Lyndale Ave South
is a vibrant street in South Minneapolis that many local residents and businesses call home. At Open Streets Lyndale we bring 50,000+ people out to bike, walk, roll and play on a street where folks typically would be driving. Yet on a typical day, Lyndale Avenue South isn't an easy, comfortable place to get around without a car. In fact, three out of the 10 most dangerous intersections in Minneapolis are on Lyndale. Given Lyndale's position as a street that connects neighborhoods, schools, parks, and businesses, we must make it a street that puts people first.
Goals for Lyndale Ave
We are working with our community partners and you to set our goals for Lake Street. Interested in learning more about this work and how you can help shape this effort? Contact Cindy.
Contact Your County Commissioner
Your County Commissioner works with the other elected County Commissioners to make the decisions about how transportation projects are prioritized on County Streets in Minneapolis. Make sure you let them know why it's important that Hennepin County prioritizes Lake Street, Lyndale Ave South, Franklin Ave and West Broadway Ave in Minneapolis.
o Find your Commissioner (lookup tool by address)
firstname.lastname@example.org | 612-348-7883
A2400 Government Center
300 South 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487
Elie Farhat, Policy Aide
Laura Hoffman, District Aide and Scheduler
Word on the Street
At Our Streets Minneapolis, we’re calling for a short term safety treatment called a 4 to 3 conversion on Lyndale Ave S from Franklin Ave to 31st street. Here is some more information on this treatment and our stance.Read more
Over the past year we’ve joined together with local residents and groups like Safe Streets Save Lives to call for change on Lyndale Ave S. Today we are renewing this call & we urge you to join us.Read more
The Downtown Bikeways Work Group came together in January for their first meeting of the year and had a packed agenda. We kicked off the meeting by talking about fun things we did over the holidays. Group members are energized after the break and excited to get back into advocacy.
There’s a lot happening in the City that we’re engaging in. Folks talked about advocacy efforts including influencing Hennepin County transportation decision-making at the Franklin Avenue Open House, and the Lyndale Avenue S Community Forum organized by Commissioner Marion Greene.Read more
At their November 2019 meeting, Pedestrian Work Group members recognized the need to prioritize winter sidewalk maintenance in the 2020 City of Minneapolis budget. We support the additional resources for maintenance in the budget. Ash and Abigail Johnson, chair of the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee met Council Member Linnea Palmisano to deliver over 300 postcards supporting improved winter sidewalk maintenance--just a fraction of the over 1,000 postcards we collected. Increased funding for winter sidewalk maintenance will likely remain in the budget--as revealed in the budget mark-up meeting December 6th.Read more
The intersection of Lake Street W and Lyndale Avenue S had the highest total pedestrian crashes (24 crashes) according to the 2017 City of Minneapolis Pedestrian Crash Study. Lake and Lyndale is a signalized intersection with four lanes of traffic to cross on each street. (StarTribune video of the intersection). There are bus stops on all four corners serving routes 21 and 53 on Lake Street and routes 4 and 113 on Lyndale Avenue. Additionally, both Lake and Lyndale have thriving businesses and medium density housing at and near this intersection.
Photo by Janelle NivensRead more
All cyclists have been in the same lousy situation - scanning up and down the street for a pole or sign to lock our beloved bicycles to because there isn’t enough bike parking.
It’s the worst.
That’s why cyclists rejoiced at the beginning of this summer when they discovered LynLake Brewery’s rad, new bike racks – two long racks with plenty of spots for everyone’s bike. The parking is an area that is a high-frequented spot in the City and it’s right off the Midtown Greenway.
But the most surprising part of all? The racks use street spots that are normally for car parking.Read more
The final public meeting for the design of the Hennepin-Lyndale project is:
Tuesday, Feburary 10, 2015
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.--come anytime for open house format
Details will be available on the proposed layout for the sidewalks, bikeways, and greenspace. The street layout was approved in September. Unfortunately, the details that will be presented are not yet available, so we can't share them.
2015 will bring improvements to the Hennepin-Lyndale commons area in front of the Walker Arts Center. The City Council's Transportation and Public Works unanimously approved the proposed layout for the project on Sept. 9. It reflects a very significant improvement from the initial draft layout presented to the public back in March. You can see picture of the before and after below.
For bicycling, the biggest improvements will be:
separated space for people walking and biking on the Loring Bikeway and likely a green buffer between the street and the bikeway.
intersection safety improvements along the Loring Bikeway.
a continuous bike lane on Oak Grove/Vineland extending through the Hennepin-Lyndale.
a buffered bike lane on Hennepin from Oak Grove to downtown.
reduced wait along the Loring Bikeway at the stop light for the I-94 exit.
