Can $10 million fix Hennepin-Lyndale choke point? - FOX 10 News |

Can $10 million fix Hennepin-Lyndale choke point?

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After years of problems, the intersection where two of the busiest streets in Minneapolis converge is about to get a multi-million-dollar facelift to ease traffic on Hennepin and Lyndale avenues.

Even though there are Catholics on one corner and the Methodists and Episcopalians occupy the other, many pedestrians still feel compelled to say a prayer before crossing.

"Every day, same thing -- biking, walking -- I get honked at and honked at," Ryan Felien told Fox 9 News.

More than 50,000 cars come through the corridor every day, along with 2,000 bikes and pedestrians -- all navigating a dozen different lanes.

On Tuesday night, the public was invited to an open house at the Walker Art Center to share their ideas on how to improve the intersection because the city has received more $7 million in federal funds to improve the busy bottleneck. The City of Minneapolis plans to put $3 million more toward the puzzle -- but they're not quite sure how it will all come together.

"There will be trade-offs; we have to understand that," said Don Elwood, director of transportation for Minneapolis.

So far, there isn't much on the drawing board -- a few medians and crosswalks, but the city has been trying to get it right for more than 80 years. In fact, even in the 1930s, the intersection was dubbed a bottle neck even though it was just street cars and Model T's making their way through the area back then.

Yet, it was post-card pretty at the time, before the Walker became another destination drawing visitors. Now, however, the freeways and Lowry tunnel limit the options available. One option that seemed to enjoy the most support was a new pedestrian bridge to link the Walker with Groveland Avenue.

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