Good news for bicyclists in the Minneapolis City budget for 2014

On December 11, the Minneapolis City Council adopted the City’s budget for 2014, and it’s a great budget for bicyclists.

We keep and expand on past wins, like the creation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and Open Streets.  Next year, the Bike/Ped Coordinator will be able to hire permanent staff to help continue the progress towards a bike-friendlier city.

Last year, the City committed for the first time to provide $50,000 in support for four Open Streets events (things like traffic direction and barricades), as part of accepting a grant from the Partnership for a Healthier America.  These four events – that were run by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition – were such a success that the City has committed $75,000 for six Open Streets events in 2014.

There are also many capital projects that will have a positive effect on bicycling in Minneapolis.  Here are just some of them:

  • $1.4 million in 2014 to (finally!) install lighting on the Hiawatha LRT Trail from 26th St E into downtown.

  • $200,000 in 2014 and $200,000 in 2015 for the 26th & 28th St protected bike lanes.

  • $275,000 in 2014 for the Dinkytown Greenway Connection at the intersection of 15th Ave SE and 4th St SE.

  • $2.3 million in 2014 for improvements to Bridge 9, a bike and pedestrian bridge over the Mississippi and connection to the Dinkytown Greenway.

  • $2,080,000 in 2014 for the City’s share of the Minnehaha Ave project, which will include buffered bike lanes.

  • $1.4 million in 2014 and $500,000 in 2015 for the Riverside extension project (4th St S and 15th Ave S) which will include on-street bike lanes.

  • $50,000 in 2014 for the North by Northeast Bikeway Bridge Connection.

  • $4.5 million in 2015 and $4.6 million in 2016 for the 26th Ave N project, which includes a protected bikeway.

  • $3.2 million in 2015 for the section of Minnehaha Ave from 24th to 26th Streets east.  There are currently bike lanes on this section, but the pavement quality is very bad, so this will be a significant improvement.  There is also a chance to upgrade these bike lanes to something better.

  • $2.4 million in 2016 for the 40th St Pedestrian & Bicycle Bridge over 35W.

  • $300,000 in 2018 for the 18th Ave NE Trail Gap.

  • $5.8 million in 2017 and $1.5 million in 2018 for the reconstruction of 18th Ave NE from Monroe to Johnson St NE.  A protected bikeway has been talked about for this project.

  • $500,000 in 2018 to close the Hiawatha Trail Gap from 28th to 32nd Streets E.

This list doesn’t even include all of the potential protected bikeways and trails that the City will be working on over the next five years.  The street resurfacing program will give us opportunities to get good bike facilities installed on many other streets, and many miles of County road projects will offer possibilities for protected bike lanes.

It’s great to see the City’s commitment to bicycling – it will take continued investment to meet the City’s declared goals of installing 30 miles of protected bikeways by 2020 and dramatically increase the number of people riding bikes in Minneapolis.


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