We’ve held two daytime events on Hennepin Avenue in the past month. On both occasions we witnessed what has become routine due to the dangerous design of this street. At our awareness event on August 13th a driver repeatedly did donuts during Friday evening rush hour at the 24th Street intersection. And on our most recent ride we came upon the aftermath of a serious crash that happened immediately prior to our ride at the 26th Street intersection. For people who live, work or spend time on Hennepin, this isn’t anything new. We know Hennepin isn’t safe for people, whether they’re inside a car or out.
Riding your bike on Hennepin Avenue in its current state takes more than a little courage and passion. We hope the City of Minneapolis, Council Members and the Public Works Department Management, recognizes the desire of everyone who took part in this ride — young and old, of varying abilities— to see a Hennepin Avenue designed for people.
Many candidates or their surrogates were in attendance showing broad support for our efforts! We appreciate your support.
Haley Foydel and Ember Rasmussen from Our Streets Minneapolis, along with Risa Hustad, were instrumental in making this ride happen. Special thanks to the volunteers who worked (whether biking or driving) to keep everyone safe on the ride. Our main concern was being inclusive and keeping everyone safe on an especially hostile and dangerous street — something we’re working as hard as we can to change.
Our biggest thanks to everyone who showed up to be seen and heard on Hennepin Avenue! Our message is resonating because of you. Your enthusiasm fuels our work to make Hennepin a street for people.
On Saturday about a hundred of us rolled down Hennepin Avenue in support of safe, dedicated space for bikes, buses, and pedestrians. An unforgettable experience. Let’s make that feeling of safety, comfort, and human connection routine on Hennepin Avenue.
Sign our petition for dedicated space for buses and bikes, along with improvements for pedestrians. SIGN HERE!
Saturday September 18th Starting at 4 PM, Ride departs at 4:30 PM Skaters, Scooters, and other mobility devices welcomed! Dress Up! Have Fun! Theme is bikes and buses! Meeting at: Smith Triangle Park (24th & Hennepin) Facebook event page
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.