Updates

Support Transit Riders

Hennepin for People Save Our Bus Lanes Rally & Bus Ride 6 PM Tuesday, May 17th Uptown Transit Station. Dress up to show your love for transit!

The recommendation from the city’s professional traffic engineers and public works staff is for dedicated 24/7 bus lanes on Hennepin Avenue. This recommendation is based on the city’s already adopted transportation and climate policies. After a year of delays on the reconstruction approval, there’s an effort at city hall to strip 24/7 bus lanes from the plan. We’re hearing that a City Council vote could happen as early as this month. We need to keep the pressure on elected officials to support transit riders, especially on a corridor that has a higher proportion of them than anywhere else in the city. Better, faster, more convenient transit means more riders. This is the path to meet our city’s adopted transportation and climate goals. The state is investing $60 million to upgrade service on Hennepin Avenue to bus rapid transit. Our city has an opportunity to construct a street and a system that supports that investment. We can build something that lives up to the name “rapid.” Let’s demand our city’s leaders follow through on their commitments to support transit!

Save Our Hennepin Bus Lanes — Rally and Bus Ride
Tuesday, May 17th at 6 PM
Uptown Transit Station

Come show your support for transit and 24/7 bus lanes at the rally! Afterwards we’ll hop on a bus for a group ride on Hennepin Avenue.

Preregister to testify

Can you show up? Are you ready for a resilient, equitable, and community-oriented street that puts people and planet first? Pre-register to share your story and testify at City Hall. It's almost time to take Hennepin Ave home! We're Raising Our Voice!

This process is finally winding towards an approval vote. Do you want to see the Hennepin Avenue layout, as recommended by the City’s professional Public Works staff, become reality? 24/7 dedicated bus lanes, a protected bike path, pedestrian improvements and left turn lanes. We need your voice in the room when the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction project comes before the City Council Public Works & Infrastructure Committee (PWI). The meetings are normally Thursdays at 1:30 PM, so please keep in mind these potential dates: 5/19, 6/9, 6/23. Once we know the exact date and meeting format (the city has resumed in-person meetings) we’ll notify you. We’ll also provide some talking points but personal stories work best. Reminders will be sent for the upcoming meeting once Hennepin Avenue is on the committee agenda.

Pre-register to testify HERE

Hennepin Avenue bus rapid transit should live up to the name “rapid”

The E Line BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) for bus route 6 is coming to Hennepin Avenue in 2025. Construction is set to begin in 2024. E Line BRT will run about every 10 minutes 7 days a week, while the existing local route 6 will scale back to every 20 minutes. Metro Transit is currently accepting feedback on their Corridor Plan until April 8. Comment HERE.

The E Line BRT is a $60 million investment in transit service for our neighborhoods. We have to do all we can to ensure we deliver on the promise of quick and reliable service. Traveling from Uptown to Downtown on bus rapid transit should actually live up to the name “rapid.” The E line BRT, and Hennepin improvements, would also benefit transit riders outside the Uptown area trying to get to Southdale or Berry on University Avenue (Westgate Green LRT station). History has shown that with investment in BRT infrastructure, ridership grows. In March 2021, City of Minneapolis Public Works Engineer Allan Klugman stated that the current 6,600 bus riders per day is expected to become 14,000 bus riders once the E Line bus rapid transit is added. Bus ridership is already nearly 50% of the rush hour mode share.

Bus Mode Share Graphic. On a typical weekday at 8 am, buses are 3% of motor vehicles and move 49% of people on Hennepin Avenue. In the afternoon peak hour, buses are 2 % of motor vehicles and move 45% of people on Hennepin Avenue.

Benefits of BRT:
💛 Faster, more frequent service
💛 Pre-boarding fare payment for faster stops
💛 Neighborhood-scale stations with amenities
💛 Larger & specialized vehicles
💛 Buses get traffic signal priority for faster trips
💛 Riders can board or exit from any of 3 bus doors (on 60 ft buses)
💛 Stations with heat, lighting, and real-time departure info

We encourage you to submit a comment:
💛Ask for dedicated transit lanes (including on Hennepin Avenue)
💛Support far-side bus station placement at 43rd & Upton intersection, they moved the southbound one. We’re requesting they change it back. This means less delay to transit riders and better service.

Comment HERE

Other useful E Line BRT resources:
Final Countdown: E Line Comment Reminder
How to Build Great E Line Stations
Why Don’t They Just Build a Train?

How many times have we waited to cross here?

Tesla crashed into Hennepin Avenue business. Business has sign that says: Save Our Businesses Say No To Hennepin Ave Bike Lanes.

