I-35W and Lake Street Intersection – November, 2011

What’s that you say? You’re so bored that you want to watch people (mostly in cars) navigating the I35W and Lake Street intersection? Well go no further, grab a beverage and a seat in front of your screen. While this 10 minute video produced by Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc. will not be winning any Oscars for best drama or best production value, I can assure you that it’s more interesting than watching paint dry.

The video was found on the I-35W Transit/Access project website. This is the project formerly known as the 35W Lake Street Access project which was only about expanding the freeway, adding lanes to Lake Street, and adding flyover ramps to bring more cars between the freeway, Lake, and 28th streets. Thankfully, the Minneapolis City Council rejected that plan and worked to recenter the project around the Lake Street BRT station as Bill Lindeke wrote about a couple of years ago: Three Lessons from Minneapolis’ Pyrrhic Victory on Lake Street.

What Bill doesn’t address much in his post is that a closely related cousin to this project is Hennepin County’s plans to rebuild Lake Street from Blaisdell Ave. to 5th Ave. in order to facilitate the movement of more cars at the freeway intersection. That’s what this video is all about–showing what the County perceives to be unacceptable conditions for motorists. The video does show lots of cars queueing up in all directions. It also includes a few mentions of other intersection users–buses and a person on a bicycle–although it addresses these users as a part of the problem and a further inconvenience to motorists. Here’s some quotes I found interesting:

  • “Bus blockage” (mentioned two times)
  • “bike weaves through traffic” (Note that there are no bicycle provisions planned as part of the Lake Street rebuild.)
  • “car waits through a green light, but is not served.” (That’s an LOS of zero, I think.)

So, what do you think?


Matty Lang

About Matty Lang

Matty Lang has been interested in land use, transportation, and cities since he fell in love with Paris, France while studying there in 1998-1999. He is a filmmaker living in Minneapolis. He loves film, bicycling, and basketball. Follow him: Vimeo | @MattyLangMSP | Facebook