City streets and freeway congestion: It's all connected.
If one is going to talk about the traffic changes on Park Avenue in Minneapolis (Readers Write, Oct. 3), it has to be done in conjunction with recent changes to the traffic flow on nearby Interstate 35W. For as long as I can remember, Park Avenue has been a three-lane, 35 mile-per-hour street into downtown, with well-timed lights to keep the traffic flowing.
People from a large part of south Minneapolis relied on it as a primary route into downtown, or as an alternative when 35W was backed up. Then came the long-awaited rebuild of the Crosstown Commons, and the northbound bottleneck on 35W unexpectedly moved to the downtown commons. Several years ago, one could get on northbound 35W at 46th Street and expect to never go below 45 mph through downtown, and sometimes considerably faster.
Now the day hardly goes by when the freeway isn't a parking lot along that entire stretch. So Park Avenue became all the more important to residents of the city, and how were they rewarded? With two crowded lanes for cars, badly timed lights, and a freeway for the four to five bicycles they might see between 46th and Franklin.
I feel sorry for all the people who'll be getting the same shaft for their ride home on Portland.
DALE JERNBERG, MINNEAPOLIS
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