Pedestrian Master Plan Appendix F
Residents of Minneapolis were invited to participate in a discussion about the goals and objectives of the Pedestrian Master Plan in an open house format on March 26, 2008. Over 100 people attended the open house, which was held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Central Library. The geographic distribution of attendees was as follows:
|Zip Code||Approximate Location||Number of Attendees|
People were notified about the open house through a news release, information on the city’s website, notices sent to all neighborhood organizations, email notices to the pedestrian list serve and individuals who had attended previous pedestrian plan meetings, and information provided to Council members. The public open house included:
- A presentation on the goals and objectives of the Pedestrian Master Plan
- An open comment forum
- A series of interactive exhibits displaying existing conditions as outlined in the first two technical memoranda, including:
- Destinations, generators of pedestrian activity (parks, schools, etc.)
- Infrastructure deficiencies (gaps, narrow sidewalks, areas without lighting)
- Current practices of snow removal, sidewalk maintenance
- A written feedback form
The open house provided attendees with an opportunity to provide verbal comments, written comments, and enabled them to state their preference for a series of predetermined statements with respect to pedestrian-related issues in Minneapolis.
Each component of the workshop is explained briefly below. More detailed reports, including a complete tabulation of data collected, can be found in the attachments at the end of this document.
Open Comment Forum
An open comment forum was held at the beginning of the meeting where residents were invited to share their comments in order to provide insight into the most pressing pedestrian-related issues within Minneapolis from the public’s perspective. Of greatest concern among residents were the issues of snow removal, the relationship between bicyclists and pedestrians, and safety with respect to pedestrians.
Crosswalks, Signals and Intersections:
- Timing of crosswalk painting associated with construction
- Fading - need to paint crosswalks on a regular basis
- Consider staggering placement of white stop bars to reduce conflicts with right-turn movements
- Cars encroach onto crosswalks and drivers are not stopping
- Use countdown timers/signals
- Right turns on red are not safe - the new no turn signs do not catch drivers’ attention.
- Consider using all-walk traffic signal phases (scramble)
- Traffic-light timing is geared to cars, not pedestrians
- At traffic signals, have walk signal up before vehicle signal
- Need better enforcement of pedestrian laws
- Need better police and lighting
- Better enforcement of crosswalk rules
- Increase fine for violation of white cane from $500 to $5000
- Enforce jaywalking violations
Education and Public Outreach:
- Need more education about pedestrian laws
- Website needs to provide a two-way communication process to get citizen feedback
- Need to educate bicyclists to announce their presence to pedestrians
- No current way to send emails to 311
- Pedestrians need to be educated to wear visible clothing during dark periods
- Need a bottom-up process
- Need neighborhood involvement
- Predatory behavior and hassle (made to feel uncomfortable by other people, primarily men)
- Rush hour in downtown is dangerous
- Vegetation and soil encroachment on sidewalks
- Improve pedestrian connections between destinations – overcome barriers
- Need better policy on how to handle sidewalk closures during construction
- Concrete is a better surface than bituminous
- Pave pedestrian desire lines (example, Loring Park)
- Consider constructing walking paths that are separate from streets
- Place "closed sidewalk" signs at intersections rather than mid-block
- County snow plows throw snow onto sidewalks. Some sidewalks are on bus routes which forces the pedestrian onto the street
- Snow plowing is a big issue
- Remove snow at intersections (need more than snow plows) – it is difficult to remove plowed snow
- Some parking lots plow their snow onto adjacent sidewalks
- Bus stops need to be open – snow gets plowed into the crosswalks
- Inspectors should make regular sweeps to identify property owners that don’t shovel their sidewalks in a timely manner
- Should double the fines for not clearing sidewalks
- Sidewalks next to vacant properties are not cleared (should require banks or whoever is holding the property to clear the snow)
- The extent and consistency of snow removal and sidewalk repair depends on the neighborhood – some are better than others
- Need "eye candy". Want walking to be an aesthetically pleasing experience
- Paint hydrants
- Pay attention to maintenance
- Can City consider new and contemporary approaches for light levels, fixtures, etc?
- Need trash cans
- Street furniture as public art
- Surface parking lots should be screened with planters and shrubs
- Need places to sit and rest
- Focus on the basics first (level sidewalks and shoveling) before beautification
- Bus and auto fumes are not pleasant
- Nicollet Mall should be a walking street
- Bicycle facilities should be providing on bridges
- Bicycle courtesy is needed
- Bikes on sidewalks conflict with pedestrians; bikes should be on streets not on sidewalks
- Bike paths need to be made safer – some bicyclists do not like riding on the road
- Bicycle/pedestrian conflicts have been an issue for a long time
- Pedestrians and bicyclists need to work together and find ways to accommodate both modes of transportation
- It is difficult to cross the street at Broadway and Lyndale, Broadway and Central, and 38th and Nicollet
- Nicollet Mall really needs count-down signals at the cross-street intersections because a blind person cannot tell the direction/presence of traffic by traffic noise (no traffic on Nicollet)
- Sidewalk cafes are a problem for disabled people
- There are "boulders" on Nicollet Mall that are a problem
- City needs to follow-through to implement master plans
- How does the pedestrian planning process relate to the bike planning process?
- Local economic development should support pedestrian activity; allowing pedestrians to walk to local businesses
- Community is still investing in roads – needs to focus on pedestrians
- What is the chance of the pedestrian master plan becoming a reality?
- Require developers to adhere to this plan and to design in human scale
Twelve (12) boards were presented at the open house and are included in Attachment 2 at the back of this summary. On several of the boards, attendees were asked to mark their answers to "yes/no" questions or to state their preference on scales that ranged from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" or "very important" to "very unimportant".
On average, the interactive exhibits received between 12 and 41 individual responses. The exhibits with the highest response rates (34-41) concerned snow removal on sidewalks and at curb ramps.
The exhibit that received the next highest response rate (27-41), was the exhibit that asked questions related to motivation and encouragement efforts to increase walking.
The exhibit that generated the fewest responses (12-18) concerned alternative funding sources for sidewalk inspections and repairs. Responses were split among the "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" range for each suggested funding source. This exhibit generated a lot of discussion, however, and a comment was added to the exhibit by an attendee who recommended that the City "find a way to tax people coming into the city from outside".
