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Lake Street improvements

Bus Rapid Transit is coming to Lake Street

Lake Street (County Road 3) is one of Minneapolis’ most important and lively roads. It connects a diverse collection of neighborhoods, cultural institutions, restaurants and small businesses from Bde Maka Ska to the Mississippi River.

The introduction of Metro Transit's B Line project, along with potential improvements to corridor, provides an opportunity to rethink and improve how Lake Street is used by all who walk, bike, roll, drive and use transit.

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Lake Street improvements and the METRO Transit B Line projects are informed by significant public engagement efforts in the corridor and studies completed by Hennepin County together with the City of Minneapolis. These established community relationships are vital to future engagement and awareness around the project’s progress.

Following coordination with decision-makers and public release of the City of Minneapolis’ preferred design concept in early 2022, the preferred concept will be presented to the City’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committees, the City’s Public Works & Infrastructure Committee, and brought forward to City Council to receive and file.

Completed engagement

Metro Transit engaged communities along the B Line in 2019 and 2020 to inform recommendations for the B Line Corridor Plan.

In early 2021, Metro Transit engaged its riders and community around the publication of the draft B Line Corridor Plan to seek feedback on the document. After the conclusion of the B Line Draft Corridor Plan process, the draft document was revised based on feedback received and ongoing interagency coordination into a Recommended B Line Corridor Plan, which was published for an additional 30-day public comment period in July 2021.

Additional revisions to the plan were incorporated into the Final B Line Corridor Plan, which was approved by the Metropolitan Council in October 2021.

Throughout the B Line planning phase, Metro Transit received more than 2,500 comments on the project, including more than 500 corridor plan comments supporting bus priority treatments and approximately 50 corridor plan comments focused on safety considerations for roadway users (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit users).

Virtual open house

Hennepin County, Metro Transit and City of Minneapolis staff hosted a live virtual open house on Wednesday, March 16 to share what the B Line means and how we may improve the experience overall for users of Lake Street. View the recording of the open house below.

Lake Street is a major arterial through South Minneapolis. As such, it already plays an important role in serving our residents and businesses. The forthcoming Metro Transit B Line bus rapid transit creates a unique opportunity to make enhancements to the benefit of all who travel Lake Street.

As owner of the street, Hennepin County is collaborating with its partners — the City of Minneapolis and Metro Transit — to improve the corridor.

The three organizations have shared goals to:

  • Enhance safety for people walking and rolling
  • Improve transit times and reliability
  • Reduce crashes
  • Enhance overall user experience for everyone along the corridor

More information on this project

The B Line is an arterial bus rapid transit (BRT) line that will upgrade and substantially replace Route 21 on Lake Street. The goals of the B Line project are to:

  • Provide faster, more reliable transit service
  • Improve the transit experience at stops and on vehicles
  • Expand equitable access to destinations along Lake Street and beyond
  • Provide efficient connections to the existing and planned transit network

Arterial BRT provides faster and more efficient service than regular route service, and station and bus amenities that foster an improved customer experience. The B Line project include new stations and improvements at 17 intersections along Lake Street, along with additional stations to the east in St Paul.

Learn more about the B Line on Metro Transit's website.

Hennepin County staff are evaluating safety and accessibility improvements to take place as part of the METRO B Line project in an effort to minimize impacts to the public.

Changes being considered include:

  • New pavement throughout the corridor
  • Restriping to enhance safety and bus operations
  • Improve pedestrian accessibility
  • Bi-directional bus lanes in certain areas

Full reconstruction is not being considered based on the age and condition of the roadway. Many segments have already been updated or will be soon:

  • A segment between the Mississippi River and Dupont Avenue was reconstructed in the 2007–08 construction season.
  • Improvements were made between Blaisdell and Fifth avenues in 2021.
  • The Hi-Lake interchange project will reconstruct Lake Street between 22nd and Snelling avenues to support a new Hiawatha Avenue (Highway 55) and Lake Street interchange.

Hennepin County Complete Streets Policy

As the first Minnesota county to adopt a Complete Streets policy (2009), Hennepin County recognized the importance of addressing the needs of people walking, biking, rolling and using transit, along with the needs of people driving. Complete Streets are designed, built and maintained to be safe and convenient for people of all ages and abilities.

Updates to Lake Street align with this policy, including:

  • A focus on residents with consideration of the character of area, community values and user needs
  • Enhanced safety, mobility and accessibility for all corridor users
  • Design that is context sensitive, with each project looking different based on the community and setting

Hennepin County Climate Action Plan

Hennepin County approved a climate action plan in May 2021, which aims to reduce the county’s carbon footprint.

For Hennepin County transportation projects, this means reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) within the county and partnering on more efficient and frequent transit on county roadways. Any county project for Lake Street would include both strategies.

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