Throughout the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction process we’ve conducted additional research (and talked to other organizations) about parallel street redesigns, particularly looking to peer examples in cold climates. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with David Simor, The Director for the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation. David shared his experience with the reconstruction of Bloor Street in Toronto, a major commercial corridor that went through a similar transformation to that being proposed on Hennepin Ave S. That project also had multiple safety, satisfaction, and economic studies associated with it. David has also graciously offered to speak with any Minneapolis staff or elected officials who have further questions about that project or the studies associated with it. We connected him to Mayor Frey, the Hennepin Project Team, and Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Chair Andrew Johnson. We hope they take him up on his offer.
To really dig in on what we learned check this out! Complete with infographics, charts, and everything.
Replacing curbside car storage with bike lanes on Bloor Street in Toronto (snowy winters):
+Increased customer count, frequency, and spending
+Did not lead to higher vacancies
+Improved safety (the most important part)
Businesses can’t afford not to have bike lanes is our takeaway. Hennepin Avenue features 24/7 bus only lanes, two-way sidewalk level bikeway, narrow crossing distances for pedestrians plus wider sidewalks (just to name a few features), and a safer driving experience/left turn lane/parking loading bay. The City Council and Mayor Frey must support the recommended layout put out by Public Works Department, their vision is a street for people. There has been robust engagement around Hennepin, starting back in 2018. The recommended layout is the only inclusive choice; it accommodates people who walk, roll, bus, bike and drive. This is the right design for the more than 15,000 people and hundreds of businesses along this stretch of Hennepin Avenue. Safe and pleasant streets encourage people to gather, linger, shop and dine.
It’s Hennepin Week over on StreetsMN, lots of good reads!
💛 Lots to Love About the Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction
💛 Washington Avenue Cannot Tell a Lie
💛 Reclaiming Hennepin’s Promise
💛 Bikes and Business on Bloor: An Economic Study from Toronto
💛 Don’t Be Fooled: Requests to “Delay” the Hennepin Ave Reconstruction Is Really Just a Way to Stop It