Public virtual meeting set for March 16 to discuss Lake Street transit improvements

Chris Juhn/MSR A bus driver in Minneapolis

Hennepin County planners are convening a public meeting on Wednesday, March 16 to discuss proposals for transit-only lanes, as well as ways to make Lake Street easier to get around by biking, walking, and transit.

The meeting, which will happen online between 6- 7 pm, comes after Metro Transit finalized plans to locate stops for the B Line, a rapid bus project to replace much of Route 21, which will begin operating from the future West Lake Southwest Light Rail station west of Bde Maka Ska to St. Paul Union Depot in 2024. 

But unlike existing rapid bus corridors, according to county officials, existing traffic congestion on Lake Street will make it hard for the B Line to truly be a rapid bus. The county also wants to address the number of crashes on the corridor, which is the highest in the city and the county. Both the city and county recently adopted policies in their comprehensive and climate action plans to prioritize biking, walking, and transit. 

To address all of these issues, the county is proposing transit-only lanes, mostly in the westbound direction, between West River Parkway and Dean Parkway except at points where traffic congestion is high. The rest of Lake Street is proposed to be converted to three lanes, with a turn lane at the center. 

Meeting information will be released on on March 16.