Hennepin County can right a wrong on Washington Avenue

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 18, 2013 - 6:16 PM

By rebuilding the road to match modern realities, the county has a chance to make it suitable for downtown Minneapolis.

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jbpaperNov. 18, 13 7:16 PM

"(Sidewalk cafes and more extensive landscaping could be possible if one or both bike lanes were moved to parallel streets.)"------ The bike lanes should be moved to parallel streets but not for sidewalk cafes and definitely not for landscaping but instead to add vehicle lanes.

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jbpaperNov. 18, 13 8:12 PM

I know this is going to be hard to grasp since it requires an ever so slight amount of common sense but we do NOT need more landscaping along the roads. It blocks sight lines making it a safety hazard.

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rlwr51Nov. 18, 13 8:20 PM

With all of the people downtown, there needs to be at least one street that moves. As far as "designed mainly for truck traffic" - How do you suppose all of those stores, bars, restaurants, businesses, etc, etc get their products and supplies?

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liberaleliteNov. 18, 13 9:04 PM

Do we want Washington to be a car sewer, or a street that serves the neighborhood?

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liberaleliteNov. 18, 13 9:08 PM

Unless you're driving between 7 and 9 AM or 3:30 and 6 PM, there's already MORE lanes than we need in downtown Minneapolis. And pavement used primarily by single occupancy cars for 20% of the day is financially irresponsible and space inefficient.

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liberaleliteNov. 18, 13 9:10 PM

Finally, "designed mainly for truck traffic" is not talking about delivery trucks serving homes and businesses. It's referring to when the North Loop was dominated by warehouses and manufacturing -- that's nearly gone.

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mnpls123Nov. 18, 13 9:20 PM

"How do you suppose all of those stores, bars, restaurants, businesses, etc, etc get their products and supplies?"-----the truck traffic it was designed for was when the warehouse district was full of manufacturing and not housing.

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cecc0011Nov. 18, 13 9:27 PM

@rlwr51 - how wide are delivery trucks? How long? Can anyone justify the need for lanes to be wider than 10-10.5' to accommodate these vehicles? @jbpaper - So in your view, the traffic engineering report that states 5 lanes of thru-traffic (assuming better light timing during peak hours) would be more than sufficient is false? You're certain that there needs to be more vehicle lanes, and that this is the most efficient use of the scarce space along Washington Ave? That another 10.5' lane in each direction could carry more people (not cars) than a cycle track, wider sidewalks, etc? Have you taken a look at vehicle count data over the last 10 years on this exact stretch of Washington and seen it's actually declined, while that same traffic study calls for the 5 lanes assuming a 0.5% annual growth in vehicle movements and makes sure traffic would flow acceptably in 30 years (not even in today's traffic)? If anything deserves a lane, it's a dedicated bus lane so 45' long vehicles carrying 10-40++ people aren't sitting mixed in with 16' cars carrying 1 person.

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halfback2011Nov. 18, 1311:04 PM

These are great news! I walk daily on Washington Ave...well in the North Loop side (where more people live) and something needs to be done to control traffic...people drive extremely fast and careless...this is a very populated area.

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newsincerityNov. 18, 1311:22 PM

Excellent. I hope Hennepin County heeds the Strib, and we can build a downtown that keeps attracting folks to live, work, and play there. Also, making Washington an easy route for U students who want to bike downtown is long overdue.

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