In a one-way presentation on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, city staff acknowledged that there are competing desires for S. Hennepin Ave., and they can’t all be addressed in the final plan.
In the comments made so far, some want support for better bike lanes. Other are concerned there isn’t enough on-street parking. There is support for bus-only lanes. People are concerned about traffic congestion on Hennepin Ave. and also on neighboring streets. There is interest in pedestrian-friendly streets with greening, sidewalk cafes, and sustainable stormwater features. Some have asked that the project be delayed.
“There is a finite amount of space,” stated city senior transportation planner Becca Hughes.
The proposed plan removes 92% of parking, dropping 311 existing spots down to 20 parking/loading spaces. Meters will be added to encourage turnover. It designates 24/7 bus-only lanes and leaves one lane for vehicles in each direction instead of the two that are there now. It narrows vehicle lanes so that the crossing distance drops from 60 feet to between 50-54 for pedestrians and bikers.
Medians will be installed to restrict left turns at all intersections except 22nd, 24th, 26th and 28th. Left turns will be restricted at most signals from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Seven driveways will be closed.
Sidewalks ranging from six to eight feet will be added on both sides of the roadway, along with bike-only lanes that are eight to 10-feet wide on the east side.
City staff pointed out that Hennepin Ave. is on the city’s high injury network, and pedestrians and bicyclists are over-represented in crashes. It is also on the city’s pedestrian priority network.
About 200 people attended a virtual open house. City staff gave a presentation, and then picked questions to answer from those submitted anonymously directly to them. Attendees could not see who else was in attendance or hear their statements. There was no chat feature.
City staff observed that this plan follows the city’s transportation action plan which prioritizes transit options over parking, increases transit reliability, and encourages people to use transit. Additionally, “This is an important bicycle corridor in the city,” said Hughes.
“There’s a lot of competition for space.”
Learn more about the project details at www.swconnector.com.
* Editor's note: Our print publication erroneously refered to this as the E. Hennepin Ave. project.
1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 Report this