For more than six months, Hennepin County transportation officials have been conducting a corridor study of Broadway Street NE, from the river to Stinson Boulevard. More than 1,000 people participated in the study through task force meetings, surveys and an open house.
The aging crosstown artery is a county road (C.R. 66) from Golden Valley Road to Stinson Boulevard, where it is a city street up to the Eastern city limits, near highway 280. Broadway is bumpy, narrow and unforgiving; bicycles travel on the sidewalk or they choose another street. The catch basins on the inside lanes are so low from periodic repaving that vehicles bounce when driving over them.
The county has scheduled the milling and resurfacing of Broadway Street from the river to Stinson Boulevard, after which the county and city are proposing the following: convert the four-lane roadway between 4th and Jackson streets and between Tyler and Johnson streets to a three-lane roadway (one lane in each direction with shared center turn lane); install a test closure median (probably bollards or “delineators”) at Tyler Street to prohibit left turns to or from Tyler (the “Spyhouse” left turn); change the two lanes per direction to one lane per direction at the Buchanan/Broadway Street railroad bridge; and modify the intersection at Broadway and Johnson Streets to improve sight distance for left turns. Regarding the last, Senior Transportation Engineer Robert Byers said, “We recently found out that the condition of the signal at Broadway Street and Johnson Street is going to require more extensive repairs than we originally anticipated. The city and county now plan on coming back early next year to install new equipment and then provide opposing left turn lanes that align.”
Byers estimated that the changes may “Add three or four minutes to travel the same distance, but we expect a reduction in accidents.” He said that the businesses on Tyler Street that may be affected by not allowing left turns from Broadway have been informed, and most are on board with the idea that it is initially a test. The intersection at Broadway and Central would remain unchanged.
No date was given for the beginning of work.