Take Action: Restore the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway Timeline

In past years, Our Streets Minneapolis has advocated for and organized communities in support of the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway. The City of Minneapolis went through with planning a protected, two-way bikeway between Downtown and 40th Avenue S on 1st Avenue and Blaisdell Avenue. Construction was due to be completed this Summer/Fall, but Public Works recently pushed the timeline back to 2022. Public Works has also delayed the planned reconstruction of 1st Avenue S from 2023/2024 to potentially as late as 2026. It is not acceptable to delay the implementation of this project. Here's why this change matters and what you can do to help restore the project:

Why it matters

The City of Minneapolis had committed to the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway project as an immediate remedy to street concerns before the 2024 reconstruction of 1st Ave S. The bike way will create an accessible travel route for people who live and work in Downtown, Whittier and Lyndale. It will provide easy access to work, school and shops by bicycle. It will also include safety improvements that will make the corridor more comfortable for people walking, rolling and driving. Delaying the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway and the 1st Ave S reconstruction extends the period of time that people biking in these communities are put at risk. The communities along these streets need these improvements as soon as possible.

As this letter from the Emerson Dual Language School emphasizes, this bikeway would provide students with essential routes to school. Since there is a national bus driver shortage, many families need to find ways to transport their children themselves. Delaying this project denies the students an easy trip to school and increases the car traffic in the area. We stand in solidarity with the Emerson students and families.

What you can do to restore the timeline

Project engineers, City staff, and elected officials have a duty to serve the people and be transparent on updates that impact communities. You can contact these groups in support of the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway. Share your personal experiences and emphasize these three asks:

  1. Acknowledge the silent change in the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway timeline.
  2. Commit to constructing the remaining portion in the Spring of 2022 and post the start date on the project website
  3. Restore the original timeline (2023/2024) for the 1st Avenue S reconstruction project

Click here to send an email to project leaders (Template below)

 

 Share Your Personal Story

 

Sample Phone Script

This phone script can be used to guide your calls to City staff and elected officials:

“Hello. My name is [your name] and I’m calling in regards to the Whittier Lyndale bikeway project. 

I am looking forward to this project as someone who regularly travels through Whittier, Lyndale, and Downtown. I was disappointed to learn that construction on the bikeway and the 1st Ave S reconstruction have been significantly delayed.

Our communities deserve to be promptly updated on these changes. I ask that the City of Minneapolis and the Public Works department: Acknowledge the silent change in the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway timeline and the 1st Ave S reconstruction timeline, commit to constructing the 2nd half of the project in the Spring of 2022 and post the start date on the project website, and restore the original timeline for the 1st Avenue S reconstruction project. Delaying these project extends the period of time that myself and other people biking in these communities are put at risk. I hope that you see the importance of restoring the timeline of these projects.

Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Sample Email

Here is a sample email that you can use to write project engineers, City staff, and elected officials.

"Hello,

My name is [your name]. I'm writing today to express my disappointment in the delay of the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway project and ask for a commitment to the project.

I am looking forward to this project as someone who regularly travels through Whittier, Lyndale, and Downtown. This bikeway will make it easier for everyone to bike to work, to school, and to local businesses. It would have immediate benefits for the community.

I was disappointed to learn that construction on the bikeway and the 1st Ave S reconstruction have been significantly delayed. Our communities deserve to be promptly updated on these changes. I ask that the City of Minneapolis and the Public Works department:

Acknowledge the silent change in the Whittier Lyndale Bikeway timeline and the 1st Ave S reconstruction timeline,
Commit to constructing the Lake St. and 40th St portion of the project in the Spring of 2022 and post the start date on the project website, and
Restore the original timeline (2023/2024) for the 1st Avenue S reconstruction project

Delaying these projects extends the period of time that myself and other people biking in these communities are put at risk. I hope that you see the importance of restoring the timeline of these projects.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your action on these requests soon.

Sincerely,

Name

Address"

People to contact

These are project engineers, city staff, and elected officials involved in these projects. Email/call them and urge them to commit to these projects.

Mike Samuelson, Transportation Planner

[email protected], 612-673-3884

Ryan Gottsleben, Public Works Engineer

[email protected], 612-590-4233

Brette Hjelle, Interim Director

[email protected]

Bryan Dodds, Interim Director and City Engineer

[email protected], 612-673-3061

Jacob Frey, Mayor

[email protected]

Lisa Bender, Council Member Ward 10

[email protected]

Andrea Jenkins, Council Member Ward 8

[email protected]

Jeremy Schroeder, Council Member Ward 11

[email protected]

Nathan Koster, City of Minneapolis Public Works

[email protected]

 


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