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2009 Transportation News Archive

SnOasis Offers Free Off-Street Parking For Snow Emergencies
Campus Shuttle Service Changes Slightly For Winter Break
Fall Finals Week Affects Campus Shuttle Service
Bike Rack Removal Scheduled For Saturday, November 21
Don't delay! Student Parking Contract Lottery Open Until December 3
New Bus Service Starts in North Metro of the Cities
Southbound I-35W Ramp to Hwy 280 in Roseville Closed Through October
Raymond Avenue Closed Starting September 8
New Direct Bus Service to the U from Maple Grove
U of M Recognized with 100 Best Fleet Award for Fifth Year
Fall U-Passes On Sale Now!
Construction Work Begins Along Pleasant Street
Kolthoff Bicycle Connection Closed Until End of Summer
Campus Shuttles Run More During Welcome Week
Minnesota State Fair Takes Over Some U Parking Lots Beginning Thursday, August 27
University Avenue Lane Closed For Two Evenings
Raymond Avenue Closes June 29-July 10
Westbound I-94 to close in Minneapolis from June 12-15
University Avenue Closes For Two June Weekends
Traffic Changes Around Highway 280
Eastbound I-94 to close in Minneapolis June 5-8
Concrete Repairs Close Ramp From Northbound Hwy 280 To University Ave Beginning June 3
Weekend Closure Set For Southbound Hwy 280 in Lauderdale
Washington Avenue Bridge Upper Deck Opens
U Awarded Grant for Campus Bike Center
Stretch of Como Avenue Closed For Two Months
Lanes Closed Along University Avenue
Spring City Street Sweeping Begins Tuesday, April 14
Washington Avenue Bridge Work Reduces Traffic to Two Lanes Beginning March 5
Campus Shuttles Get New Look
Washington Avenue Bridge Upper Deck Partially Closed
SnOasis Offers Free Off-Street Parking For Snow Emergencies
Larpenteur Avenue Ramp to Highway 280 Closes For Five Weeks
Maroon, 33 and 37 Lots In Pay-Enter Mode; March 13-14, 18-19 and 25-26
Campus Shuttle Service Changes For Spring Break
MN State High School Boy's Hockey Tournament Parking
New East Bank Circulator Route Beginning January 20
Campus Connector Route Diverted in St. Paul, February 16-20
4th Street Closed Between Oak & 17th Av. SE on February 18
Campus Connector Route Diverted in St. Paul, February 16-20
4th Street SE Temporarily Closed, February 13-15
Attend Public Meetings on Public Bicycle System Proposal
Westbound Lane on Washington Avenue Bridge Closed January 21
Campus Connector Schedule for Martin Luther King Weekend


SnOasis Offers Free Off-Street Parking For Snow Emergencies
Last updated: 11/30/09

NOTE --- PROGRAM DISCONTINUED IN 2010


Once again, PTS wants to remind everyone on campus about SnOasis - free off-street parking on the first evening of declared City of Minneapolis Snow Emergencies.

SnOasis is available at:
- 4th Street Ramp (East Bank)
- 21st Avenue Ramp (West Bank)

We ask that you avoid the top level of the ramp and areas where snow has yet to be cleared or could accumulate.

This program runs in partnership with the City of Minneapolis. Minneapolis Snow Emergencies run 9 pm – 8 am. Visit SnOasis online for additional information.

For your convenience, the links below provide updates on towing and the chance to sign-up for snow alerts (note: these are services are provided by the cities and not affiliated with the University).

City of Minneapolis Snow Alert

City of St. Paul Snow Alert

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Campus Shuttle Service Changes Slightly For Winter Break
Last updated: 12/22/09

The University community should be aware of winter break changes from Monday, December 28 through Friday, January 15. 

During the winter break, Campus Connector buses will run from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. every 15 minutes.  The last bus departs from the St. Paul Student Center at 6 p.m. and the last bus leaves Blegen Hall at 6:05.  Campus connectors will not run during the evening hours.  There is no weekend or holiday Campus Connector service during the break.

None of the Campus Circulators (St. Paul, East Bank, or Washington Avenue Bridge Circulator) will operate during the winter break.

SPECIAL NOTE: Typically, campus shuttle buses do not run on official university holidays.  Shuttle buses WILL run on a special schedule for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Campus Connectors will run on Sunday, January 17 and Monday, January 18 from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. every 30 minutes.

For more busing details, visit the Busing section.

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Fall Finals Week Affects Campus Shuttle Service
Last updated: 12/14/09

During Finals Week (Thursday, December 17 - Wednesday, December 23), University campus shuttles will run as usual on weekdays; Sunday service will not change; and Finals Saturday service will be more frequent than typical.

