will rue the day that bill was passed into law.

OK, I'm a little bitter about legislators who stand boldly in the way of guaranteed progress.

My wife thinks I'm a little crazy, but I also believe that personal aircraft will be a big part of the future (some people agree), as well as those nifty Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems you may have seen demonstrated at the State Fair a couple of years ago.

I'm a little more skeptical of Minneapolis' streetcar dreams. I like the idea, but after reading Twin Cities By Trolley -- a wonderful book by the way -- I think people may romanticize trolleys a little too much. It sounds like they were sort of in the way once horses gave way to autos. That's something the city will have to solve before building these.

As you can tell, I love to dream about transportation in the future. And I can't tell you how pleased I am that our new ballpark will sit at such an important crossroads.

Tomorrow we'll look at another aspect to the ballpark that many people feel passionate about: the configuration of the main grandstand and the outfield stands.

Comments


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in the first picture, it looks like the cedar lake trail will to the inside of the railroad tracks as well - meaning it will be quite the tunnel under the ballpark to get the trail thru the rest of the way to the river.

i wonder where the bike racks will be...

Posted on January 19, 2008 at 11:52 PM by barryS Highlight this comment 1

Rick - I too am a bit of a "nerd" when it comes to transportation issues (especially in regards to mass transit) in the Minneapolis metro region, so I understand completely where you are coming from here and how cool it is that the new Twins ballpark is kind of at the epicenter of a lot of it. Both current transit projects, that being built, and that which I agree we will see in the future.

That is so long as we keep mindless, nut-job, anti-transit types (I think one can appropriately call them anti-progress, anti-future, anti-growth, or simply stupid) like Marty Seifert (R-Marshall) out of the Minnesota legislature. Man, is that guy an embarrassment to the city from which he hails. Some of the crap that comes out of his mouth regarding the Minneapolis metro region & transit is just plain ridiculous and asinine.

Posted on January 20, 2008 at 12:14 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 2

Having reviewed the floor plans for the lower lever of the park, I don't recall a gate for this level. Interesting find.

Posted on January 20, 2008 at 08:22 AM by Pikachu732001 Highlight this comment 3

Great stuff Rick. We ask and you deliver. These images of the park's connection to the transit elements havn't appeared in the local media. I think the buzz on this stadium is going to be huge as we approach its opening. It looks like that good. The site's characteristics motivated all parties, but most importantly HOK to deliver something unique.

Posted on January 20, 2008 at 11:51 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 4

I've been working on transit up at the legislature for over four years. On my own time and my own dime.

Everyone should be aware that anti-transit types use PRT as a diversion to take effort away from proven technology. Michelle Bachmann was a big PRT supporter.

They support it because they know it will never happen. The software complexity alone is astronomical. We have proven rail and bus technology today that we know works extremely well. We need to concentrate our efforts there.

This session is going to be make-or-break for transportation. The best thing you can do today is call up your legislator and ask for two things:

- A veto override vote on last session's transportation bill, which was very, very good.

- A balanced transportation bill, including a gas tax increase for roads and a half-cent metro sales tax for transit and some metro roads projects.

If a veto override doesn't happen, there will be legislators who will try to cut transit out of the picture to get something passed. We cannot allow that to happen. We need more than token support for transit in our region.

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 11:33 AM by David Highlight this comment 5

David,

Thanks for the insightful comment. I certainly hate to see Michelle Bachman's name attached to anything! She's the quintessential political hack.

I view PRT, like personal aircraft, as probably decades away, but so potentially game-changing that it needs to be taken seriously. It's a real shame if it's just being used as a pawn in some stupid political game.

My legislators have strong support for the veto override and gas tax increase, so I'm good there. But everyone else should follow David's advice and get on the phone!

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 12:11 PM by Rick 6

Rick,

Your legislators may support a veto override but what you need to tell them is that you want an override attempt on the bill passed last spring. Right now, Speaker Kelliher is leaning against attempting an override. She needs to hear from members of the House that they want the attempt made.

Thanks everyone for your help and support.

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 1:11 PM by David Highlight this comment 7

If you had ever commuted by rail for any period of time you wouldn't be so enthusiastic about it.

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 8:00 PM by John Highlight this comment 8

John,

I have extensive experience with commuter rail in both Chicago and Boston. It's not for everyone, but some people find it preferable to the equivalent commute by car.

The goal is just to give people transportation options. There's a portion of the population for whom that would work well, and that leaves more room on the roads for those without that option (or preference).

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 9:40 PM by Rick 9

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The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)



To the left, out of view, was a row of guys in very nice suits. Most I did not recognize.









"Hey, Ma, it says here we go in at gate 34. Must be all the way around on the other side!" Seriously, though, this is a really inspired idea.



Name that ballpark









The pink thing is a mascot. (Actually, with a damn fine mascot actor underneath.)



Section 331, Row 9






The equivalent spot on the model.



The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)



The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.



Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P



Click to enlarge






Dan Kenney provided this alternate shot of a walkway behind the view level



Wanda's view!



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I never think of Rod Carew as a first baseman. But he was.



As mentioned earlier, one of the best climate-controlled views of construction is from the 7th floor elevator lobby in the A ramp. (That's Noah getting his first glimpse of the new ballpark.)



September 23, 2007



Selling exactly what they say they're selling.



Party deck






Yankee Stadium









A classic profile on the horizon









Seating mound (seen from the B ramp)



Glass!



Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)



Dugout Dog



You'll be able to park here for a quick stop at the Pro Shop or ticket window.






Click to enlarge greatly.



Desolate. Dirty. Mysterious. Expensive. Unlikely.









The proposed wooden screen covering the circulation ramp on Fifth Street (at left is the equivalent screen on Seventh Street).






Above the Carew gate



The finished product.



Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.



Bassett Creek's original path (Source: Metropolitan Design Center)






Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.


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BPM - Ballpark Magic

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DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

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HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

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