Washington Avenue is a major 6-lane roadway with 30,000 ADT, which traverses the north side of the Minneapolis Downtown CBD. Both Hennepin County and the City envisioned providing bicycle facilities along this corridor of closely spaced traffic signals. To support the design decisions and facilitate stakeholder discussions, Alliant completed a detailed traffic operations analysis using the VISUM/VISSIM model for the north half of the CBD. The traffic operation analysis evaluated 10 design concepts with sub-alternatives, consisting of various lane configurations, and the required signal phasing and signal timing improvements needed. A detailed sensitivity analysis for several pedestrian/bicycle volume cases and motor vehicle diversion scenarios was also completed to identify exactly where right turn lanes were most needed and the required minimum length of these turn lanes. The report compared delay, travel time, emissions, fuel consumption and transportation user cost economics for each alternative.
The preferred alternative, which removes a motor vehicle travel lane in each direction, provides a behind the curb one way protected bikeway on each side of Washington Avenue. Alliant assisted Hennepin County with final design construction documents, including the preparation of traffic signal revision, signal interconnect construction plans, traffic control and staging plans and specifications for the seven intersection corridor of Washington Avenue. The traffic signal designs include the replacement of traffic signal cabinets and controllers to provide flashing yellow arrow indications and the addition of a leading interval bicycle signal indications for the protected bikeway.