Solid Steps Toward a Safer Intersection Reconstruction

If you have been following our work in the past few months, you are aware that we have been doing extra engagement and work around the Franklin/ Cedar/Minnehaha intersection redesign. The intersection is currently the second most dangerous in the City of Minneapolis and stands to have more than two and half times the “critical rate” of accidents.

Public engagement by various organizations around this intersection redesign has been going on for well over 15 years- preliminary plans, public meetings, Open Streets discussions, surveys, and more. Finally! A relatively victorious conclusion for bikers, pedestrians, and drivers has been reached. Many thanks to Hennepin County for holding public meetings; and to community members, local business owners, and other stakeholders for attending the most recent meetings, giving feedback, and passing a resolution for a better intersection!

You may have read our blog on the Coalition’s recommendations and additions for a safer plan (if you haven't check it out here), and attended one or several meetings. On February 9th, the Seward Neighborhood Group Community Development Committee met with county staff, including Bob Byers and Kelley Yemen, to move the project forward into a final vote. With over 50 people present at the meeting, the project passed with an overwhelming 99.9%! We are excited with the current additions, future additions, and can’t wait to see the finished product hopefully later in 2016. The Seward Neighborhood Group Community Development Committee passed the project with the following suggestions:

These components should be in the project when built:

  • Stop signs on 21st, 22nd and 23rd Avenues at 22nd Street are turned or added so that the Avenues must stop at 22nd Street

  • Add temporary curb bump-outs using plastic bollards at 21st and Minnehaha, 21st and 22nd Street, 21st and Franklin, 22nd and 24th Street, 22nd and 22nd Street and 22nd Street and Franklin

  • Convert “old 20th Avenue" North of Franklin and South 9th Street between 20th and 21st Avenues to two way

  • Traffic counts on all the streets and avenues around the intersection prior to the project (including old 20th Avenue, South 9th Street, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Avenues south of Franklin, 24th Street east of Minnehaha, 22nd Street east and west of Minnehaha)

  • Monitor traffic on and performance of new 22nd Street, 21st Avenue and 22nd Avenue

  • The curb radiuses are increased on 22nd Street at Cedar

  • Add painted crosswalks on 22nd Street at Cedar, on Minnehaha at Franklin, and at 22nd Street

  • Very good way-finding signs for directing traffic to southbound Minnehaha from Franklin and Cedar and to Franklin and Cedar from northbound Minnehaha

  • Significantly reduce the two-lane portion (even during rush hour) of Franklin west of Cedar

  • Limit bus storage on Franklin at the LRT station to 100 feet on each side

  • Curb bump-outs at the pedestrian crossing at the LRT station

  • Include the modification of Minnehaha at Franklin to reduce pedestrian crossing distance and have Minnehaha enter Franklin at 90 degrees

  • Shorten the two-lane portion of West-bound Franklin to eliminate the “double threat” for pedestrians at Minnehaha and old 20th

Longer-term projects:

  • Consider yellow flashing pedestrian crossing lights at the Franklin LRT crosswalk

  • Add a protected bikeway, above the curb on the east side of Cedar between Franklin and 22nd Street

  • Tabling the intersection of Minnehaha at Franklin for the bike crossing to the combined bike/pedestrian facility south of Franklin between Cedar and Minnehaha

  • Enlarge the median at Minnehaha on Franklin to provide “safe refuge” for pedestrians

  • Re-construct 21st Avenue at Minnehaha to make the intersection 90 degrees, creating a dogleg on 21st Avenue

  • Permanent curb bump-outs on 21st and 22nd Avenues

Many thanks to our partners at Cycles for Change, Seward Redesign, and the Sierra Club for supporting and uplifting community voices and promoting positive, safe change. Thank you to everyone who came out to meetings, door knocked, engaged with their neighbors, and gave their input! It’s time to celebrate a solid step to a safer intersection redesign for everyone.

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