Get BAC in the loop with a review of this month’s Bicycle Advisory Committee Engineering Subcommittee meeting. The Subcommittee meetings are open to the public, and occur every third Tuesday of the month, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Colonial Warehouse Building, 212 3rd Ave N, Suite 404. If you will be attending a future meeting or have questions, you may want to contact the Subcommittee Chair, Ciara Schlichting. If you are interested in being included on the email list for the subcommittee, which includes updates on meeting dates and agendas for each meeting, contact Matthew Dyrdahl, the committee staff member.
This week saw a slew of presentations and updates on various projects around the city.
- Midtown Greenway Connections Improvements
- 5th Street Ramp Repurpose
- 1st Avenue North Redesign
- Nicollet Avenue South Redesign
- Blaisdell Avenue South Redesign
- 3rd Avenue South Redesign Update
The Midtown Greenway
Lisa Middag of Hennepin County Community Works presented results of research and community outreach conducted by the Midtown Community Works Partners (Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, the Midtown Greenway Coalition and the Lake Street Council). The results presented four challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the continued success of the greenway.
Connecting to the transportation network - The results show that Greenway entrances are hard to find and gaps in the network make navigation difficult.
Getting to key destinations - A more extensive wayfinding system needs to be implemented throughout the Greenway in order to help better orient new users and visitors.
Greenway for All - People of color surveyed responded that they don’t feel welcome on the Greenway and it doesn’t seem like it’s for them and their families.
Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety - Many connections to and from the Greenway feel unsafe, creating barriers of entry to nearby business hot spots.
From these challenges, the goals of the improvements are to fix gaps in the system, increase wayfinding, improve safety, and increase equity along the Midtown Greenway. There is a public comment period coming up soon about the specific interventions that will be used. Go to hennepin.us/midtown for more information and to follow the project.
5th Street Ramp Repurpose
With the construction of a new exit ramp from I-94 WB to 7th Street S in downtown Minneapolis, Public Works is proposing to repurpose the use of the current 5th Street S exit ramp. The goal of the project is to add another connection from downtown Minneapolis to the Cedar/Riverside Neighborhood. The project will retrofit the road and bridge to connect 11th Avenue S to 15th Avenue S. The designs include a separated bike lane and pedestrian lane except along the bridge where a shared use path must be implemented because of the constraints along the bridge. Go to the project website to see the proposed concept plan. Public Works hopes to receive layout approval from the city council within the next two legislative cycles. The subcommittee moved to support the concept plan but raised concerns about the Hiawatha Trail crossing at 15th Avenue S and hoped the dysfunction of that crossing could be addressed during the construction.
1st Avenue N Redesign
Last year, Public Works experimented and determined that 1st Avenue North can be restriped to only have one lane of moving traffic in each direction. The restriping project will occur between 8th Street S and Washington Avenue. Due to the conditions of the current substandard bike lane, the redesign will move parking back to the curb and stripe a buffered bike lane in each direction. With parking back at the curb, the city is hoping to utilize parklets to extend pedestrian space into what would otherwise be parking spaces. The subcommittee was anxious to lose a protected bike lane but acknowledged that it was not serving anyone properly. The subcommittee moved to support the project but will be looking for strong consideration from the city for a protected bike lane in the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction. Stay tuned for more information, there is not a project website yet.
Nicollet Avenue S Redesign
In this coming summer of 2016, Public Works will be sealcoating Nicollet from 61st Street to 40th Street. The project includes an unprotected bike lane for the length of the corridor. The available parking on both sides of the street will be minimally affected along the corridor. Also, there are now eleven left turn lanes along the length of the project area but after completion, there will only be four. The Subcommittee moved to support the project that still requires city council approval.
Blaisdell Avenue S Redesign
The redesign of Blaisdell is in conjunction with the Nicollet redesign to create an extended southbound bike lane from 31st to 60th Street. Blaisdell will be restriped from 31st to 40th Street to create a buffer and bollard protected bike lane on the west side of the street, one lane of moving traffic, and one lane of parking on the east side of the street. The project will establish left turn lanes at some intersections through the corridor and will implement mixed zones for bikes and cars through the intersection. The BAC expressed concerns about the design of the transition to one lane between 31st and 32nd Street and the traffic turning into the parking bay along that block. The Subcommittee moved to support the project layout which requires city council approval in the spring.
3rd Avenue S Update
See Jeremy Bergerson’s post for a break down of the updates presented at the Subcommittee Meeting.