It’s so nerdy even nerds think it’s lame, but let’s celebrate it anyway: 2011 traffic counts are appearing on the City of Minneapolis Transportation Data Management System website! Automated counts have been conducted over the past couple weeks in the Uptown area, and some of the data have begun to pop up on the TCDS (or Traffic Count Database System, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing).
Early take-homes? Traffic is indeed quite nasty. Hennepin Avenue between Lake/Lagoon and Franklin sees some of the highest–perhaps the highest, but this would require more research–daily traffic counts in the City of Minneapolis, excluding highways or de facto highways (e.g. Hiawatha Avenue, Lake Street above Calhoun). Of course, given that the Uptown area also has some of the highest volumes of pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the city, you can guess what this means.
While you wait for our elected officials who have directed city staff to finish the very important business of finding problems for their solutions, take a look at the graphic below, which highlights some of the new data in a way that’s hopefully at least a little amusing, or, if nothing else, more pleasing to the eye than a Google Map with a 20-field spreadsheet on the left column. And all of this is really hinting at a serious issue: how can we make our streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and anyone else who doesn’t have a couple thousand pounds of steel surrounding them? Be as specific (or broad) as you like. And most importantly, once you’ve thought about this a bit, why not share your thoughts with your voice in local government?