Stay in the Loop

Pedestrian Safety Improvements Coming To Washington Ave

At Wednesday night’s annual meeting of the North Loop Neighborhood Association, city council member Michael Rainville announced new pedestrian safety enhancements coming to Washington Avenue at 7th and 8th Avenues in 2023.

As illustrated in council member Rainville’s video above, there will be new “pedestrian refuges” added in the center lane of Washington Avenue, allowing people to get halfway across when traffic clears in one direction, wait for traffic to clear in the other direction and then go the rest of the way across the street. Rainville also announced that “bump outs” will be added from the sidewalks so that pedestrians don’t have as far to go.

This has been a major point of concern in the North Loop for years, as the numbers of residents and visitors continue to increase and Washington Avenue remains a busy thoroughfare to and from downtown Minneapolis. There are no stop lights between 10th and 6th Avenues on Washington.

Rainville said there will be a phase two of the improvements in which hand-activated flashing lights will be added.

Washington Avenue is a Hennepin County road which the city of Minneapolis helps maintain. Along with Rainville’s staff, county commissioner Irene Fernando’s office coordinated with public works officials from both the city and county to come up with the new plan.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer

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