In addition, many of the exhibits that showed infrastructure, sidewalk gaps, and pedestrian-related crashes generated discussion that involved adding more data to the analysis. For example, attendees felt that additional pedestrian activity generators were needed to help identify pedestrian projects, and added those generators to the map.
Other attendees noted that while crashes involving pedestrians, gaps, and pedestrian activity generators are good indicators of areas in need of pedestrian projects, the City should pay attention to areas that did not have much of this information, indicating that a lack of data might mean that some neighborhoods are underserved in terms of pedestrian projects.
|Getting The Word Out - Snow Removal||Yes||No||Total|
|As a property owner, were you aware of your responsibility?||16||0||16|
|As a property owner, were you aware of available resources?||7||9||16|
|Were you aware of 311?||38||3||41|
|Have you ever used 311?||28||13||41|
|If yes, did you see a result?||18||11||29|
|Sidewalk Repair & Replacement||Strongly Disagree||Disagree||Agree||Strongly Agree||Total|
|I feel the current practice is equitable||9||12||4||2||27|
|I feel the current practice is efficient||8||9||7||2||26|
|I prefer the 50/50 program||3||3||9||3||18|
|I prefer the 100% City managed program||7||8||0||3||18|
|For alternative funding sources, the City should consider|
|Special Assessments by City Ward||0||7||5||0||12|
|A tax increase (property, sales, other)||4||4||10||0||18|
|A fee on parking permits||3||2||11||1||17|
|A fee on other city services (water, trash, etc.)||4||4||5||3||16|
|What motivates you to walk?|
|Maintain or improve health/physical appearance||1||5||11||22||39|
|Primary means of travel||1||8||12||16||37|
|Access public transportation (bus, train, taxi)||2||4||9||20||35|
|To/from personal vehicle||12||5||14||0||31|
|Walk a pet||18||5||0||4||27|
|Errands/visits to local stores||1||1||7||31||40|
|What would encourage you to walk more often or farther?|
|Aesthetically pleasing route||1||0||8||31||40|
|Safety (from traffic)||1||3||14||22||40|
|Direct route to destination||1||6||16||11||34|
|Better lighting/perception of security||1||8||11||17||37|
|How do you rate the following pedestrian goals?|
|Promote walking to enhance the character of the community||0||0||6||29||35|
|Address locations where accidents have occurred||0||5||12||12||29|
|Facilitate access to transit||0||0||11||20||31|
|Facilitate access to shopping, restaurants, work, other services||0||0||8||26||34|
|Improve crossings at problematic locations||0||1||8||25||34|
|Provide facilities accessible for all users||0||3||14||18||35|
|Promote walking to enhance health||0||3||13||15||31|
|Snow Removal Responsibilities - How well does this work?|
|Existing snow removal system is effective||7||22||11||1||41|
|Snow build-up at curb ramps are routinely cleared||24||12||5||0||41|
|Transit stops and stations are cleared in a timely manner||10||5||16||0||31|
|Property owners clear sidewalks in a timely manner||8||30||2||0||40|
|Sidewalks on city-owned property are cleared in a timely manner||4||9||16||1||30|
|The enforcement policy is effective||13||18||3||0||34|
|If you are given ten projects for the same general area, but only enough money for five, which issues are most important?||Very High Priority||High Priority||Undecided||Low Priority||Very Low Priority||Total|
|Fill sidewalk gaps||4||15||9||4||1||33|
|Reduce pedestrian crashes||16||8||7||2||0||33|
|Improve pedestrian access to transit||20||11||2||0||0||33|
|Improve pedestrian access to schools||13||6||9||2||0||30|
|Improve pedestrian access to parks||12||5||7||5||0||29|
|Improve health, increase physical activity||11||8||3||7||0||29|
|Revitalize underserved neighborhoods||25||9||2||0||0||36|
Notes Next to Snow Removal Station
- How long does a resident have to shovel once notified? If they don’t respond, how long before the City comes out and shovels?
- Fine people for unshoveled sidewalks.
- Require that ice patches be salted, sanded or graveled there are many of these.
- Plan core area of City for total pedestrian/transit culture.
- Bus stops and major intersections need immediate snow removal (issue for elderly and handicapped). Currently, it is difficult for healthy/able people to climb over the snow piles.
- Emphasize to homeowners and businesses, if they have sidewalks – they need to be cleared to wheelchair width.
- Encourage people to adopt a bus stop for sidewalk removal.
- Bridges are a problem for snow removal; especially Plymouth Avenue Bridge – often it isn’t plowed.
- What is the definition of a "clear" sidewalk? Down to pavement? OK to leave a thin layer of snow on sidewalk?
- How does the city enforce shoveling rules?
- What happens when a sidewalk can no longer be shoveled? (was not shoveled and now has a trampled and iced footpath). Can an additional penalty be given for these situations?
Notes Next to Sidewalk Funding Station
- Sidewalks are a part of the infrastructure, if left to the responsibility of property owners; the rights of the pedestrians are marginalized. If we can fund streets for cars, we should pay for walkways for people.
- We wouldn’t leave roads/streets to adjacent property owners to fund/maintain, why sidewalks?
- Make sure uneven sidewalks are even – this harms pedestrians and wheelchairs. Don’t waste money replacing perfectly good sidewalks which are merely cracked, but perfectly fine and not uneven. They did this all around my neighborhood, 38th-42nd & Bryant Avenue S, last summer – what a waste.
What is Missing?
- Lighting in Parks (Riverside Park).
- Crossings at non-intersections. 1st Street South/5th Avenue S – near river)
- No access to river from downtown.
- Opportunities for public-owned "short-cuts".
- Interrupted pedestrian flow.
- "Historic" treatments are not bike-friendly and must share limited space on sidewalks.
- Maps are missing! Population concentrations, land use
- Trees – for shade and for birds; don’t take away existing trees especially close to the river.
- One-way streets increase vehicle speed (Lagoon/Lake). Hostile toward pedestrians
- More frequent and extensive transit service.
- Sidewalk obstructions (newspaper boxes….).
- Crosswalk "stripes" vs. "crosswalk zebra-striping (Diagram/graphic on notes) …..but where does the car stop (eg. Grant & Nicollet)
- Bus stops are generators of pedestrian traffic.
