2011 – a big year for bikes with more to come in 2012
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 3:32pm | by blindeke
by Amber Collett, Bike Walk Twin Cities
It’s no secret that folks like to bike in the Twin Cities. Every year the cycling community grows –and I’m sure this year will be no exception (stay tuned for the 2011 Count Report release scheduled for Dec. 16th!) With supportive city leadership, committed advocacy organizations, and a set of dedicated funds made available through the nonmotorized transportation pilot program (called Bike Walk Twin Cities), Minneapolis has earned it’s spot as the number one city for bicycling in the nation
As I look back on the year, I can’t help but focus on the huge stride forward our city made in building out our cycling infrastructure. More than 75 miles of on-street bike lanes have been added to our network since the start of the Bike Walk Twin Cities program–this is great news!
Here is a little bit more about some of the most innovative projects that hit the pavement this year:
Fresh Bike Boulevard pavement markings on the Riverlake Greenway in South Minneapolis
The RiverLake Greenway runs east-to-west in south Minneapolis, along 40th and 42nd Streets:
- Along 42nd Street East, between West River Parkway and Nokomis Avenue
- On Nokomis Avenue, from 42nd Street East to 40th Street East
- Along 40th Street East, between Nokomis Avenue to Kings Highway and Lake Harriet Parkway
Check out this video explaining what bicycle boulevards using the Riverlake Greenway as an example.
Bryant Avenue Bicycle Boulevard
Green transition zone of Bryant Ave. Bicycle Boulevard
This is the longest of the new bike routes in Minneapolis, providing a north-south route from West 58th Street to downtown Minneapolis, via the bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Lyndale Avenue and the bike path to Loring Park. The route includes new medians at Franklin Avenue to make crossing easier for bicycles and people walking. There also will be easier access for bicycles to the Minnehaha Parkway bicycle trail. The route runs roughly parallel to Lyndale Avenue.
University of Minnesota Bike Center
University of Minnesota Bike Center during construction
The new bike center in the Oak Street ramp includes retail sales and repair from the Hub Bicycle Coop, and (with membership) 24-7 key-card access to showers, changing rooms, and secure bike parking. The Center also offers classes and meeting space. With 70,000 students and faculty at the Twin Cities campus, there is great opportunity to get around more smoothly by riding bicycles (including Nice Ride bicycle-sharing), walking, and using transit. The University Bike Center will also offer the option to sign up for RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to track bicycle usage and be eligible for prizes.
New routes in Downtown Minneapolis –Including an Advisory Bike Lane
New trail adjacent to Valspar that connects into downtown Minneapolis
Cyclists have long waited for a better connection into downtown from the Hiawatha LRT trail. A new bike path now exists adjacent to the Valspar parking lot, connecting to westbound bicycle lanes on 3rd Street South and eastbound lanes on 4th Street South.
Another new project, on East 14th, 15th, and 16th Streets, brings "Advisory Bike Lanes" to the United States for the first time. Advisory bike lane streets are low-traffic narrow streets with bike lanes in each direction and one center lane for autos. If no cyclists are present, cars can drive on top of the bike lanes (this is not true for other bike lanes). If cyclists are present, cars use the center lane to pass. Here is a recent blog from my coworker at Bike Walk Twin Cities, Steve Clark, that goes into more detail about the advisory bike lane.
New routes in Northeast Minneapolis
Two directional bike lane on 5th St.
Northeast Minneapolis has had few routes for a growing population, but that changed with three new routes (and a fourth in 2012). The new 5th Street Bicycle Boulevard, featuring the state's first bicycle stop light and bicycle signal detection, runs from Dinkytown through the Nordeast shopping area and up to 26th Avenue North. (Much of the route runs parallel to University Avenue.) Two new east-west bike ways intersect it-the 22nd Avenue bike way and a new off-road bike path on 18th Avenue. In 2012, the Presidents Bicycle Boulevard will provide another north-south route on Fillmore and 6th Avenues.
New Bike Lanes in North Minneapolis
Buffered bike lane in North Minneapolis
The new bike lanes on Emerson & Fremont Avenues provide a great north-south route, connecting many great destinations, from North Regional Library (at the intersection of Lowry and Fremont) to the businesses along West Broadway (The Cookie Cart and Avenue Eatery are just down the block from Emerson) to Plymouth Avenue not far from UROC and the Urban League. The Emerson/Fremont lanes connect to bike lanes along 7th Street North and 10th Avenue North, making it easier to connect to downtown and Northeast Minneapolis.
1st and Blaisdell Bike Lanes
Buffered bike lane on 1st Ave.
These new bike lanes connect downtown Minneapolis (via LaSalle heading southbound and Marquette heading north) to the RiverLake Greenway at 40th Street in South Minneapolis. The route features buffered bike lanes along 1st Avenue (between 40th and 33rd) and bike lanes on Blaisdell, with green paint at the high-traffic intersection at Lake Street to make bicyclists and motorists aware of each other.
Want to know more about upcoming projects? Check out www.bikewalkmove.org --a new campaign from Bike Walk Twin Cities!