Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby seanrichardryan » December 16th, 2020, 4:22 pm

The left turns are not that bad on Hennepin, even if they happen mistakenly at rush hour (do we even have rush hour anymore?). Experience from having lived just off 24th & Hennepin for over a decade. For those needing access to the wedge during no turn times, Lyndale is a total shitshow, mostly because of backups from the Franklin Left turn lane, and recently all the construction on that corner.
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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby alexschief » December 16th, 2020, 6:11 pm

The city has an adopted modal priority and it's really time that they apply it. Peds, bikes, and transit need to be accommodated first, and cars can have what's left.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby Trademark » December 16th, 2020, 7:30 pm

The city has an adopted modal priority and it's really time that they apply it. Peds, bikes, and transit need to be accommodated first, and cars can have what's left.
I think it would be fine if they give cars some level of priority on hennepin. As long as bus lanes are implemented on Lyndale and Hennepin. And quality bike infrasture on Lyndale, franklin between Lyndale and lake of the isles, and humboldt avenue turned into a greenway or at least something where you can't drive on it for more than 2 blocks in a row. It parallels hennepin. And has a lot of cut through traffic during rush hour (I am guilty of it too). Then making Lake and Lagoon 2 lanes with a bus lanes and quality bike infrastructure.

If we are able to get the majority of those concessions I think it would be a net positive for both drivers. Keep majority of drivers on hennepin and off other streets and then prioritize multi modal transportation as a network everywhere else.

I think they should also look into closing some of the interchanges there. Maybe only have lights at Franklin, 24th, 26th, 28th. If the majority of those things can happen then option 4 would be the way to go.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby alexschief » March 3rd, 2021, 8:29 am

Yesterday, two alternatives were presented for the Hennepin South reconstruction. (The project timeline was also pushed back into 2024, which is disappointing!)

The alternatives are not so different. They all have two general purpose travel lanes, two dedicated bus lanes the full length of the street, a small landscaped median, and significant sidewalk and furnishing/parking space. The primary way in which they differ is how they handle bicycling. Option 1 includes a two-way cycletrack on the east side of the street from Lake to Franklin (where cyclists would then take advantage of the Franklin West reconstruction path to connect to Bryant and the Loring Park Greenway into downtown). Option 2 does not have this cycletrack, and instead assumes that bicyclists would be accommodated by some other project to be named later (for instance, on Bryant).

It's not a close call, honestly. There's no other redundant road in South Minneapolis to Hennepin. It's a critical corridor for all modes, and all modes need to be accommodated on it. The only choice that does that is the first alternative.

My only real concern is that they are keeping all local bus stops on the street. Even with precise scheduling, it will be very difficult to prevent E Line aBRT buses from being stuck behind local #12 and #17 buses. It would make some sense to eliminate local stops on Hennepin altogether and just have all buses share the aBRT stations.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby DanPatchToget » March 3rd, 2021, 8:44 am

Would the bus lanes be used all day, or only during peak time in peak direction and at all other times used for parking?

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby Silophant » March 3rd, 2021, 8:58 am

The bus lanes are intended to be bus-only (well, and right turns where applicable) 24 hours a day.

As for the local stops, I'm not too worked up about the 27th St stop (it's a full half mile between UTS and 25th), but the 24th St one should go, especially since it's SB-only for the 6 and the 12. If people can be expected to walk a block south to 25th to head northbound, they can do that for southbound buses too. We're supposed to be getting rid of the "buses stop every block" mindset.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby tmart » March 3rd, 2021, 9:34 am

I wasn't able to tune in to the Open House--does anyone know why they settled on the two-way cycle track for the bike alternative? In earlier documents they seemed to be considering having separated one-way paths on each side (same direction as traffic).

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby EOst » March 3rd, 2021, 9:55 am

You save a few feet by consolidating them as a two-way.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby Trademark » March 3rd, 2021, 11:18 am

I was skeptical of how they would fit in bike lanes while still keeping the corridor able to do it all needs to do with the right of way constraints but I have to say I'm impressed with how Option 1 manages to do that.

If people have a problem with the biking in the cycle track (I know some do) I think turning Humboldt avenue into a bike boulevard is also a good idea as a parallel alternative and it already has access to the Greenway.

Absolutely love this design we need more bus lanes on roads. I wish we could do something like this more often instead of 4-3 conversions. There's no better advertising for a bus then seeing it go past you when your in traffic. And if we are serious about our climate goals we will recognize thats more likely to inspire a modal shift then having the bus sit behind traffic and seeing a bike go past you.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby xandrex » March 3rd, 2021, 1:20 pm

I really dislike Minneapolis' recent love affair with two-way bike paths. It can sometimes be justified, but we just reconstructed Hennepin south of Lake with separate bike lanes, so we're forcing a weird two-way maneuver for southbound bikers at one of the busiest intersections in the city!

It would be great if we had any consistency with how bike lanes are created in this city. Sadly, it's a crapshoot.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby Trademark » March 3rd, 2021, 1:38 pm

I really dislike Minneapolis' recent love affair with two-way bike paths. It can sometimes be justified, but we just reconstructed Hennepin south of Lake with separate bike lanes, so we're forcing a weird two-way maneuver for southbound bikers at one of the busiest intersections in the city!

