The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) met on December 19 for its final meeting of 2012. Of particular interest was discussion of Hennepin County’s plans for reconstruction of Minnehaha Ave between Lake and 46th Streets. The committee reviewed the minutes of the most recent Engineering subcommittee meeting, where County staff presented a planning matrix. Concerns were raised about the lack of consideration for a curb-separated cycle track, as well as the lack of neighborhood input. After a rich discussion and careful review, the BAC approved a resolution requesting that the County engage the public in a process before selecting a final design for the corridor, and that it incorporate data where cycle tracks have been implemented.
Another major corridor slated for reconstruction is Washington Avenue between Hennepin and 5th Avenues. The BAC received an update on the plans for Washington Avenue, and was pleased to note that each of five designs from a recent charrette included options for a cycle track. The committee made note that those interested in this corridor are encouraged to participate in a public engagement process and can complete an online survey.
Complete streets update
The BAC also received an update from a recent Complete Streets Workshop, where all of the City’s documents and plans related to Complete Streets were reviewed. It was noted that the City could convey a stronger vision and a more unified approach with better policies in place. City staff from the Department of Health and Family Support and Public Works are preparing draft policy language related to strengthening Minneapolis’ policy and bringing it more in line with recommendations from the National Complete Streets Coalition. The existence of Hennepin County’s Complete Streets Policy provided an additional punch to the BAC’s resolution on Minnehaha Avenue and the improvement of the City’s policy could help move Minneapolis further along toward a network of cycle tracks.