A proposal would include medians at some intersections to force cars to turn.
Minnehaha Parkway in south Minneapolis would no longer be a continuous route for motorists under a plan being considered by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.
The plan calls for concrete medians at key intersections to force drivers to turn right off the parkway and onto city streets, cutting down on the amount of through traffic using the road that snakes along Minnehaha Creek.
“It will be impossible to essentially drive the parkway continuously from Portland Avenue to 50th and the Lake Harriet area,” said Adam Arvidson, project manager for the Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan released last week. “That vehicular flow would be interrupted. The primary benefit would be fewer cars on the parkway and therefore fewer intersections and conflicts with bicycles and pedestrians.”
Some residents who live along and near the scenic route aren’t so keen on the idea. They say restricting access would make it too inconvenient to get in and out of the neighborhood and funnel more traffic onto residential streets.
“Traffic [on the parkway] is not an issue,” said Amy Simso Dean, a resident who lives near Minnehaha Parkway and Nicollet Avenue, where one of the medians is proposed. “I believe they should leave well enough alone.”
Medians that would force drivers to make right turns off the parkway would be installed at Nicollet and Lyndale avenues and in both places where the parkway intersects with 50th Street, according to five concepts for the trail master plan that will guide improvements in the area along the creek for the next 20 to 30 years.
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