36th Street West Public Meeting
Tuesday, May 6
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saint Mary's Greek Orthodox Church
3450 Irving Ave S Terrace Room (north side of building)
If you live in Southwest Minneapolis, please attend this meeting and offer your support for a protected bike lane connecting the Bryant Avenue bikeway with the Lake Calhoun bike trail. The full connection requires taking some parking spots, so it’s important to show support for this valuable new connection between two existing bikeways.
If you cannot attend the meeting, please contact Council Member Lisa Bender (firstname.lastname@example.org) to show your support.
1. The proposal includes a smart two-way protected bike lane on the south side of 36th Street West extending from the Bryant Avenue bikeway to the Lake Calhoun trails. The two way on the south side makes a lot of sense because there is only one very minor intersection on the south side between Richfield Road and Kings Highway/Dupont. This allows for non-stop and conflict-free riding for basically 8 blocks! More details on why this below.
2. It is important to extend the two-way protected bike lane from Dupont to Bryant. Doing this will make a safe, comfortable connection between major bike routes. The alternative would be on-street bike lanes with a complicated intersection at Dupont, which won't serve people nearly as well. Extending the protected bike lane requires removing a few on-street parking spaces, but the benefits in safety, connectivity, and comfort are worth a small reduction in parking. More people will be able to comfortably access local businesses by bike.
3. The project is also a big benefit for people walking. It includes a new sidewalk along the cemetary where there are bus stops and no sidewalk today. It also narrows the street making it easier to cross.
City staff first started engaging the community on this project in August 2012. The community expressed interest in a bikeway and a sidewalk and sided with the two-way on the south side design. The ECCO and CARAG neighborhood groups are both providing funds to support the project.
Why the south side?
Some residents in ECCO (north of the cemetery) have asked why the protected bikeway isn't on the north side of 36th Street since the intersection with Richfield Road requires people to cross 36th Street twice to get to the Lake Calhoun trail. Putting the protected bike lane on the south side eliminates 8 intersections, including a very busy one at Hennepin. This allows for a safer and faster trip for most people who will use the area. The south side also allows for the addition of the sidewalk and preserves all the on-street parking from Dupont to Richfield Road.
What to do on the Lake Calhoun side?
This is the trickiest part of the design. The current path connecting to the trail along the lake is on the north side of 36th Street. Adding a crossing on the south side of 36th Street is cost prohibitive at this point (maybe in the future!). So, City staff have worked out about the best solution they can with an extended area for people biking and walking to wait to cross 36th Street and then Richfield Road. It's too bad it will require crossing in two stages, but that doesn't take away from what overall will be a very significant improvement along 36th Street. The design will narrow up the right turn from Richfield Road to 36th Street (which is one of the busiest in the city) to slow traffic to a more reasonable speed and make it easier to cross that right turn lane. (Sorry we don't have a picture of the design for this area, which will be presented at the meeting.)