Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Oreos&Milk
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby Oreos&Milk » November 12th, 2018, 7:56 pm

I'd still like to see mid-block crosswalks. When developers build these new downtown mega projects they include things like this which existing downtowns largely refuse. Developers know that you need narrow streets, lots of marked crosswalks, and low speeds (the street below is posted at 25 MPH) and they get it done their way and the city stands back and let's them. So why doesn't the city of Minneapolis do what the Columbus suburb of Dublin has?


https://goo.gl/maps/mzxPFGPqQQm
..but we do have mid block crossings on hennepin.. *hint* look UP! :lol:

I'd agree on Nicollet they should have mid block crossings on the street. Hennepin is pretty crowded I don't see how it would mesh well with bike lanes, bus lanes, and car lanes... yikes! I enjoy your... eh, I'd say hopefulness!

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby BoredAgain » November 22nd, 2018, 10:45 am

The stretch of Hennepin south of Lake is open again. I happened to be there yesterday picking up a book at Magers & Quin. There were half a dozen cars parked in the new bike lanes between Lake and 31st. There was also a traffic cop giving them tickets. This is the first time I have seen a traffic cop ticketing cars in a bike lane.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby jtoemke » November 22nd, 2018, 11:09 am

The stretch of Hennepin south of Lake is open again. I happened to be there yesterday picking up a book at Magers & Quin. There were half a dozen cars parked in the new bike lanes between Lake and 31st. There was also a traffic cop giving them tickets. This is the first time I have seen a traffic cop ticketing cars in a bike lane.
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby MSPtoMKE » November 22nd, 2018, 12:57 pm

Yeah, I was at the Apple Store yesterday, and they employees were commenting that one person would park, and then several others would follow their lead. I have a feeling that there is going to be a lot of cars dropping off or picking people up in the bike lane, even if they don’t officially park.
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction / E Line (Uptown to Downtown)

Postby nmin » November 23rd, 2018, 6:04 pm

Yeah, I was at the Apple Store yesterday, and they employees were commenting that one person would park, and then several others would follow their lead. I have a feeling that there is going to be a lot of cars dropping off or picking people up in the bike lane, even if they don’t officially park.
After how many years this is still a chronic problem in Dinkytown on 4th St. SE. Especially bad when a new crop of students show up every fall.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby COLSLAW5 » July 1st, 2019, 8:39 am

I know the construction is pretty much finished now but how area between lake at 31st end up so barren? kind of surprised that they didn't add anything like storm water pavers to add some variety.
I'll repeat my earlier criticism that the Lake to 31st block absolutely needs to have have pull-off bays in each direction for loading/unloading of taxis, Ubers, drop-offs of elderly, picking up those with heavy packages, etc. If you hate it when bike lanes are blocked, you need to provide a reasonable alternative, especially in a block that will have this much loading/unloading traffic. There's plenty of width in that 17' wide sidewalk zone to create a couple of short loading bays and still have a very pleasant streetscape.
Also shout out to MNdible for being spot on with ubereats/bitesquad drivers people are parked up here all the time now making it hard for any traffic bikes and cars to get past

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby mattaudio » July 1st, 2019, 9:54 am

I'm supposedly #waroncars and even I think they should have included some drop-off/standing zones on the 3000 block of Hennepin.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby LakeCharles » July 1st, 2019, 10:30 am

I know the construction is pretty much finished now but how area between lake at 31st end up so barren? kind of surprised that they didn't add anything like storm water pavers to add some variety.
I'll repeat my earlier criticism that the Lake to 31st block absolutely needs to have have pull-off bays in each direction for loading/unloading of taxis, Ubers, drop-offs of elderly, picking up those with heavy packages, etc. If you hate it when bike lanes are blocked, you need to provide a reasonable alternative, especially in a block that will have this much loading/unloading traffic. There's plenty of width in that 17' wide sidewalk zone to create a couple of short loading bays and still have a very pleasant streetscape.
Also shout out to MNdible for being spot on with ubereats/bitesquad drivers people are parked up here all the time now making it hard for any traffic bikes and cars to get past
Agreed that something different would have been ideal, but given that it went this way, is there any way to increase enforcement of ubereats/bitesquad here? It'd be great if they started getting tickets for blocking traffic, and then the problem would solve itself. But I know MPD is loath to enforce traffic laws.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby TroyGBiv » July 1st, 2019, 5:50 pm

