Tell Us Your Hennepin Avenue Hopes

Hennepin Avenue downtown today (Snak Shak Flickr)The City of Minneapolis is redoing Hennepin Avenue through downtown. The street will be entirely removed and rebuilt. This presents the opportunity to totally change the street. We could make the sidewalks more pleasant, improve bus shelters, make dedicated spaces for people riding bikes and more.

The City is asking, ”What is important to you?”

This is a big question, so as a Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition volunteer, I put together a survey that I think is easier to answer.

If you’ve been to Hennepin Avenue a couple of times or travel it every day, please take this survey. Do your part to make the process more meaningful. (I’ll share what you tell me in a few weeks.)


Project Background

The construction will be in 2020 with some preparatory work in 2019. However, Public Works is already working on rough designs. An application for federal transportation funding is due this year and it requires details on how the space will be shared.

Public Works is planning for four things:

  • Enough sidewalk space area for people walking plus trees, planters, signs, and benches.
  • Space for “enhanced transit stops” that work with planned Arterial Bus Rapid Transit service
  • A protected bikeway separating people riding from motor vehicle traffic
  • Two-way driving lanes to achieve acceptable level of service for transit and motor vehicles

You can learn more on the City’s Project Website


Survey Background

The City is asking, ”What is important to you?” They want our priorities to guide how they fit together the four basic elements. (If you have an answer to this question, you can send it directly to Simon Blenski, a lead planner on the project.)

Concerned about the giant “What is important to you?” question, I volunteered to put together a more accessible survey for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. I think it’s easier to respond to. Three more organizations, the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhoods Association (DMNA), the Minneapolis Pedestrian Alliance (MPA), and, are sponsoring the survey. I need them to help gather responses!
The survey invites you to think of Hennepin as a place, not just as a road. How could Hennepin serve your needs as well as be a place that you want to linger?

If you’ve been to Hennepin Avenue a couple of times or travel along it every day, please take this survey. Do your part to make the process more meaningful. Take the 10-15 minute survey HERE.

12 thoughts on “Tell Us Your Hennepin Avenue Hopes

  1. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

    In addition to baseline (good biking and walking facilities) I’d like to see dedicated bus rights of way physically separated from any other motor vehicle lanes (if any) and with dedicated signal phasing.

    1. Nick M

      The suburban buses get their own right of way–seems like a goes both ways situation with that

  2. Mike Beck

    I was disappointed that the West Downtown Culture District (WeDo) was not included as a sponsor of the survey. Hennepin Avenue is their “Main Street” and they are a crucial component of contributing to the vitality of the area. (Bob Dylan mural!) Please consider reaching out the them. They are doing much work to keep the street alive, and I would value their involvement. They could potentially reach even broader input towards this critical survey, in my opinion.

    1. Galen RyanGalen Ryan Post author

      Mike- excellent point. My intention is to be as inclusive as possible with the survey. Who is a good person to contact on WeDo about this survey?

  3. Adam MillerAdam Miller

    Would it also be helpful to ask where survey respondents work (location, not employer)?

    Also, I take it three car lanes is off the table? Rather than have to compromise among bikes/buses/pedestrians, I’d want to consider losing a car lane to keep dedicated spaces for buses and bikes and wider sidewalks.

    1. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

      Indeed. Hennepin Avenue is far too valuable of a place to waste the majority of our precious, limited public right of way for users of space-inefficient motor vehicles.

    2. Galen RyanGalen Ryan Post author

      My hope is that respondents will clarify that they travel along Hennepin or visit it often for work.

  4. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

    Crazy ideas: Since Target Field and HERC break up the grid so much, there’s not a continuous south/westbound street between 1st Ave N and 6th Ave N (if that even counts, since it turns west into Olson Hwy). If we were able to replace these movements across downtown, we could significantly reduce driving demand for Hennepin especially to/from the river bridge.

    1. Ramp between 394 extension and 11th/12th Streets (near 1st/Hennepin). This would allow motorists near Loring Park to hop on this short underground freeway to get to the North Loop, 3 blocks away from the river bridge. With better connectivity to the Hennepin Ave bridge, we could get rid of through traffic on Hennepin between Washington and 12th, a distance of 10 blocks through the CBD.

    2. Connect 6th Ave N to Royalston, rather than the Royalston “frontage road” connection to Oak Lake / 10th Ave N. This area is already going to see significant change with the two LRT extensions, so we might as well consider fixing this awkward skewed intersection once and for all.

  5. Den

    Clean up the trash,that harass people first,it down right scary.The skyways block the marquees .

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