Protests continue on Lyndale Avenue

Safe street advocates blocked traffic to draw attention to unsafe conditions on Lyndale Avenue Feb. 12. The group plans to continue protests until substantial changes are made to the road. Photo by Andrew Hazzard

For the fourth time since a man was struck and killed by a driver on Lyndale Avenue in October, protesters took to the street to demand improved safety infrastructure.

During a bitterly cold rush hour on Feb. 12, about 40 people with the Safe Streets Save Lives group marched across Lyndale Avenue at 27th Street. The goal was to draw attention to safety issues on the street, which ranks as one of the most dangerous roads in Minneapolis according to city studies.

At the end of January, Hennepin County Public Works installed bollard bump-outs at Lyndale & 27th and banned left turns at 25th and 27th streets, where bollard delineators were installed. The Save Streets Save Lives group believes the measures are insufficient and plans to keep organizing protests on the street until more concrete changes, like a four lane to three lane “road diet,” are made.

At the protest, marchers sought to mimic the effect of a streetlight, stopping traffic long enough for pedestrians to safely cross Lyndale at 27th. The group would cross the street en masse for about a minute, then pause and let traffic pass. The group distributed literature to stopped drivers explaining the protest and encouraging them to contact Hennepin County Commissioners.

Minneapolis police eventually diverted traffic from the area, prompting the group to move north to 25th Street.

Currently, no major reconstruction of the street is planned, and the group intends to continue holding regular actions.

“We’ll only get louder and more vibrant from here,” said Abigail Johnson, a Lowry Hill East resident who chairs Minneapolis’ pedestrian advisory committee.