Minneapolis' One Way Street Pairings
Wed, 08/05/2009 - 8:50am | by blindeke
There's a nice article in today's Star Tribune about the possibility of turning Park and Portland Avenues back into two-way streets in South Minneapolis. the piece suggests the need for a balance between "accessibility and liveability", and points out some of the history of the street. But, to my mind, it doesn't put enough on the table.
While author Steve Brandt calls for a release of the city study of the two avenues, he doesn't adequately point out two major costs to the current street alignment. First, the safety hazard of the street that has killed two people (one pedestrian and one cyclist) so far this year. We've covered this pretty thoroughly on this website. Second, the cost to the city of the decreased liveability in the neighborhoods directly ajacent to the two roads. How much is it worth to be able to have your children play in the yard? To be able to enjoy peace and quiet every once in a while? To be able to walk your dog? To sit on your porch?
Discussing liveability, Brandt makes a good comparison between the long-standing airport noise issue and these one-way streets. It's a good comparison, only these unnecessary streets seem to be far worse, because they combine all the noise of an airplane with pollution and safety concerns. It's time to end the reighn of wide one-way streets in Minneapolis, beginning with Park, Portland, 35th and 36th.
(For more information about the City of Minneapolis's current proposals, see p. 63 of Chapter 4 of the Access Minneapolis plan using the link below.)