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Pedestrians

POLICY

The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth

The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth

  • Provide convenient and easily accessible vertical connections between the skyway system and the public sidewalks, particularly along primary transit and pedestrian routes. (10.3.4 p. 10-6)
  • Limit skyway expansion to the downtown core and at other key sites with high-intensity uses in order to minimize low-usage skyways and maximize street-level pedestrian activity in growing downtown neighborhoods and historic areas. (10.3.4 p. 10-6)
  • Encourage walking throughout the city by ensuring that routes are safe, comfortable, pleasant, and accessible. (2.3 p. 2-5)
  • Ensure that there are safe and accessible pedestrian routes to major destinations, including transit corridors, from nearby residential areas. (2.3.1 p. 2-5)
  • Develop and implement guidelines for streets and sidewalks to ensure safe, attractive, and accessible pedestrian facilities. (2.3.3 p. 2-5)
  • Promote climate-sensitive design principles to make winter environment safe, comfortable and enjoyable (10.23 p. 10-31)
  • Utilize pedestrian lighting, seasonal lighting, and furniture to increase comfort and safety so that streets become places for people. (10.23.5 p. 10-31, Policy)
  • Integrate placement of street furniture and fixtures, including landscaping and lighting, to serve a function and not obstruct pedestrian pathways and pedestrian flows. (10.16.3 p. 10-20)
  • Employ pedestrian-friendly features along streets, including street trees and landscaped boulevards that add interest and beauty while also managing storm water, appropriate lane widths, raised intersections, and high-visible crosswalks. (10.16.4 p. 10-21, Policy)
  • 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)
  • Views of the river should favor vistas that try to give longer views of the river. (10.14.5 p. 10-19)
  • Street-level building walls should include an adequate distribution of windows and architectural features in order to create visual interest at the pedestrian level. (10.6.5 p. 10-9)
  • Require storefront window transparency to assure both natural and surveillance and an inviting pedestrian experience. (10.10.6 p. 10-15)
  • Design the site, landscaping, and buildings to promote natural observation and maximize the opportunities for people to observe adjacent spaces and public sidewalks. (10.22.3 p. 10-29)
  • Provide on-site lighting at all building entrances and along walkways that maintains a minimum acceptable level of security while not creating glare or excessive lighting of the site. (10.22.4 p. 10-29)
  • Improve access management and way-finding to and from all streets, sidewalks, and other pedestrian connections. (10.15.4 p. 10-20)
  • To promote street life and activity, signs should be located and sized to be viewed on foot (not vehicles) in order to preserve and encourage the pedestrian character of commercial areas that have traditional urban form. (10.21.2 p. 10-28)
  • Encourage pedestrian-scaled lighting throughout neighborhoods as well as in areas such as waterfronts, pathways, parks and plazas, and designated historic districts. (10.17.3 p. 10-22)
  • Provide sufficient lighting for better way-finding and safe circulation within and around a development. (10.17.6 p. 10-22)
  • Encourage additional pedestrian-scale, exterior lighting in growth centers, activity centers, commercial nodes, pedestrian overlay districts and transit station areas. (10.17.3 p. 10-22)
  • Provide high-quality fixture designs that are appropriate to street types and land use, and that provide pedestrian friendly illumination, but minimize glare and dark sky conditions, and other unnecessary light pollution. (10.17.1 p. 10-22, Policy)
  • Bus Shelter/Shelter Configuration. (10.4.3.1 p. 10-35)
  • Bus Shelter/Bench Configuration. (10.4.3.2 p. 10-36)
  • Bus Shelter/Trash Configuration. (10.4.4.1 p. 10-36)
  • Bus Shelter/Other Furnishings Configuration (10.4.4.3 p. 10-36)

Access Minneapolis- Downtown Action Plan

Access Minneapolis- Downtown Action Plan

  • Streets comprising the primary pedestrian network (see Figure 5 in document) 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, see map on pg. 10 for identified streets and action items)

