Leaders begin new transportation plan for Minneapolis, residents chime in

As Minneapolis looks to the future, leaders are putting together a transportation action plan and asking the public what's important to them.

The original Hennepin Avenue Bridge opened in 1855 as a toll bridge, and it’s changed a few times since then. Now, it’s an example of the evolving transportation needs of our city. 

“I don’t have a car, so I get around by biking, walking and taking transit,” said resident Emily Wade. “For me, I’d really like to see more of our street space working better for people who bike and walk.”  

At Central Library downtown, the public is invited to share what’s working and what could change when it comes to transportation.

“The place I cross - Lake Street - is extremely dangerous. There’s been a lot of accidents and near-accidents,” said resident Janet Court.

There are five community workshops around different Minneapolis neighborhoods this spring as the city looks to get input for their transportation action plan.

“This is the 10-year action plan that we’re looking to implement, the ‘how’ of Minneapolis 2040. The Minneapolis 2040 set more of the policy vision, where now we’re looking at a number of goals established by that to implement the next 10 years of transportation projects and policies around the city,” said Nathan Koster, Transportation Planning Manager with the Minneapolis Public Works Department.

They’re focusing on seven topic areas, including pedestrians, bikes, transit and street design.

“Right now, a lot of our street space is dedicated to cars and kind of pushes us to the side. I think a lot more folks would use those sustainable options if there was the infrastructure to support that,” Wade said.

Leaders also addressed parking for those coming from outside the city.

“We have had a lot more people come downtown and using more transit as a way to bypass the parking demand in the city. We’ve continued to see record light rail use coming into downtown. In a city that has a lot of demand for people wanting to come downtown, we’re looking at ways to offset those needs for parking,” he said. 

There are still a few more community workshops and an online open house for the public to weigh in. The actual transportation plan will be drafted at the end of 2019, into early 2020.