Lowry Avenue community works

Lowry Avenue community works is county-led effort established in 1999 to improve transportation options, offer housing choice, and support business growth in the Lowry Avenue communities. Lowry Avenue Community Works is collaboration between Hennepin County Public Works, the City of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, Metro Transit and the ten Lowry Avenue Corridor neighborhoods. 

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News and updates

Lowry Avenue Northeast plan complete

East of the Mississippi River

Throughout 2014, Lowry Avenue Community Works worked with project partners and the Lowry Avenue northeast communities to update their vision for Lowry Avenue.  This vision is documented in the Lowry Avenue Northeast Corridor Plan and Implementation Framework.

The Lowry Avenue Northeast Corridor Plan and Implementation Framework was adopted by the Minneapolis City Council on August 7, 2015 and by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners on October 20, 2015. 

Project updates

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February 2015 project update

November 2014 project update

September 2014 project update

Project work plan and schedule

West of the Mississippi River

Since the reconstruction of Lowry Avenue North was completed in 2010, the county and city have been working together to develop vacant property along Lowry Avenue North with attractive, family friendly, energy efficient housing and businesses. Although strides have been made, this work is not complete.

East of the Mississippi River

On October 20, 2015, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners voted to approve an updated Lowry Avenue Northeast Corridor Plan and Implementation Framework.  The Plan identifies opportunities for:

  1. bicycle and pedestrian improvements along the Northeast corridor.
  2. infrastructure improvements and redevelopment opportunities at six intersections, at Marshall Street Northeast, 2nd Street Northeast, University Avenue Northeast, Washington Street Northeast, Monroe Street Northeast and Central Avenue Northeast.

Community involvement

Public input for Lowry Avenue Northeast planning

Throughout the 2014 planning process, the county sought input from neighborhood organizations, business associations and people who live, work, play or worship in the project area. The project team attended neighborhood meetings and community events, convened a winter walking tour, met with business owners, held public workshops and released an online survey. 

Special efforts were made to reach out to Edison High School students, who participated in a visual exploration of their experience along Lowry Avenue.

The comments and participation of the community has helped inform not only the planning process, but the development and design of the corridor improvements. This input has also helped the steering team understand community priorities. 

Project team, partners and advisors

Project partners

Hennepin County is leading this work, but the ultimate decisions on investments will be made by the project partners:

  • Hennepin County
  • City of Minneapolis
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
  • Metro Transit
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • BNSF Railway
  • Neighborhood and other community organizations
  • People who live, work, play, visit and worship in the corridor

Project team

The project team is led by Lowry Avenue Community Works Project Manager Carol Anderson and includes staff from Hennepin County Public Works and the City of Minneapolis.

Hennepin County City of Minneapolis
Carol Anderson
Project Manager

Haila Maze
City Planner

Jason Staebell
Project Manager-Design
Donald Pflaum
Transportation Engineer

Advisory teams

Three important teams will help inform decisions: the steering team, community advisory team (CAT) and technical advisory team (TAT).

Steering Team

Leaders from local government agencies met quarterly to guide the project and bring together resources. The members of the steering team are:

  • Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins
  • Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey
  • Minneapolis City Council Member Kevin Reich
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board President and Commissioner Liz Wielinski

The steering team:

  • Recommended policy changes
  • Reviewed project implementations, committee recommendations and identified funding strategies
  • Aligned and leveraged investments across jurisdictions and organizations
  • Monitored project progress

Community Advisory Team

The community advisory team includes people who live, work, play or worship in the project area. See the members of the community advisory team (PDF).

This community advisory team met monthly to:

  • Ensure community engagement in the Lowry Avenue planning process
  • Assist in the establishment project priorities
  • Evaluate project options and alternatives
  • Share project information with and obtain feedback from  the community

With the completion of the draft Lowry Avenue Northeast Corridor Plan and Implementation Framework, the team meets on an as needed basis.  If you are interested in attending a meeting, please email lowryavecw@hennepin.us.

Technical Advisory Team

The technical advisory team provides technical advice and oversight to the planning process and makes consensus-based recommendations. See the members of the technical advisory team (PDF).

The technical advisory team met monthly and contributed to the planning process by:

  • Providing key information, data, and materials
  • Reporting back to their agency regularly between meetings to determine that they are accurately representing their organization
  • Soliciting input, ideas, and comments from their agency for inclusion in the planning process
  • Working with consultants and other agency staff to provide insight on adopted plans, non-adopted plans, zoning, planned capital improvements, infrastructure needs, and development plans
  • Lending subject-matter expertise to prioritize ambitious, cost-effective, needed and valuable improvements for the implementation strategy
  • Briefing their agency elected officials as necessary on the planning process progress and recommendations
  • Promoting community attendance at public events
  • Supporting and promoting Lowry Avenue Community Works to elected officials, businesses, and community

With the completion of the draft Lowry Avenue Northeast Corridor Plan and Implementation Framework, the team meets on an as needed basis.  If you are interested in attending a meeting, please email lowryavecw@hennepin.us.

Project history and outcomes

Lowry Avenue Plan and Lowry Avenue North reconstruction

In 2000, Lowry Avenue community works project convened the partners and community to develop a vision for the Lowry Avenue corridor. The resulting 2002 Lowry Avenue corridor plan guided the complete reconstruction of Lowry Avenue North between I-94 and Theodore Wirth Parkway in 2009. 

The roadway was narrowed west of the Mississippi River to accommodate on-street bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks and treed boulevards. This work included: 

  • Installation of on-street bike lanes from 4th Street to Theodore Wirth Parkway and Victory Memorial Drive, providing the first east-west bike connections through North Minneapolis
  • Construction of five miles of sidewalk upgrades, including ADA ramps and other pedestrian enhancements at key intersections
  • Planting the boulevards and medians with more than 400 trees and other vegetation and permeable soils that reduce stormwater run off

These efforts required some intersection improvements and related property acquisition at the Lowry intersections of Penn and Lyndale avenues. These acquisitions addressed blighted properties that were attracting crime and helped to create redevelopment opportunities for new housing and business expansion at both intersections. 

The Hawthorne Eco-Village will bring transformation and energy efficient housing to the Lyndale intersection, and Lowry Community Works continues ongoing efforts to redevelop the Emerson/Fremont area across from the North Regional Library. 

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