On Saturday, December 19, campus connectors will run every 15 minutes, instead of every 30 minutes, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. From 10 p.m. until midnight, the connector will run every 30 minutes between the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses.

The East Bank and St. Paul circulators, as well as the Washington Avenue Bridge circulator, will NOT run on Saturday of finals week.

Good luck on finals from Parking and Transportation Services.

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Bike Rack Removal Scheduled For Saturday, November 21
Last Updated: 11/17/09

Bicyclists, be aware! PTS will be removing several bike racks around campus for the winter months.

Do NOT leave your bicycles at a bike rack posted as a "no parking" area. Signs will be posted in the next day.

Bikes left at these locations AND the actual bike racks will be removed on Saturday, November 21.

If an individual wants to retrieve one of these bicycles, please e-mail parking@umn.edu with your detailed information, including description of bike, University ID number and contact information.

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Don't delay! Student Parking Contract Lottery Open Until December 3
Last Updated: 11/19/09

Enter the Student Parking Contract Lottery for a chance to secure a campus parking spot for spring semester. The deadline for entering is Thursday, December 3 at 11:59 p.m.

When you sign up for the Lottery, you’ll be entered in a random drawing that allows selected students to purchase a contract for a guaranteed parking space in a designated facility. It’s important to remember that entering the lottery does not guarantee a parking contract, and contracts purchased through the lottery are valid for only one semester.

The first Student Parking Contract Lottery drawing will take place on Friday, December 4 and students who are selected will only have a limited amount of time to respond. Additional drawings will take place on December 9 and 14, so keep all three dates in mind and watch your e-mail. Go to http://parklot.umn.edu for complete details.

If you have a valid state-issued disability permit, do not enter the lottery. Please contact the Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) customer service desk at 612-626-7275 or e-mail parklot@umn.edu before December 4 for assistance.

Anyone with additional questions should call PTS customer service at 612-626-7275 or e-mail parklot@umn.edu.

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New Bus Service Starts in North Metro of the Cities
Last Updated: 9/14/09

If you live in the north metro region, you’ll soon have more options to hop on an express bus to campus – without having to stop in downtown Minneapolis.

Effective Tuesday, Sept. 8, two new express routes travel non-stop to the University of Minnesota.

· Metro Transit Route 252 will operate between the 95th Avenue Park & Ride facility in Blaine and the U of M. Morning trips leave the Park & Ride at 7:08 a.m., 7:23 a.m. and 8:27 a.m., with return trips leaving at 3:38 p.m., 4:37 p.m. and 5:37 p.m.

· Maple Grove Transit Route 789 will operate between Maple Grove Transit Station and campus. You can pick from morning trips leaving Maple Grove at 7:07 a.m. and 8:07 a.m., with return trips leaving at 4:40 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.

Travel time to campus for both routes is about 30 minutes.

New schedules are available online: Route 789 and Route 252.

For help planning your trip, use the interactive Trip Planner or call 612-373-3333. More information about Route 789 also is available here.

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Southbound I-35W Ramp to Hwy 280 in Roseville Closed Through October

The ramp from southbound Interstate 35W to Highway 280 in Roseville closed early Tuesday, Sept. 8 and will remain closed through the end of October.

The ramp was closed as crews reconstruct the traffic signal system at Highway 280 and Broadway Street, construct the center median and install guardrail and storm sewer between the junction of I-35W/Highway 36/Highway 280 and Broadway Street.

Additional work includes construction of a frontage road on the west side of the highway and a permanent cul de sac at Ramsey County Road B on the east side of the highway.

During the closure, southbound I-35W motorists may continue south and use the ramp from westbound Highway 36 in order to reach southbound Highway 280. Drivers are advised to use alternate routes to avoid congestion.

Additional information is available at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy280/index.html.

Statewide traffic, construction and travel information is available by dialing 5-1-1 or logging on to www.511mn.org.

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Raymond Avenue Closed Starting September 8

Beginning on Tuesday, September 8, Raymond Avenue will be closed between Como Avenue and Energy Park Drive due to the replacement of the railroad bridge.

The project is expected to be completed after November 7,

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New Direct Bus Service to the U from Maple Grove

Starting on Tuesday, September 8, Maple Grove Transit will begin weekday express bus service directly to campus.

Route 789 service will serve the Minneapolis campus along Washington Avenue. Two inbound trips to the U of M from the Maple Grove Transit Station will operate in the morning and two outbound trips will be provided in the afternoon.

U-Pass and Metropass will be accepted on this bus route.

Visit Maple Grove Transit to learn more and see their news release with all of the details.

