Construction being performed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) on an Interstate 94 onramp will affect traffic heading out of downtown Minneapolis next week. Drivers are encouraged to plan extra time or use alternate routes while this work takes place.
Beginning Monday, May 14, work will begin to rehabilitate the shoulder of the ramp from 3rd Street to westbound I-94. A series of lane closures will take place through the week, followed by a complete closure of the ramp from 10 p.m. Friday, May 18 to Monday, May 21.
Although access to westbound I-94 will be available during the lane closures, drivers should expect delays and take alternate routes if possible. The restrictions and closures have been planned so they will not affect traffic leaving Minnesota Twins games during this time period. The ramp will be fully reopened for traffic after the May 14 and 15 games.
Onramps to westbound I-94 are available at other points in the downtown area, including at Olson Memorial Highway and Broadway Avenue.
For more information, go to the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s project page at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/3rdstmpls/index.html.
Beginning Saturday, May 12, changes will be made to routes operated by Metro Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority.
NEWS FROM METRO TRANSIT
Route 55 buses will substitute for light-rail trains between Target Field Station and Franklin Avenue Station from about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4, through 3:30 a.m. on Monday, May 7.
The work is part of planned maintenance projects on the Hiawatha Line on select weekends this summer. Learn more.
Buses will operate more frequently than trains, but bus trips will take longer than train rides. Please plan accordingly.
These light-rail stations will close during the service interruption: Target Field, Warehouse District/Hennepin Avenue, Nicollet Mall, Government Plaza, Downtown East/Metrodome and Cedar-Riverside.
Rider Alerts will be posted at stations with details and maps to direct customers to Route 55 bus service. Metro Transit staff will be on hand at key train stations to direct customers to buses.
Customers can learn of any last-minute changes to the weekend plan by calling the Rail Maintenance Hotline at 612-373-3333, option 6.
It’s time to get out of your car and travel by bike or on foot instead! Twin Cities Bike Walk Week runs from June 2-10, 2012, and organizers are once again asking residents to pledge to bike or walk rather than drive for at least one trip during that week.
Each year, Bike Walk Week provides a great opportunity for metro area residents to kick off summer by trying bicycling and walking to work, to school, for errands or fun. Last year nearly 10,000 people participated in the annual event, taking a trip or two by bike or foot when they would typically drive.
The week is packed with activities to generate enthusiasm and participation. The highlight of the week is Bike Walk to Work Day, Thursday, June 7th, featuring celebrations in downtown Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Anoka County and Bloomington. Other events include Greenway Glow, Women’s Wednesday and Northeast rides, an Open Streets celebration, and a Bike to the Saints game.
Bike Walk Week is about biking and walking for fun, for fitness and health benefits, and for transportation. Participants quickly see the advantages of getting around without a car—like better health, a cleaner environment and money saved on gas and car expenses.
Bike Walk Week Twin Cities is an annual regional campaign planned by a number of metro area agencies and nonprofit organizations working to encourage people to develop new, more active routines for getting around.
Put some joy in your trip by traveling a different way June 2-10! Learn more about events and register at www.bikewalkweek.org
Commuter Connection offers the following bicycle education courses as a free service to downtown employers and property managers.
Basics of Bicycling for Transportation (1 hour classroom course)
Minneapolis is the #1 cycling city in the U.S. according to Bicycling Magazine – come see what it’s all about! This presentation will help you to develop the skills you need to use your bicycle for more of your trips – including your trip to work. Participants will learn about riding a bicycle as a vehicle, safety, riding comfort, and good tips for getting into and around downtown. We can also bring a demonstration model of the bike rack that is equipped on all regional buses so you can practice putting your bike on a bus. Join fellow employees and learn about how to become part of the cycling wave in Minneapolis.
Basic Maintenance Course (1 hour classroom course)
One of the fun things about bicycles is that with a little know-how, most people can keep them running with their own hands. This course covers basic maintenance techniques, including keeping a bicycle clean and lubricated and fixing a flat tire. If time permits, we’ll also cover basic brake and derailleur adjustment.
Bicycle Skills (1.5 hour bicycle ride)
Haven’t been on a bicycle in a while? We offer a parking lot course where you can hone your skills and learn to be a confident and safe bicycle commuter. We cover the basic skills of starting and stopping, scanning, signaling & maintaining a straight line, dodging small objects on the road, and stopping quickly.
Riding With Traffic (1.5 hour bicycle ride)
Put into practice what you learned in the Basics of Bicycling for Transportation! Take a ride through downtown Minneapolis with two certified instructors as your guides. We’ll practice roadway positioning, scanning, signaling and turning and changing lanes. We’ll also show you how to get to and from the major trailheads that surround downtown Minneapolis using recommended bicycling routes. Don’t have a bike downtown? No worries, we have a partnership with Nice Ride MN, which allows us to offer free access to Nice Ride bike for our guided rides. Plus, for a limited time, we will be giving away free Nice Ride MN helmets to participants in our Riding With Traffic course.
