Design options revealed for Hennepin-Lyndale makeover

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August 5, 2014 // UPDATED 11:46 am - August 6, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
A view of the Hennepin-Lyndale corridor from the Walker Art Center's Skyline Room.
Photo by Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Project planners working on the Hennepin-Lyndale Reconstruction Project revealed two design options for the congested corridor at an open house at the Walker Art Center on Monday night — one reducing a northbound lane toward downtown and another removing the northbound lane along with a southbound lane between Vineland and Groveland.

The designs also modify some of the turn lanes along the heavily traveled corridor to make it easier for bikers and pedestrians to cross the streets.

More than 200 people attended the open house and had the opportunity to offer feedback on the two design options. Construction is expected to begin on the $9.1 million project in 2015. Another community open house will be organized later this year. 

The corridor is one of the busiest in the city. It’s also one of the most challenging areas for pedestrians and bikers to travel since several lanes must be crossed to travel from Loring Park to the Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden.

An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 cars move along the area on an average day along with 9,000 transit users and 2,000 bikers and walkers.

The reconstruction project would span Hennepin and Lyndale from Dunwoody Boulevard on the north end and Franklin Avenue on the south end. Pedestrian crossings would also be improved at Dunwoody; Vinewood Place/Oak Grove Street; Groveland Terrace/Groveland Avenue; and Franklin Avenue.

Ole Mersinger, a project engineer for the city, said the design options are intended to "address the multimodal nature of the corridor." 

"The non-motorized element is enhanced and through better lane designations/alignments there will be a barely noticeable impact to motorized users," he said. 

Craig Wilson, a Lowry Hill resident who has been involved in a task force made up of community stakeholders along the corridor, said he favored option two presented at the meeting. The task force is scheduled to meet Wednesday evening to discuss the design options.

Janet Hallaway, a Lowry Hill resident and former neighborhood board chair who attended the open house, expressed frustration about the event and said she would have liked to hear a presentation outlining the pros and cons of the two options.

“I suspect it was great if you love reading maps, are a civil engineer, architect, or urban planner,” Hallaway said. ”However, since I am not one of those, I found it difficult to get the information I needed. This is an expensive undertaking. The outcome will define the city landscape, gateway to Hennepin Avenue, and also gateway to our neighborhood, Lowry Hill.” 

For more information about the project, go to www.hennepinlyndaleproject.com

 

 

Option 1 highlights:

• Intersection modifications to improve bicycle and pedestrian crossings
• Remove northbound Hennepin/Lyndale travel lane
• Reduce existing lane widths by an average of one foot
• Create dedicated left turn lane (southbound Lyndale to Oak Grove)
• Left turn lane modifications (northbound Hennepin/Lyndale to Vineland)
• Right turn exit only from Douglas to southbound Hennepin

Option 2 highlights:

• Intersection modifications to improve bicycle and pedestrian crossings
• Remove northbound Hennepin/Lyndale travel lane
• Reduce existing lane widths by an average of one foot
• Create dedicated left turn lane (southbound Lyndale to Oak Grove)
• Left turn lane modifications (northbound and southbound Hennepin/Lyndale to Vineland/Oak
Grove)
• Right turn exit only from Douglas to southbound Hennepin
• Remove southbound Hennepin/Lyndale travel lane (Vineland to Groveland)
• Add pedestrian crossing on north side of Groveland intersection