Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Present: Phillip Ailiff, Neal Baxter, Tamir Ali Mohamud, Donna Hemp, Julia Curran, Olivia Hovland, Abigail Johnson, Paul St. Martin, Christian Huelsman, Barbara Olson, Peter Vader, Aaron Berger, Julia Tabbut; Matthew Dyrdahl, Abdi Salah, Eric Bauer, Julie Danzl, Rattana Sengsoulichanh, Heidi Schallberg, Suzanne Murphy, Carrie Christensen, Sarah Stewart, Mackenzie Turner Bargen, Millicent Flowers; Luís Dax, Lindsay Kaplan, Tony Hainault, citizens



#1--The PAC supports the proposed layout of the 18th Ave NE corridor with further recommendations. We particularly appreciate the removal of the free right turn at Johnson Street and 18th Ave, closing the sidewalk and trail gaps, squaring the intersection at Stinson Boulevard, and reducing crossing distances throughout the corridor. We recommend a bumpout at the northeast corner of 18th Ave and Johnson Street and 10-foot lane widths throughout the corridor.


#2--The Pedestrian Advisory Committee recommends the following programs and projects to be included in the 2020-2024 CIP.


Program Recommendations

•          Create a more formal program for identifying and quickly implementing pedestrian improvements using temporary materials

•          Create a program in the CIP to fund neighborhood greenways

•          Create a program to improve pedestrian safety and experience around freeway on & off ramps

•          Create a program to install crosswalks at signalized intersections where one leg or more is missing

•          Increase funding for pedestrian-specific capital programs, including Safe Routes to School (BP001), Pedestrian Safety Program (BP004), Defective Hazardous Sidewalks (SWK01), and Sidewalk Gaps (SWK02)


Safe Routes to School

•          Implement the 16th Avenue N Bike Boulevard (Aldrich Ave N to Xerxes Ave N)

•          Improve street crossing elements along 26th & 28th St W (particularly routes to Whittier and Jefferson Schools)

•          Improve the crossing at De La Salle Dr and 1st Ave NE

•          Implement Northrop Elementary School improvements


Intersection Improvements

•          Construct bumpouts with ADA compliant pedestrian ramps at 31st St W and Grand Ave S, Dupont Ave S, and Emerson Ave S

•          Complex Intersection Redesign for Hennepin/5th/Central

•          Complex intersection redesign for Franklin Ave and Riverside Ave

•          Improve pedestrian crossing at Glenwood Ave and Dupont Ave N

•          Improve pedestrian crossing at Lowry Ave N and 4th St N,

•          Improve pedestrian crossing on 25th Ave S midblock between E Franklin Ave and 9th St S

•          Implement major improvements to Lake Ave and Lagoon Ave between Dupont Ave S and Bde Mka Ska

•          Implement pedestrian crossing improvements from the Hennepin County Pedestrian Crossing Study


Stand Alone Connections (Trails or other big projects that doesn’t fit neatly into other programs/projects)

•          Great Northern Trail Gaps in NE Minneapolis (formerly known as the 18th Ave Protected Bikeway)


#3--The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report describes with high confidence some dire consequences that humans and ecosystems will experience globally, if we continue on the current greenhouse gas emissions trajectory. These consequences include but are not limited to drought, inland and coastal flooding, crop loss, elimination of many species of flora and fauna, fires, famine and water shortages. The National Climate Assessment’s report concurs with these predictions.

The stated purpose of the Pedestrian Advisory Committee includes advising the Mayor and City Council on policies, programs and actions for promoting walking for health purposes. Few health concerns in the 21st century and beyond are as grave as those posed by global climate change. These recent reports add urgency to the work of the PAC. Adequately constructed and maintained pedestrian thoroughfares are necessary to significantly reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

The Pedestrian Advisory Committee therefore offers to assist the City’s efforts to respond to the global climate emergency, through encouraging and supporting the implementation of sustainable practices that offer safe and walkable streets for all people.


Chair Julia Tabbut called the meeting to order at 4:05 PM, and asked all present to introduce themselves.