Access Minneapolis—Design Guidelines for Streets and Sidewalks

Access Minneapolis—Design Guidelines for Streets and Sidewalks

  • Encourage skyway expansion only within the downtown core and other key high-intensity uses, such as the new Ballpark. This strategy promotes street-level pedestrian activity in growing downtown neighborhoods and historic areas and ensures that new skyways will have high levels of use. (Chapter 10: Pedestrian Facility Design 13, also see Skyway Zone on pg. 12 map)
  • Activity Center Streets (Chapter 10: Pedestrian Facility Design)
  • [Pedestrian Zone Design-Through Walk Zone] For downtown activity centers, the preferred width may need to be greater than 6 feet. (Chapter 10: Pedestrian Facility Design 10.2.12 p. 10-6)
  • A minimum of 4 feet of clear, unobstructed Through Walk Zone must be maintained between all obstructions and the edge of sidewalk cafes when the existing sidewalk is 12 feet or less. (Chapter 10: Pedestrian Facility Design 10.2.6.3 p. 10-13)
  • Bus Shelter/Shelter Configuration. (10.4.3.1 p. 10-35)
  • Bus Shelter/Bench Configuration. (10.4.3.2 p. 10-36)
  • Bus Shelter/Trash Configuration. (10.4.4.1 p. 10-36)
  • Bus Shelter/Other Furnishings Configuration (10.4.4.3 p. 10-36)
     

Downtown East / North Loop Master Plan

Downtown East / North Loop Master Plan

  • Create points were highly visible vertical circulation is built to forge direct connections between the skyway system and downtown sidewalks. (Chapterr 5: Urban Design Plan 59, 63)
  • Construct skyway stair towers at the edges of the skyway system to facilitate a series of strong, highly-visible points of interface with City sidewalks and proposed open/green spaces. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 59, 64)
  • Encourage a hierarchy of minor pedestrian thoroughfares to allow for localized pedestrian circulation within specific districts and neighborhoods. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 56, 60)
  • Sidewalks should be built to a minimum width of 12 feet to promote a comfortable scale and to create opportunities to enhance sidewalk activity. In locations where plantings or sidewalk cafes are intended, a minimum sidewalk width of 18 feet should be maintained. A minimum width of 10 feet should be adopted for zones of “pedestrian-clear” space. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 68)
  • Establish continuous zones on the outer edges of downtown sidewalks where functional hardware (such as streetlights, signage and parking meters) is located in manner that is as uniform as possible. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 72)
  • Wherever possible, establish continuous zones on the inner or outer edges of downtown sidewalks for street furnishings, planters, public art, and other amenities. Streetscape treatments should be incorporated into the length of all Primary Pedestrian Movement Corridors to form consistent connections between significant destinations and features. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 72)
  • 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. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan pp. 68-72)
  • 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. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan pp. 80-81)
  • Encourage sidewalk retail and restaurants at locations specified in the Land Use Plan. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 56, 60)
  • Establish practices that maintain the right-of-way for pedestrians on sidewalks by minimizing the number and extent of driveway crossings/curb cuts. Access to and egress from parking ramps should be consolidated into a single curb cut. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 56, 60)
  • Access to and egress from parking ramps should be located mid-block, at right angles, to minimize disruption to pedestrian flow at street intersections. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 56, 60)
  • Design streets and buildings to eliminate long stretches of blank, inactive building walls. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 56, 60)
  • Introduce building components that offer protection to pedestrians, such as awnings and canopies, as a means to encourage pedestrian activity along streets, especially where skyway alternatives don’t or won’t exist. (Chapter 5: Urban Design Plan 56, 60)

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)
  • Emphasize 7th Street North as a major pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile route that will safely connect the Downtown office core, the North Loop neighborhood, and neighborhoods in North Minneapolis. (North Loop Small Area Plan)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • With a pavement condition rating of poor, the “Loop” road (including 10th Avenue North, Oak Lake Avenue, and Border Avenue) may come up for reconstruction on the City’s capital improvement plan in the near future. A new lane configuration should be identified that considers the addition of bike lanes, on-street parking meters where appropriate, and widens sidewalks. Consider renaming the route to one street name at the time of reconfiguration.
  • Enhance the pedestrian and bicycle experience on Glenwood Avenue by incorporating bike lanes, on street parking, and street plantings where possible. 
  • 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.
  • Improve the look and feel of both public and private properties along 10th Avenue North with building and site designs that include pedestrian-oriented design features, including adding principal entrances on this north-south street. (78)

REGULATION

Minneapolis Skyway System: Standards and Procedures Manual

Minneapolis Skyway System: Standards and Procedures Manual

Skyway corridors shall be designed to facilitate clear and easy access between street and skyway levels. Elevators, stairs, and escalators linking the street and skyway levels shall be located in such a way as to provide convenient, visible links to the skyway level from the adjacent street and sidewalks. (2.3.1)

Zoning Code: Plaza Standards

Zoning Code: Plaza Standards

535.810. - Development standards for all permitted plazas.