The bite squad cars blocked both sides of the street yesterday while I was eating lunch at amazing Thailand... i really hate that block now - so barren... no cars now actually makes it all feel sterile and abandoned...a few tooth pick trees... I’m so disappointed.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby thatchio » July 11th, 2019, 7:21 am

Can't believe that the 3000 block has so little landscaping. It's so much concrete. Hope some planter boxes get added.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby alexschief » September 23rd, 2020, 7:33 am

I watched the Hennepin South open house last night. Here's the project page. Here are the preliminary concepts that were presented.

Of the bunch, to me the clear winner is Option 1B:

Image

Obviously to start, what this option has going for it is that it accommodates both bicycles and transit with first-class dedicated facilities (the planners are also considering routes for bicycles that would not be entirely on Hennepin, I hope they decide to give bicyclists the best and more direct routing for a change).

But I also like this option because I think the downsides are minor:

— Technically this option represents a loss in pedestrian space versus the existing condition, but that's a bit misleading, because most of Hennepin has wide sidewalks and a wide furnishing zone. This option would also make the pedestrian space feel wider, with the bike lane putting the curb further away, and the bus lane providing even greater distance from car traffic.

— This option represents a loss of curb parking space versus the existing condition, but that's an acceptable tradeoff. Already the city has recognized that curb parking on Hennepin is inconsistently used, which is why they were able to turn some of it into peak hour bus lanes. But if you actually look at the pattern of retail on Hennepin, you'll see that it almost never is present on both sides of the street at the same time. There is no reason to think that Hennepin needs curb parking on both sides of the street, and the redesign can carefully create parking or loading bays at the locations only where they are needed. That should help keep the small businesses from starting a rebellion, or freaking out and prematurely moving.

The only concern I have with this design is that there will be conflicts between buses and inattentive or sloppy drivers trying to park. I don't think that's fatal, but it is a concern. Signs, tactile signals on the edges of the bus lane, bright red paint, and just minimizing the parking to only the locations where it is needed are probably the best approaches.

— This option cuts general purpose lanes in half. I think this is where the rubber hits the road for the city's modal priority framework. In a constrained corridor, the goal should be to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders before cars are taken care of. On Hennepin, that should mean two lanes maximum.

Because of the geography of the lakes, Hennepin is a natural bottleneck for drivers from the southwest. But by the time that this project is completed, the SWLRT should be operational, and the E Line will also probably go live with the completion of this work. Those two projects should offer compelling, congestion-free alternatives to travelers heading into downtown Minneapolis. The city should design for the traffic it wants on Hennepin, not the traffic it has now.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby jtoemke » September 23rd, 2020, 7:57 am

Am I wrong or are 13'-0" bus lanes insanely wide?

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby alexschief » September 23rd, 2020, 8:24 am

Am I wrong or are 13'-0" bus lanes insanely wide?
The buses need 11', and the additional 2' is for the gutter. You can see it clearly on the left side, where the bus lane is listed as 11', but it's actually 13' with the gutter at the top of the graphic when there isn't the parking/flex lane.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby MNdible » September 23rd, 2020, 8:50 am

A plan that doesn't make any accommodations for left turn lanes is absurd and should be discarded immediately.

In other hot take opinions that will be unpopular here, there's not room for bike lanes on Hennepin. There are other viable locations for the bike lanes, but there are no other viable routings for the transit and the regional auto connections that Hennepin carries.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby seanrichardryan » September 23rd, 2020, 9:19 am

This project will have no clear winner. That said, how would bus stops work on option 4? Old fashion streetcar median stops?
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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby karlshea » September 23rd, 2020, 10:41 am

A plan that doesn't make any accommodations for left turn lanes is absurd and should be discarded immediately.

