Downtown Bikeways April Snowstorm Party

Thanks to Keith Heiberg for writing this post, and Chrissy for sharing her notes with Keith. Thanks to meeting photographer Sara for the pictures below.

On Tuesday, April 3, the Downtown Bikeways group met for the second time over pastries and trail mix - during a snowstorm. A hearty 10 souls made it to Dunn Bros, and more than one person biked despite the six inches of April snow. We also laughed a lot.

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For some history, here's Tyler's blog post of our March meeting. At our first meeting we discussed overall goals and approaches; this time we dug into the details of what activities will be most effective in showcasing demand for these corridors, so that we can make downtown (and getting to downtown) safer for people on bikes. 

Reports from Corridor Working Groups

The meeting began with introductions and ice-breakers. Then we offered reports on what our respective small groups have accomplished since the first meeting.

  • Grant Street: Anna reached out, and the Convention Center is interested in working with us. However, there is nothing specific to partner on in the short term. On the other hand, they did ask her a question about a planned, one-block 12th Street Bikeway project planned for this summer. It goes in front of their loading zone, and they asked Anna what they can do to both convey their welcome and support of people biking when, inevitably, that bikeway will be blocked by loading at that garage door. What advice would you offer them? (offer your advice in a comment below) And then, due to levels of interest and the lack of partnership opportunities, this group chose to disband, pending a future request from the Convention Center.
  • LaSalle-Blaisdell/1st Ave South: After wrestling with “how would you make this happen?” and deciding to avoid being drawn into concerns about the dreaded “p” word (parking), this group is focusing on ways to get feedback from the community on what they’d like to see here.
  • 9th/10th Streets: Tyler made streetmix visualizations showing width of of both streets to help us and others imagine what is possible here. Karen and Sara connected with Target’s bike group, and they care about this corridor. They’re planning how to connect with other employers along the corridor.

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Planning our Actions

Because our group's key task is to showcase the demand for bikeways in these corridors, we spent most of our time assessing what characteristics of an activity energize people and move elected leaders

Beyond goal-focused, shareable (on social media or with decision-makers) and interactive, our post-it activity had some obvious themes:

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And then, we went into our two remaining corridor groups and brainstormed some very specific things we can plan that meet those criteria and move us forward on the goal of showcasing demand for the corridors.

Next Steps

  • The LaSalle/Blaisdell and 1st team is creating a coloring sheet of LaSalle where people can draw or color their vision of what they want LaSalle to be. They are reaching out to businesses and institutions on the street to ask about hosting an event where patrons are invited to dream. The goal is to get community input on what people want.
  • Some members of the 9th and 10th team are creating a survey to gather stories and input. Other team members are finding contacts at businesses to distribute the survey to. They offered to share the survey (to be modified) for the LaSalle/Blaisdell and 1st team.

Expect more laughter in May. Maybe more orange bike bells, too.

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How can you get involved? And when’s the next meeting?

More volunteers means more conversations that push the City to make our streets safer!

The easiest way to join the group is to come to our next monthly meeting. We’ll catch you up on what the group has accomplished so far and learn how you want to contribute to these conversations. Use this poll to let us know by April 11th when you can join the crew, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your schedule.

We look forward to meeting you and learning how you’ll join us in make better places for biking happen!

Is having a safe place to bike on one of these streets really important to you? Email Ethan with which corridor you’d like to help with. We'll connect you with the volunteers who are working on that street.