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Streets & Corridors


The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth

The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth

  • Improve access management and way-finding to and from all streets, sidewalks, and other pedestrian connections. (10.15.4 p. 10-20)
  • Minimize and consolidate driveway curb cuts as opportunities arise, and discourage curb cuts where alleys are available. (2.3.7 p. 2-5
  • Reduce street widths for safe and convenient pedestrian crossing by adding medians, boulevards, or bump-outs. (10.15.3 p. 10-20)
  • Landscaped areas should be maintained in accordance with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles, to allow views into and out of the site, to preserve view corridors and to maintain sight lines at vehicular and pedestrian intersections. (10.19.4 p. 10-26)
  • Emphasize improving public access to and movement along the riverfront. (10.14.4 p. 10-19)
  • Views of the river should favor vistas that try to give longer views of the river. (10.14.5 p. 10-19)

Access Minneapolis Ch.10 Pedestrian Facility Design

Access Minneapolis Ch.10 Pedestrian Facility Design

  • For downtown activity centers, the preferred width may need to be greater than 6 feet. ( p. 10-6)
  • The Planting/Furnishing Zone contains trees, signs, street lights, utility boxes, planted boulevards, landscaping, planters, bus shelters, bicycle parking and other furniture. Width should be 5.5 feet or more, depending on street type. ( p. 10-7)
  • Driveways and Alleys

    Sidewalk Width and Grade ‐ The width and grade of the Through Walk Zone should continue across driveways and alleys as shown in Figure 10‐13, consistent with the recommended widths in section (6 feet recommended, 5 feet acceptable). Driveways over the Through Walk Zone of sidewalks may not exceed a 2 percent cross slope. The ramp portion of a driveway entrance should be located within the Curb and Planting/Furnishing Zone wherever possible. The grade of driveway entrances in the Curb and Planting/Furnishing Zone may not exceed a 12 percent grade. In existing constrained conditions, the Through Walk Zone width may be reduced to 4 feet, and the sidewalk may be jogged back, as shown in Figure 10‐13. The slope of driveways for the first 20’ behind the public right‐of‐way should not exceed 4 percent.

    Access Management ‐ Driveway entrances to buildings should be consolidated whenever possible to reduce the frequency of curb cuts on any given block face. Less frequent spacing will minimize vehicle conflicts with pedestrians on sidewalks as shown in Figure 10‐14 and will provide more space for street furniture, street trees, and lighting, as well as street parking.

    Driveway and Alley Width ‐ Driveway and alley widths should be minimized to reduce entrance speeds, maximize landscaping opportunities, and reduce pedestrian exposure at vehicle access points. Driveways widths are regulated by Chapter 541, Off‐Street Parking and Loading in the zoning code and vary by zoning district; the minimum driveway width is typically 12 feet, and the maximum driveway width is typically 25 feet. New alleys should be a minimum of 14 feet unless they are reconstructing an existing condition, where they can be a minimum of 12 feet wide.

    Driveway Location ‐ Driveways should be located away from intersections in order to minimize conflicts with pedestrians at corners and in crosswalks. Driveways should be a minimum of 30 feet clear of the intersection of two major streets and a minimum of 20 feet from all other intersections. Driveways are discouraged for residential properties with access to an alley, except on corner lots, where the driveway curb cut can be located from the side yard.

    Parking Ramp and Vehicular Building Access/Egress – Access to and egress from parking ramps should be designed perpendicular to the street in a single curb cut, as shown in Figure 10‐15. This design promotes good visibility between pedestrians and vehicles and minimizes potential conflict points between pedestrians and vehicles. In large developments, it is recommended that vehicular curb cuts be located midblock and be limited to one curb cut per block face. ( p. 10-17)
  • Streets comprising the primary pedestrian network (see Figure 5) will eventually have wider sidewalks, enhanced pedestrian facilities and improved streetscaping. Wherever possible, pedestrian flow will be given priority, design strategies will be implemented to reduce long stretches of blank building walls and to shorten distances where conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians may occur, such as at intersection crosswalks and across driveways to surface parking lots and parking ramps. (pp. 9-11)