Contact Andrew Rankin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-370-3987 ext 205 to schedule courses for your organization.
It’s easy! Between April 1 and June 30, pledge to take one trip by bus or train, bicycle, carpool, or walking, instead of driving alone. Teleworking counts, too! Those who take the Commuter Challenge are entered into a drawing for great prizes, including netbooks, Kindles and Kindle Fires. Plus, you’ll benefit in other ways:
Changing how you get around – even just a few days a week – is an easy, inexpensive way to improve air quality and reduce your carbon footprint.
Save money on fuel, insurance and maintenance costs when you drive less often.
It’s a fact, Active transportation choices like bicycling, walking or riding the bus or train get you closer to the 30 minutes of physical activity recommended for a healthy heart. Plus, it’s a great stress reducer.
Extend Your Challenge
Extend your challenge and be eligible to win even more prizes! Track your Commuter Challenge trips online, and you will automatically entered into a weekly drawing. Learn more atmycommuterchallenge.org/commuterconnection.
New this Year – Tweet the #2012Challenge
Tweet about the Commuter Challenge and you could be one of our weekly winners. It’s easy to enter! You could win one of two $25 VISA gift cards.
- Follow @MetroTransitMN and @CommuterConnect on Twitter
- Take the Commuter Challenge
- Tweet a link to this web page
- Mention @MetroTransitMN and use #2012Challenge in the tweet. Here’s an example: I took the #2012Challenge today & rode @MetroTransitMN to work!
Weekly winners will be selected at random on Mondays (April 9-July 2) from the previous week’s pool of eligible entries. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on June 30. Winners will be notified by Direct Message on Twitter. Full list of rules.
The Commuter Challenge is sponsored by Commuter Connection and its regional transportation partners, including Metro Transit, Commute Solutions, Commuter Connection, St. Paul Smart Trips and Commuter Services.
NEWS FROM: City of Minneapolis
Although Downtown Minneapolis is a busy place year-round, springtime brings an upswing in the number of visitors and event-goers. Between March and May this year, more than 600 events are scheduled Downtown. So whether you’re going to a Minnesota Twins game, catching a show at Target Center, or taking in entertainment at venues across Downtown, spring is a good time for folks to refresh their memories on all the transportation options available for getting to and around Downtown.
Events calendar makes it easy to plan ahead
Whether you want to go to a game, catch a play, or see a concert, finding just the right events and activities for your family is easy when you use the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District’s online events calendar.
The calendar is on the Downtown Improvement District’s website at www.MinneapolisDID.com. The list includes events and entertainment at dozens of venues, big and small, throughout Downtown. The list can be viewed and sorted in several different ways to help you find what you’re looking for. The calendar includes sporting events, live performances, theater events, festivals and parades, exhibits, and many other entertainment options. The calendar makes it easy to find out if there are lots of events on a given day, and knowing what else is happening Downtown will help you plan ahead to minimize transportation delays.
Getting where you’re going
Downtown is an urban setting that provides transportation opportunities to meet everyone’s desired experience, whether you want to drive, ride a bus, take a train, or bike or walk.
When visiting Downtown, there are five tips people should remember to minimize delays and maximize their enjoyment of all the activities going on.
- Plan ahead – Visit DestinationTargetField.com to learn more about all your transportation choices. Visit the Downtown Improvement District’s events calendar atwww.MinneapolisDID.com to see what events are going on any day.
- Know your parking options – There is parking availability throughout Downtown. If you prefer convenient access to Target Field and Target Center, the adjacent A,B,C, and Hawthorne ramps have plenty of capacity, and the ramps empty smoothly after games, without long waits.
- Consider transit – Target Field and Target Center are extremely transit -friendly facilities, located at The Interchange, the junction of Northstar commuter rail, the Hiawatha light rail, and many bus lines.
- Bicycles are another great way to the games – Bicyclists are reminded to use headlights and taillights after dark and, if possible, to wear light or reflective clothing.
- Come early/Stay late – The Warehouse District is ready to welcome fans for another summer of baseball, shows, and excitement. Take part in activities, shopping, dining, and other entertainment before and after games and concerts. Enjoy the extra time to experience all Downtown has to offer, and beat the traffic.
Taking transit to games
The Northstar commuter rail line will provide service to all games at Target Field in the 2012 season. For added savings, the Northstar Roundtrip Family Pass offers roundtrip rides for two adults and up to three kids ages 6-17 for $20 or less. New this season: customers can buy round-trip tickets and Northstar Roundtrip Family Passes for Twins games online atmetrotransit.org/Northstar. Full train schedules for every game and fare information are available for viewing and printing at metrotransit.org/twins.
