Over the past month, thousands of people have flocked to a memorial in the south Minneapolis intersection where George Floyd died.
The constant flow of visitors is wearing on residents who live near 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue. They are contacting city officials with complaints about parking, increased traffic and speeding drivers cutting through the neighborhood to get around the intersection that has been closed since May 25, when Floyd died while being detained by Minneapolis police.
“Neighborhood residents have called, sent text messages, DMs [direct messages] and e-mails, it’s been a burden,” said Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins, who represents the ward where the colorful memorial is located. “There are such tremendous problems near the site.”
To address residents’ concerns, the Minneapolis Public Works Department is installing temporary speed humps on side streets and alleys adjacent to the memorial.
“This is unique,” said Steve Mosing, traffic operations engineer for the city. “There’s the memorial and it’s drawing traffic, and with the closure you have traffic trying to make connections around it. We hope this deters drivers to stay on the arterial system and use detours that are in place.”
Arterial streets are main thoroughfares with a higher traffic capacity than neighborhood streets. With 38th and Chicago closed, the city is directing north-south traffic from Chicago to use Park, Portland and Bloomington avenues. Drivers making east-west movements on 38th Street have been detoured to 42nd Street.
Crews are putting in speed humps made from compacted gravel on the 3700 block of Columbus Avenue and the 3800 blocks of 10th and Elliot avenues. The humps, a foot or two high, are similar to those the city uses to cover plastic pipes placed along streets to provide temporary water service while water mains are repaired. Two humps will be placed on each block, Mosing said.
“The best results to slow traffic is to put them in pairs,” Mosing said.
Flat plastic speed bumps, similar to those seen in parking lots, will be bolted to the pavement in alleys behind 10th and Elliot avenues. Signs warning drivers of the speed bumps will be posted, Mosing said.
The city will monitor the traffic and determine if more humps might be needed in the area. The humps will be removed around November.
“We hope this resolves the issue of speed and traffic volume,” he said.