- Grocery stores.
- Nicollet Mall and streets leading to it
- The University of Minnesota
- Needs to be a crosswalk where the Stone Arch Bridge ends on the downtown side. Stop sign 1/2 block to E?S? isn’t used.
- Better signage to museum, arenas……………
- Street-level shops with windows on Nicollet, Hennepin, Marquette.
What other aspects should we observe?
- Shade – snow melts faster on the north side of the street.
- Street Enclosure (Height:Width ratio of building height to street width– 2:1)
- Sidewalk obstructions are numerous and consist of private and public intrusion. Transit shelters provide great refuge but placement should respect the walkway.
- Number of people crossing at various locations.
- Federal guidelines require relocating public utilities outside of pedestrian right of way - Especially with ADA considerations
- Do push buttons make pedestrians feel insecure?
- Narrow the streets at least use bumpouts, medians to narrow pedestrian crossing especially near parks.
- Enforce speed limits – does striping encourage faster driving?
- Water fountains.
- "Intimidation Index".
- Identify intersections with crosswalks (note: condition of crosswalk).
Not Master Plan but a Micro Plan - Pay attention to human scale/small things
- Restrict right turns on red downtown.
Written Feedback Form
Open house attendees were provided a written feedback form that corresponded to the interactive exhibits around the room. The form consisted of open-ended questions that enabled attendees to provide more detailed responses to the interactive exhibits that could be provided directly on the exhibit. Comments received from this form were grouped into one of seven categories: (1) snow removal, (2) pedestrian amenities, (3) transit improvements, (4) sustainability, (5) social/environmental justice, (6) enforcement, and (7) education, programming, and events. Approximately 64 participants provided comments.
- Snow Removal: Snow removal within Minneapolis is a particular concern of numerous participants. Over 25 (39%) of the individual comments cited problems with the manner in which snow removal is handled by the City. Participants suggested that although the City was quick to remove the snow from roadways, the plows typically would dump the piles onto driveways and sidewalks, which recently were plowed by private residents/businesses. This posed a particular difficulty for the elderly and the disabled. Participants also suggested that residents often were to blame for the lack of clear sidewalks. Seventeen (27%) participants commented on the lack of residential clearing. A portion of this problem is due to vacant houses and properties, as people are not responsible for the clearance.
- Pedestrian Amenities: Although a bulk of the comments focused on overall pedestrian conditions, participants pointed to four primary concerns. They include the following:
- Crosswalks need to be visible and placed throughout the City.
- Improved pedestrian crossings, which consist of lighting improvements, appropriate crossing time, signal coordination, and automatic pedestrian controls, are needed throughout the City.
- Bicycles need to be kept off the sidewalks.
- Beautification projects would improve the overall walking conditions.
- Transit Improvements: In general, participants cited the need for improved connections for pedestrians between modes of transportation. They also suggested that transit stops needed improved lighting and disabled access. One specific comment called for the improvement of bus shelters.
- Sustainability: Several participants suggested that the City address sustainability not only by promoting walking and bicycling, but also through the use of materials. For instance, one participant suggested the use of sand over salts and chemicals for snow removal; while another suggested that permeable pavers be used for sidewalks. In general, participants were concerned about runoff creating from quick melting snow and the formation of ice. They stressed that the character of the walking environment could be improved by the overall "greening" of the City.
- Social/environmental justice: Although only two participants stressed the need for attention to issues of equity, the comments suggested that the lack of opinions and comments on this topic was a result of the lack of diversity in the people attending the public workshop. Several participants suggested that the City improve the means for advertising public meetings, City priorities, and programming for transportation to reach out to diverse populations within Minneapolis.
- Enforcement: The enforcement of regulations and laws received a large amount of attention regarding snow removal. Participants included suggestions to increase ticketing for residents who do not clear the sidewalks. This issue was cited by over 10 participants. Additional comments suggested that enforcement be increased for red-light and stop sign runners. Specific locations were provided within the comments. One participant, for instance, suggested a "no turn on red" sign at the intersection of Lyndale and Oak Grove to make crossings for pedestrians more comfortable.
- Education, programming, and events: One aspect of the poster presentation concerned the "3- 1-1 Service." Ten participants (16%) provided comments on this service, including a suggestion to make the service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; to publicize the service to residents; and to provide follow-up calls. Additional programming ideas included gathering celebrity endorsements/participation for walking and bicycling event to attract attention to the programs; providing educational programming for owner responsibilities in snow storms, and working with neighborhood councils to improve the walking environment.
Residents of Minneapolis were invited to the second public open house for the Pedestrian Master Plan, focusing upon capital improvement priorities and best practices for designing and maintaining the pedestrian environment. 57 people signed in for the open house, which was held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Central Library. The geographic distribution of attendees was as follows:
|Zip Code||Approximate Location||Number of Attendees|
People were notified about the open house through a news release, information on the city’s website, notices sent to all neighborhood organizations, email notices to the pedestrian list serve and individuals who had attended previous pedestrian plan meetings, and information provided to Council members.
The content of the Open House was focused upon four topical areas:
- Common problems with the design of the pedestrian system, including physical network connectivity, sidewalk corridors, street corners, street crossings.
- Best practices for the design of the pedestrian system, including physical network connectivity, sidewalk corridors, street corners, street crossings.
- Physical improvement priorities, including network connectivity improvements, street crossing improvements, pedestrian environment improvements and accessibility improvements.
- Preliminary goals, objectives and strategies to improve the pedestrian system.
This content was presented on a series of interactive exhibits around the room, as well as through a presentation. Public comments were collected on handouts returned at the close of the meeting. These are included at the end of this document for reference. Additionally, the public was invited to ask general questions that were recorded at the time of the meeting. They are included at the end of this document, as well. The boards and PowerPoint presentation are posted on the City website ( Pedestrian Master Plan).
Public Workshop Summary of Comments
Public comments at the workshop and on written comments included the following:
- Need to improve lighting
- Enhance pedestrian walking trails in Bethune Park and Heritage Neighborhood
- Increase design to support street activity
- Improve pedestrian connectivity across freeway
- Streets (drive lanes and parking lanes) are too wide
- Too few trees
- Utilities below sidewalk prevent tree plantings
- Eliminate [sidewalk] gaps!
