The decision to close portions of Park and Portland avenues in downtown Minneapolis to make way for a park would be big traffic disruptions to Downtown East area of the city, according to a report released Monday.
In a draft of the Alternative Urban Areawide Review and Mitigation Plan, closing a 1-block segment of Park and Portland Avenues between 4th and 5th Streets would bring noticeable increases in traffic and congestion on surrounding streets during the morning and evening rush hours.
No decision has been made on whether to close off the streets entirely. Other options include reducing both streets to two lanes and having them open only during peak periods. There are also plans that might eliminate on-street parking on
Closing the roads could result in elimination of on-street parking on mitigation routes, other streets in the area such as Washington Avenue and Chicago Avenue along with 4th and 5th Avenues that would see increased traffic volumes.
The report also noted that any closures or reconfiguration could bring delayed emergency response times since both are near Hennepin County Medical Center.
Any changes to Park or Portland Avenue would need county approval since they are county roads. Fourth and Fifth Streets are under the jurisdiction of the City of Minneapolis.
Ryan Company is floating the idea the park in conjunction with the new Vikings stadium, which will be built on the site of the current Metrodome. The park would also be part of a $400 mixed-use development on land that is currently owned by the Star Tribune.