If you have any question regarding this service, please contact Mike Opatz, Transit Administrator at 763-494-6005 or transit@ci.maple-grove.mn.us

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U of M Recognized with 100 Best Fleet Award for Fifth Year

The University of Minnesota has once again been honored by the Government Fleet Magazine with the 100 Best Fleets in North America Award. This is the fifth year in a row that the University has received this designation.

Of 38,000 public fleet departments in North America, University of Minnesota was among two universities that made it into the top 100.

Author of 100 Best Fleets in North America Tom C. Johnson, writes “The U of M was recognized especially for their working environment, productivity and their ability to bring to the public sector a quality missing in many municipalities... a sense of urgency.”

The 100 Best Fleets Award recognizes and rewards excellence in government-managed fleets. “The University of Minnesota has excelled enough to be part of this great accomplishment for the last five years of this existing seven-year award,” said Bill Roberts, Associate Director for Parking and Transportation Services.

The 100 Best Fleets is a program sponsored by Invers Mobility Solutions, National Joint Powers Association, Government Fleet Magazine and the 100 Best Fleets in North America program. The purpose is to identify outstanding operations for others to emulate and promote pride in the national fleet industry.

The University of Minnesota has a fleet size of 850 vehicles – mostly cars, vans, trucks and SUVs – including 64 hybrids. Each year, nearly 3.4 million miles are tallied by the 457 vehicles in the central motor pool. As a national leader in converting portions of its fleet to Flexible Fuel Vehicles, the university is one of the greatest users of E85 fuel with more than 20,000 gallons pumped each year. Along with its rent and lease services, Fleet Services conducts driver training programs for the university and maintains a full-service shop on campus. Fleet Services is also charged with fulfilling federal mandates concerning commercial vehicle and driver regulations, and Clean Air Act regulations pertaining to alternatively fueled vehicles.

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Fall U-Passes On Sale Now!
Last Updated: 7/29/09

At $97 a semester, U-Pass is definitely a smart purchase. Unlimited rides on any Twin Cities bus – anywhere, any time. It’s good on the Hiawatha light rail system too.

Fall passes run August 31, 2009 – January 18, 2010. U-Pass is available to all students who are currently registered for any University of Minnesota credit-bearing course and have paid the transportation fee.

U-Pass Holders

Your U-Pass is RENEWABLE. Place your order online for fall semester and charges will be automatically posted to your student account. Then simply continue using your pass.

Even though the price has increased, the U-Pass remains an outstanding value for U of M students. An equivalent, over-the-counter bus pass would cost $113.50 per month.

The U-Pass fee is directly resulted by the University's contract with Metro Transit. The increase is needed to account for many factors, including higher fuel and labor costs, the increase in bus fares effective October 2008, and the increased U-Pass program's operational cost from Metro Transit.

New U-Pass Buyers

Ordering a U-Pass is easy. Go to www.buspass.umn.edu, log in, and place your order. The $97 fee will be automatically posted to your student account.

If you order before Monday, August 17, you can choose to pick up your pass or have it mailed to you. After August 17, you can pick up your pass one hour after you place your order at one of our convenient pick-up locations:

For complete information on U-Pass, visit us online. If you have questions, contact our U-Pass Coordinator at buspass@umn.edu or 612-624-1523.

Be prepared for fall semester. Order your U-Pass today.

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Construction Work Begins Along Pleasant Street
Last Updated: 5/22/09

As a part of the Northrop Chiller Expansion project, traffic along Pleasant Street south of Arlington Street has been restricted to southbound traffic only (no parking allowed).

Two-way bike traffic will be accommodated. Signs will be posted for bikers to follow.

This project is expected to take approximately six weeks. The road should re-open around the week of June 29.

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Kolthoff Bicycle Connection Closed Until End of Summer
Last Updated: 6/2/09

Effective Monday, June 1, the pedestrian and bicycle connection from Kolthoff Hall to the Washington Avenue Bridge will be closed until the end of August.

Pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be directed to cross over Washington Avenue via the bridge to the east of Kolthoff and will be able to access the Washington Avenue Bridge on the south side by the Weisman Art Museum. Signs will be posted.

Both sides of the Washington Avenue Bridge will be open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

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Campus Shuttles Run More During Welcome Week

For the 5,000+ new freshman coming to campus, Welcome Week is their introduction to the U. Campus will be hopping during that week.

The week-long event starts Wednesday, September 2 and goes through Monday, September 7. To help move everyone around during Welcome Week, Campus Connector shuttle buses will run additional hours.

