Lowry Ave NE Corridor Study
Hennepin County, MN asked Toole Design to help improve transportation options as they sought to make the Lowry Avenue Northeast Corridor a more livable, vibrant place. Key to the project’s success was a holistic community engagement process that focused on underserved and under-represented communities, students, and business owners along the corridor. We learned that a previously-planned road widening had been discouraging investment from business owners and was out of line with the community’s vision for the corridor. Armed with this information, we developed a new plan for the corridor that calls for an enhanced streetscape and a new multimodal roadway concept. This approach has given community members confidence to invest in their property along the corridor and to expect a better, people-centered street.
We learned that pedestrian travel was a bigger priority than bicycling – even though Lowry Ave was a planned bicycle route in both the city and county’s adopted bicycle plans. So we took the community input and made recommendations for alternative bicycle routes, and used the space gained from the recommended 4-3 conversion is allocated to wider sidewalks and create a buffer/furnishing zone that will include a combination of trees, landscaping, benches, and public art.