Park officials drop plan to close Main St. in Minneapolis on summer weekends

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Park officials have dropped a proposal that would have closed two busy streets for summer weekends, as part of a plan to bring more foot traffic along the river in Minneapolis.

Wednesday evening, a resolution directing staff to develop a framework for a pilot program was not approved by city park board commissioners.

Under the proposal, parts of Main Street and West River Parkway would have closed to vehicle traffic for certain weekends this summer.  Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Chris Meyers said if the pilot program was received well, the board may have considered closing Main Street on a full-time basis.

“For the Main Street side, in particular, we could really increase the appeal of it and make it a destination for the region,” argued Meyer.

Meyer said Wednesday night that the proposal failed on a 4-4 vote, as some commissioners were concerned with traffic logistics and staff capacity to take on the project.

“I was a little surprised that it didn’t pass tonight,” said Meyer. “I think we can work to figure out their concerns and make this happen.”

Meyer said he will spend time talking to commissioners, and present the proposal again later this year.
The public is invited to learn more about the proposal at a meeting Wednesday June 19 at 7 p.m. at De La Salle High School.