The next Hennepin/Lyndale Reconstruction Project Public Open House is Monday, Aug. 4th at 6:30 p.m. in the Skyline Room, Walker Art Center.
Maybe we can’t expect the intersection of our dreams yet (mine: Turn Don’t Merge) in the Hennepin/Lyndale Reconstruction project, but there are a few key elements that neighbors must insist on seeing this time around:
(1) Automotive Lane Width Reduction
The greatest problem with this intersection may be the suggested driving speed. Wide lanes tell drivers that they should drive fast, making the space uncomfortable for bikers and pedestrians. Also uncomfortable for drivers when streetlight turns red – which is often. Narrowing the lanes will make drivers more apt to drive at speeds appropriate for the city, while respecting cyclists and pedestrians.
(2) Automotive Lane Elimination
Giving more lanes to drivers lets them spread out, but eventually they have to merge together – causing our bottleneck. Between Franklin Ave, and Dunwoody Blvd, people are moving in all sorts of directions. Sometimes, drivers have to merge across four lanes in order to make a nerve-racking turn. In the case of our bottleneck, simpler is better. Fewer lanes will make the drive more enjoyable for everyone. Three lanes for driving is sufficient. Anything more is gluttonous.
The time has come to stop biking on the sidewalk. Just as bikers feel vulnerable to drivers, pedestrians feel vulnerable to bikers. We have a very wide, double-decker corridor at our disposal. We need a sidewalk that coincides with the width of the corridor, I-94 included. We need a sidewalk that’s at least four people wide on each side of the street. Separately, bikers need at least one lane (~10’) in each direction.
This is our city, our street, and it must reflect the way we wish to live. People used to escape to the suburbs. Now we want to stay in the city. Remember to voice your opinions on Monday. A lot has changed in the past decade, which is why this discussion is so important.