The Downtown Bikeways Work Group came together in January for their first meeting of the year and had a packed agenda. We kicked off the meeting by talking about fun things we did over the holidays. Group members are energized after the break and excited to get back into advocacy.
There’s a lot happening in the City that we’re engaging in. Folks talked about advocacy efforts including influencing Hennepin County transportation decision-making at the Franklin Avenue Open House, and the Lyndale Avenue S Community Forum organized by Commissioner Marion Greene.
There are other neighborhood meetings coming up early this year, including one on the reconstruction of 1st Avenue organized by the Kingfield Neighborhood Association. Group members agreed it would be a good for at least one person representing the Downtown Bikeways Work Group to be at each meeting to support biking infrastructure.
We also decided to move our meetings around the city more--and if possible, tie them to existing community meetings.
We then moved on to goal setting for the year. Some of the high level priorities we decided on were:
- Working to create awareness among Minneapolis residents about the need to reshape Hennepin County streets within the city. Today these streets are disproportionately unsafe.
- Advocating for Hennepin County to start trying out short term pilots that could improve safety on streets immediately. One we’d especially like to see is a 4 to 3 lane conversion on Lyndale Avenue S this summer.
- Organizing around the draft Transportation Action Plan that is scheduled to come out early this year. Our goal is to make sure the plan actually shapes the project selection and design process.
- Improve on our very successful campaign to engage local folks on different types of bikeways at Open Streets Minneapolis events. Ideas include focusing on existing bike infrastructure on Open Streets Minneapolis corridors, and trying to engage event attendees on ways to make them better.
- Continue our top secret project--stay tuned for details!
Next we selected a new work group leader for 2020. We are excited to announce that Kenny Fennel will be our new leader! Kenny has a deep understanding of transportation engineering, policy, and equity, and is excited to support our work this year.
We then discussed a potential joint meeting with the Pedestrian Work Group. There is a growing awareness that both work groups are advocating for the same thing--putting people first on our streets. We plan to have a joint meeting in February to explore ways to work in a more intersectional way--including potentially combining the two groups. We also discussed changing the Downtown Bikeways Work Group name--stay tuned for updates.
Our next meeting will be a joint meeting with the Pedestrian Work Group on Monday, February 3rd. All are welcome to join us! Check out our calendar closer to the meeting for final details. We have a lot to do in 2020, and are excited to get started!
Links to past meeting notes: November, October, September, July, June, May, March, February, January.
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