Frequently asked questions
Why is MnDOT doing this study?
In a word: safety. Previous studies along these segments of University and Central avenues, including MnDOT’s 2018 Road Safety Audit and the Minneapolis 2019 Vision Zero Plan, have highlighted safety and accessibility needs for bicyclists and pedestrians. The rates of fatal and severe crashes here are above the statewide average.
What is a Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) study?
A PEL study looks at current transportation conditions and problems, and presents the likely future needs for the next 20 or more years, based on data and community input.
A PEL study is relatively new tool for MnDOT. It emphasizes community engagement and collaboration early in transportation planning. This will allow MnDOT to better understand community needs before specific transportation projects are designed and built. So, this PEL study will not be looking at specific improvements, but will present long term vision of what types of improvements are needed most and where they should be located.
What has been done to improve safety so far?
In April 2020, MnDOT made safety improvements (crosswalk striping, signal upgrades, and LED lighting) at 18 intersections. There are also many more pedestrian improvements at intersections on both Central and University avenues that are being planned for 2025.
Is more transit being planned in this corridor?
The Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit are studying a bus rapid transit (BRT) line from downtown Minneapolis to the Northtown Mall. This BRT line would travel north along Central Ave. in the south portion of the corridor and then move over to University Ave., at 53rd Ave. and continue north to the Northtown Mall, where it would connect with other bus routes. This BRT line will not be studied in detail as part of this study, but it could be part of the community vision for the future.