Washington Avenue is an unsafe and unattractive barrier in the middle of downtown Minneapolis. It severs downtown from the Mississippi River, degrades quality of life in a growing downtown, and creates a hostile highway between the North Loop, Downtown, and the University of Minnesota.
Now is the time to change that. Now is the time to build a Washington Avenue for everyone. With Hennepin County fully rebuilding Washington from Hennepin to 5th Avenue South, there is once-in-a-generation opportunity to make that change. The new Washington Avenue should invite the redevelopment of surface parking lots and connect people to the riverfront. We want Washington Avenue to be a great place to live, work, and visit. You can help us get there!
Hennepin County is hosting a public meeting 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the Mill City Museum, 704 South 2nd Street. Input gathered at this meeting will help determine the design of Washington Avenue that will last for 50+ years. Please come! It will be an open house format, so you can arrive anytime from 5 to 7 p.m.
Key messages for the public meeting:
- I support a well-designed protected bikeway (or cycletrack) on Washington. We must design this bikeway to serve everyone. More details here on why a protected bikeway is right choice along with details of the options the County will present at the meeting.
- I want five car lanes – not six – with that extra 11 feet of space dedicated to more green space and improved areas for walking and biking. The County’s analysis shows that five lanes are enough to support today’s traffic. Yet they are choosing six lanes based on a guess that traffic may grow 11 to 13 percent by 2035. The consequences of that guess are longer distances to walk across the street, less space for greening, and narrower biking and walking areas. More details on five vs. six lanes will be coming soon.
If you can’t make the meeting, contact Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin with your messages, including a personal story about why this matters to you.
Above is a photo of uninviting Washington Avenue today. All pavement and no life. A barrier to the neighborhood. Here’s what Washington could look more like with new greenspace, a protected bikeway, and fewer lanes. A neighborhood asset that attracts people and businesses.
Coverage of issues and events affecting Central Corridor communities is funded in part by a grant from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.