Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hennepin Ave Two-Way

A public meeting will be held next Wednesday, October 8, 5-6pm at the Central Library to discuss the upcoming conversion of Hennepin Ave and 1st Ave N from one-way to two-way. This discussion will focus primarily on options for retaining the bike lane and options for providing for left turns.

I'm very interested in increasing the safety of this corridor (one of the most-used bike corridors in the state). I am very resistant to placing the bike lanes in the middle of the road on Hennepin, one of the options being explored. I'll would like to see some of the of treatments that the Council directed staff to explore when we passed the Downtown Transportation Action Plan, including traffic lights with bike signalization. There is an abundance of great ideas we can look at, including the Copenhagen Model (for more also look here). Some we should also explore inlcude "bike boxes," painted bike-only spaces near crosswalks that help cyclists safely make turns, and bus unloading zones that do not interfere with bike lanes. If you've got ideas for how Hennepin and First can work best, please make sure to attend the meeting next Wednesday.


At 4:48 AM, Blogger Martin Cassini said...

(From the UK.) I'm not familiar with the location, but generally, what makes roads dangerous in the first place is the rule of main road priority. It confers unequal rights on different road-users, and produces a "need" for lights - to break the priority streams of traffic so that others can cross in relative (but not guaranteed) safety. Remove priority, and you remove the "need" for lights and the need for speed, enabling everyone to merge in a merry mix. Some re-education and sympathetic street re-design might help, though in my experience, when lights are out of action, courtesy flourishes spontaneously, and congestion dissolves. More at

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Urbanopolis said...

Re: martni cassini

Not in the Twin Cities! Where people like driving just as much as bicycles. Overstating safety is very necessary because courtesy rarely comes between cars let alone cars and other vehicles/pedestrians.

But to address the post itself, I am also not in favor of the Hennepin Avenue two-way. For years, people have used alternatives to get south of downtown from Nordeast. When it does become available, it will be used! And with a healthy Mills District population that didn't exist before, I imagine traffic patterns will align toward Hennepin Avenue. While this might sound like an economic spur to the street, you certainly will not capture many cars stopping along the way considering that parking is nearly forbidden north of Hennepin Avenue. I doubt parking rules will be relaxed and people already recognize the "club area" as not one where you park in but park far away and walk into. As such it will just become more of a mess of stop and go traffic that will make the area less desirable pedestrian wise.


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