An illustration of a redesigned Hennepin.

An illustration of a redesigned Hennepin.

Early concept for Hennepin redesign gets green light

Updated: June 12, 2016 - 9:55 pm

The City Council’s Transportation & Public Works Committee has signed off on a preliminary redesign concept for Hennepin Avenue — one that would put the street on a slight road diet and include bus stops between the road and bike lanes.

The design is in its early stages and project planners will return to the Council for additional approvals when a more detailed design has been completed. Public works staff are seeking $7 million in federal funding for the $15.7 million project, said Simon Blenski, a city transportation planner.

The redesign project for Hennepin between Washington Avenue and 12th Street is slated for 2020.

The concept calls for a four-lane roadway, protected bike lanes, sidewalks and bus stations that would have stops located on islands between traffic and the bike lanes. Blenski said Metro Transit plans to test out the bus station concept on 7th Street with a pilot project. Blenski said it’s just an idea at this point — nothing has been finalized.

“It is a new design that we think could work on Hennepin, but we’re definitely going to be looking to our peer cities for their experiences with it,” he said.

A new bus station concept for Hennepin.
A new bus station concept for Hennepin.

Nine of the 11 left turn lanes on the corridor would also be removed. Northbound left turn lanes will remain at 3rd Street and Washington.

An estimated 7,600 pedestrians, 1,500 bicyclists, 8,100 transit riders and 18,600 motor vehicles travel on the corridor each day, according to a report presented to the Council committee.

The full Council will vote on the redesign concept June 17.