The major point of contention in the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction debate is whether the street gets a full-time bus lane or if that lane should spend 20 hours per day as car parking. On June 16, the City Council approved a full-time bus lane. A day later, Mayor Frey vetoed. This Thursday there’s a chance for the City Council to override that veto.
The street currently has partial and part-time lanes — a big hit when they were first installed as a pilot four years ago. This success inspired the city to put in full-time lanes on 7th Street to serve the C Line BRT. The timing of the Hennepin reconstruction is fortuitous: the street reopening in 2026 will coincide with the opening of a $60 million transit upgrade, the E Line BRT.
The E Line is funded largely by the state, which is why all 15 Minneapolis members of the Minnesota House and Senate have written to the Mayor and City Council urging them to implement full-time lanes. The legislators’ letter cites an earlier request from Metro Transit, and emphasizes the importance of full-time lanes to the success of the E Line.
The reason I go into all this history is so you can understand why my head exploded after reading the email newsletter Ward 7 Council Member Lisa Goodman sent to her constituents justifying her vote against a full-time lane:
Continue reading “Brain Twister: Lisa Goodman says she can’t support this already-funded $60 million transit project because the legislature won’t fund transit projects”
So much agreement on something so necessary, ambitious and having to do with the removal of any amount of parking is incredibly rare. But in a Friday evening veto, Mayor Jacob Frey stomped all over the remarkable consensus that has formed in support of full-time bus lanes serving the E Line BRT when it opens in 2026. Not only was Frey using his veto power to override a vote of the Minneapolis City Council — he was disregarding things like the strongly worded request (expressed in a recent letter) of the entire 15 member Minneapolis legislative delegation, his own professional Public Works staff, the desire of Metro Transit (who’d like to ensure the success of a $60 million transit upgrade), and the needs of transit riders.
But there are reasons to keep pushing. Transit advocates have had an answer every step of this process. They have built this consensus for full-time bus lanes so successfully that the Frey administration can’t tell the truth about what they’re doing. They know they’re on the wrong side and they aren’t proud of it.
Continue reading “Mayor Frey not telling the truth about his bus lane veto”
My takeaways from yesterday’s City Council Public Works and Infrastructure Committee vote on the Hennepin Ave reconstruction.
Continue reading “City Council Committee Votes for Hennepin Layout and Full-Time Bus Lanes”
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.
Continue reading “Hennepin Avenue: In pursuit of worthy goals, enshrined in city policy, developed over many years”
It was a moment that forever shaped the way I think about street reconstructions. A mom speaking at a public meeting, holding her child, asking the city’s public works department for a street with sidewalk space to push a stroller. Even more than that, she wanted a street designed with aspiration for the future — because whatever we decide today, we’re going to be stuck with it from now until the time her little baby is middle aged.
Continue reading “An Opportunity of a Lifetime on Hennepin Avenue”