Downtown East / North Loop Master Plan

Downtown East / North Loop Master Plan

  • Continue to build extensions to the bicycle network that help connect the Project Area to the Central Riverfront, Elliot Park, Loring Park, and neighborhoods surrounding the CBD. (55)
  • Continue to build extensions to the bicycle network within the Project Area, especially east/west along 4th Street from Downtown East to Hennepin Avenue, and on North 7th Street from Hennepin Avenue into the North Loop and beyond. (55)
  • Establish a hierarchy of streets within the Project Area that allows for differentiation between those streets that should receive a higher level of functional or aesthetic amenity because they serve – or are intended to serve – as major pedestrian connectors within and across Downtown. (56, 60)
  • Encourage a hierarchy of minor pedestrian thoroughfares to allow for localized pedestrian circulation within specific districts and neighborhoods. (56, 60)
  • In the near term, the 5th Street streetscape should be incorporated into the LRT Corridor to forge the major east/west pedestrian connection within Downtown Minneapolis. Streetscape enhancements articulated in the 5th Street Streetscape (see page 71) should be implemented as soon as possible. (pp. 68-72)
  • Establish a streetscape zone that relates specifically to HCMC and the Metrodome so the district becomes more identifiable in downtown. This district should be bounded by South 6th Street on the north, Tenth Avenue South on the east, South 8th Street on the south, and Park Avenue on the west. (pp. 80-81)
  • Reduce the perceived orientation toward vehicles by reducing street widths and thereby calming traffic. This is especially important along the south side of the Metrodome where typical speeds are not fitting for the neighborhood. (pp. 80-81)
  • Establish a more welcoming entry to the district and to Downtown by replacing the concrete j-barriers and chain link fence that currently divide South 5th Street and South 6th Street along the south side of the Metrodome. Create a new boulevard that combines both roadways, incorporates new raised and planted medians, and builds on the existing tree canopy/streetscape currently in place on the south side of the Metrodome. (pp. 80-81)
  • Increase the sidewalk area in and around the HCMC zone to create more space for streetscape enhancements, especially in areas where building walls are monolithic and lack pedestrian-scaled detail. (pp. 80-81)
  • Decking over freeway entry/exit trenches on the northeast corner of the Metrodome site would allow for the creation of a new public open space on the north side of the stadium. (pp. 80-81)
  • Focus on the creation of human-scaled elements and spaces (public art, fountains, or gardens) around HCMC and the Metrodome in an effort to balance the institutional qualities of the hospital buildings and the overwhelming scale of the stadium. (pp. 80-81)
  • Proposed new construction in the Project Area should be evaluated for its sensitivity to preserving significant views of existing landmarks and/or enhancing view corridors that need further definition. The City should pursue formal mechanisms to ensure that property owners and developers have the necessary incentives to design and build individual projects in ways that respect and improve the overall built environment of Downtown. (96)
  • Proposed new construction in the Project Area should be evaluated for its sensitivity to creating and enhancing gateways into and within Downtown Minneapolis. The City should develop and pursue formal mechanisms to ensure that property owners and developers have the necessary incentives to design and build individual projects in ways that respect and improve the overall built of Downtown. (96)
  • The City should consider holding an international competition concerning gateway Designs to generate both citizen interest and design excellence. Suitable designs should be commissioned as opportunity arises. (96)
  • Prepare and adopt urban design guidelines for the public realm to establish the general principles for streetscape and landscape improvements and the establishment of open spaces. Formally adopt these urban design guidelines to incorporate a performance-based checklist where a minimum number of points would be required for site plan approval by the City. (124)

North Loop Small Area Plan

North Loop Small Area Plan

  • Create “Loop” Route. Create a connection through the neighborhood along 10th Ave N and Border Ave, including more pedestrian and bicycle accommodations, a two-way Border Ave, and a new street connection from Border Ave to Glenwood Ave. (pp. 62-63)
  • Light Rail Transit. In the case of any new transit line, the street grid should be expanded and healed in areas that improve access to the line and any potential station. For example, provide clear and direct pedestrian connections from the proposed Southwest LRT Royalston Station to the Farmers Market, the Upper North Loop, and the Downtown office core. (4)
  • Designate Glenwood Avenue as a Commercial Corridor from Lyndale Avenue to 10th Street North and incorporate more retail, services, and entertainment establishments. (78)
  • Emphasize 7th Street North as a major pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile route that safely connects the Downtown office core, the North Loop neighborhood, and neighborhoods in North Minneapolis. (62)
  • Extend Border Avenue from Holden Street to Glenwood Avenue. This will require right of way acquisition and is most feasible as a project that occurs in conjunction with the introduction of the Southwest Light Rail transit line. Without this connection, the “Loop” road concept falls flat. It should be considered one of the top priorities of this plan. (62)
  • Create a southbound automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian route through the Lower North Loop that connects with 16th Street North through the neighborhood to the southern end of downtown. Consider preserving space for an extension of the “Loop” road through the Xcel Energy site if there is a reconfiguration of their campus. (64)
  • Extend 8th Avenue North from 1st Street North to the East River Road in order to improve access to the river. (64)
  • Better connect the neighborhood to the river through a combination of a pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile connection that extends 8th Avenue North under the viaducts from 5th Street North to and through the north portion of the neighborhood. A public/private partnership should be developed to make this opportunity a reality. (65)
  • Pedestrian enhancements on the 7th Street North bridge over Interstate 94 and the intersections with West and East Lyndale Avenue North should be a priority. (62)
  • Restore two-way traffic to Border Avenue between Cesar Chavez Avenue and Olson Memorial Highway. This project is also uniquely important in that the “Loop” road concept relies on restoring two-way traffic to Border Avenue. Other infrastructure changes in the vicinity will be necessary to make this happen including reconfiguration of the intersection of Border Avenue, 6th Avenue, Royalston Avenue, 10th Avenue, and Olson Memorial Highway (62)
  • Reconfigure the intersection of Olson Memorial Highway, Border Avenue North, 10th Avenue North, and 6th Avenue North to improve safety and ease of use for all modes of travel. This project is important in realizing the vision of the “Loop” road. (63)
  • Reconfigure the intersection of Olson Memorial Highway and 7th Street North to improve safety and ease of use for all modes of travel. (63)
  • Royalston Avenue should be rerouted in conjunction with the conversion of Border Avenue to two-way traffic. Royalston should terminate at 7th Street North. In conjunction with this project and any development proposal between Royalston and Border north of Cesar Chavez, vacation of Royalston between 5th and 6th Avenue North should be considered. This project may also benefit the alignment of the Southwest Transitway if Royalston Avenue is part of the chosen route. (63)
  • Highlight key through-streets with improved wayfinding to prominent destinations and additional streetscape elements. (78)
  • Improve the connections between the Lower North Loop and the Downtown core via 16th Street North, 12th Street North, 11th Street North, Glenwood Avenue, and Linden Avenue by installing improved signage that indicates appropriate pedestrian and auto routes through the neighborhood and clear routes to destinations in the area. 5. Evaluate the feasibility of adding a left turn movement from Chestnut Avenue onto 12th Street North. (62)

Last updated Nov 30, 2018



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