MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Take a walk or a spin on University Avenue Southeast in Minneapolis during rush hour and you can see why it is called a “traffic jam.”
“Horns honking, people almost get run over trying to cross at the street,” said Minneapolis commuter Sandy Olson.
The brake lights and car horns have caught the attention of the city. It’s one of the streets that’s been identified as “high injury” by Vision Zero Minneapolis — a plan to eliminate traffic deaths and severe injuries by 2027.
A draft proposal was unveiled before the Transportation and Public Works Committee on Tuesday, which includes a plan to reduce the speed limit on most, if not all, city-owned streets.
Right now, the limit on the majority of them is 30 miles per hour. It’s still unclear what the new speed limits would be.
University Avenue Southeast is county and state-owned, so the speed limit will not change there.
“We are currently in the process of analyzing that and coordinating with our partners, like the city of St. Paul, and anticipate bringing new speed limits next year,” said Vision Zero Program Coordinator Ethan Fawley.
Minneapolis is one of more than 30 cities in the country that’s adopted a “Vision Zero” plan, but its true effectiveness is under scrutiny in some areas. In 2019, there were 65 traffic deaths in New York City through April 28. That’s a 30% increase from the same point last year, according to AMNY.
In Los Angeles, a recent report shows fatal car crashes have risen 32% from 2015 to 2019, the year Vision Zero began.
The draft plan also includes automated traffic enforcement using cameras. Residents can weigh in on the plan online or in person at an open house next month. The open house will be held on October 3 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the online open house is scheduled for October 10 from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Facebook page.