18 thoughts on “The Importance of Pedestrian Medians on 26th and 28th Streets

  1. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

    It’s true, there needs to be better intersection design here. But it seems unconscionable that PW wishes to remove the existing medians before they’re ready to replace with something “better.” Are they saying they’d rather have motorists hit pedestrians than concrete?

    Here’s what would help solve the problem:

    – Extend the protected bike lanes.

    They currently start/end at Portland. The section between the freeway bridges and Portland was overlaid this year, but striped as three lanes. It’s awful. My bike commute takes me across 28th Street at 5th Ave, and it’s extremely hostile. And the problem with the median at 28th/Portland is precisely because of this third lane drop. So get rid of the third lane further back.

    – Move more curb

    Everything *besides* these medians tells motorists to take wide, high-speed turns onto 26th/28th. By bringing in the curb to a tight turning radius, especially at Park/Portland, motorists will be taking the turns at the appropriate speed and at the appropriate point of turn. There’s far too much “ambiguous pavement” at these intersections: Parking lanes, buffers for the bike lanes on Park/Portland, etc. NACTO has some excellent visuals in the Urban Street Design Guide: http://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/intersections/major-intersections/ http://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/intersections/intersections-of-major-and-minor-streets/

    1. Aaron

      First off, I agree about extending the bike lanes across the highway. It is scary AF to bike on either street west of 35. However… that’s a totally different issue. And it will be addressed in the next few years. It’s on the city’s near-term project map.

      This is about those awkward medians. They force drivers to make extremely square turns in tight space in order to stay in their lane. Why not round the squares curbs to allow more natural left turns? Win-win, no?

      1. Rosa

        no, because “natural” turns get taken at higher speed with less looking for obstacles. Such as signs, or humans.

      2. Lindsey WallaceLindsey Wallace

        I agree, it’s scary af to bike west of 35w on 26th or 28th. The BAC is going to talk about this soon. I’m hoping we can extend the protected bikeway to at least Stevens.

      3. Adam MillerAdam Miller

        Where’s the second win? The cars get to move faster/be less careful.

        What do the bikes and pedestrians win? Seems like faster/less careful drivers is a loss for them.

        1. Aaron

          Win: Round the shape of the curb to make turning less awkward.
          Win: There would still have a median to protect pedestrians.

          I’m sorry, I don’t understand your confusion.

      4. Evan RobertsEvan

        Shallow turns that can be taken at speed are common and appear natural because we see them so often in America. But there’s nothing more or less natural about them than any other turning geometry. Nature has 360° of turn possibilities to share with us.

        They are all choices we make about street design.

      5. Nathanael

        Learn to make square turns. It’s a basic part of driving competence. If you can’t make square turns, get off the road until you can.

        I have no tolerance for this sort of thing. I learned to drive *competently*; you can too.

    2. Nathanael

      “Are they saying they’d rather have motorists hit pedestrians than concrete?”

      That’s exactly what Kotke is saying, which is why he really ought to be fired. It’s unacceptable and I don’t think someone with that attitude can be tolerated in that job. He’s never going to understand what his job actually is.

  2. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

    After reading Steve Brandt’s article in the Strib, it’s clear something is broken. Public Works is not representing Minneapolis. It’s time for an all-out assault on car-centric planning, and “forced retirements” for some senior-level PW staff.

    1. Aaron

      “Public Works is not representing Minneapolis. It’s time for an all-out assault on car-centric planning, and “forced retirements” for some senior-level PW staff.”

      Jesus Christ, Matt. Chill out.

      From the Brandt article:

      “‘There are better designs that can be installed that can achieve the original goals and we’re reviewing those,’ Hamilton said.”

      CLEARLY this is a cause to grab our pitchforks and demand resignations.

      1. Rosa

        What if they said they were going to rip out the car lanes until they had a better design, would that seem reasonable?

        I came home early this morning on 28th street and a car turned off 12th Ave to go the WRONG WAY on 28th. When 26th/28th were my usual commute, I saw this happen at least once a week somewhere between Bloomington & Park/Portland (usually from the Abbot driveway, not a street.) Maybe the better design will have traffic slowing medians everywhere a car could possibly turn.

        1. Nathanael

          Yeah, let’s try that. Just close the street to cars until they can come up with a good street design, am I right? Think Kotke would go for it? He should, if he’s going to be consistent.

          Bet he won’t. Really seems like he needs to be fired for cause.

  3. Rosa

    You know what’s kind of hilarious about this “awkward turns” thing?

    Most of the ramps on and off the Greenway, and the Bryant bypass bridge ramps, require cyclists to make hairpin 180 degree turns. Do they just think we’re better than drivers, that drivers can’t learn to make 90 degree turns in their own lane?

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