This past month, Hennepin County has hosted several community engagement meetings around the 2016 Redesign of the Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha Intersection. The last of the meetings is tonight, February 9th, at 7PM (Open House begins at 6:30PM located at Matthews Recreation Center in Seward), if you have not attended a meeting and would still like to give feedback, it is strongly encouraged that you attend this one. Thank you to all of the community members, residents, local businesses, and other stakeholders that came out and supported making the intersection safer for everyone.
The County has done a good job of crafting up a safer intersection than the one that currently exists, but we see the potential for additions and changes that will make the redesign safer for all modes of transportation- particularly cyclists and pedestrians.
This recommendation is in cooperation with Seward Redesign (Andy Hestness and Sheldon Mains), Cycles for Change (Andrew Fahlstrom), Sierra Club (Joshua Houdek), and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition staff and network.
We all agree that the design presented for this intersection is a good solution to an intersection that does not serve anyone that well, and there are some things that we would like to make sure are included in the County’s plan going forward.
Safer, slower Minnehaha
The "alternative configuration" of Minnehaha is the best option for slowing turning speeds, and reducing ambiguity around how bikes should use this area.
Consider- Something like tabling up so cars approaching Franklin from Minnehaha realize they are crossing a bikeway, and it is a more obvious routes for bikes to turn left from Minnehaha.
Safety for pedestrians crossing Franklin at Minnehaha
Pedestrians need a safe crossing at Minnehaha and Franklin. The current design includes a small median without curb cuts and a "double threat" on westbound Franklin, none of which promote safe and comfortable pedestrian movement.
Consider- All instances of double threats should be examined.
Crosswalk design under light rail
There should not be a crosswalk across two lanes of traffic and a bike lane. A traffic study by NACDI shows that two lanes of car traffic on Franklin are unnecessary here.
Consider- Eastbound traffic lanes are wide, and with an 8 ft bike lane/2 ft buffer. If the lanes are narrowed, extra space could be used for a larger buffer. There could be so much room freed up that a floating buffer piece could be used for a "protected intersection."
Truck traffic on 22nd St E
This street was explicitly built for truck traffic, and the current curb bump outs cause trucks to drive up on them and don't encourage trucks to use this route. Changing/removing these bump outs would address some concerns of local businesses.
Consider- Aligning the bump outs to eliminate parking on the north side of 22nd at Cedar, to allow 18 wheelers to turn and to avoid narrowing lanes too much in winter conditions.
21st, 22nd, 23rd Ave
Residents are interested in calming these streets.
Consider- Turning stop signs where 21st, 22nd, 23rd Ave meet 22nd St, which would have traffic stopping at the avenues rather than the streets. The "dog leg" on 21st Ave, south of Franklin, is proposed for a later project. In the mean time, could bollards be used to cut down high speed turns?
Public space in front of Taco Bell
Growing Lots is knowledgeable about growing on asphalt, and is a local business.
Possible partnership or programming?
It's time to Take Action!
If you agree with these recommendations, or have safety recommendations of your own, we urge you to take a moment and email them to Bob Byers of Hennepin County Transportation Planning at [email protected]. Together we can make this intersection safer!