Lots to Love About the Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction

Starting in 2024, the City of Minneapolis will reconstruct Hennepin Avenue from Lake Street to Douglas Avenue. In line with the City’s progressive climate, transportation and comprehensive plans, Public Works has recommended a redesign of Hennepin Avenue that puts the climate and people walking, biking and rolling first. In this post, I will highlight some of the details that make this redesign of Hennepin Avenue truly transformative.

Dedicated Bus Lanes

Typical cross section of Hennepin Avenue in Public Works’ recommended layout. Source: Minneapolis Public Works

Dedicated bus lanes run on Hennepin from Douglas Avenue to the Uptown Transit Station at 29th Street. These bus lanes facilitate fast, reliable service for the forthcoming E Line, as well as local buses, by providing space unobstructed by cars.

Off-Street Bike Lanes

Protected, two-way bike lane on Hennepin Avenue. Source: Minneapolis Public Works

An off-street, two-way bike lane runs from Lake Street to just north of Franklin Avenue. This protected bike lane will finally allow people of all ages and abilities to safely bike to businesses, schools, healthcare and more on Hennepin.

The Hennepin Avenue bike lane will connect directly to the Bryant Avenue bike boulevard, saving riders an inconvenient jog down Franklin. Source: Minneapolis Public Works

At the northern end, the bike lane will connect directly to the Bryant Avenue bike boulevard, facilitating a seamless connection to the Loring Greenway into downtown.

New Pedestrian Crossings

New pedestrian crossing at 25th ½ Street with a center median, marked crosswalks and a traffic signal. Source: Minneapolis Public Works

Enhanced pedestrian crossings are added across Hennepin at Colfax, Dupont, Fremont, 25th ½ Street and Girard, employing pedestrian refuge islands and sometimes traffic signals and painted crosswalks. These new, formalized crossing locations will reduce the distance between crosswalks on Hennepin from about 750 feet to 370 feet.

Fewer Driveways

The redundant driveway on the right side of the parking lot at the funeral home near 22nd and Hennepin will be removed. Source: Minneapolis Public Works

At a number of locations, redundant driveways into parking lots will be removed, which reduces conflict points between drivers and people on the sidewalk while still providing access to parking lots. Other driveways, like at the Holiday gas station on 25th, will be right-sized to a narrower width, and most all get a tighter turn radius to prevent high-speed turns across the sidewalk and bike lanes.

Narrowed Crossing Distances

Intersections of side-streets with Hennepin will be dramatically narrowed, such as this one with Colfax Avenue S. Note the gray outline of the existing curb position. Source: Minneapolis Public Works

Where minor streets intersect with Hennepin, crossing distances are reduced dramatically from current conditions, providing a safer experience for people walking and rolling.

Center Medians

A median down the center of Hennepin Avenue. Source: Minneapolis Public Works

A median down the center of Hennepin Avenue will improve safety by preventing dangerous left turns into driveways and cross streets, while also providing opportunities for green space.

Like What You See?

Public Works is soliciting feedback on the details of this Hennepin Avenue reconstruction design. You can let them know what you like about this redesign, as well as suggest improvements.

Title image: rendering showing how Hennepin Avenue will look after the reconstruction, with dedicated transit lanes, a two-way, off street bike lane at the sidewalk level, boulevards, and a center median. Image credit: Philip Schwartz

Sam Penders

About Sam Penders

Sam lives in the Wedge neighborhood of Minneapolis and advocates for sustainable transportation and abundant housing.

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