Marcy Holmes Revisited

I walk around the Minneapolis Marcy-Holmes neighborhood often. I didn’t realize that they have a few, new neighborhood improvements planned and I became really curious. One is the new (finally) 5th St SE pedestrian and bicycle bridge plan that crosses over I-35W per this tweet and thread.

5th St Se Bridge

Rendered 5th St SE Bridge

Many people cross this narrow bridge every day which is not currently ADA accessible. With newer student housing on the east side as well as the residential west side can make is much easier for increasing pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The above rendition of the entrance and exit ramps reminds me a just a bit of the Martin Olav Sabo bridge. A few current views of the 5th St SE bridge:

Bridge Entrance

Narrow spiral to walk your bike

Bridge Over I35w

Narrow bridge over I35W

Routes From Bridge

Bicycle-friendly routes from bridge

Another change is (physically) closer to my home across the bridge. The Holmes Park playground will be closing for for a year for the construction of the Marcy Open School. Info can be found per this tweet, MPRB link, and photo taken this week:

Holmes Park

Holmes Park and playground

I’m a little torn on this. It’s great that they’re making an open school there, but there are no kid-friendly playground parks in the immediate area.

A hopeful intersection improvement for Marcy-Holmes and St. Anthony – The intersection of 7th St, 1st Ave NE and Central Ave just sucks and is just a death trap for pedestrians. Ever been to the Bad Waitress NE? It’s awesome! Ever cross Central Ave. to get there? Not so awesome.

Central Traffic

Pedestrian death trap

This is at the noon hour or so which is usually fine. It’s a pedestrian nightmare during rush hours. We know that Councilmember Steve Fletcher has it on a short list they gave public works for intersections to prioritize. I look forward to see new outcomes. Maybe I’m just selfish and want a big grilled cheese from the Bad Waitress without worrying about getting run over by drivers racing to get back to their cul-de-sacs after work.

Or, maybe I’m just a fan of Marcy Holmes in general. The community is really proactive and I’m all for making it safer!

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14 thoughts on “Marcy Holmes Revisited

  1. John Maddening

    Now, I haven’t lived by the Marcy-Holmes bridge in 20 years, but I did used to cross it every day. IIRC, it’s ramps on both sides (straight on the east, spiral on the west), connecting to sidewalks with cutouts — how is it not ADA compliant?

  2. Chris Lautenschlager

    To answer above, although there are ramps, it is currently not ADA compliant because of the current width of the bridge. The new bridge will be 14 feet wide.

    A few other major changes (but not all) in Marcy-Holmes this year:

    protected bikeways on University Ave and 4th Street (sigh, bollards)
    protected bikeways on 10th Ave SE and 15th Ave SE (sigh, bollards)
    Southeast Library closed for renovation (reopening end of 2019)
    Father Hennepin Park rehab (addressing the walking/bike trails and lighting)
    10th Avenue Bridge rehabilitation begins (narrowing 4 car lanes to 2, adding sidewalk, protected bikeway)

    1. Nick Kaylor

      Do you know if they’re repaving University in Marcy before putting in the “protected” bike lanes? Last year I was worried someone on the scooters was going to hit a crevice/pothole that exist year-round and end up in all the traffic that goes 45 in the 30.

  3. Paul JahnPaul Jahn Post author

    It may be compliant. I did use the word “accessible” selectively though just due to the mndaily link above. That wording and “not suitable for ADA rules” are both used because of the narrow width.

  4. Steve Gjerdingen

    Another huge change on the horizon for this area is the hotel going up on 8th Street.

  5. Serafina ScheelSerafina Scheel

    I have such fond memories of that old pedestrian bridge, walking there with my son to watch the 35 bridge being rebuilt, riding his first bike across it. He always called it the Gefangnis (jail) bridge. It does need to be redone but I will miss the current iteration terribly.

    And I’m also really sad that the “protected” bike lanes will have just plastic bollards. We loved the cement barriers along 15th during a construction project a few years back.

  6. Stuart

    This might improve handicap accessibility due to width, but I absolutely hate it when they add 90 degree turns and switch backs to what used to be a straight run access ramp. This make cycling across the bridge much more difficult and makes all users travel an extra block or two out of the way (depending on the length of the ramps).

    When they were planning for the 40th street pedestrian bridge rebuild, they were planning to put switchbacks in because of increased bridge clearance requirements from when the older bridge was built. I complained every chance I could find. They did find a way to avoid the ramp eventually.

    It is a real shame they couldn’t find a way to eliminate the required corners on the west side. In this case, they added the corners to the east end to match the west end even though there is apparently space.

  7. Feller Maria

    “I’m a little torn on this. It’s great that they’re making an open school there, but there are no kid-friendly playground parks in the immediate area.”

    —Don’t forget about Turtle Park around the corner at 714 6th Street SE

  8. Wilj

    “We know that Councilmember Steve Fletcher has it on a short list they gave public works for intersections to prioritize.”

    Well Hennepin/1st is in the process of redesign/rebuild – adding bike lanes adjusting lanes/parking, etc. They’re redoing all of the ped crossings as many are not ADA compliant also (on the subject ADA compliance also dictates slope grades, which may be the reason the current 5th Ave SE ped bridge is not).

    I don’t recall how far toward Central this rebuild will extend, but I suspect it’ll include the interchange you’re referring to as well..

    1. Paul JahnPaul Jahn Post author

      Wilj, I literally live on the corner of Hennepin/1st. Many of us are crossing our fingers that the ADA compliance and better bike lanes go through. Thanks for mentioning this.

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