Steady Improvement Slated for Hennepin County

Repainting the Roads for Sharrows

Hennepin County transit officials attended the March meeting of the BAC Engineering Subcommittee to discuss this Summer’s paving and reconstruction projects on county roadways. The majority of projects discussed were described as “relatively easy,” requiring only painting or re-striping to develop new biking facilities or reconfigure existing ones.

Below is a list of projects recommended by Hennepin County officials for implementation this year:

  • Park Avenue/Portland Avenue (redesign): It was recommended that the bike lanes, currently on the left side of each of these one-ways are shifted to the right side, a move supported by the BAC Engineering Subcommittee. Each lane would stretch over 3 miles, with  Park Avenue stretching from 46th Street to the I-94 Bridge and Portland extending further from 46th Street to the Washington Bridge.

  • Portland Avenue (new): A bike lane from 46th Street to Highway 62, expanding upon the redesign cited above to give an additional 2 miles of bike facilities.

  • Penn Avenue North between Dowling and Broadway: County staff are exploring options for a bike facility.  The 44-foot width in some locations may make the addition of a bike lane challenging.

  • Marshall Street: From Broadway Street to Lowry Avenue, this road adjacent to the River will see the addition of sharrows this summer.

  • Washington Avenue: The sharrows west of I-35W will be maintained, while east of I-35W needs further review pending final design decisions on pedestrian-improvements at the intersection of Washington, 15th Avenue South and Cedar (7-corners).

  • 1st Ave NE between Central and 2nd St NE: This reconstruction originally included plans for bike lanes.  The potential future addition of streetcar to this street has lead the County to determine that bike lanes are no longer feasible.

  • 42nd Street South: Roughly one mile of sharrows will be implemented between Nokomis Avenue and Cedar Avenue. Potentially, the sharrows could be upgraded to bike lanes, depending on whether local parking demand requires parking on both sides of the street.  The option of removing parking and adding bike lanes is being explored by Shaun Murphy.

  • Glenwood Avenue: From Xerxes Avenue to 12th Street North/Roylaston Avenue, Hennepin County will restripe to change the configuration of the road, adding bike lanes to most of Glenwood.  The County is proposing sharrows for a short stretch where the street narrows.


There was some discussion of the layout of Park/Portland project, because some BAC members would like to explore a curbside bike lane that is buffered from traffic by the parking lane, similar to the design on First Avenue downtown. Hennepin County staff opposed this, citing the impossibility of maintaining a bike facility in this configuration during the winter, and the challenges with getting approvals for a change of this magnitude.  Hennepin County staff expressed openness to continued dialogue on their maintenance projects.    Members of the BAC noted that having a chance to review projects in a systematic way before the construction season starts is very helpful.

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