Lowry Avenue community works

Lowry Avenue community works is a county-led effort established in 1999 to improve transportation options, offer housing choices, and support business growth in the Lowry Avenue communities. Lowry Avenue community works is a 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.

Lowry Avenue Northeast community input

Please take five minutes to complete a survey about existing conditions and future opportunities in the Lowry Avenue Corridor in Northeast Minneapolis.  This survey is part of a larger effort to hear from residents, businesses, and others who use the corridor; it is available until July 31.  Make sure we hear from you - and pass the word on to others!

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Project work plan and schedule

Since the reconstruction of Lowry Avenue North was completed in 2010, Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis 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.

Throughout 2014, Lowry Avenue community works will work with its project partners and the Lowry Avenue Northeast communities to update their vision for Lowry Avenue Northeast.

January-March 2014

Gather information about the corridor and seek community input on the avenue’s assets and needs.

March-May 2014

Work with the community to develop options for changes at each of the six study intersections and bicycle and pedestrian improvements for the entire corridor.

June-July 2014

Refine the options and gather community feedback

July-September 2014

Determine preferred options and develop cost estimates.

August-September 2014

Prioritize the options and draft an implementation plan.

September-October 2014

Public comment period and final plan approved.

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Public input

Hennepin County will work with a consultant to develop a public input strategy that ensures participation from diverse stakeholders throughout the process that will shape the plan for the corridor. The county will seek input from neighborhood organizations, business associations and people who live, work, play or worship in the project area.

Public workshop June 11, 2014

The second public workshop for the Lowry Avenue northeast plan was held on Wednesday, June 11, 6-8 p.m. at the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The Lowry Avenue community works team presented ideas for improving bicycle and pedestrian circulation east of the Mississippi River and possible redevelopment scenarios and roadway improvements for three study intersections. Attendees offered feedback and provided their preferences on roadway concepts (PDF) for areas west and east of central Avenue, as well as intersection concepts for Marshall Street, University Avenue and Central Avenue. 

Public workshop February 27, 2014

The first Lowry Avenue Community Works Northeast public workshop was held Thursday, February 27 at Edison High School. The community identified existing conditions and future opportunities (DOC) for the Lowry Avenue Northeast corridor. More opportunities to contribute will be available in the future.

Project updates

Subscribe to receive email updates about the Lowry Avenue project.

July 2014 project update

May 2014 project update

March 2014 project update

Advisory teams

Hennepin County is leading this work, but the ultimate decisions on investments will be made by the project partners; the county, City of Minneapolis, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Metro Transit, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and BSF Railway. 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 will meet 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 will:

  • Recommend policy changes
  • Review project implementations committee recommendations and identify funding strategies
  • Align and leverage investments across jurisdictions and organizations
  • Monitor 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 will meet 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

The team meets the third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. If you are interested in attending 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 will meet monthly and contribute 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

The team meets the second Tuesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. If you are interested in attending please email lowryavecw@hennepin.us.

Project team and partners

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
612-348-2997
carol.anderson@hennepin.us

Haila Maze
City Planner
612-673-2098
haila.maze@minneapolismn.gov

Jennifer Lowry
Transportation Engineer
612-596-0353
jennifer.lowry@hennepin.us

Say Yang
Communications and Outreach
612-348-0748
say.yang@hennepin.us

Donald Pflaum
Transportation Engineer
612-673-2129
donald.pflaum@minneapolismn.gov

Northeast plan approach

With the completion of the new iconic Lowry Avenue Bridge in 2012, the Lowry corridor is poised to update the plan for Lowry Avenue Northeast. The outdated 2002 Lowry Avenue Corridor Plan recommends increasing the road width between Central Avenue and Marshall Avenue to improve vehicle flow and provide for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The Northeast community lacks the desire for the significant acquisition of property that would be necessary to realize the old vision and its outdated solutions.

New approaches will allow a revised plan to more accurately capture community desires for right-sized transportation improvements and redevelopment opportunities. This plan update will complement the many activities of our project partners: the on-going Central Avenue redevelopment by the City of Minneapolis, the Holland neighborhood small area plan, and Minnesota Department of Transportation improvements for Central Avenue and University Avenue.

Stantec engaged to work with community to update Lowry Avenue Corridor Plan for Northeast

The County Board approved a $300,000 contract with Stantec, a consulting company, to work with the community to update the 2002 Lowry Avenue Corridor Plan for the portion of the corridor in Northeast Minneapolis. The plan will be completed in 2014.

Recommendations will focus on six key intersections of Lowry Avenue east of the Mississippi River and identify opportunities to:

  • Improve the pedestrian and bicycle environment with wider sidewalks, bike facilities and boulevards
  • Enhance safety for all users of the road
  • Redevelop property at major intersections to support business growth and offer more housing choices
  • Improve the natural environment by providing for stormwater storage, retention and treatment
  • Enhance the street environment with artist-inspired lighting, bike racks, benches and banners

Project history and outcomes

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 throughout this segment to accommodate on-street bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks and treed boulevards. This effort required some intersection improvements and related property acquisition at the Lowry intersections of Penn and Lyndale. These property acquisitions addressed blighted properties that were attracting crime and created redevelopment opportunities for new housing and business expansion at both intersections.

These improvements are serving as a catalyst for redevelopment along Lowry Avenue. Energy efficient Hawthorne Eco-Village will bring transformation and new housing to the Lyndale intersection, and Lowry Community Works is working with a developer to bring townhomes to the Emerson/Fremont area across from the North Regional Library. 

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