The University of Minnesota wanted to evaluate circulation improvements to enhance the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum patron experience and mitigate current vehicular backups onto Highway 5/Arboretum Boulevard during peak visitor windows. The Arboretum receives almost 500,000 visitors per year and is named the best botanical garden in North America by USA Today. The pre-design project explored recommendations from the 2018 Master Plan Update as well as opportunities being considered as part of the Arboretum Area Transportation Study led by Carver County and MnDOT.
Bolton & Menk worked with the Arboretum to evaluate initial transportation improvements to patron access and egress to provide a more efficient and intuitive driver experience into the Arboretum and desired destination nodes. The pre-design effort concluded with recommendations and conceptual designs for a new access at Minnewashta Parkway, improved and expanded parking lots and internal circulation, consolidated pedestrian routing to improve safety, siting for a new Apple House building, and recommendations to reduce congestion on Highway 5 by adjusting ticketing practices based on peak periods. The new design will allow for payment on entry on most days and payment on exit during busier days. With the help of our team, the Arboretum will be able to implement smart, safe, and sustainable solutions that will improve circulation and safety through the area.