Prospect Park North is the redevelopment of mostly industrial lands north of University Avenue at the Prospect Park North LRT station. I mentioned some of it an earlier post.
Working with some of the key actors planning the neighborhood, I organized a class project for my undergraduate students to conduct a travel demand analysis of Prospect Park North and make recommendations about changes to the Street network. That caused me to think about what the network should look like. After staring too long at maps, and making several field trips to the site with my class and by myself, I came up with the following sketch. Note many of these roads are already driveways or parking lots (or would be if the site were to get developed in an ad hoc fashion), so the network should reduce the amount of space devoted to the movement of vehicles compared to unplanned piecemeal construction. Below are a series of possible network connections plus commentary for the Prospect Park North neighborhood.
These are mix-and-match proposals. Ideally, perhaps, all will be built. Certainly they cannot all be built at once. They can be reconfigured over time (two-way -> one-way or back again; on-street parking or none) depending on needs.
- 6th Street SE Extended (“Elevator Road”) (shown in Blue) is a one-way pair (with 5th Street if constructed) or a two-way street connecting on the west end with the existing 6th St. SE, and on the east end with Granary Road, and the same termination issues (see #8 below). This street is also valuable for providing access to stadium events.
- 5th Street SE and 5th Street SE Extended (“Brewery Street” / “Brewery Boulevard”) (shown in Purple) connects on the west end with 6th Street SE, and is the Eastbound part of a one-way pair with 6th Street (Elevator Road), if both are constructed. On the east end, it connects to Eustis Street, and thus provides access to Mn-280 NB (via Territorial Road) and I-94 EB (via Franklin Avenue) and WB. There are several extensions (existing 5th to Eustis), and connecting existing 5th with existing 6th by winding through existing structures. There is enough room for a narrow road (perhaps 2 lanes with sidewalks), hence the suggestion as part of a one-way pair with 6th. Further, given Eustis is one-way, the flows are likely to be asymmetric in any case. In addition to daily circulation, this street is valuable for exits from stadium events.
- Green 4th/Territorial Road/Territorial Road extended. (shown in Green) The new construction here is north of the existing Single Family Home neighborhood on SE 4th Street, through mostly vacant land, though there will likely need to be a taking of a building at the intersection with Malcolm, where it ties into the newly reconstructed “Green 4th Street”. This also requires reopening a private road north of KSTP/Hubbard, and replacing parking for both KSTP and The Pavilion on Berry Apartments.
- Prohibit large trucks on the section of Malcolm between 4th and University. With any combination of Territorial, 5th, 6th, and Granary Road available. along with Eustis (SB) and Westgate (NB), trucks have alternative East-West movements through the site to reach major regional routes that don’t require crossing LRT tracks here.
- Extend Eustis as a Frontage Road to Granary Road / 6th Street Extended (Elevator Road).
- Construct new bridge connecting 23rd Avenue SE and with 24th Avenue SE across the Railroad tracks (rename Huron Boulevard for Street continuity) (shown in Brown). This is the most logical rail crossing, as it provides more direct access to I-94. Oak Street is an alternative, but creates more through traffic on local streets.
- Preserve University of Minnesota Transitway. Add call/stops at Prospect Park LRT station and at Bedford Avenue. Consider allowing traffic from Granary Road and/or 6th Street Extended to share Transitway Bridge over Railroad tracks in order to reduce construction costs.
- Granary Road (shown in Red) is the northernmost East-West Street. It is to be a two-way street. Its western termination (from the point-of-view of the project) is in the “Dinkytown Ditch”, whereupon it proceeds to St. Anthony Main district, with possible tie-in to I-35W. Its easternmost termination is either
- Energy Park Drive (enabling connections to Mn-280).
- University of Minnesota Transitway (and sharing Transitway Bridge over Railroad RoW).
- Cromwell Avenue extended (to the delight of residents of South Saint Anthony Park neighborhood in St. Paul).
- Extend 25th Avenue (to Granary Road).
- Extend 29th Avenue (to 5th and 6th Streets). This is tricky with the LRT and existing structures.
- Extend 30th Avenue to Harris Machinery buildings redevelopment.
- Extend Malcolm Avenue to Granary Road.
- Extend Bedford Street to Granary Road, intersecting 5th and 6th.
- Extend Westgate Drive to Granary Road/6th Street.
- New Road connecting Huron Boulevard Bridge with Kasota Ave. SE.
The photostream of my site visit is at Flickr here. This is a multi-jurisidictional issue, as the map covers both Minneapolis and St. Paul, with many individual property owners. The whole point of planning is that costs can be reduced and benefits enhanced if people coordinate their actions in advance. Here is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that.
You can read more about the official plans and the dreamers’ dreams at these links:
- Prospect Park 2020 Project website
- Prospect Park East River Road neighborhood website
- nextcity.org article (10/2014): Minneapolis Has a Plan for the Most Resilient Neighborhood in the Country
- City Pages article (7/2014): Prospect Park Steps into the Future With DIY Urbanism
- Star Tribune article by Eric Roper (7/2014): Light Rail Inspires Futuristic Vision for U Area
- Star Tribune Editorial (8/2015): Finally There’s Interest in City Within a City Near the U
- hMinnPost article by Brian Martucci (7/2015): An Urbanist’s Dream: New MSP Innovation District Would Creat National for City Building