FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition applauded a proposal introduced today at the Minneapolis City Council Transportation and Public Works Committee to refine last year’s two-way conversions of Hennepin and First Avenue.
“The proposed changes to Hennepin and First will be a huge improvement for people bicycling into downtown,” said Lisa Bender, a founder of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. “These changes reflect the strong commitment of City staff and leadership to ensure that bicycling is a safe and convenient option for people traveling into downtown.”
City staff proposed adding a green stripe to the shared bus/bike/right turn lane on Hennepin Avenue. This approach has been used successfully in Long Beach, CA and Salt Lake City, Utah to improve visibility for people bicycling in a shared lane.
"The green stripe in the right lanes on Hennepin is a significant improvement as it trains both bicyclists and motorists to use and drive the middle of the lane,” said Bill Dooley, a Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition member who commutes to downtown by bicycle. “As it stands today, bikes and cars are often side by side in the same right lane."
On First Avenue the protected bicycle lane, which sits between the curb and a row of parked cars, will be improved by adding a buffer between the bicycle lane and parked cars. This will provide more protection to cyclists by minimizing the danger of being hit by an opening passenger car door. As an added benefit, the buffer will put more distance between pedestrians walking along First Avenue and passing cars, making the experience of walking along the street more pleasant.
“Last year the City made major changes to First and Hennepin to make those roads better for all users, but didn't stop there. They continued to monitor how those change worked and today announced significant improvements,” said Hokan, a Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition member who serves on the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee. “Bravo Minneapolis!”
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The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that advocates for a more bicycle-friendly Minneapolis where bicycling is encouraged and everyone - age 8 to 80 - can feel comfortable riding.