The schedule will be posted at the bus stops and is outlined below:

Through Sunday, August 30: Monday-Friday, 7 am - 6 pm, every 15 minutes
Monday, August 31: 7 am - 10 pm, every 15 minutes
Tuesday, September 1: 6 am - 9 pm, every 15 minutes
Wednesday, September 2: 7 am - 6 pm, every 15 minutes
Thursday, September 3: 7 am - 1 am, every 15 minutes
Friday, September 4: 7 - 8 am, every 15 minutes; 8 am - 6 pm, every 5 minutes; 6-10 pm, every 15 minutes
Saturday, September 5: 8 am - 6 pm, every 15 minutes
Sunday, September 6: 8:30 am - 3 pm, every 15 minutes; 3 pm - midnight, every 40 minutes
Labor Day Monday, September 7: 9:30 am - 9 pm, every 20 minutes

Circulators will not be running during this time period.

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Minnesota State Fair Takes Over Some U Parking Lots Beginning Thursday, August 27

The Minnesota State Fair begins Thursday, August 27 and runs through Monday, September 7. During this time, traffic will increase and parking may be tight. Consider alternate commuting options (carpool, bus, bike or walk).

If you need to drive to campus, please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the traffic control plan and the suggested parking alternatives in your area. BE SURE TO CARRY YOUR U CARD. You will need it to receive the University rate at public parking facilities.

Parking and Transportation Services and the University of Minnesota Police Department thank you for your patience and cooperation during the 2008 Minnesota State Fair. Our goal is to allow faculty, students, staff and visitors open access to campus while still providing a safe environment for the University community.

Find more information by clicking the links below:

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University Avenue Lane Closed For Two Evenings

The center lane of University Avenue near Oak Street SE will be closed Thursday, August 20 and Friday, August 21 from 7 p.m. through 5 a.m. for road construction work.

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Raymond Avenue Closes June 29-July 10
Last Updated: 6/29/09 (revised 7/6/09)

Raymond Avenue from Energy Park Drive to Como Avenue will be closed from June 29 until July 10 for railroad bridge work. The signed detour will travel from Energy Park Drive to Snelling Avenue to Como Avenue.

Signs will be posted in advance to warn drivers of the closure.

Be aware: this road will be closed to traffic again after the State Fair to complete the bridge construction.

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Westbound I-94 to close in Minneapolis from June 12-15
Last Updated: 6/9/09

This weekend, motorists will need to take alternate routes as all lanes of westbound I-94 between I-35W and Hwy 280 in Minneapolis close from 10 p.m., Friday, June 12 through 5 a.m., Monday, June 15.

Crews will prep and paint four bridges. The eastbound lanes, however, will remain open.

Detour route: Northbound Hwy 280 to northbound I-35W, exit at the County Road C, turn left and drive under the bridge, follow the loop to southbound I-35W, continue on southbound I-35W to westbound I-94.

Alternative detour route for motorists east of I-35E: Northbound I-35E to westbound Hwy 36 to southbound I-35W to westbound I-94.

There will be no access from Cretin Ave/Vandalia Street to westbound I-94.

This project is weather-dependent and may need to be rescheduled in the event of rain or high winds.

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University Avenue Closes For Two June Weekends
Last Updated: 6/3/09

All lanes of University Avenue will be closed near the intersection of University Avenue and Oak Street SE for two weekends in June.

1st closure: 7 pm Friday, June 12 through 5 am Monday, June 15
2nd closure: 7 pm Friday, June 26 through 5 am Monday, June 29

Detour signs will direct traffic north onto 17th Avenue SE, east onto 5th Street SE, and south onto 23rd Avenue SE. Additional signs indicating that access remains open to the McNamara Alumni Center and the University Avenue Ramp will also be posted.

This final restoration completes the Metropolitan Council's eight month long construction project in conjunction with the TCF Bank Stadium and other East Gateway District construction projects.

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Traffic Changes Around Highway 280
Last Updated: 5/18/09

This past weekend, northbound Hwy 280 traffic at Larpenteur Avenue was moved to the on and off ramps, and southbound Hwy 280 has been moved to the on and off ramp in preparation for demolition of the Larpenteur Avenue bridge from May 18-22.

Traffic will continue to use the on and off ramps at Larpenteur Avenue until the end of June while crews build the center pier for the new bridge across Hwy 280. Once the center pier is completed, traffic will shift back to a single lane in each direction on Hwy 280 while the bridge abutments are built.

Additional restrictions during the next few weeks include:

Statewide traffic, construction and travel information is available by calling 511 or logging on to www.511mn.org.

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Eastbound I-94 to close in Minneapolis June 5-8
Last Updated: 6/5/09

All lanes of eastbound I-94 between I-35W and Riverside Avenue in Minneapolis will close from 10 p.m. Friday, June 5 through 5 a.m. Monday, June 8 as crews prep and paint four bridges. Westbound lanes will remain open.