- Streets in many areas are way too wide. My street (2 nd Street NE) is wide enough for two lanes of traffic plus parking, but is marked for only 1 lane in each direction. Theoretically, there would be room for a 6-foot green strip as a buffer between peds and cars.
- Construction zones with no ped access
- Its terrifying when a bike squeezes onto the sidewalk but I know EXACTLY why they do it, less [fewer] bike trails ending in the middle of nowhere, please (esp. around Hennepin and 12 th)
- Crossing major highways
- Continued cul-de-sac’ing of streets.
- Lack of benches/seating/rest stops à important for aging population and those of us who live in the hilliest part of Minneapolis (NE)
- Bus shelters sticking out in middle of sidewalk AND too close to corners-obstructing sightlines especially when covered with Posters or Ads.
- Intersection of Cedar & Riverside is most dangerous in town for pedestrians, according to statistics. A red right turn arrow to the green arrow for right turns onto Cedar from Riverside would help a lot. Enforcement of requirements to yield right-of-way would also help.
Best Practices for Design
- Plant trees & green boulevard areas
- More landscape, better maintenance, more bump-outs. More control over adjacent properties – weedy parking lots, etc., broken fences. (Cheap & low standards for parking lots and vacant lots.)
- Good bike facilities on road to keep them off sidewalks
- Traffic signals that give pedestrians a head start by turning on the "walk" a couple of seconds before the green
- Intermodal bus, pedestrian connections
- Curb extensions – public works and council members refuse to do them
- Enforcement of existing laws on bicyclists
- Enforcement of existing laws on sidewalk obstructions
- Clean up "Free handout/news" machines which obstruct visibility and walkers
- Clean up bus stops/bus shelters
- Remove light poles from the middle of sidewalks, especially when there is no grass or "boulevard" strip to put them in (problem for plowing)
- Copenhagen (and other urban centers) use innovative sign holders, to leave sidewalks unobstructed. They attach signs to buildings, hang them from cables, long arms extended from a support farther away.
- Speed limit of 6 m.p.h. on sidewalk for everyone. Pedestrians, bicycle, skaters, handicap vehicles, etc. 6 mph should be fast enough for joggers – but would help deal with safety issues for pedestrians though hard to enforce. Example: Sept. 8 ticketing of mounted bicyclists on restricted pathways on Washington Avenue has been very effective in dealing with hazardous conditions. Bicyclists and pedestrians are a difficult mix.
- Peds should NEVER need to push a button to get a walk signal, any direction – otherwise encourage disobeying law/unsafe conditions
- Allowing the toxic accumulation of ice mounds along curbs that then melt and enter storm sewers is a terrible environmental practice
- Maintenance – snow removal
- Over the next 50 years, require the public utilities to move all systems into the "street" drive lanes so we can reclaim sidewalk rights-of-way
- It is very important that the design guidelines address the use and design of decorative/textured sidewalk surfaces. The scored sidewalks on Lake Street cause excessive vibrations for people in wheelchairs, and they are causing significant hardship for many people.
- Intersection of Cedar & Riverside is most dangerous in town for pedestrians according to statistics. A red right turn arrow added to the green arrow for right turns onto Cedar from Riverside would help a lot. Enforcement of the requirement to yield right-of-way would also help.
Capital Improvement Priorities
- Signage around Cedar-Riverside is sorely lacking. Lots of clear signs leading to the light rail (and a welcoming, intuitive entrance) would be great. Also, we need signs to the U from the light rail.
- All along Hiawatha Ave there is continuous boulevard in the middle of the highway between transit stations and major cross streets. There should be a cut out at every block for Ped only, so someone with suitcases, strollers, wheelchairs, etc. can cross at any street to get to the unobstructed "better" sidewalk on the LRT (west) side of Hiawatha.
- 26 th Street planning is not on the list.
- Please show greenway/trail/bikes proposed on 26 th Avenue north between the River and Theodore Wirth Parkway. 1) design plan is in place from River to Emerson 2) Planning is beginning for 26 th Ave N from Emerson to Theodore Wirth.
- Notes: 1) You are missing sidewalks on 18 th Ave NE north side behind Quarry near Stinson, it’s not indicated on a map. 2) NE bike trail plan is supposed to go all way to Stinson but it’s not on your map. 3) Waite Park Trail" This is a railroad! No one wants a trail there (dangerous). 4) New street needed on 33 rd Ave NE (all of it). 5) Missing complex intersection dot @ Central/37 th NE – It’s 5 ways. 6) How on earth did the St. Anthony Parkway bridge get ranked "medium"? It should be #2!
- The corner of 1 st St South & 5 th Ave South. Difficult to cross street w/no crosswalk. Can be very dangerous at times. Also need crosswalk at bottom of stairs where there is a sidewalk "inviting" you to cross the parkway. There is no crosswalk. With influx of more residents this needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
- Please note that there is no sidewalk near the intersection of 3 rd Ave & 1 st St S between 3 rd Ave & 5 th Ave by the 3 rd Ave bridge. All peds need to be on the side of 1 st St across from stairs to River Road. Bicycles also use this area and intersection is dangerous to them as well. The sidewalk by old Fujiya building is skinny and has telephone poles and doesn’t go through to 3 rd Ave.
- PLEASE repair the sidewalk between 46 th Ave and 46 th Street E and the Ford Bridge on the North side of 46 th Street E. It is sideways on a steep angle, cracked, with chunks subsiding away, narrow, curved, has poles & light posts sticking out of the sidewalk and adjacent to heavy traffic with no buffer or boulevard strip to separate users from the heavy traffic. On top of all this, it is always encrusted with uneven chunks of slush that has frozen over the winter.
Goals and Objectives
- Please coordinate sidewalk design w/Minneapolis Urban Forest Guidelines and requirements and with requirements developed by the MPRB Tree Advisory Commission
- Street trees are critical to livable cities – seek trees (more) downtown and on all streets
- What about the concept of "incentive"-izing people to do more walking, both for their health and for the environment? For example, some public health research is using gift cards, parties, contests or prizes, lower-cost bus passes to encourage people to take an action/walk/lose weight and get a mammogram, etc. Use some of the City’s money to defray cost of bus passes à income-based system is needed/sliding fee scale
- Enforce shoveling on city walks or develop a strong education campaign.
