MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A redesign of one of the busiest streets in Minneapolis is drawing mixed reactions from neighbors and business owners.

The plan would cut Hennepin Avenue in Uptown down from four to two lanes, and add dedicated bike and transit lanes. It also would leave just 20 on-street parking spots on the nearly mile-and-a-half stretch between Uptown and downtown.

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WCCO spoke Thursday with stakeholders about the safety benefits, and business nightmares.

“I like the idea of bike lanes, expanded bike lanes for sure,” Uptown resident Jeremy Alsaker said. “I mean, I got a bike and I don’t really enjoy taking it out because like I don’t want to cross Hennepin or Lake [Street]. It stresses me out.

The city already transformed a chunk of Hennepin Avenue between 31st and Lake streets, subtracting parking and adding things like bike lanes — and some businesses were not happy about it.

(credit: City of Minneapolis)

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Korawan Muangmode is the general manager at Amazing Thailand on Hennepin Avenue.

“We rely a lot on to-go and delivery,” Muangmode said.

She says lack of parking immediately out front is hurting business. Though construction wouldn’t start until 2024, she says months or years of construction in the area could be the final straw.

“I don’t know how long that we can last,” she said. “We want to continue to be here in Uptown, so please, please listen and hear us.”
City planners acknowledged the blueprint isn’t final, but said there’s thousands of parking spots within a one-block radius that they hope people will utilize if the plan moves ahead.

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Residents can give their input through Jan. 28. The plan will go to the Minneapolis City Council for a vote in the next month or two.

Erin Hassanzadeh