American Boulevard West Traffic Study

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Consultation has concluded

Project study area

American Boulevard - East Bush Lake Road to Norman Center Drive

- Project Decision -

Thank you for all of the public comments received throughout this study process. At the February 22, 2021 City Council Meeting the Council approved these recommended improvements on American Boulevard to be included in the 2021-102 PMP Overlay project that will take place during the 2021 construction season. With this decision, the project will include striping modifications between East Bush Lake Road and Norman Center Drive with one lane in each direction, a center dual left turn lane, and bike lanes. The project will also

American Boulevard - East Bush Lake Road to Norman Center Drive

- Project Decision -

Thank you for all of the public comments received throughout this study process. At the February 22, 2021 City Council Meeting the Council approved these recommended improvements on American Boulevard to be included in the 2021-102 PMP Overlay project that will take place during the 2021 construction season. With this decision, the project will include striping modifications between East Bush Lake Road and Norman Center Drive with one lane in each direction, a center dual left turn lane, and bike lanes. The project will also include a new crosswalk with pavement markings, signage and a pedestrian refuge island on the west leg of American Boulevard at Normandale Lake Boulevard. Once this project begins, project updates can be found on this webpage: https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/eng/pavement-management-program-pmp-updates


- Proposed Project -

Engineering staff are developing a traffic safety improvement plan to address concerns identified along American Boulevard with the goal to implement improvements with the upcoming 2021 Pavement Management Program Overlay project in the Normandale Lake District.

Project Background and Goals

The main objective of the study it to identify the best utilization of the existing roadway, between the existing curb lines, that can help to improve the user experience and safety for all modes of travel along American Boulevard. The primary issues that have been voiced by residents in this area or identified in previous plans for the District include:

  • Pedestrian Safety, American Boulevard at Normandale Lake Drive– recent and current development projects in the area are completing the sidewalk network along American Boulevard. However, even with the sidewalks in place, there is a long distance between controlled pedestrian crossing locations along American Boulevard and it is difficult for pedestrians to cross American Boulevard to get between the residential and office areas on the north side of the roadway to the rest of the elements within the District, including Normandale Lake Park. There have been specific requests for a crosswalk at American Boulevard and Normandale Lake Boulevard.
  • Speeding, American Boulevard – Residents and office tenants in the area have voiced concerns with drivers speeding on American Boulevard leading to difficulties for drivers to judge gaps for drivers entering or exiting American Boulevard to/from the side streets and driveways.

Existing Conditions

American Boulevard between East Bush Lake Road and Norman Center Drive is primarily a 4-lane, undivided roadway, with two lanes in each direction and with some median separation and dedicated turn lanes on the west end, approaching East Bush Lake Road.

While traffic data was not collected in 2020 during the COVID influenced traffic changes, historic traffic volume and speed data was available. The traffic volumes on this segment of American Boulevard range from 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles per day (vpd). There is no recorded speed data available but the Police Department and Traffic Engineering have been contacted in the past and driver awareness (speed wagon) measures and enforcement have been implemented.

In response to the 2019 requests for pedestrian crosswalk improvements at Normandale Lake Boulevard, a signal warrant analysis was completed. This included collecting pedestrian and traffic counts and analysis to determine if, and when, a traffic signal may be warranted at this intersection. The analysis determined that a traffic signal is not anticipated to be needed or justified within the next 10 years and that alternative options for providing a pedestrian crosswalk should be explored. On the day that the pedestrian counts were gathered for the analysis, June 18, 2019, there were 168 pedestrians that crossed American Boulevard at Normandale Lake Boulevard.

The Bloomington Alternative Transportation Plan maps out prioritized routes throughout the system to provide a connected bicycle network. In the plan, this segment of American Boulevard has been identified for a proposed future facility. This would connect to the existing and future on and off-road bike facilities in this area, including the Hyland Trail and the future CP Rail Regional Trail that will connect to Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail in Edina via East Bush Lake Road.

Study Process

  • Data collection
  • Analysis
  • Development of Proposed Changes
  • Public Engagement via “Let’s Talk Bloomington”
  • Planning Commission
  • City Council Public Hearing
  • Implementation in 2021 PMP Project

Study Recommendations

Lane Configuration/Striping Changes

The recommended lane configuration/striping changes on American Boulevard are to convert the existing 4-lane undivided roadway to a 3-lane roadway. This would allow one through lane in each direction, a center two-way dual left turn lane, and striped shoulders on each side of the roadway to accommodate bicyclists and bus stops. Three lane roadways with minimal driveways can accommodate traffic volumes over 15,000 vpd before seeing negative impacts. The traffic volumes on this segment of American Boulevard can be accommodated with the proposed three lane cross section, both now (with 5,000-6,000 vpd) and at the 20 year forecast traffic volumes (12,000 vpd).

The benefits of a 3-lane roadway cross section include the following:

  • Dedicated left turn lanes for improved safety of left turning vehicles at driveways and intersections;
  • Reduction of outlier speeders;
  • Dedicated shoulder space for bicyclists and bus transit stops;
  • Space to construct a pedestrian refuge island at Normandale Lake Boulevard

The attached exhibits (links available on the right side of the project page, Project Exhibits) show the general concepts of the proposed 3-lane striping plans for American Boulevard, but do not represent final plans.

Traffic signal modeling is underway to determine if minor modifications can be made at the traffic signal at American Boulevard and Norman Center Drive/Bridge to allow a single northbound through lane at the signal and eliminate the need for a lane merge north of the signal as well as options for where and how to transition the striping on the west end of the project.

Pedestrian Crosswalk at Normandale Lake Boulevard

Another safety benefit of the striping conversion from a 4-lane roadway to a 3-lane roadway is that there will be space in the center turn lane to construct a pedestrian refuge island for a marked and signed crosswalk across the west leg of American Boulevard at Normandale Lake Boulevard. This crosswalk location is shown on the attached plan sheet exhibits (links available on the right side of the project page, Project Exhibits).

The safety benefits of this type of crosswalk enhancement are:

  • Increased visibility of the pedestrian crossing location with advance pedestrian crossing signage, pedestrian crossing signs in the boulevards and pedestrian refuge island (blank signs shown in the visualization graphic for the pedestrian crossing signs), and high visibility pavement markings;
  • Shortened pedestrian crossing distances and minimized pedestrian exposure. With only a single lane in each direction and a pedestrian refuge island, the pedestrian will be tasked with crossing a single lane of traffic at a time instead of 4 lanes in the current condition.


  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    As a resident and roadway user in this area, please take the time to answer the following four (4) questions to share your comments on your multimodal traffic concerns in the area and to provide feedback on the proposed roadway changes to address the known concerns.

    Consultation has concluded
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