A preliminary report about Lyndale Avenue South safety improvements shows a 56% decrease in crashes on a section of Lyndale over a seven-month period. The report, presented to the Bicycle Advisory Committee this month, comes after Hennepin County collected traffic data and community feedback on the street design changes to Lyndale.
Last summer, Lyndale Avenue was re-striped from Franklin Avenue to 31st Street. The four-lane street was changed to have two lanes, one in each direction, plus turn lanes. In street design, this is commonly called a “4-to-3 conversion.” Pedestrian crossings with user-activated lights were also installed at 25th and 27th Streets.
In the data collected from August 2022 to March 2023, there was also a 48% reduction in injuries during crashes. In every month tracked, there were fewer crashes with the added safety improvements.
This type of street redesign is unique in Hennepin County. According to the project manager, Josh Potter, the impetus for the redesign came from community feedback about safety concerns along Lyndale Avenue. At perhaps the peak of this community feedback, people staged a protest in October 2019 at 25th and Lyndale to draw attention to the dangers of Lyndale. Earlier that week, Ted Ferrera was killed by a driver as he was crossing the intersection.
The re-striping of Lyndale Avenue is technically a pilot program. We are awaiting a response from Potter about when the decision will be made on whether the pilot program will be made permanent.
There is additional construction planned for Lyndale, focusing on ADA compliance of sidewalks and ramps, updating lighting, and traffic signal replacements. Hennepin County is planning to do community engagement through mid-2024 with construction happening in 2026.