[This post originally appeared on Our Streets Minneapolis blog as part of highlighting the most dangerous intersections Minneapolis. The author is Paul Jahn.]
Below are photos from the intersection of Hennepin Ave and 4th Street N, 5th Street N, and 6th Street N.
4th street is the 17th most dangerous intersection for pedestrian in Minneapolis, 13 reported pedestrian crashes occurred at this location in the the ten year study period of the 2017 Pedestrian Crash Study.
6th street is the 12th most dangerous intersection for pedestrians in Minneapolis. 14 reported pedestrian crashes occurred at this location in the ten year study period of the 2017 Pedestrian Crash Study.
These crashes range from fatal to incapacitating to minor crashes.
What are your experiences with Hennepin Ave and 4th, 5th, and 6th Streets N? Follow #mplsintersections on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation.
Is there an intersection you would like Our Streets Minneapolis to highlight? Contact Frances to let us know and get involved.
All photos taken by Paul Jahn.
The long-term plan should really be to eliminate further traffic segments along 5th Street in Downtown Minneapolis. For the corner mentioned, this would eliminate the awkward jog for the through/left turn lane on westbound 5th St at Hennepin. To make this happen, close the curb cut on 5th for the parking lot next to the Dylan mural (there’s access on Hennepin too). Then all automobile traffic westbound on 5th would cross the LRT tracks at Nicollet (this already exists as a split) and the southern side of 5th Ave could become ped-only from Nicollet to 1st Ave N.
Likewise but unrelated to this article: The city missed a big opportunity to improve intersections along the LRT in association with Downtown East redevelopment. First, there is literally no reason for the reconstructed northern lane between Park and 5th Ave next to the new park (I’d be curious to see traffic counts for this stretch, likely approaching zero). Second, if the city had required Ned Abdul to orient the Armory loading docks from 5th St to Portland and 5th Aves (a relatively easy task)… And the city had slightly reoriented the ground floor of their parking ramp before they swapped it for the InterPark ramp nextdoor (where the new City office tower will be)…. Then we could have literally removed traffic and have a widened pedestrianway from 5th Street altogether between US Bank Stadium / The Commons and Government Center Plaza. These opportunities seem so easy and obvious it’s shocking we’re not bothering to take them.
I’m sure this series will eventually be moving south to the blocks of Hennepin that have taken the lives of Michael Lynne Webb, Yasin Hussein Dualeh, and others in the past few years.
We keep rebuilding corners to comply with ADA standards, but we do it in a way that seems to make things even worse for pedestrians. Take a look at this intersection where Dualeh was killed: https://goo.gl/maps/QRfvMP1Nvun
1. We are rebuilding curb corners for ADA without extending the curb. Yeah, I know PW would say moving drainage is expensive. But it’s not necessary. You can maintain existing curbs to existing sewer grates and put plates over them to allow bumpouts that are ADA compatible.
2. Look at where the truncated domes are, where the pedestrians are standing waiting to cross. Instead of doing a sharp corner with tight turn radius (it would be fine, there are multiple lanes to turn into), we do this wide sweeping turning radius with truncated domes following the entire curve. First of all, this provides less guidance to visually impaired people as to where the crosswalk leads into the street. Second, it essentially extends the street space for cars onto the sidewalk… There’s no penalty (other than the occasional human life) for motorists who clip the corner to take a wider-radius turn.
Instead, we can tighten these corners and provide two ADA-compatible ramps that lead directly across the street. https://nacto.org/wp-content/themes/sink_nacto/views/design-guides/retrofit/urban-street-design-guide/images/corner-radii/curb-radius.png
Every time a concrete truck rolls up to a curb job in the City of Minneapolis is an opportunity to improve safety for pedestrians.