Bike lanes on Central Ave NE? Come to the Bike Summit August 1st!

Central Avenue NE will undergo curb to curb renovation in 2012, presenting a cost-effective opportunity to add bicycle lanes along this major north-south route.  The good news is that there is room for bike lanes, a completed planning study from the City of Minneapolis that demonstrates how and where they could be added, and plans for a public process in which advocates for safe and practical cycling can show support.  However, there is no commitment from MnDOT that bike lanes will be included, so this isn't a done deal.

On August 1st, the 2nd annual East Side Bike Summit will be held at the Ritz Theater near Broadway and University from 6-7pm. [Facebook event] Gather with others and learn more!

Background on Central Ave project:

  • Central Avenue is a state trunk highway (Hwy 65). It will undergo a "mill and overlay" (curb-to-curb renovation) in 2012 as part of regular maintenance by the MN Department of Transportation. Final plans are scheduled to be approved in 2011. [Click here to see Mn/DOT's info about the project.]

  • In anticipation of this project, and with an eye towards expanding bicycling facilities around Minneapolis, the city conducted a study of Central Avenue with funds from Bike Walk Twin Cities in 2010. [Click here to go to the study]

  • The study makes recommendations for bicycling facilities along Central Avenue. For various segments of the corridor, the recommendations include on-street markings ("sharrows"), "share the road" signs, and bicycle lanes. Changes to vehicle traffic include a conversion from 4 lanes to 3 lanes along some segments (from two lanes each direction to one lane each direction and a central turn lane for left hand turns - also known as a 4-3 conversion) and the removal of a handful of parking spaces.

  • Because this is a state road that runs through Minneapolis, staff from both the city and state are involved in creating plans for the public. To date, no official plans have been released.

  • In late June, two open houses were held to inform the public about the upcoming change, but no specific draft plans were presented.

What can supporters do?

  • Come to the Bike Summit to learn more about this and other projects (in NE and SE Mpls) and meet other supporters!

  • If you're the wonky type, read the official documents that have been produced so far.

  • To get more involved in these efforts with the Mpls Bicycle Coalition, email us at [email protected].

What's next?

  • At some point, which we expect will be fairly soon, the city and state will release official drafts for Central Avenue, along with a public participation process.

  • The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee will review plans and make recommendations.

  • Eventually, the plans for Central Avenue will have to be approved by Mn/DOT, with input from the City of Minneapolis, before a contract can go out for the project construction in 2012.

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition will be working to inform the public and our members about this process - we'd love your help to encourage bicycling and help everyone feel comfortable riding in NE Minneapolis.

Hope to see you on August 1st!

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