Hennepin and 1st avenues two-way conversion leads to fewer crashes, better access
The City of Minneapolis has completed a formal evaluation of the performance of Hennepin and 1st Avenues since the conversion of the streets to two-way operation last fall. Data on the first six months following the conversion shows that the new street configurations have led to fewer crashes, more bicyclists in area, and better access, while continuing to move traffic efficiently.
The data shows that the goals of the Hennepin and 1st two-way conversion have been achieved. Those goals included: increased bicycling in corridor, improved vehicle and bicycle safety, maintaining capacity to move vehicles in the corridor, and improving access and circulation
More specifically, the data shows:
- There has been an increase in bicycle ridership in the area, following the addition of bike lanes to 1st Avenue, the addition of a shared lane on Hennepin Avenue, and the opening of Nicollet Mall to bicycles as part of the overall transportation plan for Downtown. These three streets carried about 1,640 bicyclists per day before the changes were made, and now carry approximately 2,347 per day.
- Since the conversion, there have been no reported bicycle crashes, and a decrease in total crashes. The three-year annual average for reported bicycle crashes on Hennepin and 1st prior to the conversion was 12.25 crashes. This has dropped to zero in the first six months following the conversion. Although a longer study is needed, the data so far shows greatly improved bicycle safety in the corridor. Overall vehicle crashes are also down slightly.
- Traffic efficiency has been maintained. "Traffic efficiency" refers to how well the streets are operating in terms of moving vehicles through the corridor. The data shows the roadways are maintaining operational efficiency when compared to before the conversion.
- Access and circulation have improved in the area of the conversion. Traffic volumes on Hennepin Avenue, 1st Avenue and the cross streets is up by 2.1 percent, to an estimated 433,144 vehicles per day. The data also shows that 99 percent of vehicles using Hennepin Avenue in Downtown are turning onto cross streets Downtown, indicating the street is being used primarily for access Downtown and not for through trips.
- About 94 percent of drivers park correctly in the offset 1st Avenue parking lanes. st Avenue was moved away from the curb, to a parking lane to the left of the bike lane. Most drivers are following parking rules about where or when parking is allowed, there is a trend towards fewer tows and we expect drivers will continue to become more familiar with the parking rules.
- On-street parking usage has been maintained in the Warehouse District. Parking meter revenues in the Warehouse District are consistent with previous years.
Published Jul 27, 2010