Envisioning the Future of Franklin Avenue

By Jennifer Harmening Thiede, Communications & Member Engagement Manager

Last month, Transit for Livable Communities connected with hundreds of community members at Open Streets Minneapolis on Franklin Avenue E. The conversations we had at the event, which stretched from Portland to 28th Avenue, were a highlight of our summer.

Anyone who lives, works, and/or travels on Franklin knows what a diverse corridor it is. There are so many incredible businesses, organizations, and residents along this street. But, Franklin is also home to challenging traffic congestion, inadequate sidewalks, limited transit amenities, and the most dangerous intersection for bicyclists in Minneapolis. (From 2009 to 2013, 21 bike crashes occurred at the Franklin and Minnehaha/Cedar intersection, and the corridor as a whole has earned a reputation as a “danger zone” for people on bikes.)

In this context, we decided to use Open Streets as an opportunity to ask people about their vision for a better Franklin Avenue. What would make this part of the city more livable and more vibrant? What would make it easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities to get around? The idea grew out of a conversation with our allies at Hope Community, and the responses we got were amazing. Check it out!

The community voices captured in this video echo, and bring life to, the key recommendation from last fall’s BWTC-funded report on Franklin Avenue: that “the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County place the highest priority on improving multimodal safety within the corridor.” While we can still dig deeper into the specifics of a potential solution, the call for a more transit-, bike-, and pedestrian-friendly Franklin Avenue is clear. What can you do about it?

• Share this video! Here is a direct link.
• Sign the latest Move MN petition. A win for this campaign will bring more dedicated, sustainable funding for walking, bicycling, and transit to communities throughout Minnesota.
• Support the Bikeways for Everyone campaign’s efforts to improve bike facilities on Franklin Avenue and elsewhere in Minneapolis.

Thank you to everyone who shared their vision with us at Franklin Avenue Open Streets! And thanks to TLC’s videographer, Allison Osberg, for helping us carry that vision forward.

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