Motorists will be detoured from eastbound I-94 to northbound I-35W to eastbound Hwy 36 to southbound I-35E.

The ramp from eastbound I-94 to southbound Hwy 55 will remain open.

Eastbound I-94 will be accessible to motorists from Cretin Ave./Vandalia Street and all access points east of Cretin Avenue/Vandalia Street.  

In addition, Cedar Ave. will be reduced to one lane in each direction between 9 a.m. Friday, June 5 and 5 a.m. Monday, June 15.

This project is weather-dependent and may need to be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.

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Concrete Repairs Close Ramp From Northbound Hwy 280 To University Ave Beginning June 3
Last Updated: 5/28/09

The ramp from northbound Hwy 280 to University Ave in St. Paul closes before morning rush hour on Wednesday, June 3 for concrete repairs. The ramp will be closed for approximately one week.

During the closure, traffic will detour north on Hwy 280 to Energy Park Drive and back south on Hwy 280 to reach the University Ave exit.

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Weekend Closure Set For Southbound Hwy 280 in Lauderdale
Last Updated: 5/28/09

Southbound Hwy 280 will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 29, for installation of a storm sewer pipe beneath the Larpenteur Avenue ramp.

The highway will remain closed until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 1. During the closure, there will be no access to Broadway Street from Hwy 280.

Southbound and northbound Hwy 280 will remain open between Como Avenue and I-94/Southbound Hwy 280 traffic will detour east on Hwy 36, south on I-35E and west on I-94.

Statewide traffic, construction and travel information is available by calling 511 or logging on to www.511mn.org.

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Washington Avenue Bridge Upper Deck Opens
Last Updated: 4/17/09

Hennepin County workers began removal of the fence from the upper deck of the Washington Avenue bridge this week.

On Friday, April 17, pedestrians and bicyclists had full access on the outside walk/bikeways of the upper deck of the bridge (both north and south sides).

All of the fencing from within the enclosed walkway of the bridge should be removed by Wednesday, April 22.

Last September, based on the recommendations of engineering consultants, Hennepin County officials closed the outside portions of the Washington Avenue Pedestrian Bridge due to concerns with the strength of the deck. We thank the university community for its patience during this project.

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U Awarded Grant for Campus Bike Center
Last Updated: 3/13/09

On Tuesday, March 10, the University of Minnesota was awarded $524,000 in Bike Walk Twin Cities funds by Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) to construct a campus Bike Center.

The announcement was made at the site of the to-be-opened U of M Bike Center in the Oak Street Parking Ramp, 401 Oak Street SE by University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Lea Schuster, executive director of Transit for Livable Communities.

The new U of M Bike Center will include an electronic bike trip-planning kiosk, 24-hour accessible secure bike storage, changing facilities, repair service and bike retail opportunities, as well as public meeting space. The University would also use the Bike Center as a collection point for unwanted bicycles.

The Bike Center will be the base for an innovative radio frequency identity system (RFID), which will permit bicyclists, who install an identity tag on their bikes, to earn benefits and incentives, such as reduced costs for tune-ups and commuter goods by simply validating their bike trips.

In addition, the Bike Center will house a bike sharing station. The Minneapolis Bike Share Program, which received a $1.75 million grant from TLC, will be run by Nice Ride Minnesota. Bike Share riders will have the option of purchasing a season pass for about $50, and may check out a bike at any time and return it to a self-service kiosk of their choice. The first 30 minutes are free and additional time is available for a small fee. Day passes are also available. The program will run from April through November.

The Bike Center will be located across from the “Superblock” residence hall complex that houses nearly 3,000 students, and just blocks away from some major transportation corridors – Washington Avenue, University Avenue and East River Parkway.

TLC is the nonprofit organization designated by federal law to administer the $21 million Bike Walk Twin Cities initiative. Bike Walk Twin Cities is a federally-funded initiative to increase biking and walking, and reduce driving in Minneapolis and neighboring communities. Working with local governments, businesses, organizations and residents, the initiative provides public education and allocates funds for safer crosswalks, bike lanes and other improvements.

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Stretch of Como Avenue Closed For Two Months
Last Updated: 3/29/09

Starting on March 30, Como Ave. SE will be closed from 22nd Ave. SE to 24th Ave. SE for approximately two months to finish up this multi-year reconstruction project.

The posted detour will be Como Ave SE to 18th Ave SE to Hennepin Ave to 29th Ave SE.

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Lanes Closed Along University Avenue
Last Updated: 5/4/09

To accommodate construction work being done by the Metropolitan Council, two lanes of University Avenue between 17th Ave. SE and Oak Street will be closed until the end of May.

There will still be access to the University Avenue Ramp via the one lane that will remain open.

