MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - With a Vikings preseason game, a Minnesota Twins game, the Big Ten ACC Challenge at Target Center and Premier Boxing at The Armory, to say Minneapolis Traffic Control had its streets full would be an understatement.
City officials say the combination of all the events added a couple thousand more cars and about 100,000 more people to the downtown area.
“Typically when we have a lot of events like this it’s on the weekend where you don’t have that background traffic there,” said Steve Mosing, the City of Minneapolis traffic operations engineer. “This provides a unique challenge because rush hour does overlap with the rush hour traffic coming in.”
According to Mosing, this type of jam-packed night on a weeknight only happens a couple times of year.
“Traffic congestion is a little heightened,” Mosing said. “Pedestrian activity is a little heightened, too. The plan has managed to mitigate, and there will still be a little delay, but not much more than a typical event would be.”
Construction on Interstate 35W is not helping things, either. So, to keep traffic moving for commuters, the city has had to make some adjustments.
“We changed Third Street from a one-way to a two-way to get people to the 35W ramps,” Mosing said.
But the experts’ best recommendation to avoid the headache is to use public transit systems like the light rail. Fortunately for fans and commuters, this heavy event congestion isn’t commonplace for a Friday in downtown.