On March 26th, the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) held a meeting in City Hall. We heard updates from the engineering and encouragement subcommittees, and then many BACers left to meet with Kelley Yemen, Hennepin County's new bike-ped coordinator, for a happy hour.
The engineering subcommittee reported that they’re working with the city to improve bicycle-detection at stop lights. There are a lot of different options! The cheapest option is a battery-powered detector that they bury under a few inches of pavement. It doesn’t work very well. Video cameras are better at detecting cyclists, and not as expensive as you’d expect. Beg buttons get a bad rap, but a new generation expedites bike and pedestrian traffic after the button is pushed. The one at Park Ave. and 27th St. gives the “walk” sign just five seconds after initiation. You can find these cool new beg buttons at 27th St. and Park Ave., 40th St. and Cedar Ave., and 5th St. NE and Broadway.
The engineering subcommittee also talked about the goal of connecting the bike path on the Stone Arch Bridge to the Dinkytown Greenway. Apparently there are problems getting the railroad owners to go along. Regardless, the Dinkytown Greenway will get “wayfinding” enhancements, like new map kiosks and stairways to enhance access to the street level.
The encouragement subcommittee reported on the six Open Streets events that will happen this summer, the first of which following the route of the (prospective) North Minneapolis Greenway on May 31. The other streets to be opened are Nicollet Ave S, Lyndale Ave S, Franklin Ave E, Central Ave NE, and Lowry Ave N. Get involved!
How else can we encourage cyclists? Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition executive director Ethan Fawley gave the subcommittee a wishlist that included a downtown bike center and a way to designate and encourage bike-friendly businesses.
Come back in a month for another BAC update.