We expect traffic congestion, especially during peak times. Motorists should allow additional time to reach destinations or consider alternate routes.

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Spring City Street Sweeping Begins Tuesday, April 14
Last Updated: 4/13/09

Minneapolis Public Works crews begin the comprehensive spring street sweep on Tuesday, April 14, working to clean up all the dirt and grime the melting ice and snow have left behind on streets. Over the course of approximately four weeks, sweepers will take care of all 1,100 miles of city streets.

To make sure the sweepers can do the best job possible, temporary “No Parking” signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance to make sure streets are clear of parked vehicles. Vehicles not in compliance with “No Parking” signs will be ticketed and towed to the Minneapolis Impound Lot.

In addition to the “No Parking” signs that will be posted the day before sweepers come through, the City will make about 3,500 automated phone calls each evening to let residents know their street will be swept the next day.

Residents can go to www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/streetsweep to find out which week their street is scheduled to be swept. The weekend before that week, they can revisit the Web site to find out which day of the week the street is scheduled to be swept.

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Washington Avenue Bridge Work Reduces Traffic to Two Lanes Beginning March 16
Last Updated: 3/10/09

Starting Monday, March 16, vehicular traffic on the Washington Avenue Bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction so workers can begin structural enhancements to the pedestrian walkway above. The project is expected to be completed in early May.

A reduced speed limit will be posted on the bridge and motorists are asked to exercise caution in the work area. At times the bridge may become congested. University commuters and visitors are advised to allow extra travel time if using that route or may want to consider alternate travel routes.

The bridge work consists of adding cross bracing to the center roadway columns on the bottom of the bridge deck and placing 56 longitudinal supports to the underside of the pedestrian deck in 14 locations.

The Washington Avenue Bridge upper pedestrian deck will remain open to walkers and bikers during the reconstruction.

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Campus Shuttles Get New Look
Last updated: 12/2/08

PTS officially introduced the new line at a rollout event on December 1. On hand were three buses; a 40 ft. Van Hool, a 60 ft. Van Hool and the University's first hybrid bus. Attendees viewed the new exterior design and checked out the sharp-looking interiors, complete with comfortable seats bearing the University M.

The Van Hools are the first of their type to be used in the Midwest. The 16 new Van Hools, along with the hybrid bus, will replace an older fleet that experienced repeated breakdowns. The life expectancy of the new buses is 1/2 million miles over approximately 12 years.

The new Van Hool buses are more rider-friendly. With the rider controlled push buttons inside and outside, riders can open the doors even when the driver doesn’t see them. This feature also helps contain the heat or air conditioning thereby saving energy. The buses also “kneel” meaning that the entire right side of the bus lowers using air pressure coming closer to the street plane, making it easier for riders to board and exit. The buses also have either three or four wide double doors for faster loading/unloading times.

Hybrid buses use less gas and cause less pollution.

The entire campus shuttle fleet - including mini-buses and vans - will be converted to the new exterior look in time for the start of spring semester.

The buses -- with the exception of the hybrid bus -- are owned by First Transit. The University contracts with First Transit for its campus shuttle services.

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Washington Avenue Bridge Upper Deck Partially Closed
Last Updated: 9/4/08

Based on the recommendations of engineering consultants, Hennepin County officials have closed the outside portions of the Washington Avenue Pedestrian Bridge. While other scenarios were considered as fencing was constructed, county officials decided that use of the pedestrian level must be limited until the deck is strengthened.

As of September 3, all pedestrians and bicyclists must use the middle area inside the covered enclosure. For safety purposes, bicyclists must dismount and walk their bikes across the bridge. Congestion on the bridge will be significant, so please continue to be considerate and cooperative to other members of the University community.

We understand the University community's concern over the bridge closure and the frustration with the changing plans. We will continue to work closely with County officials to protect the safety of our community and ensure adequate pedestrian and bicycle movement across the Mississippi River.

Hennepin County plans to fast track this project and work is expected to be completed in the spring.

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SnOasis Offers Free Off-Street Parking For Snow Emergencies
Last updated: 12/11/08

In partership with the City of Minneapolis, PTS is offering free off-street parking on the first day only of a declared City of Minneapolis Snow Emergency.

Patrons must enter after 8 pm and exit before 8 am. Drivers exiting past 8 am will pay the maximum daily rate including overnight hours. If the facility is accommodating an event, patrons will be charged the event rate until 30 minutes past the start of the event.

We ask that you avoid the top level of the ramp and areas where snow has yet to be cleared or could accumulate.

SnOasis is available at:

Minneapolis Snow Emergencies run 9 pm – 8 am. Go to the SnOasis site for additional information.

