We need your help to make Washington Avenue the best it can be in the Mill District this year. Nation-leading protected bike lanes are being installed right now on Washington from Hennepin to 5th and we can extend protected bike lanes through the Mill District with your support.
Hennepin County is currently reconstruction Washington Avenue from Hennepin to 5th Avenue South. It will include great protected bike lanes!
What happens south of 5th Avenue?
To maximize the value of these great protected bike lanes, they need to be connected to destinations like the Mill District, West Bank, and University of Minnesota. And it needs to be as consistent as possible for people biking, walking, and driving. Thankfully, protected bike lanes can be implemented on the Mill District section of Washington by simply narrowing traffic lanes inches and removing just a few parking spots (overall, there will be more parking since parking will be made permanent rather than going away during rush hour).
City of Minneapolis Public Works staff say that protected bike lanes on Washington in the Mill District are "both feasible and preferable." Hennepin County staff are still reviewing the details, but have previously supported a plan that would include unprotected bike lanes rather than protected bike lanes.
We understand that County staff have been wary of repeating the problems of 1st Avenue North. We certainly don't want to do that and wrote about the need to get past the ghost of 1st Avenue with well-designed parking protected bike lanes. We see from other cities and locally with 11th Avenue South, that parking protected bike lanes can be great if done well.
|What unprotected bike lanes on Washington would look like in some stretches (includes buffered bike lanes in parts too)|
Parking protected bike lanes could look like this example from Chicago (Source: Active Transportation Alliance)
How you can support
Protected bike lanes on Washington in the Mill District can be built this fall! But, if we don't do it now, it could be 15+ years until we see protected bike lanes here.
2. Complete our survey about bike lanes on Washington. We are sharing the results of this survey with the County and City.