- Creating a walkable downtown is important for the economic health of the metro region. It will be environmentally important to draw more people to live downtown & walk. It will be energy-efficient. Making downtown appealing – clean & green is very important. Get the ice piles off the curbs! Add landscaping! Require private property owners to adhere to higher standards. We should be ashamed of our downtown pedestrian environment.
- Coordination with other jurisdictions is important because Minneapolis doesn’t own all roads within its borders.
- Please work with Public Works to decrease the speed of snow plows – especially on streets w/o boulevards. This would prevent plugging sidewalks with that icy mixture that quickly hardens and is very difficult to remove.
- You have addressed so many issues & poor designs (lots of my pet peeves) that create horrible pedestrian experiences. Please implement your "best" practices ASAP!
- Night time visitors are helped by the movable signs placed in skyway in various buildings that direct people to hotels. They should be studied more as wayfinding elements in Skyway.
Public Meeting Open Comment/Question & Answer Summary
- How do you address existing poles in sidewalks?
- What other solutions (besides bump-outs) are there to eliminate obstructions?
- Why are non-standard/unacceptable designs permitted?
- Will the plan include illustrations/graphics of best practices?
- What other related planning efforts are underway?
- When in 2009 will Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) be made mandatory and why?
- Will the application of best practices vary by area of city?
- What will the standards be for ensuring sidewalks are smooth?
- How will we pay for all of this?
- How will this relate to Access Minneapolis Plan recommendations?
- How much of a focus will there be on barriers, isolated areas, & freeways?
- What will be the city’s position on APS?
- What changes will be made to marking unsignalized crosswalks?
- How will this plan relate to other efforts?
- What effect will these recommendations have on historically-protected areas?
120 people completed the online survey between 6/16/08 and 8/30/08. Survey responses are summarized below.
Section 1: About You
1. What is your age?
2. Gender? 57% female, 43% male
3. Zip code?
|Zip Code||Approximate Location||Responses|
Section 2: Existing Conditions for Pedestrians
What are your favorite places to walk or the places you most frequently walk (be specific)?
Parks/Lakes/Parkways: Chain of Lakes (Lake Calhoun frequently reported), Minnehaha Creek/Parkway, Lake Nokomis, River Parkways, Columbia Golf Course, Wirth Park, Minnehaha Falls, Pershing Park, Loring Park, Logan Park, Northeast Park, St. Anthony Parkway, Victory Memorial Parkway, Weber Park, North Mississippi Regional Park, Powderhorn Park, Boom Island, Eloise Butler Gardens, Quaking Bog, Mill Ruins Park, Gold Medal Park, Linden Hills Park
Neighborhoods: Dinkytown, CARAG, Windom, Audobon, Howe, Stevens, Whittier, Loring Park, Wedge, Lowry Hill, East Isles, Longfellow, Cedar Riverside, Seward, Uptown, Linden Hills, ECCO, Kingfield, McKinley, U of M, Windom Park, Marcy-Holmes
Downtown: Nicollet Mall, Farmers Market, 2 nd St, Guthrie, Loring Greenway, River Parkway, Orchestra Hall, skyways, St. Anthony Main, Hennepin Av, Walker Art Center
Streets: Franklin Av, West Broadway, Lake Street, Lyndale Av S, Hennepin Av S, France Av, Excelsior Blvd, Garfield Av S, Oak Grove St, 54 th St S, Washington Av S, King’s Highway, 34 th St S, SE Main St, Penn Av S, Nicollet Av, Chicago Av, Cedar Av, Thomas Av N, 38 th St, Minnehaha Av, Lowry Av, Washington St NE
Destinations: grocery store, kids school, coffee shop, video store, fitness center, walk dog, library, church, restaurants
Bridges: Stone Arch Bridge, 46 th St/Ford Bridge, Franklin Bridge, 10 th Street Bridge
Trails: Midtown Greenway, Hiawatha LRT Trail
Are there places where you don't walk now but would walk if the physical conditions were different (be specific)?
Locations: Hennepin/Lyndale interchange (frequently reported), 50 th St W (frequently reported), Xerxes, Loring Park, Lake Street, Lake Street @ 35W, 46 th/46 th, Johnson/18 th, Lake/Lyndale, Kmart @ Lake/Nicollet, Loring Park, Lake Street, Cedar/42 nd, Penn/Osseo, SEMI area, Washington Av S, St. Anthony Blvd, Boom Island, Cedar Avenue (Cedar-Riverside), Hiawatha Ave, Cedar/Franklin, 4 th & University, Broadway Ave E, Hennepin Ave NE, Broadway NE, Lyn-Lake, Shingle Creek Park, Nicollet Avenue (south of Lake), Diamond Lake Rd, Cedar/Franklin/Minnehaha, Lyndale (Franklin to 24th), Nicollet (Franklin to 29 th), Washington Ave, 4 th Ave along freeway wall, Diamond Lake Road
Other Concerns: garbage, crumbling sidewalks, poorlyl cleared snow, trees and grass need watering, construction sidewalk closures, walk signals don’t give enough time to cross street, missing sidewalks, lack of street level destinations downtown, streets without boulevards
Are there any missing sidewalks in areas where you walk (be specific)?
- Eastern edge Loring Park
- Midblock from Oak Grove to Clifton (Loring Park)
- 5 th Street @ Cedar Avenue
- Osseo Rd
- West Broadway @ Lowry overpass (only walking route to North Memorial Hospital)
- 14 th Ave NE
- Broadway Ave E (bus stops, no sidewalks)
- 37 th & Stinson (Cub, Silver Lake Village)
- Main St NE (35 th Ave NE to St. Anthony Parkway)
- Edge Place (3 rd St NE to Main St NE)
- 46 th Av S & 46 th St E (temporary closure)
- Grass Lake (south and west sides, northeast side?)
- Cedar Avenue South (south of Lake Nokomis)
- Chicago Avenue South @ 46 th St cemetery (cow path and transit stops)
- Lake Street LRT station (many dirt paths around station)
- Kmart @ Nicollet
- Midtown Greenway upper level (southside between Uptown Transit Center and Lyndale)
- Franklin Ave W (between Lake of the Isles and Kenwood Park)
- Grand (54 th to Parkway)
- Logan Av S @ Kenwood Park
• Diamond Lake Rd @ Pearl Park
Are there sidewalks that are too narrow in places where you walk (be specific)?