Visit the links below for updates on towing and to sign-up for snow alerts (note: these are services are provided by the cities and not affiliated with the University).

City of Minneapolis Snow Alert: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/snow/esubscribe.asp
City of St. Paul Snow Alert: http://www.stpaul.gov

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Larpenteur Avenue Ramp to Highway 280 Closes For Five Weeks
Last Updated: 3/3/09

Beginning March 2, motorists will find a five-week closure of the ramp from Larpenteur Avenue to northbound Highway 280.

The ramp closure is needed so Xcel Energy crews can relocate high-voltage powerlines. The overhead lines are being moved underground prior to reconstruction of the Larpenteur Avenue bridge and interchange at Highway 280 in Lauderdale.

Westbound traffic on Larpenteur Avenue now detours on Eustis Street, Como Avenue and 29th Street to Hennepin Avenue. The detour for the on ramp from Larpenteur Avenue to northbound Highway 280 will be Industrial Boulevard to northbound Interstate 35W.

Additional weekend closures are scheduled for Highway 280 and Larpenteur Avenue. Those complete closures are planned the weekends of March 7 and 8; March 14 and 15; and March 21 and 22.

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Maroon, 33 and 37 Lots In Pay-Enter Mode; March 13-14, 18-19 and 25-26
Last Updated: 3/2/09

To efficiently accommodate Minnesota State High School League hockey and basketball tournament events, patrons using Lot 33, Lot 37 and Maroon Lot will be asked to pay the parking fee upon entering the facility during the following dates: March 13-14, March 18-19 and March 25-26. The parking rate will remain at $3.75 and patrons may pay with cash or check.

University commuters who regularly park in those locations, please be advised that the lots may fill up early on those dates.

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Campus Shuttle Service Changes For Spring Break

Relax and soak up some sunshine; it’s Spring Break at the U from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20! Our free campus shuttle system adjusts its service this week.

Campus Connector

Campus Circulator (St. Paul, East Bank and Washington Avenue Bridge)

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MN State High School Boy's Hockey Tournament Parking
Last Updated: 3/3/09

On Thursday, March 5, multiple facilities will convert to an event parking rate in order to accommodate the Minnesota State High School League Tournament event.

At 3:45 pm, the parking rate becomes $8.00 for all non-contract patrons. The rate will be in effect at 4th Street Ramp, University Avenue Ramp, Maroon Lot, Northstar Lot, Ski-U-Mah Lot, Lot 33, Lot 37, Lot 51 and Lot 58.

University commuters who regularly park in any of the public locations listed - please be advised that we expect the lots to fill up early that evening.

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New East Bank Circulator Route Beginning January 20
Last Updated: 1/14/09

The East Bank Circulator shuttle will operate on a new route beginning Tuesday, January 20.

The route change occurs on the northern portion of the loop. Previously, the shuttle traveled along 5th Street SE to 15th Avenue SE. The East Bank Circulator will now travel along 5th Street SE and turn left (south) on 17th Avenue SE, then turn right (west) onto 4th Street SE and proceed to 15th Avenue SE.

A new shuttle stop has been created on 4th Street SE, just west of 17th Avenue SE, in front of the 4th Street Ramp. See the new route.

The route was adjusted to accommodate patrons that were relocated from Lot 55 into 4th Street Ramp. The relocation resulted from the loss of a portion of Lot 55 to a building project.

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Campus Connector Route Diverted in St. Paul, February 16-20
Last Updated: 2/18/09

Buford Avenue has reopened. The Campus Connector will resume its regular route beginning Thursday, February 19 at 7 am.

Last Updated: 2/5/09
The Campus Connector will run along a different route through the St. Paul campus due to the closure of a portion of Buford Avenue.

Beginning at 7 am on Monday, February 16, the Campus Connector will travel along the following route:

Exit the Transitway and head west (left) on Commonwealth Avenue; north (right) on Eckles Avenue to Buford Avenue and the shuttle stop adjacent to the St. Paul Student Center. From the St. Paul Student Center, the shuttle will travel south (left) on Cleveland Avenue; east (left) on Carter Avenue; south (right) on Eckles Avenue; east (left) on Commonwealth Avenue to the Transitway.

THE CAMPUS CONNECTOR WILL NOT STOP AT THE FAIRGROUNDS NOR BUFORD/GORTNER. However, during the Connector detour, a mini-coach will shuttle passengers from the Fairgrounds to the St. Paul Student Center. The Fairground mini-coach shuttle will run every 10 minutes and will operate 7 am – 6 pm.

The detour will be in effect until 10 pm on Friday, February 20 OR until Buford Avenue reopens.

Once the Connector resumes its regular route, the mini-coach shuttle from the Fairground will cease running.