(More details on these improvement and one additional priority we hope to achieve in the next stage of design are available here.)
In addition to improvements to people biking, this project will also have improvements for people walking, new green space, and be safer and saner for drivers too. For people walking it will add a separate sidewalk from the Loring Bikeway, add a new crosswalk at the Groveland intersection, reduce crossing distances, make corners so drivers slow down a little more, and add new green space buffers between the street.
While taking space from traffic lanes, the City's traffic engineer said the project will have "basically no" impact on traffic because of other improvements for driving. The final design removes a northbound traffic lane to create more space and removes a southbound lane in some places. But the project also makes it so the wait at the Groveland intersection because of changes there and will reduce weaving (which causes crashes and traffic) by better signing where people should be driving to go in different directions.
A lot of people helped make this project go from a bad first draft to a good step forward. We'd like to thank:
Council Members Lisa Goodman and Lisa Bender, who represent the project area and pushed for improvements based on community input.
The Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association and Citizens for a Loring Park Community, who have led an great community task force of local stakeholders. Craig Wilson and John Van Heel deserve lots of credit for volunteering tons of time to co-lead the group. And the task force partners, including Walker, St. Mark's Cathedral, Downtown Council and others who helped out.
City staff and consultants who never got defensive when there was criticism of the initial draft and instead worked very meaningfully with stakeholders to make improvements.
Everyone who attended a public meeting and emailed elected officials or staff. These improvements wouldn't be possible without your participation. Thank you!
The Initial Draft Plan
Final Plan (purple is new space for greening, walking, and biking)
Note: This action alert has passed. We were successful! You can send a thank you to this same list. Council Members Lisa Goodman and Lisa Bender were the primary leaders on this and especially deserve our thanks.
Misinformed opponents want to delay action on the Hennepin-Lyndale design in hopes of more traffic lanes at the expense of everything else.
No matter where you live in the City, if you see this before 10:00am Tuesday, September 9, please send an email in support. We don't want this project delayed or potentially derailed because of this. The Transportation and Public Works Committee will vote on this shortly after that.Read more
The Hennepin Avenue-Lyndale Avenue commons area in front of the Walker Arts Center is being reconstructed in 2015. This is a great opportunity to make big improvements in the area. Our priorities for the project are:
Separate the walking and biking areas along the Loring Bikeway. The protected bikeway here is uncomfortable and risky for people walking and biking. Providing a separating sidewalk would greatly improve that. We also hope to see a green buffer between the street and the bikeway/sidewalk area.
Improve intersections along the Loring Bikeway for safety and ease of use and improve the access to Loring Park paths for people walking and biking.
Eliminate the bike lane gaps on Oak Grove/Vineland as it approaches and crosses Hennepin/Lyndale.
Add a new protected bike connection in front of the Sculpture Garden to connect a hopefully future Dunwoody/Van White Blvd protected bikeway with the Loring Bikeway.
Re-time the light at Loring Bikeway and I-94 exit ramp to provide more green time for people walking and biking.
Add buffered bike lanes on Hennepin from Oak Grove to downtown where buffered bike lanes start.
You can see these bike priorities on a map here.
We are also very supportive of walking, transit access, greening, and other neighborhood priorities for this project. There are many opportunities beyond biking for this project and many are critically important. These include narrowing crossing distances, making it a more neighborhood--rather than freeway--scale, adding greening and/or public art, adding a crosswalk on the northside of Groveland intersection, improving bus stops, and more.
We are glad to be part of a community task force that includes the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association, Citizens for a Loring Park Community, Downtown Council, Walker Art Center, and key churches and residences in the area. This task force has offered a vision for improvements and worked with staff to see good ideas added to the project.
Good News--Improvements Gaining Traction
For those that attended a public meeting in March, you know that it didn't seem that walking, biking, and community improvements were a priority for this project. Mostly the message was that it was about fixing the pavement. The comments and feedback from many people has helped shift that. Staff now seems likely to recommend addressing many community priorities for the area.
Improvements being actively discussed in plans include:
Separate the walking and biking areas along the Loring Bikeway.
Improve intersections along the Loring Bikeway.
Eliminate the bike lane gaps on Oak Grove/Vineland.
Add buffered bike lanes on Hennepin from Oak Grove to downtown.
