The City Council has approved a layout for the Hennepin Avenue South reconstruction project, which will reconstruct a 1.4 mile-stretch of Hennepin between West Lake Street and Douglas Avenue.
The recommended design will create safer and more comfortable areas for pedestrians, a two-way bikeway between Lake Street and Franklin Avenue, two transit priority lanes, two vehicle lanes with left turn lanes at key intersections and parking/loading bays where possible.
The layout approval process included much discussion over the implementation and operation of the transit priority lanes proposed to support needs and goals around speed and reliability for the METRO E Line, a planned bus rapid transit (BRT) line.
The City Council approved a resolution supporting an operational plan that advances the goals of the City’s Transportation Action Plan, including a citywide mode share goal of 25% of trips taken by transit in 2030 and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 80% by 2050.
The resolution also outlines a commitment to have the transit priority lanes operational for a minimum of six hours between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. once the reconstruction project is complete. Currently, the Hennepin bus lanes are only operational from 7-9 a.m. (northbound) and 4-6:30 p.m. (southbound) on weekdays. A transition to all-day, bus-only lanes will not begin for at least 24 months after the completion of construction.
The detailed design and engineering as well as refinement of area parking solutions will occur over the next two years with reconstruction of the corridor beginning in 2024.