Help Shape Plans for a Better Franklin Avenue!

Minneapolis City Council Ward 6, Council Member Robert Lilligren

Dear 6th Ward Residents & Friends,

 

We wanted to pass this invitation on to you in the hopes you can attend this very important meeting being organized by the Transit for Livable Communities:

 

Public Invited to Shape Plans for a Better Franklin Avenue

3rd Meeting set for September 25

 

Saint Paul, Minn., August 30, 2012—The public is invited to a community meeting about improving conditions for bicycling and walking on Franklin Avenue between Minnehaha and Dupont Avenues, Tuesday, September 25, 2012, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at the Hope Community,  611 East Franklin Ave in Minneapolis.

 

A plan for potential new bike lanes and other roadway modifications is being created with funding from the Bike Walk Twin Cities federal nonmotorized transportation pilot program, administered by Transit for Livable Communities (TLC). Toole Design Group and its subcontractors are helping TLC with facility design and will lead the public meeting on September 25th.

 

The meeting will unveil a study showing the feasibility implementing a road diet to add  bike lanes the whole length of Franklin Ave with discussion of potential trade-offs for a road diet and other alternative design approaches.   There will be displays of the designs at the meeting and time set aside for breakout sessions.

 “Our hope is that we can have a broad cross section of the community present as the recommendations are likely to involve a mixture of travel lane and parking lane reductions to add the following safety features: bicycle lanes, left and right turn lanes, and pedestrian refuge islands,” said Steve Clark, Walking and Bicycling Program Manager for Transit for Livable Communities.

Franklin Avenue is an important east-west transportation corridor south of downtown Minneapolis, providing one of the few routes in the area across I-35W and Hiawatha Avenue. The roadway is a high crash corridor for all modes of travel so improvements are proposed to improve the safety for all roadway users.  Based on 2011 counts at multiple locations, Franklin Avenue serves 500 or more cyclists per day. On streets such as Franklin Avenue, where there are no bicycle facilities and a lot of bicycle traffic, many bicyclists presently ride on the sidewalk.  The hope is to provide people who wish to bicycle a safer place to ride on the street which provides the added benefit of keeping sidewalks space open  for pedestrians.   The provision of turn lanes will increase safety for motorists and provide traffic calming for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

The intent of this third public meeting is to complete the public participation component so that a preliminary engineering plan for this segment of Franklin Avenue can be drawn up for eventual implementation. Franklin Avenue is one of twelve corridors in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for which Bike Walk Twin Cities/TLC is funding engineering designs to improve conditions and encourage more people to walk or bike for transportation purposes and to support neighborhood retail. The intent is to build public and jurisdictional support for “plan sets” to more quickly implement projects as funding becomes available. To follow progress on design work for Franklin Avenue in particular, visit: http://www.bikewalk2012.com/projects/franklin-avenue.

 

About Bike Walk Twin Cities

 

The Twin Cities is one of four U.S. communities to receive $28 million through the federal “Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program” to enhance bicycling and walking as transportation and to improve health, community livability, and air quality. Bike Walk Twin Cities (BWTC), a program of Transit for Livable Communities, administers the Minneapolis-area pilot program. BWTC has funded more than 75 miles of new bike ways and sidewalks to greatly expand the network of routes in the Twin Cities. BWTC also has funded innovative programs, such as Nice Ride Minnesota bike sharing and the Community Partners Bike Library, community outreach, planning, and measurement. To learn more about BWTC, go to www.bikewalktwincities.org.

 

Hope to see you there!

Robert Lilligren