New green space and significant improvements for pedestrians.
A key part of this will be eliminating a northbound lane through the project. Staff seem confident that it can be done with little or no impact to traffic. The community task force and Bicycle and Pedstrian Advisory Cmtes have also asked for more details on the potential to remove a southbound lane. Traffic details have not been made available for that yet.
Come to Public Meeting August 4
Monday, August 4, 2014
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
This is a critical public meeting. Please come and offer support for these biking, walking, and community improvements.
More details on the project will be available at: http://www.hennepinlyndaleproject.com/
You can also email the local City Council Members to offer your support for walking and biking improvements:
Council Member Lisa Goodman: email@example.com
Council Member Lisa Bender: firstname.lastname@example.org
At its meeting Tuesday the Engineering Subcommittee of the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) heard plans for the Hennepin Lyndale Bottleneck and the Nicollet Mall Redesign, two street makeovers that are seeing minor bicycle facility improvements.
Hennepin Lyndale Bottleneck
The City of Minneapolis received a $7.2 million grant from the federal government for a $9.1 project to improve the Hennepin Lyndale Bottleneck. Some hope for a dramatic change, but planners estimated each day 55,000 vehicles use the bottleneck going north south. Thus, they seem loath to cut down the number of lanes.Read more
On March 25, the City hosted the first of three public open houses about a $9.1 million project to fully reconstruct some parts of the Hennepin-Lyndale commons area in front of the Walker Arts Center. (Picture at left shows comments from last night; image from Matt Brillhart.) The open house included significant details about the plans for the driving parts of the project, but surprising little about walking and biking improvements. (Details will be online soon; my pictures didn't turn out great.)
My first reaction to the City engineer was: "honestly, I'm disappointed." He said that it is very early in the process and they will be working out more detailed improvements for walking and biking as they gather this feedback and look at more options.
What is clear is that this is a road maintenance project (mostly fix and put back what is there). They aren't planning to think big and the budget doesn't allow that. Roundabouts, bus-only lanes, and fewer car lanes are all outside this project. Intersection improvements, narrower car lanes, and improved lighting are all in play. It's admittedly a bit frustrating that the "scope" of this project was decided in 2011 without public input and what is done now will be intended to last for decades.
Here's what I know about some key bike/walk areas:
Will they be doing something to transform the area like a roundabout or burying more of the interstate?
There is no doubt that this stretch of road divides downtown from Uptown, is unattractive, and takes up a lot of valuable real estate. Transformative ideas are outside of what is possible with this project as currently defined and budgeted. Unless something huge changes from City elected officials to give more money to this project and delay it, this project will look more or less like what is there today.
Will they add a sidewalk on the downtown side and separate where people walk from where they bike?
This isn't currently in the plan and I got the sense it is going to take some work to get this. This seems basic and a very clear safety need on this project. They plan to narrow the driving lanes a little from the current way-too-wide, which provides some space, but we need many people saying this is a priority.
Will they improve the intersections for biking along the Loring Bikeway?
They will make some improvements to intersections, but it isn't clear how many. I asked about lights that give people walking and biking a slight lead on cars, straighter and smoother crossings for bikes, and clearer stopping and crossing zones (with green paint, etc.). I was told that all of those can be considered.
Will they extend a protected bikeway on Lyndale to Franklin or 22nd Street?
This is not currently within the project work. Adding it will require strong support from the City Council, especially Council Members Goodman and Bender.
Will they make it easier to cross Hennepin/Lyndale on bike and foot?
The designs show a slightly narrowed crossing distance throughout, but certainly nothing transformative. They offered the most details of the intersection with Oak Grove/Vineland Place. Those details showed new bike lanes connecting across Hennepin/Lyndale to connect existing bike lanes farther back on Oak Grove and Vineland Place. I wonder if we can get some elements of protected intersections included in that, but it certainly isn't currently being planned. The designs also included some reworking of the pedestrian crossings, but I expect it will still take two light cycles to walk across the full road (without serious hustle).
They also noted that they are planning to widen the sidewalk on the Walker side of the street (no details on whether green would be added), address some challenging crossings at Dunwoody and Groveland Terrace (but they didn't have details).
Engineers will be working with the Minneapolis Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees in April on additional details. We'll share more ways you can get involved soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to offer your questions and comments on the project website and share them here as well.
Were you at last night's meeting? What were your impressions? What are the improvements you want? What questions do you have? Let us know in the comments as it helps us determine our priorities for this work.
