Historic building preservation, storm water control, permeable pavers, wider sidewalks, bike lanes? What do Lowry Avenue neighbors want?
Lowry Avenue Community Works, a collaboration between Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis, is actively looking for public input to improve transportation options, offer housing choices and support business growth in Lowry Avenue communities.
Following completion of the iconic Lowry Avenue Bridge in 2012, it’s time to update the plan for Lowry Avenue Northeast.
“New approaches will allow a revised plan to more accurately capture community desires for right-sized transportation improvements and redevelopment opportunities,” according to the Lowry Avenue Community Works webpage.
The Minneapolis City Council adopted a resolution in 2009 regarding the Northeast Minneapolis portion of the Lowry Avenue Corridor. The resolution supports Hennepin County’s concept plan for the corridor and encourages “continued dialogue with abutting neighborhoods, neighborhood organizations, and other stakeholder groups as this…plan evolves.”
True to the City Council’s resolution, neighborhood organizations and residents of Audubon Park, Bottineau, Holland, Marshall Terrace, and Windom Park neighborhoods, are part of an, “extensive community engagement, to be completed by October 31st,” according to Hennepin County Project Manager Carol Anderson.
Interested community members are invited to participate in the first public workshop for the Lowry Avenue Northeast Plan on Thursday, February 27, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Edison High School, Media Room, 700 22nd Avenue NE, Minneapolis.
The workshop includes a presentation on recently-gathered corridor information followed by a series of community input activities that focus on transportation and economic opportunities along the corridor and six key Lowry Avenue intersections: Marshall Street, 2nd Street, University Avenue, Monroe Street, Washington Street and Central Avenue.
“Participants are asked to stay for the entire workshop,” said John Slack, Stantec Project Consultant, adding, “There will also be kid friendly activities.”
“Community input will be invaluable to developing options for how these intersections can support business growth, offer housing options, enhance the natural environment, and improve the environment for bicycles, pedestrians, vehicles, transit and freight.”
“We’re trying to be as transparent as possible,” said Slack. “The first two months, through March, is a visionary process.”
“Do you want wider boulevards, sidewalks, or bike paths? If that’s what you tell us, that’s what we’ll deal with,” said Slack. “Decisions will not be made behind closed doors.”
“We’re starting with the community workshop on February 27,” said Slack. “In March, the management team will work with Edison students and their parents, engaging them in the process.”
“We are potentially working with a couple of different groups of students and teachers,” said Slack. “We’re still trying to flesh out the specifics.”
“After March, the management team will compile suggestions and recommendations and develop a final report in September,” said Slack. “There will be time for community input and reactions.”
“We’ll be looking at the avenue’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities,” added Slack. “We want to hear from you.”
John Slack’s firm, Stantec, based in St. Paul, MN, is serving as lead consultant on the project. They are teamed with Tool Design Group and Floodplain Collective.
“Stantec will focus on intersection design, redevelopment, market research, public realm, storm water and traffic,” said Slack. “Our sub-consultants will provide assistance with public engagement, multimodal (bike/pedestrian) design, public realm and public art.”
Stantec has worked on numerous planning projects across the United States, including recent corridor studies in Rochester, St. Cloud, Cedar Falls and Oklahoma City. Previous projects include Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis and the County Road C and Larpenteur Avenue corridors in Roseville.
For more information about Lowry Avenue Community Works and the Northeast Minneapolis Lowry Avenue Corridor Plan, contact Carol Anderson, Hennepin County Project Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org and watch the webpage for project updates: http://www.hennepin.us/lowry