- Sidewalk cafes
- Newspaper boxes
- People smoking outside bars
- Freeway overpasses
- Overgrown trees/shrubs
- Business signage
- Poorly located transit shelters, utility poles, newspaper boxes and street trees – need pedestrian access route consistent with PROWAG.
- 1 st Ave N @ sidewalk cafes
- Lowry Ave N
- Penn & 44 th Ave N (bus shelter in sidewalk)
- Marshall Ave NE (St. Anthony Pkwy to Lowry)
- University Ave NE (Parkway to Lowry)
- Lyndale Av S bridge over creek
- Lake Street @ Minnehaha (too narrow at bus stops)
- Zenith & 50 th St W (signpost makes it too narrow for stroller)
- Lyndale @22 nd (Cafetto sidewalk café)
- 24 th St & LRT crossing (poles blocking)
- Xerxes Ave
- 50 th St W
- Lagoon Ave
- Lake Calhoun lagoon bridge
- 1 st Ave S (18 th to 19 th St)
- Lake Street @ Figlio’s sidewalk cafe
- Minehakad Country Club (overhanging branches/weeds)
- Franklin Ave
- Diamond Lake Road
Are there other physical barriers to walking in places where you walk(be specific)?
- Ice & snow
- Construction sites
- Parking lots
- Covered windows
- Broken glass
- Bicycles on sidewalks
- Poor grading
- Uneven/broken sidewalks, tree roots pushing up sidewalks
- Freeway bridges between downtown and south
- Hennepin/Lyndale interchange
- Poor sidewalk conditions on Cedar Avenue (Riverside to 5 th St)
- Railroad underpasses in Northeast
- Cobblestone in St. Anthony Main
- Poor grading on Central Ave NE (rain, ice runoff)
- Curb ramps needed at Johnson St @ 10 th St (Hennepin to Broadway)
- Lake Street – sidewalk cuts inlaid with knobbly panels
- Bryant Avenue footbridge is closed
- Kmart @ Nicollet & Lake
- 32 nd Street (Lyndale to Lake Calhoun – poor sidewalk grades)
Are there any specific locations where you have encountered traffic safety dangers while walking(be specific)?
- 15 th Street
- 1 st Av N (7 th to 8 th St)
- 5 th & Nicollet @ LRT (blind pedestrians have trouble hearing trains)
- Hennepin/Lyndale interchange
- Nicollet & Grant Street
- Riverside & 10 th Av
- Riverside @ 19 th
- 1 st Av N & Hennepin
- Hennepin & 10 th St
- 1 st ave N & 8 th St
- LaSalle & West 15 th
- Spruce & West 15 th – cars travel wrong way on one-way street due to one-way sign behind telephone pole
- 44 th Av N (narrow sidewalks and deteriorated curbs create concern with vehicles running over sidewalk)
- Lowry Ave
- Penn Ave N
- Washington Ave N
- Victory Memorial Parkway
- Broadway @ 27 th Av N
- Central Ave NE
- Johnson St NE
- University Ave NE & 37 th Ave NE
- University Ave SE @ Bedford & Malcolm
- Stinson & Hwy 88 – crosswalk buttons don’t respond
- Stinson & New Brighton – pedestrian lights never cycle to "walk"
- 28 th Ave S @ Minnehaha Creek trail
- 28 th St @ 5 th Ave (Honeywell)
- 39 th Ave @ Minnehaha Parkway
- 46 th St @ Minnehaha Ave
- 50 th & Minnehaha Parkway
- Cedar Ave S & Nokomis Pkwy
- Franklin Ave E
- Hiawatha @ 28 th St
- Lake St @ East Lake Library & Rainbow Foods
- Lake St E
- River Parkways
- Minnehaha Park traffic circle
- Nokomis Ave @ Minnehaha Creek trail
- 26 th & Hennepin
- 29 th & Bryant
- 29 th & Pillsbury
- 32 nd & Bryant
- 33 rd & Lyndale
- 38 th & France
- 50 th St W (narrow sidewalk causes people to pass in street)
- 52 nd & Xerxes
- 53 rd & Xerxes
- 54 th & Lyndale
- Franklin at Harriet, Grand, Garfield to access bus stop
- Hennepin & Lagoon (dual right turn lane creates multiple threat crash hazard)
- West Lake Harriet Parkway @ 44 th Stairs
- West Lake Calhoun Parkway
- Diamond Lake Road
- Protected left turn phases should have extended walk periods for the opposite leg
- Cars turn right on red without looking
- Curb ramps in single direction at two-way stop – problem for stroller users - suggests to drivers that pedestrian is crossing north, for example, when actually crossing west
Are there any specific locations where you have encountered personal security dangers while walking (be specific)?
- Darkness at night
- Overgrown vegetation
- Dogs, especially loose dogs
- Bicycles on sidewalks
- Loring Park
- 2 nd Street S
- Washington ave S
- Cedar Avenue in Cedar Riverside
- Hennepin & 1 st
- Block E
- Railroad underpasses
- Penn Ave N
- Shingle Creek Park (loose dogs)
- North Commons @ Penn & Golden Valley Road
- River Road
- LRT Bike/Ped Trail
- Minnehaha Parkway trail under Chicago and Cedar Avenue bridges
- Midtown Greenway
- 24 th Street pedestrian bridge over I-35W
- Lake Harriet
- Stevens Park
What other problems related to walking have you observed (be specific)?
- Lack of tree boulevards on busy streets and physical protection from traffic they provide, particularly for people with children
- Bicycles on sidewalks
- Confusion over driver and bike responsibilities at trail street crossings
- Construction sidewalk closures
- Street signage on one-way streets geared solely to vehicles
- Dead trees in downtown
- Aggressive bus drivers
- General confusion about crosswalk law
- Lack of shade in summer months
- Lack of public restrooms
- Litter and broken glass
- Sidewalk weeds
- Snow banks at corners
- Lack of shade and greenery in downtown
- Skyways reduce street life in downtown
- Bicycles on sidewalks
What opportunities for increased walking have you observed (be specific)?
