Postcard of the old Great Northern Depot. in Minneapolis.

Walk the Talk: Train Days & Reimagining I-94

Editor’s noteWalk the Talk is Streets.mn’s carefully curated, highly partisan collection of both serious and fun-loving events, community meetings and opportunities for engagement that we think will interest our readers. Email your ideas to Hawken Habig, one of our daily editors, at hawkenhabig@gmail.com.

Train Days 2024 — Saturday & Sunday, June 1 & 2

There’s plenty of positive news for trains in Minnesota right now: The Borealis started service last week, the State Rail Plan is receiving a needed overhaul and the legislature is providing support for the state’s freight rail infrastructure. So what better way to appreciate these developments than by going to celebrate trains for the weekend at Union Depot in St. Paul? Train Days will feature train and bus tours, exhibits, food and family-friendly activities. Get more comprehensive information here, and be sure to utilize Metro Transit’s free pass for both days.

Move Minneapolis Webinar: Discover the Joy of Downtown’s Walkable Neighborhoods — Monday, June 3, noon–1 p.m.

Join Move Minneapolis for the latest entry in its ongoing webinar series, covering the Joy of Downtown’s Walkable Neighborhoods. Move Minneapolis — a local organization focused on active and sustainable transportation — will host a panel of Downtown residents to discuss the joys and challenges of walking as a regular means of transportation, in addition to some tips and tricks for those who want to adapt their habits and do the same. Learn more and register here!

Our Streets I-94 Community Forum — Wednesday, June 5, 6–8 p.m.

Late last March, advocacy organization Our Streets (formerly known as Our Streets Minneapolis, now gone statewide), alongside several transportation consultants, released the 91-page Reimagining I-94 report, which presents an in-depth exploration of at-grade options for the stretch of I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul. It comes at a time when the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is considering project alternatives for the corridor through its Rethinking I-94 initiative (don’t mix them up), which the Our Streets report says doesn’t adequately “evaluate multimodal boulevard alternatives.” Our Streets will be hosting a forum on June 5 at Mixed Blood Theatre to further discuss the Reimagining I-94 report findings, provide information about MnDOT’s planning process and recommend how you can push for a more forward-thinking approach. Learn more about the event here!

University Avenue Northeast Redesign Meeting — Tuesday, June 11, 4:30–6:30 p.m.

Concept imagery of a redesigned University Avenue, with three lanes, curb extensions, raised medians with a pedestrian refuge and a grass boulevard.
Potential improvements for University Avenue.

Residents of (or frequent visitors to) Northeast Minneapolis may be relieved to hear that University Avenue (i.e., Highway 47) is up for a redesign and repaving. In 2027, MnDOT will repave the street between Central Avenue and 27th Avenue; in its current state, University has four lanes of general traffic, with the curb-side lanes doubling as parking, in addition to sidewalks on both sides. MnDOT seems to be pushing for a reduction to three lanes — two with general traffic, plus a center turn lane — but other design elements are still up in the air, including center medians and bike lanes, contingent on the results of a parking impact study. Project planners will be hosting a public meeting on June 11 to present the potential improvements and solicit questions and feedback from the community. There is also an online survey for the project, which includes more details on the options under consideration.

About Hawken Habig

Hawken is a student of Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a copy editor at Streets.mn. He also composes Streets.mn's bi-weekly event listing "Walk the Talk;" email any ideas for events or opportunities to hawkenhabig@gmail.com!