If you’ve ever been in Minneapolis at the “bottleneck” that merges Lyndale and Hennepin avenues, you’ve seen a bit of controlled traffic chaos. The high traffic area is more than a bit maddening with its nine lanes for the 50,000 motorists who frequent the location daily. Minneapolis city officials are seeking to overhaul the intersection to simplify traffic flow as well as create a safer experience for the rush daily pedestrians. (That right, nine lanes to cross!)
There are two proposals for the $9 million, much needed revamp of the confusing-ish intersection — the spot has a complicated assortment of lanes reaching towards downtown, Interstate 94, and both Lyndale and Hennepin avenues. Not only that, but the area is highly trafficked due to its proximity to the Walker Art Center, Loring Park, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. (Another reason the overhaul is needed is because this area is a pot-hole minefield.)
“Anything will be an improvement,” said Sherman Ford at a crowded open house about the project at the Walker on Monday night.
But that considered, the 50,000 daily motorists might not like the pending changes — plans are to cut down multiple lanes, likely a change that will lead to more vehicular congestion. It’s worth noting the engineers pulling the strings here disagree with that thought as they champion the notion that a more simplified and better flowing intersection will actually cut down on travel time moderately for motorists. I’ll admit to being a skeptic considering the loss of several routes for vehicles, but I’m not expert in travel. (I’d be nothing without you Google Maps!)
Either way, the face of this intersection should be changing soon — approval for the largely funded federal project needs to be finalized by this fall with construction potentially starting in 2015.
Photo via: Google Maps