- Stone Arch bridge
- Mills District
- Hennepin Avenue streetscape
- Gold Medal park
- Mill Ruins Park
- More walkable destinations, mixed use development
- Enforcement of traffic laws North Minneapolis walking path to river
- Minnehaha Creek pedestrian bridge west of Zenith
- Countdown signals
- Create online version
- Add weekend hours
- Add follow-up process to notify you if problem resolved
- Better advertise
- Accumulation of snow at alleyways
- Snowplows throw packed snow onto sidewalks after sidewalks have been cleared
- Snowplow push large amounts of snow into crosswalks
- Bus stops are not cleared of snow
- Ice accumulation
- Insufficient enforcement of property owner responsibilities
- Full width of sidewalk often not cleared at corners or midblock
- Snow cleared from parking lots melts onto sidewalk
- Snow not cleared at vacant properties
- Add information to the existing automated phone calls announcing snow emergencies (frequently recommended) – include time limits and applicable fines
- Add information card to utility bill (frequently recommended)
- Constant reminders
- Advertise salt/sand mixture that is available
- Online video showing common problems for different types of pedestrians – include elected officials & local business owners doing proper snow clearance
- Encourage people to report uncleared sidewalks
- Better enforcement
- Higher fines for repeat problem locations
- Automated phone calls to those who have not cleared snow
- Maintain even sidewalks
- Encourage kids to shovel sidewalks
- Allow kids to earn service hours required for graduation by shoveling snow for elderly and disabled
- Have city remove snow from sidewalks
- Close roads around lakes on Sundays during summer for bikes and pedestrians
- Focus on improving locations with a lot of pedestrians
- Encourage businesses to sponsor green spaces/gardens
- Public information campaign on crosswalk law
- More trash cans
- Integrate mile markers on popular leisure paths to encourage health/fitness
- Goal 1: A Well-Connected Walkway System
- Goal 2: Accessibility for All Pedestrians
- Goal 3: Safe and Convenient Street Crossings
- Goal 4: A Pedestrian Environment that Fosters Walking
- Goal 5: A Well-Maintained Pedestrian System
- Goal 6: A Culture of Walking
- Goal 7: Funding, Tools and Leadership for Implementing Pedestrian Improvements
- Walkway connectivity: A few areas with sidewalk gaps or low walkway connectivity were identified in public comments, including the sidewalk on Main Street between Edge Place and St. Anthony Parkway, which is the only outlet and connects to a major walking/biking path, the connection between the Harrison neighborhood and downtown, and the Columbia Park area. A comment was also received related to how walkway connectivity is considered in redevelopment projects.
- Curb ramps: Curb ramps must be designed to flow into the crosswalk; a single ramp placed diagonally propels wheelchair users and pedestrians with sight disabilities into the face of oncoming traffic.
- Accessibility Standards: A comment was received that Minneapolis should use the Public Rights of Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) as the City’s design standard.
- Benches: Benches are necessary to make the pedestrian system more accessible to younger and older individuals with mobility issues who need to rest periodically.
- Pedestrian Signals: Many comments were received related to pedestrian signals, including desire for more accessible pedestrian signals, lengthening signal walk time to accommodate those with mobility disabilities, improving signals with push buttons that are not accessible to wheelchair users, using pedestrian scramble signals in high pedestrian use areas, a desire for automatic pedestrian signal actuation (no push buttons, except to shorten the time to wait for a WALK signal), and timing north-south signals in downtown for walking speed.
- Marked Crosswalks: Several people commented that there should be more safe marked crosswalks at logical intervals (every other block was suggested by one person) along all roads, regardless of ownership and particularly near parks, schools and in designated commercial districts. Another comment was received related to marking safe midblock crosswalks at public institutions with entrances located midblock.
- Vehicular Speed: Some people wanted to know what the City is doing to reduce the standard speed limit of 30 mph, which they believe is too fast to local residential streets. The fact that most streets in Minneapolis have a 30 mph speed limit should not be considered a positive as stated in the draft plan. Comments were also received that traffic signals should be timed to manage vehicle speeds; Park/Portland were particularly mentioned as having signal timing which promotes fast vehicular speeds.
- Enforcement: Several comments were received related to a desire for the police to conduct crosswalk stings, particularly when publicized after the enforcement effort, as well as more enforcement of the crosswalk law generally.
- School Pedestrian Safety: Comments included the need for adult supervision at school crossings, which could be recruited by community institutions and paid a stipend. A comment was also received related to the need for safe crossings across 35 th and 36 th Streets at the new Lyndale community school.
- Education/Campaigns: Some people want to see a campaign to encourage safer streets for walkers and bikers; specific suggestions included signs at stop signs stating "stopping is part of driving" or banners when entering neighborhoods asking drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians.
- Freeway ramps: Street crossings at freeway ramps should also be considered and recommendations provided to Mn/DOT.
- No Turn on Red: Some people commented that right turns on red signals are a pedestrian safety problem.
- Pedestrian Bridges across Streets: A comment was received supporting a pedestrian bridge that links Heritage Park housing across Highway 55.
- Street Life: Several comments were received related to the importance of fostering street life. Ideas included licensing sidewalk performers as Seattle does (barbershop quartets, swing bands with dancing, public speeches, political rallies, charity fundraisers were mentioned as typical users) and providing small public plazas with seating and trees to provide space for people to gather and sidewalk performers to perform. Some people recommended removing the barriers for this type of street life to happen and for neighborhoods to foster these types of activities.
- Trees: Some comments were received related to the lack of guidance in the plan related to trees and the need to reference the ongoing tree planting design guidelines that Public Works is developing.
- Downtown Street Level Frontages and Parking Ramp Entrances: Comments were received related to the lack of pedestrian-oriented street level land uses in downtown and focus of pedestrian land uses in the skyway level, as well as the angled entrance and exits to some parking ramps in downtown, such as the Gateway Ramp, which favors vehicular movement across sidewalks.
- Public Safety: Several people mentioned the need to address issues of public safety and perceptions of safety.
- Public Restrooms: One person commented that the lack of public restrooms is an impediment to walking and transit trips.
- Bicycle/Pedestrian Conflicts: Several people commented that pedestrian safety from bicyclists on sidewalks needs to be addressed in the plan. Several people also had questions about whether bicyclists may legally ride on sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Wayfinding: Some people commented on the need for wayfinding signs in key locations.
