Downtown Bikeways Work Group May 2019 Update

The Downtown Bikeways Work Group gathered and established some activities that they will be completing in the upcoming month.

There were several new folks at the meeting this month, so the beginning of the meeting was spent with introductions, understanding why new folks joined in as well as reviewing the Downtown Bikeways Work Group’s mission of advocating for protected bikeways on LaSalle/1st Ave and 9th/10th Streets.

Downtown Bikeways members at their May meeting

After introductions, Jesse discussed the Community Celebration at Whittier School, which took place in late April, that the Downtown Bikeways Work Group was able to participate in by having a table. Students at the school were able to draw their vision of what they’d like their streets to look like and we got to admire some of their creative thinking. The streets spelled, “F-U-N! 100 put crayons to paper and 16 adults signed postcards in support of protected bikeways on LaSalle/Blaisdell/1st Ave. Jesse was also able to interview 3 individuals who work at Emerson Immersion School and was able to document their experiences biking on LaSalle and the Loring Park area. You can check these out on the Our Streets Minneapolis blog.

We also discussed CLIC (Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee) and the document that was sent to the group prior to the meeting about their operations. The group wanted to know about how they operate, make decisions and acquire members. Kjell and Ashwat indicated wanting to look into CLIC further. It was noted there are some upcoming CLIC meetings and that one of particular interest to the group would be held on Thursday, May 16 at City Hall in Room 319. It was discussed that it would be beneficial for some members to attend.

The group briefly touched on the 1st Avenue bike lanes project which has been discussed at local meetings. It seems unclear to the group as to when this project is slated to take place and Ashwat (Executive Director) hoped to get more information about this to be able to share with the group.

Downtown Bikeways members at their May meeting

Next on the agenda, the group discussed further action and what we need to do to be effective. The common theme was get more support along these corridors for bikeways. We discussed some of the difficulty in this particular area was that it is all apartment complexes so it is hard to get more support with only a couple of people. The group discussed several upcoming opportunities:

  1. The group discussed setting up stations every couple of blocks on these corridors and being able to hand out items so that folks would stop by and engage in conversation. We also discussed having people who do show support, be entered for a raffle (perhaps for a free beer with Lakes & Legends or other businesses in the area). Alyssa indicated she would contact Lakes & Legends about this. The group wanted to do an event soon, however, so the group decided that they would be starting engagement on these corridors (1st Ave & LaSalle Ave) during the Bike To Work Day event. Amy, Alyssa, Jim and Andrew committed to working morning & afternoon shifts at a pit stop along these corridors. Using Our Streets Minneapolis assistance with lights, postcards, snacks, we plan to have pit stops on these streets to garner more support for these corridors. We also discussed having a white board and getting pictures in order to demonstrate support for these corridors in a visual manner on Our Streets Minneapolis social media.

  2. The group discussed potential opportunities for a table, activity, etc. at an Our Streets Minneapolis event this summer.

  3. Working with the Pedestrian Work Group on a combined even. Cindy indicated a potential to have both of the groups meet to discuss events and actions that they could do together.

The meeting wrapped up with each participant of the group indicating what they learned from the meeting as well as what duties they would be performing over the course of the next month to move the groups agenda forward.

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