On Saturday, March 26th another crash happened on Hennepin Avenue. A crash like this makes you hope for the well-being of the people involved. And as residents who cross this intersection every day, it gives you pause about your next walk through the neighborhood. When a high-speed car crash finishes on the sidewalk — as they too often do — it’s a reminder of how dangerous a routine crossing can be. How many times have any of us waited to cross here? Nearby restaurants were full with people dining out. There are constant crashes and close calls on Hennepin Avenue. Whether you’re driving or walking, biking or busing, shopping or shopkeeping — this street doesn’t work for anyone.

The city’s professional staff in the Public Works Department have made a clear recommendation for how to fix Hennepin Avenue. The initial timeline for this project had it coming before the City Council for an approval vote last year, but this was subject to politically motivated delay. There is a plan to fix Hennepin Avenue. This layout needs to move forward to the City Council for a vote. This process started back in 2018 with robust public engagement. We can’t afford further delay.

Contact Mayor Frey, his Chief of Staff, and the City Council request no more delays on Hennepin Avenue, vote on the recommended layout put forward by staff which features 24/7 bus lanes, sidewalk level bike path, numerous pedestrian improvements, center median, and left turn lanes. This is the only inclusive choice.

Yard sign news

Streets are for: walking to school, building resiliency, helping a stranger, people-watching + windowshopping, making new friends, biking to work, raising a family, celebrating + organizing, skating in springtime, sharing a meal, blue skies + blizzards, catching a bus, falling in love, scooting to errands, picking up dinner, meeting with friends, playdates + ice cream, aging in place, welcoming everyone, strutting your stuff, being independent, managing stormwater, growing a garden, connecting community, people.

Hennepin for People, Streets are for People, 18 x 24 yard signs are available now! Request a yard sign HERE.

Window sign (19 x 13) version also available, email us at [email protected] if you’d like one.

Doorknock with Our Streets Minneapolis

Join Our Streets Minneapolis as we get Hennepin across the finish line. We’re immensely grateful for their support throughout the redesign process. From now until April, sign up to support a better Hennepin. They’ve already doorknocked over 400 doors so far!

They’ll provide everything you need! Learn more HERE.

Supporter testimonials

The Public Works recommended layout for Hennepin Avenue has broad support from residents, whether they live along Hennepin itself or come to visit. Thousands of your comments have been sent to the city. During the course of our volunteer canvassing directly on the Hennepin Avenue project area (Lake Street to Douglas Avenue) we collected over 600+ comments in person, along with video interviews.

Would you like to be featured with the rest of our supporters? Send us a pic, name, ward, neighborhood (if you’re comfortable), your preferred pronouns, and a brief statement why you support the Hennepin redesign (about 3 sentences). Email to [email protected]

Unsafe streets are bad for business

Hennepin Avenue’s unsafe design has not been good for business over the years. Let’s take a look back.

Early Sunday morning, March 13, 2005 a van crashed into the Sudz Salon at 2400 Hennepin. The crash caused the building to partially collapse. Although the driver of the van was hospitalized, the building was vacant and there were no other injuries. Paper Source, a neighboring business, has been forced to close temporarily. Sudz owner Howard Kleyman has reopened in a temporary location at 1300 Lagoon Avenue. Photo by Fred Rosenberg.
Full story from the March 14, 2005 Star Tribune: A van crashed into a hair salon at 24th St and Hennepin Ave S in Minneapolis on Sunday morning, leaving a gaping hole in the storefront and causing the second floor to partly collapse.

Creating frequent traffic hazards and crashes isn’t good for business. Being among the city’s most dangerous streets (classified as “high injury”), that’s not good for business either.

Comment deadline today!

Minneapolis' proposed Hennepin Avenue redesign reflects Public Works' commitment to policies that put our community, city, and climate first. Comment now to prioritize accessibility, vibrant businesses, equity, and sustainability. Help make this plan our reality! List on improvements include: Dedicated 24/7 bus lanes, protected bike lanes, pedestrian improvements, and safer with left turn lanes! Comments due January 28th.

Today is the final day to comment on the recommended layout for Hennepin Avenue. Comment Now!

What comes next after comments close?
The next step in the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction process is consideration and a vote before the City Council. Now is a good time time to begin reaching out to your Council Member and Mayor Frey. Let them know why you support the recommended layout for Hennepin Avenue. Even just a sentence or two is fine!

Bloor Street Toronto

With addition of protected bike lanes safety and spending increased.
Vacancy rates have held stable on Bloor Street at 7% over time before and after the bike lanes, and actually went down from 10% to 7% on a nearby street (Danforth) where another bike lane was added

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