The Hiawatha light-rail line – which runs from Bloomington directly to ballpark gates and serves Park & Ride facilities at Fort Snelling and 28th Avenue stations – is expected to again be a very popular choice for fans. Due to construction work near Target Field Station, light rail operations at the station will be slightly different this year, but little impact is expected for fans. Several highly visible Metro Transit staff will be available at the station to offer assistance for all games.
Express bus service on Route 679 from the County Road 73 Park & Ride in Minnetonka will be offered for every home game again in 2012. A number of popular and frequent bus routes stop near Target Field. From the east, Routes 3, 16, 50 and 94 serve Ramp B/5th Street Transit Center adjacent to Target Field. Many other frequent routes travel along Hennepin and Nicollet avenues just blocks away.
Online tools and information for planning bus or train trips to Twins games is available atmetrotransit.org/twins.
SouthWest Transit joins the team by offering rides to and from Twins games in 2012. Jump aboard the Twins Express Monday through Friday during the Twins season from Chaska, Chanhassen and Eden Prairie. For more information, visithttp://www.swtransit.org/Twins_Express2.html.
The City of Minneapolis takes a number of steps to manage traffic during Twins games and other big events. The volume of pedestrians, bikes, and cars Downtown before and after these events means increased traffic, but there are several ways the City works to improve operations and minimize congestion, including:
- Traffic control agents are at many Downtown intersections during peak times before and after the events. Traffic control agents at intersections are key to maintaining traffic flow and improving pedestrian safety when volumes are high.
- Special traffic signal timing patterns are used to move high numbers of vehicles during events.
- Dynamic messaging signs throughout Downtown provide drivers with real-time information as they move around the area. There are currently more than 70 of these signs Downtown, which are used to direct people to parking, to notify drivers when key parking ramps fill, and to help drivers find their way around.
Making event days a great experience
Many City departments, the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Ballpark Authority, Target Center, the Minnesota Vikings, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Hennepin County, Metro Transit, ABC Ramps, the Warehouse District Business Association, the Downtown Improvement District, the Hennepin Theatre District, the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Guthrie Theater, and others are all taking steps to make event days in Downtown success. To help fans plan ahead and make the most of their experience Downtown, these partners have collaborated to create DestinationTargetField.comon the Minnesota Twins Web site. The site helps folks explore all their options for getting to Downtown events, whether it’s by car, on a bus or train, or by biking or walking.
Commuter Connection is here to help your employees get more out of their downtown commute. We have recently updated our resources for HR Professionals. These include:
- Getting Downtown – How to Commute to Downtown Minneapolis: Include this brochure in your new hire kit to help your employees get more out of their commute.
- Employee Orientation Presentation: Commuter Connection will come to your worksite and give your employees an overview of all of the commuting options, programs and services available to downtown workers.
- Commuter Connection Resource Store: Don’t have time for a transportation presentation at your new employee orientation? Simply send your new employees to our conveniently located retail location in US Bank Plaza and we will answer all their transportation related questions.
Contact Bill Andre, email@example.com, 612.335.5910, for more information.
MSP Tours and Commuter Connection have teamed up to offer self-guided audio tours of the City of Minneapolis.
These tours allow business visitors, clients or new hires to explore the surrounding area at their own pace utlizing Metro Transit’s Hiawatha Light Rail Line.
This self-guided audio tour can last from two hours to the whole day. Tours are designed to begin and end at any of the19 stations along the Hiawatha Light Rail Line.
MSP Tours are available at Commuter Connection for $15.00 per audio device rental and come with a custom map to help guide you. Call Commuter Connection today to schedule your tour – 612-370-3987.
New features available through the Commuter Challenge Trip Tracker online account:
- Ridematching to form carpools or vanpools with those who share your commute pattern (available when you create a commute profile)
- Enroll in or submit online reimbursement requests for the free Guaranteed Ride Home program.
New Trip Tracker features:
- Track trips using more than one mode (for example, you ride your bike to a transit stop then ride a bus or train the rest of the way).
- Are you a creature of habit? Enter a regular weekday commute, instead of entering the same information for several days.
- Get in touch with your inner Trip Tracker nerd. You can review your commute history and even export your data to an Excel or CSV file.
Track your trips for a chance to win!
Track your trips for a chance to win – we’ll give away a $100 gift card monthly. Every month you use the Commuter Challenge calendar to track at least one trip per week (other than driving by yourself), you’ll be automatically entered in the drawing.
And get ready for even more chances to win prizes during the 2012 Commuter Challenge. Between April 1 and June 30, track your trips and you’ll automatically be eligible for prizes including Netbooks, Kindles and Kindle Fires. Get more details at MyCommuterChallenge.org.
Get started now!
To reach the new Trip Tracker, you’ll need to log into your Commuter Account.
- Log on to http://metrotransit.greenride.com/Account/SignIn/
- Create a commuter profile. If your employer is not listed, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Track your trips
Contact Metro Transit Rideshare at 612-373-3333 option 5 or email@example.com with questions about your account or how to use the site.