Last week U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary (U.S. DOT) Pete Buttigieg toured the Lake Street corridor along with key staff from Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis, Metro Transit and the Lake Street Council to acknowledge the award of a $12 million grant from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program to improve safety and travel time reliability on Lake Street (County Road 3).
“I am excited to see the Biden administration’s investment in this corridor,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley, one of the commissioners who represent the corridor. “It’s already a vibrant area with a diversity of people, businesses and services. This support helps us as we leverage resources to revitalize this area after the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd and advance the transit and transportation options that the people of Lake Street need.”
Hennepin County, the agency responsible for Lake Street, is collaborating with the City of Minneapolis and Metro Transit on the improvements. The three organizations have shared goals to enhance safety for people walking and rolling, improve transit times and reliability, reduce crashes and enhance the overall user experience for everyone along the corridor.
Secretary Buttigieg and his staff were welcomed by Hennepin County Board Chair Marion Greene and Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle.
“Today was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the county’s investment in transit and creating safer routes that address the county’s broader goals, including reducing disparities and addressing climate change,” said Chair Greene, who also represents a segment of Lake Street. “We are glad to be celebrating the continued investment in this area.”
The improvements will allow for Metro Transit’s B-line service to be up and running in 2024.
“Significant and ongoing investments in transit and transit-supportive infrastructure are essential to creating an attractive and effective system that meets the needs of riders, the majority of whom walk and roll before and after taking transit,” Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle said. “We are thankful for the U.S. DOT’s investment in the Lake Street corridor, and for all the federal, state and local partners who are helping us improve transit across our region.”
The City of Minneapolis’ guidance and support has been instrumental in this project successfully meeting its goals and receiving federal recognition.
“Physical mobility translates to social mobility and with this federal grant we can make Lake Street one of the safest and most accessible thoroughfares in the state,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “Thanks to the investments from our federal and local partners, we have the opportunity to reinvest in one of the areas of our city hit hardest over the last couple of years. Our cultural and business corridors are the livelihood of Minneapolis and together we can make them even easier for people to access and experience.”
The Lake Street Council, an organization that has a long history of supporting the success of the area, also participated in today’s event.
“Lake Street is a critical regional asset – we are glad that this Bus Rapid Transit line will help connect more people to the corridor to experience its cultural and commercial vibrancy,” said Lake Street Council Senior Strategic Initiatives Manager, Matt Kazinka. “A full recovery for Lake Street and its many small businesses and organizations will require significant investment from public entities. We are grateful to the federal government for recognizing this and for their support.”