Bump Outs Being Tested on Busy Xerxes Avenue South

Updated: 01/17/2014 10:16 PM KSTP.com By: Beth McDonough

A heavily traveled street dividing Edina and Minneapolis has residents who live nearby complaining.

Those who reside on either side of Xerxes Avenue South say it's not safe as some drivers are speeding down the narrow road.

Now, Hennepin County is testing a temporary fix. 

The pilot project involves seven bump outs in the two block area between 60th and 62nd, by the Crosstown.

In a “neighborhood notice” Hennepin County Engineer Jim Grube said the bump outs were installed as a short-term solution to safety concerns like traffic, pedestrian and parking troubles for folks living on either side of Xerxes Ave South. 

Edina resident Jeff Sprout told KSTP, "It gets very dangerous for people walking along the sidewalk because cars on the outside lane come very close to the curb."

Longtime Minneapolis resident Casey Ross has seen motorists drive illegally in parking lanes.  He said at times they turn the two lane road into a four lane highway in front of his home. "It would be two straight lanes all the way down and would be horrendous getting in and out of here," Ross said.

About 12,000 to 14,000 cars passing through in a day and add to that Bicyclists and pedestrians getting off buses.

There have been a number of close calls and complaints, so Hennepin County opted to try out the barricades.  Residents we talked to call them a start. 

A motorist told us they create an obstacle course, "they need to be fixed."

The bumps outs are temporary.  Hennepin County is analyzing data from the pilot project throughout the spring to see if the bump outs should become permanent.

The Neighborhood Association is asking the county to reassess the temporary design and reconsider. 

A meeting with both Minneapolis and Edina residents is expected this spring.