Minneapolis city officials anticipate traffic challenges around Target Field before and after Twins games.
Traffic officials presented a plan Thursday they say should move fans on foot and in cars in and out of downtown as smoothly as possible. Fans walking to the ballpark will see new signs and greeters will be on hand to give directions. Drivers will get help from signs directing them where to park and how to get to nearby freeways.
Steve Mosing, a traffic engineer for the city, said Minneapolis will also re-time stop lights near the ball park to speed traffic to and from the area.
"This effort will also benefit other venues downtown as it is for events," Mosing said. "And so other venues will be able to benefit from these timings that will go in as part of the ballpark plan."
Mosing said most of the changes will be ready in time for the March 27 open house and University of Minnesota men's baseball game at Target Field.
The city will also restrict auto traffic near the ballpark for at least an hour after Twins games to allow pedestrians to leave the area. Council member Lisa Goodman, who represents much of downtown, said hopefully Twins fans won't be in a big hurry to leave.
"Part of our strategy is for people not to leave downtown after the games but actually to be able to park and stay [and] to let traffic move on and enjoy the fact that this ballpark is within walking distance of literally hundreds of restaurants and shops and retail establishments and hotels," Goodman said.