We had great turnout for our Hennepin Awareness rally to support dedicated bus lanes, a protected bike path, and pedestrian improvements.
Many thanks to our speakers and guests: Move Minnesota’s Executive Director Sam Rockwell, Mary Morse Marti, Park Board District 4 Commissioner Jono Cowgill, Hennepin County District 3 Commissioner Marion Greene, Council President Lisa Bender, Katie Jones (Ward 10 candidate), Risa Hustad (Park Board candidate), Aisha Chughtai (Ward 10 candidate), Nick Kor (Ward 7 candidate), and Pine Salica (Board of Estimate and Taxation candidate).
The above video taken during our event (around 5:30 pm on a Friday) is just one relatively tame example of the kind of thing that has become routine. The driver did this once, then returned to do it a second time, which someone was able to capture on video. Our streets shouldn’t be designed in a way that invites dangerous driver behavior. This street is poorly designed. It’s too wide and too fast. Hennepin Avenue is a daily hazard for everyone who uses the street. Our vision is an inclusive street that works for people, no matter how they travel!
Our goal remains dedicated space for transit and bikes, as well as pedestrian improvements. We continue to push the City Council and Public Works for a vote on the Hennepin layout this year — but can only accomplish this with your help. Sign our petition!
Hennepin for People is a group of community members advocating for an inclusive design for the Hennepin Avenue South street reconstruction (from Lake Street to Douglas Avenue). The street was last reconstructed in 1957. According to data collected by the city, Hennepin Avenue is a high injury street. We know BIPOC communities and other marginalized populations are affected most by traffic crashes and pollution. They’re also most likely to depend on transit. We support a street design that includes 24/7 dedicated space for transit, pedestrian improvements, and a sidewalk level protected bike path.
With funding for the E Line BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) secured, this stretch of Hennepin Avenue should have dedicated transit lanes to make the most of this investment and ensure transit riders have quick and reliable service. Traveling by bus from Uptown to Downtown on bus rapid transit should actually be “rapid.” The E line BRT route, and Hennepin improvements, would also benefit transit riders outside the Uptown area trying to get to Southdale or Westgate on University Avenue. With investment in BRT infrastructure, we know ridership will grow. Protected bike paths will allow more people to have direct access to all the local businesses along the corridor; as study after study has shown, streets that are safe and comfortable to bike and walk on are better for businesses.
Our vision is a street that considers climate change in its design, reducing air, water, and noise pollution. We want a route that is safe for people who walk and use wheelchairs, for the children who attend Jefferson School, for the folks who live in the two senior high rise buildings here, for the hundreds of families who call this corridor home and the tens of thousands of people who live on and along the corridor. The Hennepin Avenue improvements we’re asking for would create not only a safer transportation corridor, but also the kind of street people want to spend their time and money.
We reached out to mayoral candidates on July 13 with a short questionnaire. Their responses are linked below.
Our thanks to all the candidates that took time to respond to our questionnaire 💛
We had great turnout of public comments in April. Our message was heard loud and clear. Unfortunately our understanding is that the City’s Public Works department has caved to pressure from the status quo. We no longer have a set timeline for the Hennepin project approval. Putting off a decision is a decision in itself. And a victory for the status quo. There are people who want to delay the project in order to strip out the improvements that would make Hennepin a street for people.
Right now, it’s important for us to make sure that Public Works doesn’t remove dedicated transit and bike space, or pedestrian improvements. We can’t sacrifice this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make Hennepin an inclusive street that works for all in our community. We need to get the city to commit to a timeline. We need to show them that we’re paying attention and not going away.
Our goal remains dedicated space for transit and bikes along with pedestrian improvements. We continue to work on having a vote on Hennepin this year but can only accomplish this with your help.
Join us on Friday! Please wear a mask.
You’re all invited to our August 13th event. Come and hang out with people who support bikes, buses and pedestrian improvements. Location and more details to come. We hope you can join us!
Summer has us dining outside more frequently. Does anyone else have a hard time hearing what the person across the table is saying? Hennepin Avenue is loud. Really loud. That’s what happens when your neighborhood streets are designed to be mini-highways, moving lots of car traffic at high speeds. We’re fans of all the available outdoor dining options from our local businesses. A better street design for Hennepin Avenue means less noise pollution, a more pleasant place to live and spend time, and a more attractive dining experience. Loud and hostile spaces discourage people from lingering. The Hennepin Avenue improvements we’re asking for would create not only a safer transportation corridor, but also the kind of street people want to spend their time and money.Read More »Lowering the volume on Hennepin Avenue
More than 15,000 people live in neighborhoods along the small stretch of the Hennepin Avenue project area, from Lake Street to Douglas Avenue. It’s not just a business corridor or a thru street, it’s our community. Hennepin is home to many people who live in these lovely old buildings. Hennepin is their front yard. Now is our moment to make big changes to this street for these local residents and our growing Uptown population! Let’s make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! They deserve cleaner air, less pollution, and a break from the noise.Read More »Hennepin Avenue: Our Front Yard
We’ve touched on the significance of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fix Hennepin Avenue. It goes beyond just this city-controlled street. What happens here will influence other streets, including county-controlled streets like Franklin, Lowry Ave NE, Lake, Lyndale, West Broadway—streets that currently threaten the health and safety of Minneapolis residents. Many of us involved with Hennepin for People have participated in this process since it started back in 2018. That’s a long time. This is deeply personal to us, it’s where we live. Many of us have had close calls on Hennepin Avenue. It’s not an abstract or philosophical question. This street impacts our daily lives. We can’t accept less than significant pedestrian improvements, along with dedicated space for transit and bikes.
Hennepin Avenue doesn’t work for anyone in its current form. It’s stressful to drivers, it’s a hazard to vulnerable users like pedestrians, bikers and transit users. Our streets need to reflect our values—how we care for our neighbors and for the environment. We are the only inclusive side with a vision. The outcome for Hennepin should be a street that reflects our priorities and ambitious policies like the Transportation Action Plan, Complete Streets, and Vision Zero. A safer, more vibrant street is inclusive and works for drivers, pedestrians, bikers and transit riders.
Looking at the City of Minneapolis Crash Study, the takeaway is Hennepin Avenue is a dangerous place for people walking and biking. And this only includes reported incidents. How often do you report a dangerous encounter with a vehicle as a pedestrian or biker?Read More »Why this all matters
Help us keep the pressure on the City of Minneapolis for Hennepin Avenue. Our request: any design must include dedicated bus lanes and a safe, separated bike path. Encourage others you know to sign the petition. Now is a critical moment for the project. We need your support!
Remember, what we do here will shape designs for other streets in our community. This isn’t just about one street in Uptown; this is precedent-setting for how we shift the transportation system and how we design other streets. The design choices made for this city-controlled street will shape future decisions for county-owned streets (Franklin, Lowry Ave NE, Lake, Lyndale, West Broadway) that threaten the health and safety of Minneapolis residents. We start by shifting the system here.