City Rebuilding: The University Avenue Bus Corridor


Mary Vogel, James Pettinari, Lance Neckar

October 1997

Report no. CTS 05-13

Transit service can greatly affect the form and vitality of a city. This work examines the opportunity to revitalize the University Avenue transit service as part of a permanent transit-oriented corridor. Because University Avenue has traditionally connected important destinations, the current service is one of the most successful in the Twin Cities. However, changing economic conditions in the districts along the avenue threaten its vitality. Transit-oriented redevelopment could be a solution.

Because long-term investments in transit oriented development on this avenue would require incentives beyond the current tax abatement, several kinds of physical changes are recommended in this document:

  • Retrofitting the 120-foot-wide portion University Avenue Corridor as a dedicated bus transit-way.
  • Rezoning infill parcels to revitalize street frontages and reduce requirements for off-street parking.
  • Urbanistic ideas for infill development, including an emphasis on medium- to high-density residential and mixed-use retail and office.

These physical ideas seem well supported by the demographics and many of the cultural, political, and economic issues that need to be addressed in concert with transit redesign efforts. This integrated approach is critical to the rebuilding of the core of the Twin Cities and balancing the surge of suburban development.

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