Tonight is the Hennepin-Lyndale Avenue Project Open House in the Skyline Room of the Walker Art Center. The project will reconstruct Hennepin and Lyndale from Franklin Avenue and Dunwoody Boulevard. These roads have lanes that intertwine like a pile of spaghetti and have high traffic in the tens of thousands for cyclists, pedestrians, public transit, and personal motorized vehicles.
The intersections at Franklin Avenue, Groveland Terrace / Avenue, Vineland Place / Oak Grove Street, and Dunwoody Boulevard all have room for improvement for safety and efficiency. Currently, there is a protected bike lane, a bike bridge to connect to Bryant Ave, a pedestrian bridge from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to Loring Park, and the paths in the park, but the crossings are still problematic.
The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition will develop a formal position after the meeting, but possible project recommendations might include a sidewalk separate from the bikeway while keeping the bikeway protected from cars; improved crossings, including better curb cuts, leading pedestrian/bicycle signals, and improved green paint; and a protected connection all the way to Franklin on Lyndale.
Please attend and offer your thoughts:
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Walker Art Center, Skyline Room
1750 Hennepin Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (come and go at anytime)
You can also view the project website.
The widest road in Minneapolis is being reconstructed next year.
Hennepin and Lyndale Avenues come together in front of the Walker Art Center in a jumble of lanes as tens of thousands of people move through every day.
The City is reconstructing this stretch from Hennepin/Dunwoody to Franklin Avenue.
It’s an opportunity to improve bicycling and make it safer to cross the street. The protected bike lane on the east side is very popular, but has a number of challenges.
Attend the first public meeting to offer your thoughts on needed upgrades.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Walker Art Center, Skyline Room
1750 Hennepin Avenue
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (come and go at anytime)
After running some errands in St. Louis Park this morning, I returned to Minneapolis to have an omelette and coffee at one of my favorite spots, a Lyn-Lake eatery that shall remain unnamed. After I finished my meal, I had a sour taste in my mouth. The food was great, but I was disturbed by a bit of anti-cyclist chatter I overheard between the servers:
"I was driving down Lyndale and I was stuck behind these bikers."
"Isn't there a bike road on Bryant, just like a block away?"
"Yeah, but they still ride their bikes on Lyndale sometimes."
"Why do they do that?"
"I guess they just wanna be rebels."
I wasn't in the mood to interrupt the conversation on which I'd been eavesdropping, but I'd like to correct some of the pernicious assumptions they made. So here are four points I'd like the "get bikes off Lyndale!" crowd to consider.
1) People on bikes have a legal right to ride on Lyndale. It's rebellious to run red lights. It's rebellious to ride against traffic. It's rebellious to ride on the sidewalk in a commercial district. There's nothing rebellious about riding a bike in the street.
2) There's nothing to do on Bryant. Between Franklin and Lake Street, I don't see a single business on Bryant. There's a half-block park that pales in comparison to the nearby Kenwood and Loring parks, to say nothing of the lakes. South of Lake Street, there's a bigger park and a few coffee shops, but Bryant is still not a destination street.
3) There's lots to do on Lyndale. I get groceries from the Wedge at 22nd Street. I get pizza from Leaning Tower at 24th Street. I pick up documents from Sir Speedy on the 2500 block. Lyndale and 26th is where I have meetings, Lyndale and 27th is where I get my hair cut, and Lyndale and 28th is where I tune up my motorcycle (just kidding — but I could if I had one). Art Materials and Buffalo Exchange, both on the 2700 block, respectively serve my writing and clothing needs. We've had a few happy hour events at Tiger Sushi by the Greenway. The VFW on the 2900 block serves me Grain Belts and graciously tolerates my singing and dancing.
4) For short trips, going two blocks out of my way is annoying and dangerous. Say I wanted to go from Moxie to Sir Speedy to Common Roots to the VFW. If I just stayed on Lyndale, the whole trip is simple and totals 0.7 miles. If I avoided Lyndale as much as possible, the trip would more than double to 1.5 miles. This longer, more complicated route also takes me on 26th Street, a corridor with one of the highest cyclist-motorist crash rates in the city (PDF, page 24). It's safer and easier to go up and down Lyndale.
I was troubled to hear servers at a (putatively) bike-friendly establishment imply that streets are for cars, and that bikes just get in the way. Streets are for everyone! Bryant is a good avenue if you're commuting between Loring Park and the Midtown Greenway, but for short trips, riding on Lyndale is convenient, and you're well within your rights to do so.