Can't get there from here

On Monday, the city of Minneapolis and MnDOT released a number of alternatives for getting in to, out of and around downtown Minneapolis. The trouble is, most routes are already congested beyond belief. Main case in point? The first suggestion, taking Central Avenue into downtown as it turns into 3rd Avenue South.

Last week, head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Art Rolnick, whose office overlooks the river, said "I'm looking out my window at the 3rd Avenue Bridge right now, and it's bumper-to-bumper in the middle of the day, something I've never seen before." Even on Saturday afternoon, crossing Central on University proved a dificult endeavor, as traffic was backed up two stoplights in both directions.

Other suggestions aren't going to be much better. East Hennepin Avenue is rarely a good escape route of town, Washington Avenue—thanks to a series of asynchronous lights—is a headache in either direction anytime of day, and Seventh Street South, Third Avenue South and Fifth Avenue South are typical downtown streets, already bumper-to-bumper during any rush hour.

Monday morning also highlighted a host of downtown street closings due to projects unrelated to the bridge collapse, most notably more sections of 3rd Avenue South and Fifth Street (both had been closed in sections previously), thanks to construction for the Twins ballpark and the adjacent transit hub. In other words, the time has never been better for walking or biking downtown—though we might suggest just staying home altogether.

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