It would be great if we had any consistency with how bike lanes are created in this city. Sadly, it's a crapshoot.
That is true. I didn't think bout crossing the street. But what's the alternative, where do we fit the bike Lanes? Unless you want 4 foot lanes which I'm guessing you don't.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby BoredAgain » March 3rd, 2021, 2:06 pm

In general, I think that Option 1 looks great. My one concern is that the continuous median (mostly good) blocks turns not only into driveways, but also some streets. This is necessary to keep left turners from blocking all traffic and I understand that. The concern is that weird angles and one ways on side streets will make it almost impossible to access some streets and "necessary" parking lots unless you are planning well in advance and are familiar with the situation.

The particular example that caught my eye was accessing Kowalski's or USBank if you are coming north on Hennepin. Turning onto Fremont is blocked, and Fremont around the corner is a one way pointed away from those businesses. Turning onto side streets and finding a way to turn around and come back to go south on Hennepin will cause huge headaches.

I don't want to remove medians, but a more comprehensive evaluation of side streets/one-ways will be needed to address this corner and others.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby MattW » March 3rd, 2021, 3:29 pm

I really dislike Minneapolis' recent love affair with two-way bike paths. It can sometimes be justified, but we just reconstructed Hennepin south of Lake with separate bike lanes, so we're forcing a weird two-way maneuver for southbound bikers at one of the busiest intersections in the city!

It would be great if we had any consistency with how bike lanes are created in this city. Sadly, it's a crapshoot.
Google streetview hasn't been updated for Hennepin between Lake and 31st. But do you think there's room for the cycle track to be continued to 31st? IMO this is a safer crossing than at Lake. Then do a woonerf sidewalk type thing on the west side of the street for dwelling Ubers and food delivery pickup? Kinda like the valet zone at 8th and Hennepin in downtown (https://goo.gl/maps/4dNLDUdUqmANNehq7).

Ubers sitting in the middle of traffic waiting for pickup/dropoff is something that drives me insane, but that's a different conversation.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby DanPatchToget » March 3rd, 2021, 4:49 pm

Would it be beneficial and feasible to have all traffic stop at Hennepin & Lake while pedestrians and bikers are able to freely cross the intersection no matter which direction they're going? I've only experienced it in Santa Monica and it was nice to be able to cross diagonally instead of crossing once, wait, and then cross again. But it's kind of a free-for-all so that could be an issue when you're mixing pedestrians with bikers and scooters.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby VacantLuxuries » March 3rd, 2021, 5:07 pm

Those are called pedestrian scrambles or scramble intersections, and I think we should be including those in any reconstruction study of our major pedestrian oriented corridors. Kind of weird how something like that isn't being talked about despite all the supposed focus on 'all other modes but cars first'

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby exiled_antipodean » March 3rd, 2021, 9:37 pm

My one concern is that the continuous median (mostly good) blocks turns not only into driveways, but also some streets. This is necessary to keep left turners from blocking all traffic and I understand that. The concern is that weird angles and one ways on side streets will make it almost impossible to access some streets and "necessary" parking lots unless you are planning well in advance and are familiar with the situation.
This seems like a feature not a bug for discouraging people from driving. We've got plenty of examples all over the city/metro/country of roads that are designed with this concern in mind, and they look and function like Lyndale or Hennepin Ave. Making it harder to drive on Hennepin is good.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby Trademark » March 4th, 2021, 11:04 am

My one concern is that the continuous median (mostly good) blocks turns not only into driveways, but also some streets. This is necessary to keep left turners from blocking all traffic and I understand that. The concern is that weird angles and one ways on side streets will make it almost impossible to access some streets and "necessary" parking lots unless you are planning well in advance and are familiar with the situation.
This seems like a feature not a bug for discouraging people from driving. We've got plenty of examples all over the city/metro/country of roads that are designed with this concern in mind, and they look and function like Lyndale or Hennepin Ave. Making it harder to drive on Hennepin is good.
This isn't even about being harder to drive it's just simple access management. The more driveways that cross the street requiring left turns means that the entire road going to slow down for one person and accidents where people try and force their way into the turn.

Signs that show u turns are allowed at the lights with a dedicated turn light should be all that's necessary.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby MNdible » March 4th, 2021, 11:10 am

Signs that show u turns are allowed at the lights with a dedicated turn light should be all that's necessary.
Except that the geometries of the intersections are likely too tight to actually accommodate a U-turn.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby EOst » March 4th, 2021, 12:10 pm

I think to successfully do a U-turn, you would have to allow cars to temporarily enter the bus lane.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction (Douglas to Lake St)

Postby Trademark » March 4th, 2021, 1:19 pm

I think to successfully do a U-turn, you would have to allow cars to temporarily enter the bus lane.
Exactly with 2 lanes including the bus lane there should be no problem with someone being in a bus lane for 3 seconds to get into their correct lane. Versus stopping all of the traffic for blocks down waiting for a window to pull into a driveway


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