Road Diet

Road Diets: 10th Avenue SE Minneapolis, MN

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5 thoughts on “Road Diets: 10th Avenue SE Minneapolis, MN

  1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

    It’s a good video, but I do worry about monotonous (and excessive) most of our road diets are. So many are as shown for 10th Ave SE: no parking, two bike lanes/shoulders, two travel lanes, and a big, ugly continuous left turn lane. Unlike some other Streets.mners, I do not have a problem with left-turn lanes at medium- and high-volume turns, but those continuous lefts are a crowning symbol of stroad. Not every driveway and minor street requires a dedicated lane to manage left turns.

    Yet the continuous left format is extremely common. I’ve experienced it most on Portland from Minnehaha Pkwy to Crosstown, and 68th to 76th. (Although the northern portion has since been restriped.) In terms of use of the right-of-way, Portland in Richfield has no boulevards and no on-street parking. Is a 14′-wide strip for left turns into driveways a better use of public space than wider sidewalks, boulevards, or on-street parking?

    (In Hennepin County’s and Richfield’s defense, that was a restripe only, that did not involve curb changes. Still, they have made a choice that a continuous left is more important than on-street parking. And allowing front lawns to become parking lots instead is a price we’re willing to pay for that left-turn lane.

  2. Matthew Kunnari

    Actually, Mr. Sean, Portland from the Minnehaha Parkway to Crosstown has been restriped! Two lanes flanked by bike lanes and on-street parking. They must have preemptively wiretapped your mind. The NSA is getting out of hand.

  3. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

    Yup, this is what I meant with my parenthetical note, “Although the northern portion has since been restriped.” I like the new striping for the most part, although the loss of the bike lane in the vicinity of Diamond Lake Road — to save a few, rarely used parking spots — seems lame.

  4. Matt Brillhart

    “Is a 14′-wide strip for left turns into driveways a better use of public space than wider sidewalks, boulevards, or on-street parking?”

    It doesn’t get any more concise than that. Save that comment for when future road diets in Richfield are proposed (assuming they are proposed). Fingers crossed for Nicollet Avenue in the not-too-distant future.

    1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

      Theoretically, the long-term plan is for all streets to go in the format of Portland today, with slightly wider sidewalks and a slightly narrower continuous left when reconstructed. This is fine for a “quick and dirty” restripe, but it would be appalling if tens of millions were invested in those streets and they were left like that.

      I was told by the transportation engineer that the next work on Nicollet will likely be in 2018 or so, when Centerpoint has to replace the gas line on Nicollet. That would be an opportunity for a city- and utility-led reconstruction. The long term vision is to remove the ramps at 494/5 and turn back the road to the City, as was done long ago north of 61st St (leaving a rather bizarre “gap in roadway” on County Road 52, between 61st/Nicollet and Washington/Hennepin). So a future reconstruction should show a much more modest street than what’s there today.

      The soonest action you’ll see is on Portland, which will be rebuilt in 2015. Staff have recommended a three-lane section (possibly with medians instead of a continuous left), but the Transportation Commission expressed interest in a format more like Lyndale Ave between 38th and Minnehaha Pkwy.

      Lyndale will likely be next, as there is already a restripe proposed north of 66th.

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