Hennepin Ave Redesign: Key Dates on the Road to Generational Change in Minneapolis Transportation Infrastructure

  • Apr 11, 2018 – First public meeting on the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction and redesign.
  • Dec 4 2020 – Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan adopted 12-1 by the City Council (Lisa Goodman is the lone vote against)
  • Mar 2, 2021 – Professional staff in the city’s Public Works Dept release two options for Hennepin Avenue: both include full-time bus lanes, relying on policy contained in the recently adopted Transportation Action Plan.
  • March 4, 2021 – Public Works traffic engineer Allan Klugman provides stats at an open house: 6,600 bus riders per day is expected to become 14,000 bus riders once E-Line bus rapid transit is added. Transit riders already account for 49% of those in vehicles on Hennepin during peak times.
  • 2021-2022 – Lisa Goodman continuously fucking around behind the scenes, threatening and blowing up at staff.
  • Early to Mid 2021 – Initial timeline for City Council approval of Hennepin layout. This was indefinitely delayed for no apparent reason.
  • August 4, 2021 – Metro Transit sends a letter to the city’s Public Works Dept giving feedback on the Hennepin layout: “all-day bus lanes are critical to the success of both the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction project and the METRO E Line.”
  • January 2022 – A final staff recommended layout for Hennepin is released, based on public input received for the initial two options. Full-time bus lanes are included. This is referred to by staff as the “inform stage” – meaning the Public Works Dept will make no further changes in response to public input. City Council is the next step in the process.
  • Feb 10, 2022 – Mayor Frey’s appointment for the position of Public Works director, Margaret Anderson Kelliher (Lisa Goodman’s actual best friend) is confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council.
  • May 12, 2022 – All 15 members of the Minneapolis legislative delegation to the MN House and Senate write a letter to the City Council strongly urging them to adopt a layout that includes full-time bus lanes on Hennepin Ave, in order to support the E Line BRT, a project for which they allocated $40 million: “Schedule interruptions and delays will suppress ridership, and is tantamount to forcing the route to fail, the effort and resource it took to create it will have been wasted.”
  • May 19, 2022 – The Minneapolis City Council’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee holds their regular meeting and committee vote on the Hennepin layout, at which it will be officially announced for the first time that Margaret Anderson Kelliher has yanked the full-time bus lane from the plan.
  • May 26, 2022 – Expected date that the full City Council will vote to approve Hennepin layout.

Wedge LIVE Cat Tour 2022

6th Annual Wedge LIVE Cat Tour*
June 29, 2022 – 6 p.m.
Mueller Park, Minneapolis
(25th & Bryant Ave S)

*Pending the approval of street improvements by the Minneapolis City Council.

Nationally-heralded cat tour guide Chet Wedgely (recently featured in the faith-based animal magazine “All Creatures”) is back for a 6th season of Cats of the Wedge.

Or is he? This year’s tour is all set and ready to go. The cats have been working out and eating right, practicing their parade waves. But despite that preparation, it could all be derailed by politics.

As Chet said in his press release:

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Hennepin Avenue: In pursuit of worthy goals, enshrined in city policy, developed over many years

Hennepin Avenue, a street that was last rebuilt in 1957, is due for a reconstruction from Lake Street to Douglas Ave. This isn’t just a surface-level fix. The city will be digging up the street and replacing everything, from top to bottom (utilities). It’s not optional. It’s also an opportunity to rethink the way the street is laid out and who it serves.

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Endorsement: Jeremiah Ellison for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 5

This should be an easy one. Jeremiah Ellison has focused his first term authoring a series of renter protections ordinances. He’s a real progressive, a community leader and an essential voice on the City Council. When others lose the thread, he has a knack for bringing the conversation back to what’s important. He isn’t a bomb thrower. I find him to be extremely solutions-focused. But he is clear, direct, and sharp.

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Endorsement: Phillipe Cunningham for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 4

Public safety looms large when I think about the choice in Ward 4. Phillipe Cunningham is the chair of the City Council’s Public Health and Safety Committee. There’s been no stronger voice on the Council for expanding the city’s array of public safety services — for a more effective, holistic, and integrated system — than Phillipe Cunningham. He is knowledgeable and eager to do this work. He is pragmatic without sacrificing the ambition to transform the way our city approaches public safety. Since taking office he has approached his job with joy and an open heart. It’s been a welcome change, considering the previous chair of the Public Safety Committee said she would quit her job if the Council gained policy control over police.

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Endorsement: Nick Kor for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 7

Ward 7 stretches from downtown and Loring Park to Lowry Hill and Kenwood, all the way to Uptown. It’s more diverse than you might think, but has just enough votes in the swanky lakes area for it to feel like an insurmountable Lisa Goodman advantage.

I have strong feelings about Lisa Goodman. Please vote for Nick Kor. He’s smart and prepared. He shares my values on key issues of public safety, transportation, and housing. He’s the son of immigrants and an organizer who is running a strong campaign. But he’s still the scrappy underdog. Lisa Goodman might be immortal. She’s the longest serving member of the Minneapolis City Council — first elected in 1997.

Rather than write a love letter to Nick Kor, I will just urge you to read my frustrations with Lisa Goodman in the paragraphs below. I’m pretty confident Nick Kor won’t do those things.

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Endorsement: Mike Norton for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 13

Ward 13 incumbent Linea Palmisano could have easily cruised through 2021 without a serious opponent. Is Mike Norton that serious opponent? He’s a longshot, but with a campaign you can feel good supporting. Norton is straightforward about his positions. He makes pragmatic arguments for progressive policies — in a way that suits southwest Minneapolis.

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