On September 25, 2012, Transit for Livable Communities convened a Public Meeting regarding proposed bicycle facilities improvements for Franklin Avenue. The meeting focused on a feasibility study by the Toole Design Group which sets out options for improvement on this Hennepin County roadway. Some of the options presented included a road diet which would allow bicycle lanes for the entire length of Franklin Avenue from Minnehaha to Dupont. Other options presented included the use of sharrows and advisory bicycle lanes. There was also extensive discussion on lane treatments to get bicyclists safely across the 35W bridge. Finally, it was announced at this meeting that Hennepin County has formally rejected any use of ten foot travel lanes for the Franklin Avenue improvements.
There was some discussion regarding why the county will not consider the ten foot travel lane. Apparently, some county engineers have concerns that if they allow ten foot travel lanes on Franklin, it would open the door for ten foot travel lanes and bike lanes on a number of future road projects which in turn would invalidate the life work of some engineers who have worked hard to make moving cars safely throughout the city. The public meeting attendees struggled with trying to understand this attitude as clearly the city is shifting from a car dominant to a multi-modal transportation model.
The Toole Design Group representative said they will present their proposal within the next 2 weeks. Stay tuned.