URGENT: STOP Spring 2021 Baker Road Lane Reduction

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Keep Baker Road 4 Lane - Construction beginning Spring 2021

Hennepin County is planning to resurface Baker Road between Martin Drive and the tunnel under Rt. 494 in Minnetonka.  As part of this project they are actively promoting a plan to eliminate 2 of the current 4 traffic lanes between St. Andrew Dr. (north of Valley View) and Lifetime Fitness (south of Rt. 62).  Specifically, the county’s plan is to have single traffic lane in each direction separated by a bi-directional left turn lane in the middle; also wide (9’) shoulders on both sides.  The current raised-curb trails on both sides would remain in place.  They also plan to reduce the width of the traffic lanes from the current 12’ to 11’.

See map and Hennepin County's full plan here.

The county’s stated reason for their 3-lane plan is to “enhance safety and mobility for all users”.  It actually would do quite the opposite. Some facts:

  • Baker Road currently serves a traffic volume of about 10,000 vehicles/day over an area with a number of subdivision and other entrances
  • The county’s own crash data shows the current 4-lane design to be very safe.  Over their 4-year study there were no pedestrian accidents, possibly 1 bike accident, and 7 or fewer (1 or 2/yr.) crashes involving a left turn.  No justification for the proposed turn lane or shoulders.
  • The county’s claims of benefits provided by the 3-lane plan are unsubstantiated; some even relate to conditions that do not even exist in the part of Baker Rd. they propose to change.
  • The county has failed to identify any of the new safety problems their 3-lane plan would create, not the least of which a 1 ½ mile section of active road with no provision for slower and faster traffic to pass.

One would hope that our government entities, in this case the county, function in the interest of residents’ safety and wellbeing; also assign staff who is unbiased and professionally qualified to do the job well.  The county’s 3-lane initiative would create more congestion for the residents of our area and others who travel Baker Road every day.  It would also introduce new safety issues, that could impact residents and their families.

In the absence of indicated safety issues and no information from the county on how their 3-lane proposal would work to make Baker Road safer, it is clearly the better option to maintain the current road configuration.  The significant problems which could arise from having no passing lane on well over a mile of active road could be avoided.  Hopefully we can also avoid the experience described in the Star Tribune article of January 21,2021 – “Lane drop befuddles N.E. Mpls. Motorists”, which is similar in some respects to our Baker Road situation.

URGENT - Residents of Eden Prairie's Forest Hills and surrounding neighborhoods - your VOICE is needed now.  Please sign this petition if you agree. We will keep you apprised of any meetings concerning the lane reduction, either by Hennepin County and/or Eden Prairie City Council.

  • Call and/or email:
    • Mayor Ron Case
      952-949-8593

    • Council Member Mark Freiberg
      612-581-7504

    • Council Member PG Narayanan
      952-393-3100

    • Council Member Kathy Nelson
      952-941-6613

    • Council Member Lisa Toomey
      952-388-8827

    • Eden Prairie City Council - AllCouncil@edenprairie.org
    • Emily Kettell, Senior Transportation Planner
      emily.kettell@hennepin.us Phone: 612-543-1963
    • Chad Ellos, Transportation Planning Division Manager, chad.ellos@hennepin.us,  Phone: 612-596-0395