Matthew especially welcomed Abdi Salah, of the Mayor's office. Mr. Salah joins us for the first time today. He is a Senior Policy Aide working on issues involving engagement, transit and the Public Works Department.


Approval of the Minutes for September and November

Tamir moved the September minutes; Donna seconded. Approved.

Donna moved the November minutes; Tamir seconded. Approved.


Infrastructure & Engineering Subcommittee—Aaron Berger

We looked at 2 projects last month. First, we saw a 90% design for the Lake & Excelsior intersection. This is a Hennepin County project. The County worked into the plan a few of our proposals, including a crosswalk on all 4 legs of the intersection, and a large pedestrian island.

Next, we looked at the work planned for 18th Avenue and Johnson Street NE. This project will close a sidewalk and a bike trail gap, add a bump out and remove a free right turn at the intersection.  Aaron read a resolution (#1 above), which Barb seconded. Approved.

We also looked at a proposed list of CIPs. Matthew will now present this to the PAC.


After Matthew read through the list of programs as drafted, members suggested others:

Curran: the list is missing the program that we discussed which would fill in missing crosswalk legs.

Abigail: are crosswalks automatically added when a sidewalk gap is filled?

MD: I've no idea (he added this suggestion, and one from Christian about freeway on and off ramps).

Aaron: I also sent you an idea for a program to find under-used pedestrian corridors for later development.

Danzl: Jennie Borden & I talked with Matthew about the Safe Routes list you see here, and discussed possibilities for next year.

Julia Tabbut moved a resolution (#2) in support of the CIPs as proposed and amended; Neal seconded. Approved.


Programs & Policies Subcommittee—Peter Vader

We had a long meeting last week, with much interesting work. Lisa Cerney, Deputy Chief of Public Works joined us and discussed ideas Public Works has pitched to the City Council, in response to the Winter Maintenance Report. The Department worked on 2 possibilities for city plowing of all sidewalks. In the more comprehensive scenario, the City would plow sidewalks whenever at least half an inch of snow falls (at an estimated cost per year of $15-20 million). Under the more limited scheme, City crews would clear sidewalks after snowfalls of over 4 inches. We average 4 events of this size per year, so PW estimates this would cost $4.5-6 million per year. The cost of extra equipment, crews, etc., for either is expected to total another $4.5-6 million. Lisa also talked with the committee about ways Public Works has boosted inspection and enforcement of the sidewalk clearance ordinance.

Carrie Christensen of the Park Board introduced us to the Grand Rounds Missing Link project, a long-term plan to fill in gaps in the parkway system on the east side of the Mississippi. The link for the report she presented to us is: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/_asset/w3w1ky/grand_rounds_masterplan_2009.pdf


We also worked on the presentation standards for PAC guests, and the list of work plan priorities for the coming year. We will continue to work on these documents next time we meet.

At the end of the meeting, we discussed how the PAC should respond to the latest climate change studies. Barb proposed a draft of a resolution, which we liked. Curran read this now (#3 above); Neal seconded. Discussion followed, and amendments proposed by Aaron and Tony Hainault (visiting the PAC today) filled out the resolution. Approved as amended.



Luís: I'd like to propose a Women's Walk at Night sometime next year. I see very few women walking after dark, and I'm told that women pay a rather disproportionate share of the cost of our sidewalk network.

Julia T: I urge all present to turn to the Facebook page of the Minneapolis Pedestrian Alliance.

Chris H: StreetsMN will hold a fundraiser on December 19.

Julie D: The School system has developed a field trip guide for biking & walking. You can find it on the Safe Routes website. The State may adopt it for their use.

Rattana: Many thanks to the PAC for your help in editing and adding to the 2040 Plan. The City Council will vote on adopting the Plan this month.

Carrie: please add your comments about the Grand Rounds plan. We're in the public comment period.


Neal moved to adjourn; Barb seconded. Approved, and adjourned at 5:28 PM.


Last updated Jan 14, 2019



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