You probably know the intersection - potholes, people driving cars coming from every which-a-way, and for folks walking, rolling, and biking through Lake at Hiawatha, it can be a scary experience.
Photo via Eric Roper of the Star Tribune
Back in 2016, the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County released a study examining the interchange, with particular attention how it could be improved for folks walking, rolling, and bicycling through there.
What’s this report?
We’ve covered the findings of the report in an earlier blog, but here’s a quick snapshot. The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County came up with three tiers of improvements, ranging from Tier I, which includes cheaper safety improvements like increased crosswalk striping and better lighting, to Tier III, which involves options for more complex and expensive redesigns for the intersection.
What’s happening now?
Recently the City and County convened a group of stakeholders (including Our Streets MPLS) to discuss the interchange. The group decided to recommend the City and County immediately pursue Tier I improvements including: leading pedestrian intervals, pedestrian countdown timers, ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps, and speed tables at free right turns.
These Tier I changes will make the intersection substantially safer and can be done right away, rather than the year(s) it might take to secure funding for an execute a Tier III proposal. Stakeholders are requesting that these Tier I improvements be done by mid-summer 2018.
Stakeholders are also requesting continued community engagement work to develop a comprehensive plan for the intersection, as well as funding to partner with community-based organizations.
Okay, that sounds great - but what’s next?
In early December, there’s an intergovernmental meeting where government officials will consider the stakeholder group’s recommendations. Stay tuned to hear how Hiawatha-Lake will be improved.