MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has vetoed a plan which would allow for 24-hour bus lanes along Hennepin Avenue in Uptown.
The city council approved the plan with a majority 8-5 vote, but Frey said he could not support a bus-only lane when city buses do not run 24 hours a day.
The plan was part of the, which drew mixed reviews when it was presented in January. The plan would cut Hennepin Avenue in Uptown down from four to two lanes, and add dedicated bike and transit lanes. It also would leave just 20 on-street parking spots on the nearly mile-and-a-half stretch between Uptown and downtown.
Supporters say that it’s safer for pedestrians and cyclists, but others say it could hurt businesses that benefit from the on-street parking.
Frey argued in a letter to the city council on Friday that the 24-hour bus lane “would ignore the countless small businesses, many of them BIPOC owned, who compromised both for the presence of a protected bike lane and prioritized bus lanes at the expense of a substantial amount of parking.”
Aisha Chughtai, a city council representative whose ward lines are drawn at Hennepin Avenue, said she led the effort to to ensure no parking in bus lanes, along with continued access for loading bays because it “benefits all community members.”
“Investment in people-centered infrastructure is vital,” she said, arguing that Hennepin Avenue is one of the most dangerous streets for pedestrians, bikers, and transit users.
The council will meet on June 30 to take up the vetoed items for reconsideration.