The Hennepin Avenue-Lyndale Avenue commons area in front of the Walker Arts Center is being reconstructed in 2015. This is a great opportunity to make big improvements in the area. Our priorities for the project are:
Separate the walking and biking areas along the Loring Bikeway. The protected bikeway here is uncomfortable and risky for people walking and biking. Providing a separating sidewalk would greatly improve that. We also hope to see a green buffer between the street and the bikeway/sidewalk area.
Improve intersections along the Loring Bikeway for safety and ease of use and improve the access to Loring Park paths for people walking and biking.
Eliminate the bike lane gaps on Oak Grove/Vineland as it approaches and crosses Hennepin/Lyndale.
Add a new protected bike connection in front of the Sculpture Garden to connect a hopefully future Dunwoody/Van White Blvd protected bikeway with the Loring Bikeway.
Re-time the light at Loring Bikeway and I-94 exit ramp to provide more green time for people walking and biking.
Add buffered bike lanes on Hennepin from Oak Grove to downtown where buffered bike lanes start.
You can see these bike priorities on a map here.
We are also very supportive of walking, transit access, greening, and other neighborhood priorities for this project. There are many opportunities beyond biking for this project and many are critically important. These include narrowing crossing distances, making it a more neighborhood--rather than freeway--scale, adding greening and/or public art, adding a crosswalk on the northside of Groveland intersection, improving bus stops, and more.
We are glad to be part of a community task force that includes the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association, Citizens for a Loring Park Community, Downtown Council, Walker Art Center, and key churches and residences in the area. This task force has offered a vision for improvements and worked with staff to see good ideas added to the project.
Good News--Improvements Gaining Traction
For those that attended a public meeting in March, you know that it didn't seem that walking, biking, and community improvements were a priority for this project. Mostly the message was that it was about fixing the pavement. The comments and feedback from many people has helped shift that. Staff now seems likely to recommend addressing many community priorities for the area.
Improvements being actively discussed in plans include:
Separate the walking and biking areas along the Loring Bikeway.
Improve intersections along the Loring Bikeway.
Eliminate the bike lane gaps on Oak Grove/Vineland.
Add buffered bike lanes on Hennepin from Oak Grove to downtown.
New green space and significant improvements for pedestrians.
A key part of this will be eliminating a northbound lane through the project. Staff seem confident that it can be done with little or no impact to traffic. The community task force and Bicycle and Pedstrian Advisory Cmtes have also asked for more details on the potential to remove a southbound lane. Traffic details have not been made available for that yet.
Come to Public Meeting August 4
Monday, August 4, 2014
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
This is a critical public meeting. Please come and offer support for these biking, walking, and community improvements.
More details on the project will be available at: http://www.hennepinlyndaleproject.com/
You can also email the local City Council Members to offer your support for walking and biking improvements:
Council Member Lisa Goodman: email@example.com
Council Member Lisa Bender: firstname.lastname@example.org