Tell Hennepin County decision makers to put people first in the Lyndale Ave S redesign

People crossing Lyndale Avenue S at Lake Street
Janelle Nivens,

Hennepin County is in the process of determining the future of Lyndale Avenue S between Franklin and 31st Street in Minneapolis. This project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redesign Lyndale Avenue S to create a vibrant, walkable street that supports the health and well-being of surrounding residents and businesses.

For decades, this portion of Lyndale Avenue South has been a high-injury street, with frequent crashes, near-misses, and life-altering tragedies. In 2021, thanks to community pressure, Hennepin County made long overdue safety improvements, restriping Lyndale from 4 to 3 lanes. The change has already produced impressive results, reducing speeding, crash rates, and making it easier to cross the street.

However, despite the restriping and new medians, Lyndale Avenue continues to be unsafe and inaccessible and negatively impacts the surrounding community. The majority of street space is allocated to moving and storing automobiles, creating a loud and unpleasant pedestrian environment. Narrow sidewalks restrict walkability, impair tree growth, and limit space for public seating and outdoor dining. Drivers weave in and out of the center turn lane to make dangerous, high-speed passes. Sidewalks and crossings are dimly lit, creating safety and visibility issues. Biking on Lyndale is dangerous, forcing many people to bike on the sidewalk. Buses are stuck in traffic during peak times, and many bus stops lack benches and heated shelters.

The upcoming Lyndale Avenue S reconstruction project must address these issues to create a more livable Lyndale that is safe and accessible for all. Unfortunately, some Lyndale business owners are organizing to prioritize on-street automobile parking at the expense of pedestrian, transit, and green space improvements. The fact is that parking is under-utilized along Lyndale, and countless studies have shown that projects that make streets more walkable and bikeable are good for business.

Hennepin County is now creating potential design options, which will be released in early 2024. Now is an important time to make your voice heard.

Ask Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene, project staff, and other key decision makers to put people first in the Lyndale redesign.

This includes:

  • Widen sidewalks and increase pedestrian lighting, with more space for public seating and outdoor dining
  • Preserve existing mature trees and create more greenspace and public art
  • Ensure fast and reliable public transit service via 24/7 bus lanes and/or queue jumps and add new heated bus shelters
  • Narrow vehicle lanes to 10 feet and add a center median to reduce reckless driving
  • Include off-street bike lanes to ensure that people of all ages and abilities can safely bike
  • The project area should be extended north to fix the sidewalk & bikeway gap between Franklin and the Loring Greenway
  • Hennepin County should provide financial support for Lyndale businesses during the construction period
  • Hennepin County should work with the City of Minneapolis to add raised crosswalks on cross streets
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