In other hot take opinions that will be unpopular here, there's not room for bike lanes on Hennepin. There are other viable locations for the bike lanes, but there are no other viable routings for the transit and the regional auto connections that Hennepin carries.
Totally agree with both of these. When I moved to Mpls I was astounded at the lack of left turn lanes anywhere on these major routes. When combined with the typical Minnesota driver's inability to react to the things around them and just go around the person turning left, the whole lane turns into a parking lot through multiple red light cycles.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby alexschief » September 23rd, 2020, 11:30 am

A plan that doesn't make any accommodations for left turn lanes is absurd and should be discarded immediately.

In other hot take opinions that will be unpopular here, there's not room for bike lanes on Hennepin. There are other viable locations for the bike lanes, but there are no other viable routings for the transit and the regional auto connections that Hennepin carries.
See, not to put too fine a point on it, but this is exactly the mentality that the city needs to break on this project. The city passed a modal priority framework. If you eliminate a bike facility on Hennepin, consigning bicyclists to indirect, un-intuitive, second-class routes, for the purpose of putting in a left-turn lane, then you've upended that framework.

There is no way for the city to achieve its VMT and climate goals if it continues with a road-design approach that fulfills all the needs for drivers first, then allocates the scraps to other modes. The modal priority framework calls for the reverse, and that's what Minneapolis should follow here.

There may be room for left turn lanes at some intersections, but if not, it shouldn't be bicyclists who pay the price. Where it's not feasible, simply ban left turns, so that drivers wanting to make a left either (1) choose alternate routes, or (2) make a right and use one of the perpendicular streets.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby MNdible » September 23rd, 2020, 12:25 pm

It's pretty clear that none of the layouts are prioritizing the driver first -- transit is definitely the winner here, as it should be. But the idea currently en vogue, that every commercial street in Minneapolis needs to have a full bicycle facility, is just a bad use of our limited infrastructure space in many cases. There are parallel residential streets that would make fantastic bicycle facilities, but there are no parallel streets that work well for transit or automobile traffic.

The city's VMT reduction goals are largely fantasy, and given the rapid advances in EV technology, they're not the way that the city is going to hit their carbon reduction goals.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby kellonathan » September 23rd, 2020, 2:24 pm

Option 1B seems most balanced to me, but I wouldn't complain too much if we "have to" settle with Option 2. I would reject any alternative that doesn't include two-way transit lanes.

As a former resident who used to make left turns onto 25th from SB Hennepin, I am not too sympathetic to not having a dedicated left turn lane on Hennepin. It's already prohibited during weekday commute hours on most intersections (if not all), and if we can save valuable ROW space on more reliable transit and walkable/bikeable Hennepin, I'm all in. It's essentially just making the left turn ban full-time. The only place I could mildly/vaguely justify a LT lane, is probably onto 28th from SB Hennepin.

With the same line of reasoning, I wonder if a center-turn lane on Hennepin is all that necessary as well. It is already not that friendly for drivers to make mid-block left turns to access, say, Kowalski from NB Hennepin. Let's not encourage movements we don't want people to make already by accommodating such movement with a center-turn lane.
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Re: Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby LakeCharles » September 23rd, 2020, 2:53 pm

It's pretty clear that none of the layouts are prioritizing the driver first -- transit is definitely the winner here, as it should be. But the idea currently en vogue, that every commercial street in Minneapolis needs to have a full bicycle facility, is just a bad use of our limited infrastructure space in many cases. There are parallel residential streets that would make fantastic bicycle facilities, but there are no parallel streets that work well for transit or automobile traffic.

The city's VMT reduction goals are largely fantasy, and given the rapid advances in EV technology, they're not the way that the city is going to hit their carbon reduction goals.
Option 2 devotes:
35% of space to cars
32% to pedestrians
30% to buses
3% to utilities
0% to bicycles

Option 3 devotes:
39% to cars
27% to pedestrians
15% to buses
16% to bicycles
3% to utilities

That's better than now, but I don't know how putting more than double the space to cars vs. transit makes transit "definitely the winner".


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