Prospect Park North – A Street Network

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.

Proposed Prospect Park North Street Network.

Proposed Prospect Park North Street Network. [c.f. Current map]

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.

Prospect Park North by United Crushers Grain Elevator (5th St extended)

Prospect Park North by United Crushers Grain Elevator (5th St extended)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Extend Eustis as a Frontage Road to Granary Road / 6th Street Extended (Elevator Road).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
    1. Energy Park Drive (enabling connections to Mn-280).
    2. University of Minnesota Transitway (and sharing Transitway Bridge over Railroad RoW).
    3. Cromwell Avenue extended (to the delight of residents of South Saint Anthony Park neighborhood in St. Paul).
  9. Extend 25th Avenue (to Granary Road).
  10. Extend 29th Avenue (to 5th and 6th Streets). This is tricky with the LRT and existing structures.
  11. Extend 30th Avenue to Harris Machinery buildings redevelopment.
  12. Extend Malcolm Avenue to Granary Road.
  13. Extend Bedford Street to Granary Road, intersecting 5th and 6th.
  14. Extend Westgate Drive to Granary Road/6th Street.
  15. New Road connecting Huron Boulevard Bridge with Kasota Ave. SE.
A lonely paid parking spot on 25th Avenue SE near its termination.

A lonely paid parking spot on 25th Avenue SE near its termination.

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:

10 thoughts on “Prospect Park North – A Street Network

  1. David MarkleDavid Markle

    A problem has been the retarded progress of the Granary Road plan.

    And I have the impression that the nicely run and maintained heavy equipment business on Malcolm, just off University (Ruffridge-Johnson) was left out of most of the city and neighborhood meetings concerning planning. (This says nothing, however, about the Levinson class.) Although I’m not involved in that neighborhood, I went out of my way to inform them of several meetings that I happened to hear of. But I understand that now an offer has been made for that commercial property; presumably the company will move to the suburbs (making way for a boutique?).

    1. Nick

      I’ve heard rumors that part of the reason why Granary Rd. has been slowed is that the University wants the connection all the way to SE 2nd (below 10th Ave Bridge), but the cost effectiveness analysis demonstrated that option to be way more expensive relative to benefits when compared to the limited options that address the need for a network in the core area of Prospect Park.

      Given the fact that Granary Rd. is designated as a municipal state aid road, Minneapolis would then have to buy into a plan that would eventually increase traffic next to all the developable parcels near St. Anthony Main.

    1. David MarkleDavid Markle

      Adding to my remarks, it appears there’s little motive for the council member to make sure Ruffridge Johnson knows what’s going on, despite the fact that they appear to have been a long-time good business citizen that pays taxes at the high commercial rate. After all, it’s unlikely that anyone involved in the business lives in the ward and votes there, and nearby residents don’t patronize it as a retail business.

  2. Alex

    Yes to #6! My house is a stone’s throw from the Stadium Village station, except the closest place to cross the tracks is 15th Avenue, and the next crossing east of that is at 280 (for cars) or the Transitway (for bikes & pedestrians).

  3. sheldon mains

    What about the connection that has been proposed to Industrial Boulevard that is part of the drive to complete the Minneapolis Parks Grand Rounds– using 27th SE and Industrial Boulevard as the NE Parkway that was never built (or some other option that would complete the Grand Rounds through this area)

  4. Mikey

    How about connecting Oak all the way through to Stinson via 18th Ave? It would obviously require removing all the houses along the west side of 18th from Elm to Hennepin, but it would also complete the Grand Rounds

  5. Eric AnondsonEric Anondson

    Since the University just bought a warehouse along 24th, that link of Huron to 24th becomes much more interesting and worthwhile?

    It maybe becomes worthwhile linking 17th through to the future-Huron connection, meeting up at the labeled “New Rd.” New Rd. Becomes an effective reliever for game day car traffic, leave the stadium lots taking Huron north, and “New Rd./Kasota” over to 280. Diverting possibly a lot of the game day traffic off the pedestrianized area of University Ave.

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