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 nears completion

Throughout 2014, Lowry Avenue Community Works has been working with the community to develop a new plan for the Lowry Avenue corridor east of the Mississippi River that proposes sidewalk and road improvements for walkers, bicyclists, transit users and drivers, and explores redevelopment options that would support business and housing in the area. This plan is nearing completion and will be available later this year for public comment. 

Project updates

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November 2014 project update

September 2014 project update

July 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

Throughout 2014, Lowry Avenue Community Works has been working with project partners and the Lowry Avenue northeast communities to update their vision for Lowry Avenue.

January-July 2014

The project team gathered information about the Lowry Avenue northeast corridor and sought input from the community about the avenue’s assets and needs. Working with the community, options were developed for the roadway design and six study intersections, as well as bicycle and pedestrian improvements for the entire corridor. The community had the opportunity to provide input on these options at neighborhood meetings and events (like Open Streets), a series of public workshops and an online survey.

August-October 2014

The Lowry Avenue Community Works steering team weighed community preferences, along with recommendations from the technical advisory team, and determined to support wider sidewalks for the Lowry Avenue northeast corridor east of the Mississippi River. They also recommended on-street bicycle lanes for the segment east of Central Avenue to Stinson Boulevard. The final design recommendations for roadway and intersection designs, redevelopment opportunities and streetscape design options were shared at the third and final public workshop on September 25.

Next steps

A draft of the Lowry Avenue Northeast plan will be available later this year for public comment.


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. 

The draft Lowry Avenue Northeast plan will be available for final public comment before the end of this year.


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
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

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 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 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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