- Snow: Many comments were received related to snow clearance on pedestrian facilities. Specific comments included the need for snow plow drivers to not deposit snow at the corners which can become icy and difficult for property owners to clear; the fact that some sidewalk surfaces such as the pavers on Nicollet Mall can become icy and there is a need for sidewalk surfaces in high pedestrian traffic areas; the need to address absentee landlords and enforcement of snow shoveling responsibilities; the fact that poor snow clearance is a significant safety issue for people with disabilities and deters transit ridership; while property owners are responsible for sidewalk snow clearance, the City is responsible ensuring property owners clear sidewalk snow and that education and enforcement is an important city role; high pedestrian areas get early foot traffic, which stamps down snow and makes it difficult to clear; and a desire for geo-thermal systems to keep sidewalks clear and dry in winter.
- Encroachments: Several comments were received that pedestrians are unaware of how to report encroachment problems and the need for publicizing this information in community media. A comment was also received that the plan should address sandwich boards, which are an accessibility problem for people with mobility disabilities, and several people have commented that the sidewalk cafes on Nicollet Mall seem to get wider.
- Construction Zones: A comment was received that pedestrian walkways in construction zones need better marking and delineation.
- Programming and Events: Several comments were received related to programmed events, such as summer Sunday street closures for pedestrians and bicyclists, winter walking events, a pedestrian-friendly boulevard garden tour, and making Nicollet Mall pedestrian-only on farmers market days.
- Assessments: One comment was received opposing new assessments.
- Neighborhood and Property Owner Implementation: Some people commented that the City should do more to remove the barriers to and support neighborhoods’ ability to implement improvements. One person suggested more proactively encouraging property owners to help provide benches or amenities.
- Jurisdictional Responsibilities – One comment noted the importance of clarifying roadway jurisdictional responsibilities and potential differing priorities among jurisdictions.
- Volunteers: One person asked how volunteers could be used to more cost-effectively accomplish some of the pedestrian goals.
- Major Projects: Some comments were received related to a desire for the plan to commit to implementing a major pedestrian-oriented improvement, such as a major promenade downtown.
- Implementation Actions: One person commented that the recommendations should be more action-oriented and not use terms like "study," "investigate," "inventory."
Section 3: What motivates you to walk?
Section 4: Getting the word out – 311
17. Are you aware of 311? 86% yes
18. Have you ever used 311? 59% yes
19. If yes, did you see a result? 83% yes
20. How would you improve the 311 process?
Section 5: Snow removal
24. What other challenges have you encountered regarding snow removal (be specific)?
25. How else could we encourage property owners to clear snow from their sidewalks in a more timely manner?
Section 6: Sidewalk Repair and Maintenance
Section 7: Comments
28. Additional comments:
Residents of Minneapolis were invited to the third and final public open house for the Pedestrian Master Plan, which presented the draft final plan. 44 people signed in for the open house, which was held from 6:00-8:30 p.m. on July 16, 2009 at the Central Library. The geographic distribution of attendees was as follows:
Zip Code Approximate Location Number of Attendees 55401 Downtown 3 55403 Downtown 3 55454 Downtown 1 55412 North 1 55405 North/Southwest 4 55413 Northeast 2 55418 Northeast 5 55406 South 5 55409 South 2 55417 South 1 55404 South/Southwest 1 55414 Southeast 3 55408 Southwest 3 55410 Southwest 2 55419 Southwest 1 St. Paul 2 Suburbs 2 Not specified 3
People were notified about the open house through a news release, information on the city’s website, notices sent to all neighborhood organizations, email notices to the pedestrian list serve and individuals who had attended previous pedestrian plan meetings, and information provided to Council members and the Mayor’s office.
Prior to the public open house, the Bike/Walk Ambassadors conducted two walking workshops:
1. Assessing Your Neighborhood Walkability - Take a walk through downtown with our Bike Walk Youth Ambassadors and learn about what enhances or detracts from the pedestrian experience. Learn how to assess your own neighborhood and get tips on how to work to improve your walking experience.
2. Staying Safe as a Pedestrian –What are the typical safety errors pedestrians and motorists make? Take a walk around downtown to learn more about your safety and our laws. We’ll talk about the most common crashes, crosswalk rules, and other tips to improve your well-being on foot.
At the public open house, the draft final plan was presented on a series of exhibit boards around the room, as well as through a presentation. Public comments were collected via a question and answer session and comment forms completed at the public meeting. Public input was also received from people who did not attend the public meeting via an online comment form and emails to project staff. The official public comment period concluded on July 24, 2009.
The presentation and public comment are organized according to the 7 goals for implementation actions in the plan:
Goal 1: A Well-Connected Walkway System
The following comments were received related to Goal 1:
• Railroad crossings: A number of comments were received regarding sidewalk condition across and near at-grade railroad crossings, specifically at Humboldt north of Webber Pkwy, which is near residential buildings for people with disabilities and senior citizens, and at Lowry Ave NE and 22 nd Ave NE between California St NE and 2 nd St NE. A comment was also received that the sidewalk gaps map should be updated to include these sidewalk gaps. A comment was also received related to a desire for streetscaping in median of the Talmadge railroad crossing.
Goal 2: Accessibility for All Pedestrians
The following comments were received related to Goal 2 (see goals 3 and 5 as well):
Goal 3: Safe and Convenient Street Crossings
The following comments were received related to Goal 3:
Goal 4: A Pedestrian Environment that Fosters Walking
The following comments were received related to Goal 4:
Lighting: Several comments were received related to a desire for more lighting in specific locations: 4 th/5 th Street in Dinkytown , the walking path in Bethune Park, on Olson Memorial Highway and on Theodore Wirth Parkway.
• Painted Intersections: Some people commented that painted intersection projects are a good way to improve the pedestrian environment and can be led by neighborhoods, but since they are not allowed on busier traffic streets, they have little possibility of implementation.
The following comments were received related to Goal 5:
Goal 6: A Culture of Walking
The following comments were received related to Goal 6:
Goal 7: Funding, Tools and Leadership for Implementing Pedestrian Improvements
The following comments were received related to Goal 7:
Last updated Mar. 8, 2012