Hopkins is fortunate enough to not have too many Southwest Light Rail Transit road crossings on heavily trafficked roads. But Mayor Gene Maxwell wondered if there could be problems in one location: the crossing at Fifth Avenue and Excelsior Boulevard.
On Tuesday, Maxwell questioned whether trucks would back up as they entered and exited the Supervalu warehouse—especially when additional development adds to the traffic.
Hopkins City Engineer John Bradford and Southwest LRT planners walked the council through the math:
- There will be 200 to 220 light rail trains per day.
- That means a train will arrive at the Downtown Station every seven minutes at peak times.
- Trains will take about 20 to 30 seconds to clear the station.
- Trains will be about 270 feet long, a fraction of the length of a freight train.
Light rail clearly won’t hurt Excelsior traffic since it drivers can continue to move along even when train cross Fifth Avenue. And it should also leave a good amount of time for Fifth Avenue drivers to move through the intersection. The key, Bradford said, will be syncing the lights.