Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition Awarded Grant from Bikes Belong for Open Streets




The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition was awarded a $5,000 grant from Bikes Belong to encourage bicycling, educate city leaders on local cycling needs, demonstrate the benefits of better on-street bicycle infrastructure – and have a whole lot of fun – during the June 2011 Open Streets Ciclovía Event!  Planning efforts remain in full swing.  Please contact openstreets@mplsbike.org to find out about volunteer opportunities.



Open Streets - Read On for Volunteer Opportunities!



Starting in 2011, Minneapolis bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters, and wheelchair users will take over miles of streets to have the opportunity to explore and enjoy their neighborhoods without motorized traffic.  An Open Streets event (based on the Ciclovía from Bogotá, Colombia) will bring together families and neighbors to mingle, recreate, and shop in their communities in a safe, car-free environment.





San Francisco Sunday Streets 2009, Source: Paul Furman






Tell me more!



Open Streets take place on Sunday, typically from 10am – 2pm.



 



Open Streets are not races.  Participants can begin/stop/restart/change direction at any time.



 



Open Streets are free!



 



In addition to biking, walking and skating, there are programmed recreational activities along the streets including yoga, dance lessons, aerobics, games, and even musical performances, bike repair and bike safety classes.



 



Open Streets promotes:




  • Sustainable transportation choices, including walking, bicycling and transit.


  • Public health, bringing healthy physical activity to communities in need.


  • Local business, drawing foot traffic past the front doors.  Feedback from merchants along the San Francisco Sunday Streets route indicated a significant increase in business, from 25% to up to 300% from usual Sunday business.


  • Public space, helping residents see our streets as a places where we can all come together and take pride in our city.



 



Ciclovía events have been catching on in the United States.  Cities that are following Bogotá’s lead include:



 



Fargo-Moorhead http://www.facebook.com/pages/Streets-Alive/263885966939?v=info



 





Fargo-Moorhead's Streets Alive! from 2010.




Portland, Oregon http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/



New York, New York http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/summerstreets/



San Francisco, California http://sundaystreetssf.com/



Chicago, Illinois http://www.activetrans.org/openstreets



Baltimore, Maryland http://baltimoresundaystreets.info/



Miami, Florida http://bikemiamiblog.wordpress.com/about/



Los Angeles, California http://www.ciclavia.org/



How can I get involved?



 



The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition has been coordinating with the City to secure a permit for a proposed route along Lyndale Avenue South for June 12th, and we now need assistance to document approval from adjacent businesses and residences.  This will be a great way for new people to volunteer for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, and to be a part of bringing the first ever Open Streets to Minneapolis!  We need lots of volunteers, especially for the “door-knock outings.” I will have all of the necessary notification/documentation forms and detailed materials available on each date (see below); all people need to do is show up at the specified time!  Depending on how many people show up, we will split up, pair off, and tackle a couple of blocks.  It should be a lot of fun!  Please RSVP to openstreets@mplsbike.org.


————




  1. 2/19 (10am-1pm)Deliver “Dear Neighbor” letters. This will count as “notification” of the neighbors along the route.  Meet at CRC Coffee Bar (3346 Lyndale Avenue South) at 10am.


  2. 2/26 (9am-12pm)Door-knock outing. Collect as many approval signatures as possible.  Meet at CRC Coffee Bar at 9am.


  3. 3/3 (6pm-9pm) – Follow-up weekday door-knock outing. Fill in as many approval signature gaps as possible.  Meet at CRC Coffee Bar at 6pm.




Bike Sharing Fever- Catch It


Looks like Madison is getting a bike sharing program. Trek is teaming up with a couple partners to offer a program using the B Cycle that’s been used in Denver, Chicago and Hawaii. They plan a May start time with 35 bike stations and 350 cycles. Trek has guaranteed to sponsor it to the tune of $1M to make it work. 

 


Back when I lived in Madison in the ’80s there was an urban myth about another time when they started a bike sharing program with yellow bikes that the punks proceeded to throw in the lakes. Maybe the punks will be better behaved this time.