Meet Susan Altenbach

Susan Altenbach has lived in her Lynnhurst home for 26 years. She loves the easy access to walking and biking trails around the lakes and Minnehaha Creek. Though she does have a car, she believes it’d be possible to live without one, thanks to public transportation and the proximity to so many shops and services in the area. 

Susan loves her neighbors and would like to organize more neighborhood gatherings so people will get to know each other better. In her experience, live music and grilled food often work to attract a crowd! She loves the vibrancy that successful businesses bring to the neighborhood. She would like to see even more of that and hopes others will join her in supporting projects that would make the neighborhood more diverse. 

A passion for people and their safety is paramount to Susan’s work. She and her husband, Howard Merriam, started DEZIGNLINE, a design firm that creates “innovative, rapidly-deployable, cost-effective systems” that physically separate vehicular traffic from bike lanes and pedestrian zones.” Susan was inspired to help save lives and prevent injuries after two friends died and a third was injured after being hit on their bicycles by a distracted driver. 

If you go to 7th & Chicago Avenue S in Minneapolis, you’ll see a DEZIGNLINE solution in place. In collaboration with another company, Dero and the City of Minneapolis Public Works, they installed PEDRAIL™ which creates what’s known as a “bump-out” barrier at the intersection. Pedestrians benefit from increased visibility and decreased distance across the intersection. The PEDRAIL™ is often on display at Open Streets events which close major thoroughfares to car traffic, opening them up for people walking, biking, rolling, and playing.