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University Ave SE/4th St SE Protected Bikeway Study



Project Details


Project Overview:

The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and MnDOT are evaluating ways to install a protected bikeway along University Avenue SE and/or 4th Street SE between Central Avenue SE and Oak Street SE. This is one of the busiest street locations for biking in the city and the Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan identifies a future protected bikeway along this corridor. A protected bikeway will provide physical separation between bicycle traffic and motor vehicle traffic. 

The purpose of the study is to evaluate different protected bikeway alternatives, understand related impacts and opportunities along the corridor, and identify a preferred configuration that could be installed in coordination with street maintenance projects programmed in 2018 and 2019.

Two primary alternatives are being explored:




Project Documents

Project Fact Sheet

Stakeholder Group Meetings 

April 4, 2017

May 8, 2017

April 12, 2018

October 16, 2018

Other Meetings

September 22, 2016 - University District Alliance

October 1, 2016 - University Open Streets

November 4, 2016 - Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition Stakeholder Group

January 17, 2017 - Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee

February 6, 2017 - Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition Stakeholder Group

February 27, 2017 - Hennepin County Bicycle Advisory Committee

March 23, 2017 - Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association Transportation Committee

April 4, 2017 - University Ave SE/4th St SE Protected Bikeway Study Stakeholder Group

May 8, 2017 - University Ave SE/4th St SE Protected Bikeway Study Stakeholder Group

April 12, 2018 - University Ave SE/4th St SE Protected Bikeway Study Stakeholder Group

Project Updates

March 27, 2018 

Following a technical review of the corridor and feedback from stakeholders, the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and MnDOT are recommending the installation of a pair of one-way protected bike lanes on University Avenue SE (eastbound) and 4th Street SE (westbound) between Central Avenue SE and Oak Street SE. The recommendation is based on a number of considerations, including: 

Corridor-wide considerations

·         The one-way design enhances the existing one-way conventional bike lanes on both University Avenue SE and 4th Street SE to have a buffer and physical separation

·         The one-way design minimizes tradeoffs with other uses along the corridor including impacts to transit operations, motor vehicle traffic flow, and on-street parking

·         The one-way pair can be implemented through signing, striping, delineators, and some traffic signal modifications, which allows for greater flexibility to modify the design after installation.

·         A two-way protected bike lane design on University Ave SE would require significant changes to curb lines, transit stops, and traffic signal infrastructure. These are critical design elements that require capital investments not currently identified in the City, County, or MnDOT’s capital budgets. 

Considerations west of I-35W

·         The one-way pair allows direct opportunities for traffic calming on both University Avenue SE and 4th Street SE, with shorter crossing distances for pedestrians on both streets and fewer travel lanes on 4th Street SE

·         The one-way pair allows the opportunity to add a full time parking lane on 4th Street SE 

Considerations east of I-35W

·         The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County collected detailed observations of bicycle riding behavior on the east end of University Ave SE: Of the 1,500 people bicycling on University Avenue SE each day, approximately 6-9% of them are riding westbound (against traffic) either on the sidewalk or in the street.

·         While the recommended design is for a one-way bikeway on University Avenue SE, the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County will continue to monitor bicycle traffic to consider future accommodations or improvements for westbound bicycle movements. 

Next Steps

The three agencies are sharing the concept with stakeholders in spring of 2018, and will seek Council Approval for the project later in 2018. The project is proposed to be installed in the summer of 2019 in coordination with the Hennepin County resurfacing project on University Ave SE between I-35W and Oak St SE.

October 15, 2018

In anticipation the 2019 project, the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and MnDOT are working on the designs of the bikeway design. Below is a summary of the design changes:


Travel Lanes

On-Street Parking



Simon Blenski, City of Minneapolis, 612-673-5012 or [email protected] 

Jordan Kocak, Hennepin County, 612-543-3377 or [email protected] 

Mackenzie Turner Bargen, MnDOT, 651-234-7879 or [email protected]


(Note: Project information may change due to scheduling, weather, or other factors outside of our control. Listings will be updated as new information becomes available.) Citizens concerned with pedestrian access during construction should contact the project manager directly.

Last updated Jan 10, 2019



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