Hennepin Ave South Layout Passes Committee
On July 29, the Minneapolis Public Works and Infrastructure Committee passed a Hennepin Avenue South layout with:
- A minimum six hours of dedicated bus lanes each day in both directions from day one
- Protected bike lanes
- Important pedestrian improvements
- A path forward to increase bus lane hours to 24/7
Move Minnesota advocates and allies have been fighting hard for these improvements and for full-time bus lanes as part of this significant street redesign. While six hours of dedicated bus lanes are not enough, we would not have even that without the hard work of the Move Minnesota community and of our allies Hennepin for People, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, Our Streets Minneapolis, and Ward 10 Council Member Aisha Chughtai. Thanks to all!
The decision follows a saga in which Minneapolis Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher rolled back a staff recommendation for 24/7 full-time bus lanes and declared Public Works would not commit to *any* bus lane hours.
Like Move Minnesota and our partners, the majority of the City Council know that full-time bus lanes are critical—they heard us and they passed a Hennepin layout with full-time bus lanes AND protected bike lanes. Mayor Jacob Frey vetoed that plan. When advocates and elected champions didn’t give up, a handful of council members voted against overriding the veto, blocking full-time bus lanes once again.
But with your help, support for bus lanes is stronger—and louder—than ever. As a result, Council Member Chughtai and City Council allies were able to move the mayor and Public Works to accepting dedicated hours for bus lanes on day one and creating a path to full-time bus lanes on Hennepin. This will be essential for current and future bus riders in Minneapolis and for the success of the new METRO E Line.
To be clear: six hours of dedicated bus lanes are not enough. It takes bus riders 3-5 times longer to get places than car drivers in the Twin Cities, and that is unjust and unacceptable. To protect our air and climate, advance racial and economic equity, encourage thriving neighborhoods for all, and ensure everyone can get where they need to go, we need excellent bus service. We need dedicated bus lanes all over the metro so we have a full system that works for everybody.
While this is not all of what we wanted on Hennepin—or what our community deserves—our collective actions have made a difference. Sincere thanks to all who have spoken up with us! Your voice was and is critical. We got everything we could at this moment and are gearing up to get what communities deserve in the future.
We will continue to fight, and fight for systemic change so we don’t have to spend this kind of time on a single bus lane ever again. In the supposed progressive center in Minnesota, on one of our busiest bus lines, full-time bus lanes should be a given.