Hennepin Avenue in its current form is a pass-through street, designed to move car traffic as fast as possible through our neighborhoods. It’s loud and hostile — with as much as the surrounding area has to offer, Hennepin itself isn’t a place you want to spend time. The city’s own Vision Zero crash study shows it to be a high-injury street that poses great risk to everyone who uses it, no matter how they’re traveling. The once-in-a-generation opportunity for change is now. The city’s recommended layout for Hennepin Avenue would create a street designed for people, where our local businesses can thrive, a better experience for transit riders using dedicated 24/7 bus lanes, protection for people biking with a sidewalk level bike path, numerous improvements for pedestrians including shorter crossing distances, left turn lanes so drivers can move through traffic safely and predictably. Not only can this be a safer street that reflects our city’s already adopted climate priorities and policies, it can be a vibrant and attractive place for people to live, gather, and visit local shops. Hennepin can be an example of what’s possible in reimagining our city’s streets.
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