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Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee Minutes

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Present: Neal Baxter, Donna Hemp, Paul St. Martin, Peter Vader, Tamir Ali Mohamud, Julia Curran, Abigail Johnson, Christian Huelsman, Barbara Olson, Julia Tabbut; Matthew Dyrdahl, Chris Kartheiser, Mackenzie Turner Bargen, Emily Kettell, Sarah Stewart, Steve Bauer, Millicent Flowers; Luís Dax, pedestrian

Resolutions: 

#1--Resolution on Hoyer Heights Residential Reconstruction 

The PAC supports the Hoyer Heights Residential Reconstruction project. We appreciate the innovative pedestrian-friendly features, including the mid-block bumpouts, greening, and narrowing of the streets. We are excited to see how the tree trenches impact sidewalk drainage, particularly in the winter, and if there are implications for the rest of the city. We recommend 6-foot sidewalks wherever possible. 

#2--Portland Ave Bikeway Project

The PAC supports the Portland Ave Bikeway Project. We appreciate the physically protected bikeway through the corridor, closing the sidewalk gap, pedestrian refuge island, and narrowing the roadway. We strongly request a fully ADA pedestrian crossing (including curb ramps, zebra crosswalk markings, and stop bars) on all legs of the intersections on either side of the bridge. 

#3--Pedestrian Crosswalks on MnDOT Bridges 

It has recently come to the PAC’s attention that MnDOT does not provide pedestrian crosswalks on all legs of intersections on bridges. This practice is not consistent with the Complete Streets Policy, adds an unnecessary restriction for pedestrian movements, and can result in pedestrians needing to wait an extra cycle or encourage people to cross illegally. The PAC strongly recommends that all legs of signalized intersections in Minneapolis, regardless of ownership, should be fully ADA accessible marked crosswalks. (Sent back to committee)

Chair Julia called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM and asked all present to introduce themselves.

Approval of the Minutes

Neal moved the minutes; Aaron seconded. Approved.

 

Infrastructure & Engineering Subcommittee—Aaron Berger and Barb Olson

We looked at 2 projects at our December meeting. The first was a 30% look at the Hoyer Heights Residential Reconstruction, in Northeast. Several streets in this area will be rebuilt to accommodate the relocation of sanitary sewer lines. The area is residential and the streets carry a low volume of traffic. This project will narrow the roadways to 32 feet, provide curb extensions and tree trenches for sidewalk drainage. We liked this project, and our resolution reflects that.

Next, we had a 30% update about the Portland Avenue Bikeway. The sidewalks will be extended to 10 feet, and a gap in the sidewalk network will be filled. We want a protected bikeway throughout but were assured that bikes and pedestrians will both have enough room here. We also stated our preference for pedestrian crossings at all four legs of the bridge.

A discussion began about the annoyance and confusion made by intersections with missing pedestrian crossings. These occur especially at freeway exit and entrance ramps, and bridges. Mackenzie gave the PAC a look at the varied thinking about this problem among staff of the state Department of Transportation. The state standard apparently is 3 crossing legs.

Among the issues she and others raised, state and county focus on vehicular traffic, pedestrian safety in a zone of high speed, and the issue of other entities not defaulting to the City's standards all came up. Donna added that she uses great care where the crossing seems odd, and will not cross where no curb cut exists, as a precaution.

Here Aaron read resolution #1, and Christian seconded. Approved.

Next, Aaron read resolution #2, and Barb seconded. Approved. 

Finally, Aaron read resolution #3, and Donna seconded. After discussion, Curran moved to refer this resolution back to committee; Aaron seconded. Approved. 

Programs & Policies Subcommittee—Julia Curran and Peter Vader

At our December meeting, the committee put the finishing touches on our Strategic Vision priorities (which Chris Kartheiser handed out to PAC members).

We also talked about what our chair should tell the Council's Transportation and Public Works Committee. Members suggested mentioning the recent climate change resolution, Lisa Cerney's report on sidewalk snow clearance, and the lack of police presence on the PAC. The PAC & BAC will probably report to the TPW Committee on February 19; Matthew will know the date next month.

Ethan Fawley gave us highlights of the Vision Zero Crash Study and Action Plan. The Action Plan will be completed in early 2020. Ethan reports that pedestrian and bicyclist deaths are on the rise. His data show that street design affects safety. 

Finally, we finished the presentation guide, which Matthew will give this to staff.

And the 2019 calendar of all PAC & BAC meetings is ready. 

 

Announcements

Luís allowed that the new monument outside the Nicollet entrance to the downtown public library is ugly and dangerous.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 PM.

 

Last updated Feb 7, 2019

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