Introducing: Minneapolis Stay Healthy Streets!

Effective April 29, the City of Minneapolis will begin creating “Stay Healthy Streets” in the 3 geographical areas of the City (North, South, Northeast).

From the Minneapolis Website:

Streets on these routes will generally be closed to thru car traffic but remain open for local resident access. On-street parking will generally be retained; some connection points will have parking restrictions on one side of the street to ensure space for walking, rolling and biking.

This is a great example of how Cities can use their own land (Public ROW, yo!) to benefit public health and active recreation instead of prioritizing the deadly, noisy, high-speed, high-carbon motorized transportation that used to stifle our access to fresh air.

Like the recent news of Minneapolis automating walk signals across the city, these are changes that had not been enacted prior to the Covid-19 pandemic despite the City of Minneapolis passing the Climate Action Plan (2013), Complete Streets Policy (2016), Vision Zero (2017), and the Minneapolis2040 Comprehensive Plan (2019) but since it’s happening now, I hope these new ways of prioritizing active recreation will continue as the standard practice especially after a vaccine is created and we gradually reenter society in-person.

Minneapolis Public Works estimates 1.5 to 2 hours to walk the loops, and 25-35 minutes to bike them. In words from the website: “Check them out, stay active and stay safe.”

You can also still make comments on the Draft Minneapolis Transportation Plan until May 22.

Fred Kreider

About Fred Kreider

Fred is a car-free, smartphone-free Millennial who lives in a 120-year-old NOAH duplex in Downtown Longfellow. A connoisseur of the built environment, they find it unacceptable for transportation to be deadly and believe housing is a right, not an investment. A member of the Streets.MN Climate Committee.

8 thoughts on “Introducing: Minneapolis Stay Healthy Streets!

  1. Keith Morris

    It’s a good start, but we should be closing down major streets and allow businesses to spill out onto the sidewalk so that they can have more customers to offset the loss of indoor capacity and keep within social distancing guidelines. Pedestrian and bike traffic can have the streets to safely travel through without navigating sidewalk queues and seating. Maybe we could even give it a name. I know, how does “Open Streets” sound?

    1. Fred KreiderFred Kreider Post author

      I fully agree.
      While outside the scope of this post, through conversations with others, I have become convinced that our “Commercial Corridors” that have transit routes along them should be 100% closed off to private automobiles, have trees planted in the middle, and be bike and transit only (with expanded seating/retail/cafe space, like you suggested).

      With that, a reminder to write your CM and comment on the Transportation Action Plan!

      Thank you for reading.

  2. Christa MChrista Moseng

    Unfortunately, as of today, the physical reality on the ground is no different from yesterday, or six weeks ago. At least in South Minneapolis, the city has not, apparently, made any effort to indicate this initiative on the streets themselves. No wayfinding, no street closures, nothing.

    I hope they just got delayed in putting out the requisite signage to indicate their intent, otherwise these are just lines on a map, the streets themselves no safer or healthier than they were before.

  3. colin klein

    In theory this is a cool idea. There was limited road closed signs in the Central and Bryant portion of the S Mpls loop as of 5-1. Look out on the 35th street bridge because there is no change to traffic or blockage as you cross the bridge. Not exactly calling me to get out with my younger kids onto these streets. Sidewalks still suffice for their balance bikes so far.

  4. Lou Miranda

    This is a great idea to have “instant parkway loops” for recreation in each section of the city.

    Any updates? The first few posts here from 5 days ago sounded like not much had changed yet. Is it signed & marked yet?

  5. Ian R BuckModerator  

    Ah, you know you’re reading when the article excitedly says “Public ROW, yo!” in the middle of a sentence. 😂

  6. GlowBoy

    I have ridden the South Minneapolis and NE routes (the former multiple times), and they are fully posted and signed. The South Mpls route has been posted since May 1, though they made some changes since then (notably, moving the barricades from the south to the north side of 35th where it crosses 35W.

    Mostly the routing is pretty clear, with a couple of exceptions:
    – 1st Avenue’s one-way nature makes it a little confusing, because – let’s remember, it’s not completely closed to cars, and local car traffic is allowed – it puts cars on the left. Should pedestrians walk on the west side of the street, and cars swerve around them into the bike lane? For that matter, should southbound (contra-flow) cyclists ride in the car lane, or maybe the buffer between the car lane and the bike lane? On the ground it’s not actually that clear what people should do.
    – There are no signs directing people across Powderhorn Park, which may be confusing for people who don’t use the park regularly, especially around the big hill on the west side.

    1. GlowBoy

      I should add that the 35W crossing on 35th is still messy. I mean, literally. The lane now being used hasn’t been swept and is very heavy with gravel. Not a fun place to push a stroller. Also, the ROW is tight there and sign placement makes it a tight squeeze to ride a bike through without swerving into the traffic lanes. Mostly I’m pleased with the route, but 35th could use more work.

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