Jun 13, 2022 - News

Hennepin Avenue's (likely) new look

A graphic showing how Hennepin would look post construction
Image courtesy of the city of Minneapolis

Hennepin Avenue between Uptown and the Walker Art Center is going to look a whole lot different in a few years.

Driving the news: The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote on a new layout for the major corridor on Thursday. The design of the street has been hotly debated.

Why it matters: A plan approved by a key committee last week will remove parking to make more room for bike and bus lanes.

The intrigue: Public works director Margaret Anderson Kelliher put forward a plan for the bus lanes to be used for parking at certain times, with the intent they will eventually be fully dedicated to buses.

  • Council Member Aisha Chughtai, who represents the area, authored an amendment to not allow parking at any time in the bus lanes. It passed committee Thursday on a 5-1 vote.

How we got here: The Hennepin redesign has been in the works for two years.

  • Proponents of the new design say the layout will make the street safer for bicyclists and pedestrians and speed up transit service — though it's not clear yet how much faster bus service will get.
  • Opponents argue that the loss of parking will further harm businesses in the area and will also lead more vehicles to cut through surrounding neighborhoods.

By the numbers: Currently, Hennepin Avenue is a high volume street with mostly four lanes of vehicle traffic and two lanes of parking.

  • It carries 15,000-31,000 vehicles a day, 6,600 bus riders, 770-3,400 pedestrians and 220-280 bicyclists, according to a city presentation.

What's next: Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2024.

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