26th and 28th Streets in South Minneapolis are currently being discussed for long-needed neighborhood, walking, and biking improvements. They have the worst and 4th worst bicycle crash rates in Minneapolis, have serious walking safety problems too, and detract from the neighborhoods they run through at high speeds.
A first public meeting was held July 14 and lots of good ideas are starting to emerge. One we are especially intrigued with is the idea of a two-way protected bike lane on 26th Street along with traffic calming, and pedestrian improvements. 28th Street can likely easily accomodate a one-way bike lane as well, which would also help.
There is a good summary at streets.mn of this idea.
A two-way protected bike lane on 26th would:
provide a safe and comfortable connection to the local destinations in the area. Many bike trips--and potential bike trips--in this area are short jaunts to a lunch spot, school, or park. There is a lot of sidewalk riding right now and a lot of wrong way sidewalk riding.
calm traffic significantly by narrowing/reducing lanes to a more reasonable size.
Implementing a two-way protected bike lane on 26th would require removing one lane of traffic from Hiawatha to Blaisdell (where there are currently 3 lanes) and removing parking from one side of the street from Blaisdell to at least Aldrich. City staff have indicated that removing a lane of traffic seems feasible--and certainly would make these streets better neighbors! Volunteers will be out talking to people in Whittier about the potential parking removal--we hope to build enough support to make that happen. The cost of implementing a two-way protected bike lane is certainly feasible. Staff estimate that it would cost about $10,000 per stop light to support that with bicycle signals. Signage and bollards/planters should be within budget as well.
City staff and consultants are studying a variety of options based on initial feedback and will present more details at the second public Open House. Those options will include one-way and two-way protected bike lanes. We hope you will come and offer your support. If you are interested in helping with outreach around 26th and 28th Streets, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll connect you with the volunteer team led by Nicole. They are planning outreach and several neighborhood events coming up in the next few weeks.
26th and 28th Street Public Meeting #2
Wednesday, August 6
American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave. S.