Bike-Friendly Streets Committee Updates

Our Bike-Friendly Projects Committee volunteers work to build support for infrastructure improvements that make it easier, safer and more enjoyable to bicycle in Minneapolis. We meet the third Monday of each month from 6-8pm. Here is a recap from tonight's meeting.

Specific Projects Updates

  • The buffered bike lanes on Park and Portland Avenues are now being built! We are planning a celebration. We could use one more volunteer to help, email [email protected] if you are interested in helping.

  • We are making great progress in building support for cycletracks on Washington Avenue, thanks to the work of our volunteers who collected over 500 letters in support of a protected bicycle facility for this critical connection to downtown. Watch for information about a public meeting hosted by Hennepin County later this fall.

  • The Lowry Bridge will open next week with bike lanes and a sidepath built with ramps for people who don't feel comfortable riding next to bridge traffic. Thanks to the leadership of former County Commissioner Mark Stenglein and Hennepin County staff for all the work that went into designing the bike facilities for this bridge, which will likely last for 100 years or so.

  • Hennepin County has committed to planning bicycle facilities for Marshall Street NE and we expect to have details about a public meeting soon.

  • There will be a public meeting tomorrow about planning a greeway in North Minneapolis.

  • Residents in SW Minneapolis have formed a group Southwest Pedal Power and we have been supporting them in getting bicycle facilities implemented as part of upcoming repaving projects.

Campaign Planning

The volunteers from our Committee discussed our ideas for our work over the next 1-2 years. Recognizing that our time is limited, particularly as an all-volunteer organization, we discussed the need to focus our work on campaigns that will have the most impact for bicycling in Minneapolis. Tonight, we asked ourselves, "What would most improve your experience bicycling in Minneapolis? What would get your friends who don't bicycle to ride? What campaigns will help us grow a sustainabile organization?"

By the end of the discussion, there was clear interest from our volunteer group to focus on one big, visionary campaign to build protected bicycle facilities or other high-quality bicycle facilities like neighborhood greenways.  There is a lot of interest in cycletracks and volunteers wondered, why doesn't Minneapolis have cycletracks when cities like Memphis and Winnipeg are building them?

The group discussed potentially narrowing the geography of our campaigns given the limitations of volunteer time and energy, recognizing the pros and cons of that. There is a lot of interest in focusing our campaigns around downtown and the U of M, where there are high numbers of existing cyclists, lots of potential new cyclists, and a lot of room for improvement on streets like Washington Avenue S, 4th Street and University.

The group wants to keep supporting the addition of bike lanes all over the city and will look for ways to continue supporting bike lanes as part of "opportunity projects" that are already planned by the City or County on streets identified in the Minneapolis Bike Master Plan but we need to make sure we have enough volunteer time and energy before we take on too much. Look for a survey coming out to Coalition members to get feedback about where to focus our efforts.

If you want to get involved in any of this work, please email [email protected] to get started!

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