2) Access.

a. All plazas shall be designed to allow for pedestrian and bicycle access through and/or around the plaza.
b. Multiple access points shall be provided for each plaza, with one (1) access point being connected to a public street, public sidewalk or public pathway.
c. All plazas shall be designed in accordance with the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
d. Unobstructed walkways a minimum of four (4) feet in width shall connect the plaza to an entrance of any building on the same zoning lot.
e. When adjacent to a transit stop, said transit stop shall be integrated into the design of the plaza.

(3) Natural surveillance and visibility. Plazas shall be designed to control and guide movement through the site, promote natural observation and provide opportunities for people to observe adjacent spaces and public sidewalks.

Zoning Code: Site Plan Review for Building Design

Zoning Code: Site Plan Review for Building Design

530.120. - Building design.

(a) Building walls. Building walls shall provide architectural detail and shall contain windows as required in this section in order to create visual interest and to increase the security of adjacent outdoor spaces by maximizing natural surveillance and visibility. In larger buildings, architectural elements, including recesses or projections, windows and entries, shall be emphasized to divide the building into smaller identifiable sections. Blank, uninterrupted walls that do not include windows, entries, recesses or projections, or other architectural elements, shall not exceed twenty-five (25) feet in length. Exterior materials shall be durable, including but not limited to masonry, brick, stone, stucco, wood, metal, and glass. The exterior materials and appearance of the rear and side walls of any building shall be similar to and compatible with the front of the building. The use of plain face concrete block as an exterior material shall be prohibited where fronting along a public street, public sidewalk, public pathway, or adjacent to a residence or office residence district.
(b) Entrances, windows, and active functions:

(1) Residential uses. Principal entrances shall be clearly defined and emphasized through the use of architectural features such as porches and roofs or other details that express the importance of the entrance. Multiple entrances shall be encouraged. Twenty (20) percent of the walls on the first floor and ten (10) percent of the walls on each floor above the first that face a public street, public sidewalk, public pathway, or on-site parking lot, shall be windows as follows:

a. Windows shall be vertical in proportion.
b. Windows shall be distributed in a more or less even manner. Minimum window area at the first floor or ground level shall be measured between two (2) and ten (10) feet above the adjacent grade. Minimum window area on walls above the first floor shall be measured between the upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor above.

(2) Nonresidential uses. Principal entrances shall be clearly defined and emphasized through the use of architectural features such as roofs, or other details that express the importance of the entrance. Multiple entrances shall be encouraged. Thirty (30) percent of the walls on the first floor and ten (10) percent of the walls on each floor above the first that face a public street, public sidewalk, public pathway, or on-site parking lot, shall be windows as follows:

a. Windows shall be vertical in proportion.
b. Windows shall be distributed in a more or less even manner.
c. The bottom of any window used to satisfy the ground floor window requirement may not be more than four (4) feet above the adjacent grade.
d. First floor or ground floor windows shall have clear or lightly tinted glass with a visible light transmittance ratio of six-tenths (0.6) or higher.
e. First floor or ground floor windows shall allow views into and out of the building at eye level. Shelving, mechanical equipment or other similar fixtures shall not block views into and out of the building in the area between four (4) and seven (7) feet above the adjacent grade. However, window area in excess of the minimum required area shall not be required to allow views into and out of the building.
f. Industrial uses in Table 550-1, Principal Uses in the Industrial Districts, may provide less than thirty (30) percent windows on the walls that face an on-site parking lot, provided the parking lot is not located between the building and a public street, public sidewalk or public pathway.
g. In multiple tenant buildings, each individual ground level tenant space that faces a public street, public sidewalk, public pathway, or on-site parking lot shall comply with the minimum window requirements of this section.

Minimum window area at the first floor or ground level shall be measured between two (2) and ten (10) feet above the adjacent grade. Minimum window area on walls above the first floor shall be measured between the upper surface of a floor and the upper surface of the floor above.

(3) Ground floor active functions. Except for industrial uses in Table 550-1, Principal Industrial Uses in the Industrial Districts, the first floor or ground level of buildings shall be designed to accommodate active functions by ensuring that parking, loading, storage, or mechanical equipment rooms are limited to no more than thirty (30) percent of the linear building frontage along each wall facing a public street, public sidewalk, or public pathway.


 

Last updated Apr 3, 2015

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