Buford Avenue will be closed between Buford Circle and Gortner Avenue so crews can remove chiller units from atop Magrath Library, McNeal Hall and the Biological Sciences Center.

The road closure does not affect the St. Paul Circulator.

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4th Street Closed Between Oak & 17th Av. SE on February 18

To accommodate construction work being done by the Metropolitan Council, a section of 4th Street SE between 17th Av. SE and Oak Street will be closed beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18 until 6 a.m. on Thursday, February 19.

Traffic will be detoured at Oak Street one block north to 5th Street SE.

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Campus Connector Route Diverted in St. Paul, February 16-20
Last Updated: 2/5/09

The Campus Connector will run along a different route through the St. Paul campus due to the closure of a portion of Buford Avenue.

Beginning at 7 am on Monday, February 16, the Campus Connector will travel along the following route:

Exit the Transitway and head west (left) on Commonwealth Avenue; north (right) on Eckles Avenue to Buford Avenue and the shuttle stop adjacent to the St. Paul Student Center. From the St. Paul Student Center, the shuttle will travel south (left) on Cleveland Avenue; east (left) on Carter Avenue; south (right) on Eckles Avenue; east (left) on Commonwealth Avenue to the Transitway.

THE CAMPUS CONNECTOR WILL NOT STOP AT THE FAIRGROUNDS NOR BUFORD/GORTNER. However, during the Connector detour, a mini-coach will shuttle passengers from the Fairgrounds to the St. Paul Student Center. The Fairground mini-coach shuttle will run every 10 minutes and will operate 7 am – 6 pm.

The detour will be in effect until 10 pm on Friday, February 20 OR until Buford Avenue reopens.

Once the Connector resumes its regular route, the mini-coach shuttle from the Fairground will cease running.

Buford Avenue will be closed between Buford Circle and Gortner Avenue so crews can remove chiller units from atop Magrath Library, McNeal Hall and the Biological Sciences Center.

The road closure does not affect the St. Paul Circulator.

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4th Street SE Temporarily Closed, February 13-15
Last Updated: 2/13/09

4th Street SE at Oak Street SE will close for periods of time this weekend so that crews can install piping. The road will be closed beginning at 10:30 pm on Friday, February 13. It will open at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 14, close that evening at 10:30 pm, and re-open at 9 am on Sunday, February 15.

Traffic heading west will be rerouted to 5th Street SE. This work will not affect access into any University parking facility. Pedestrian walkways will remain open and bike lanes should not be affected.

Patrons coming to campus for events this weekend may want to allow extra time if they are traveling in the vicinity of 4th Street and Oak.

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Attend Public Meetings on Public Bicycle System Proposal
Last Updated: 1/26/09

Please join representatives from Parking and Transportation Services and Nice Ride Minnesota for an open forum to discuss a public bike system on campus and throughout the City of Minneapolis. We want to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Date Location Time
Wednesday February 4, 2009 Calhoun Square Atrium, Lake & Hennepin, Uptown 7:00 pm
Tuesday February 10, 2009 Coffman Memorial Union, The Whole (basement level) U of M Campus 7:00 pm
Thursday February 12, 2009 Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall 5:30 pm

RSVP to Andrea Peterson at andrea.petersen@ci.minneapolis.mn.us (include which meeting you will attend). Your name will be added to a list of persons interested in receiving updates on the public bicycle project.

Modern public bicycle systems make it easy for commuters, students, and apartment residents to use a bike for short trips. Sturdy, upright bikes with lights, fenders, and cargo space are locked in self-service kiosks located throughout the city.

This proposal is sponsored by the City of Minneapolis and the City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation. To learn more, go to www.niceridemn.com.

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Westbound Lane on Washington Avenue Bridge Closed January 21
Last Updated: 1/20/09

From 9 am – 3 pm on Wednesday, January 21, one westbound lane will be closed to traffic on the Washington Avenue Bridge so Hennepin County may perform bridge assessment.

This closure does not affect the pedestrian deck of the Washington Avenue Bridge.

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Campus Connector Schedule for Martin Luther King Weekend
Last Updated: 1/09/09

The Campus Connector shuttle will operate on a special schedule for Martin Luther King weekend.

Saturday, 1/17 – no service.

Sunday, 1/18 – Shuttle runs 9 am – 9 pm, every 30 minutes.
Westbound buses will begin in St. Paul on the hour and half hour. The last bus of the day departs at 9 pm.
Eastbound buses will leave Blegen Hall at 15 minutes after the hour and 15 minutes before the hour. The last bus of the day departs at 9:15 pm.

Monday, 1/19 – same schedule as Sunday.

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Media Contact:

Jacqueline Brudlos
612-624-4161