Walking: Improve the pedestrian environment in order to encourage walking as a mode of transportation.
Walking is an essential mode of transportation in Minneapolis. Everyone walks, whether young or old, whether on foot or using a mobility device, whether as a walking trip alone or in conjunction with taking transit, bicycling, or driving. Walking and walkable environments support the economy. The most successful commercial districts in Minneapolis rely on high levels of foot traffic. Walking also contributes to an active lifestyle, improving health outcomes. And walking and improving the pedestrian environment are critical components of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, both directly and indirectly.
The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to improve the pedestrian environment in order to encourage walking as a mode of transportation.
- Improve safety for people walking when crossing streets; focus on crosswalks, lighting, and visibility.
- Foster vibrant public spaces for street life.
- Provide clearly-designated pedestrian areas, including buffers from the street, amenity zones, and curb extensions or bump outs.
- Minimize the number of vehicle curb cuts that hinder pedestrian comfort; be deliberate in the placement of drop-off zones and other curb side uses and evaluate the pedestrian benefits as a part of the decision making process.
- Deploy traffic calming measures such as narrow street widths.
- Provide pedestrian connections across barriers such as freeways and busy streets.
- Encourage sidewalk widths that reflect existing or expected volumes of pedestrian traffic.
- As partnerships exist, encourage and design for streetscape amenities, including street furniture, trees, and landscaping, that buffer people walking from auto traffic and parking areas.
- Continue to make improvements to the existing sidewalk network, and fill existing sidewalk gaps where appropriate.