Proposal for Uptown woonerf moves ahead

A design concept for the West 29th shared street. Credit:

A proposal for a woonerf (a shared-used street) in Uptown is on track for final City Council approval.

The Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee approved the new concept for two blocks of West 29th Street between Bryant and Lyndale avenues on Tuesday.

The street, which is currently in rough shape, will be redesigned to make it much more inviting for bicyclists and pedestrians. Motorists will also be allowed to drive at slow speeds on the street.

Pending final approval from the full Council on Nov. 20, construction for the $908,000 is expected to begin spring 2016.

City transportation planner Donald Pflaum said project planners have taken some inspiration from Bell Street in Seattle, a four-block shared-used street that has a park-like atmosphere.

The 29th Street corridor will feature a pedestrian zone, travel lanes for two-way traffic for bikes and cars, metered parking and pockets of green space.

Pflaum said the street will be a pilot project for the city to test out the concept.

City Council Member Lisa Bender (Ward 10) said many people have had a hand in shaping the project.

“The public engagement process was really creative and unique. We were able to help folks envision what is a new design for the city and really tap into the creativity of the community,” she said.