The City of Minneapolis is converting Hennepin and 1st Avenues from a one way pair back to two way streets in a back to the future type move (check out the Minneapolis project site). The two way streets were converted to a one way pair in 1980 because of air quality issues. Business owners along the corridors have lobbied city politicians for years to convert the streets back to two way streets because they feel the one way streets limit their vitality and access.
The politicians acquiesced against the recommendations of several traffic engineers. The area will become more congested and going from one way to two way streets will double the number of conflict points for potential crashes. The air quality is expected to pass standards though. The conversion will only take minor construction at a few intersections, the modifcation of the traffic signals along the corridors, a chip seal, and re-striping (painting). The conversion is expected to be completed in early November.
Bike boxes will be incorporated along 1st Avenue, which will be new for the area. New for the U.S. will be the parking lane configuration along 1st Avenue. The cross section (from the City of Minneapolis) shows the outside travel/parking lanes. During the middle of the day, the outside lane will have metered parking. During the evenings and rush hours it will be a travel lane. This isn't new, but having a bike lane between the parked lane and the sidewalk is new. Montreal, Canada and several European cities have this configuraiton. But based on the city's research, this will be new in the U.S. I hope to see a before/after study as part of the project.