When considering the state of Broadway musicals today, it is hard not to be disheartened by the Tony nominees. The Tony nominees are supposed to represent the best of what live theater has to offer, but as time goes on, this seems less and less accurate. To be fair, Broadway is a risky business. According to the Economist , only one in five shows makes a profit. When shows are so rarely successful, the incentive for risk-taking disappears almost entirely.
This year, only seven new shows that premiered on Broadway were eligible for the Best Musical award. With so much work and money being put into each individual show, the goal often becomes to appeal to as many people as possible, resulting in art for the lowest common denominator. This denominator is, more often than not, upper-middle-class white people and tourists.
With the financial risks being what they are, it is much safer to produce shows that are guaranteed successes. The irony here is that despite their flaws, the Tonys seem to recognize and reward originality in form and content among their winners. Despite this, Broadway tends to host just a handful of original shows each season without big names attached to them. Broadway is, and always has been, an elitist medium. But now more than ever, it feels like an elitist corporate medium, touting big names rather than innovative productions. It is futile to ask for Broadway to take more risks with shows.
Good, even. There is parking allowed on Broadway tho east of there before the RR bridge.
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It is crazy, but people are parked there sometimes. One would think that the addition of these local businesses spyhouse, breweries, offices, yoga places, whatevers would have caused some appetite for a reevaluation of that stretch of Broadway in particular.
Furthermore, one would think that these businesses would have an opinion about the unsafe environment around them…. Hennepin County has always been terrible with street design. Lowry too. This actually helps traffic in certain circumstances too, which is the reason why the county installed such a median at Oakland between Park and Portland when they implemented a road diet on 46th St a few years ago. These east-west streets in Minneapolis have intersections every feet, and alley intersections spaced even closer.
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Nice article, Jeff, and I agree that maintaining Broadway in its current form does its user a disservice. Have you reached out to anyone at the County? Whether informally or through a data practices request, I suspect you could get a lot more detail on what the decision-making process was. I strongly doubt the outcome was for lack of deliberating on it.
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I wish the County was more transparent with the process they go through to make these determinations. In some cases, I think the data would convince the general public that additional capacity is worth it. In some others, I think they would disagree. And that disagreement would probably be something worth having? I would love to see a separate entry for W.
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Broadway Ave. The message as I understand it has been that a conversation is not on the table because traffic. A key point is that Hennepin County PW has been talking about changing their priorities for a long time, but but not actually doing it. So calling them out on that is justifiable, and excuses are just that….
The idea that you preserve features of a street or road that account for the same or even greater volumes of traffic is — by itself — a political choice.
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A lot of the vehicles would simply move to neighborhood streets and Hwy A certain number of trips would simply not happen, but people still need to go to work. A good thing is that the state government would get a good cleaning as many elected officials representing the metro would be out of office if they let this happen. Look what how badly the County bungled Lowry on the northside as an example of their thinking. Overbuilt road in the style of s slum clearing.
You linked to Angela Conley, who is awesome, but Irene Fernando is the new commissioner for this district. Great post including the snark. If Portland and Park avenues in south Mpls can go down to 2 lanes for cars then it sure seems like Broadway could go on a diet, too!
Broadway St NE is awful for pedestrians. Broadway St NE is awful for bikers. Broadway St NE is awful for children. I work right on Broadway, so I interact frequently as a biker, walker and driver. On a bike I favor the sidewalk. Best of luck to those who brave the road on two wheels. This kind street design is unforgiveable, and I cannot fathom that the County is going to re-do it as is. Very disheartening. You hit the nail on the head! Broadway is dangerous. I cannot count the number of times that I have nearly been run over while in a pedestrian crossing during broad daylight.
Quite frankly it is not safe to step off the curb anymore. Dave — it would help if MPD cared about speeding and traffic laws. How do you do a road diet on Broadway with a bridge pier in the center of the road? Broadway should probably be just two lanes under the bridge as it is barely wide enough for two cars as it is. There would probably be room for a bike lane if they went to a single lane under the bridge.
The traffic with 4 lanes is a problem on this road as it stands, so reducing lanes will make this considerably worse. Planning and incentives need to happen on a larger scale to encourage people alternatives to driving in order to remove some vehicles and reduce traffic congestion. Enhanced public transport options should be 1. How would a center lane just for turns cause gridlock when a car needs to turn left?
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The car turning left goes into the center turn lane and the cars going straight continue as normal. A bit more gridlock is a good tradeoff for having far more safety for drivers, people on foot. Do we want to wait until someone in Northeast is killed, or fix the problem now? Are preventing crashes, deaths, and injuries, and boosting walking and quality of life on the sidewalks of Northeast, worth the tradeoff of having a few more seconds of traffic to deal with? I say yes. Mostly due to left hand turning traffic, or then right hand turning traffic and pedestrians.
Both Lowry and Broadway have pitiful sidewalk deficiencies and probably have less pedestrians than some of the stroads with larger sidewalks in south Minneapolis do. I wonder if maybe they should just take Lowry or Broadway and make it more car friendly fix the narrow railroad underpasses and put the other street on a road diet? Make the street pedestrian friendly, bike friendly, or car friendly. Unfortunately, the 3 seem to be mutually exclusive for Broadway unless you were to reduce Broadway to 2 full width lanes no middle lane to widen sidewalks and add bike lanes.
Doing this would probably choke Broadway to a standstill for car traffic.
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Surely a terrible 4-lane death road! I concur, though I still find Broadway more existentially threatening…. Please refrain from attacking or disparaging others in your comments. Please share your perspective in a respectful manner. View our full comment policy to learn more. Bill Lindeke January 29, at am.