Hwy 252 is currently a dangerous expressway with six local access signalized intersections serving an almost entirely residential area next to the Mississippi River in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park. MnDOT’s Hwy 252 / I-94 draft Scoping Decision Document (SDD) recommends several 6-lane freeway project design alternatives with bus service for Hwy 252 (with or without Toll Lanes ). In case full funding for a 6-lane freeway is not obtained, the draft SDD recommends a temporary phase involving a normal speed 4-lane freeway alternative for Hwy 252 with shoulders for buses. The 4-lane freeway would serve as a prelude for full expansion to a 6-lane freeway when funding is obtained at a later time, and is not a permanent project design alternative. MnDOT also recommends four alternatives for I-94 through Brooklyn Center and North Minneapolis involving combinations of additional northbound and/or southbound lanes with or without Toll lanes.
The Hwy 252 Safety Task Force recommends that City Residents ask MnDOT to eliminate the 6-lane freeway alternatives (with or without toll lanes) from further consideration for Hwy 252. These alternatives should be replaced with (1) a 4-lane low speed freeway, which is safer and less damaging for human health and the environment than the 6-lane freeway and (2) a 6-lane expressway with permanent safety improvements that maintains current bus service and park & ride lots. The 6-lane expressway would dramatically reduce property impacts and seizures relative to the 6-lane freeway.
Also, the Hwy 252 Safety Task Force recommends that City Residents ask MnDOT to eliminate from further consideration the expansion of I-94 in order to reduce harmful effects of air pollution from increased traffic on residents in neighborhoods of Brooklyn Park and North Minneapolis.
The justification for these recommendations is that the 6-lane freeway alternatives are highly flawed and harm City Residents, because of very high traffic volumes, very fast speeds, large increases in diesel-fueled heavy freight truck traffic, poor interchange merging safety, harmful air and water pollution, and inequitable displacement impacts, especially for BIPOC home and business owners.
The Hwy 252 Safety Task Force recommends that only project alternatives beneficial to City Residents should be retained for consideration. These alternatives should have the following characteristics:
- Avoid increases in traffic by not diverting or inducing traffic onto Hwy 252 and I-94
- Avoid increases in diesel-burning heavy freight truck traffic on Hwy 252 in particular
- Require freeway interchanges at 66th Ave. to meet MnDOT safety design guidelines
- Avoid adverse impacts of traffic increases on local roads
- Reduce impacts of traffic-induced air pollution on human health, hospitalizations and deaths
- Minimize property impacts for all home and business owners, especially BIPOC owners
- Prevent contamination of drinking water sources for Brooklyn Center near Hwy 252 and for Minneapolis at the Fridley water intake on the Mississippi River from road salt and toxic spills arising from crashes of heavy freight trucks
- Prevent pollution of the Mississippi River ecosystem by road salt and toxic spills arising from crashes of heavy freight trucks.
Public comments can be entered at https://dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy252study/