As many of you have noticed, 11th Ave S has had quite a makeover this past summer--Minneapolis Public Works installed a three part protected bike lane on 11th Ave S between 6th St S and West River Parkway.
West River Parkway to 2nd St South now has parking protected bike lanes running in both directions.
2nd St South to 3rd St South also has parking-protected bike lanes in addition to a center turn lane for cars entering and exiting the adjacent businesses and condo complexes.
The last segment is between 3rd St South to 6th St South and now has bollard protected bike lanes with a 6ft buffer.
At first, the new bike lanes had a bit of a rough transition for both cyclists and drivers, because between W River Parkway and 3rd St South it was not obvious where one should park, so drivers were parking where they had always parked- blocking the bike lane entirely. Luckily a couple of weeks ago Public Works came through and painted lines demarcating where the parking spaces are located. Since then it has been a world of change! Drivers have responded beautifully and have been parking in the designated areas, thereby creating a very protected bike lane for us all to enjoy. There is still the occasional moving van that is illegally parked, but we live in an imperfect world. For the most part the lanes have been a great success.
The city has been experimenting with how much infrastructure they need to provide in order to have a well-functioning protected bikeway. How many flexible plastic posts do we need? How much paint? Signage? This small stretch has been evolving with those questions in mind.
11th Ave South is a high-demand corridor for bicycling, carrying 1,160 bicyclists per day between the Hiawatha LRT Trail, Downtown East, and the Mississippi River, and the addition of protected bike lanes promotes a feeling of safety and comfort. I ride this corridor at least a dozen times per week, and am very pleased with the improvements made. The marked parking spaces were essential to the success of this bicycle corridor.
With all of that being said, I personally avoid 11th Ave South between 6th St South and 3rd St South on game and event days at US Bank Stadium, or at least take great caution. Pedestrians from out of town pose an entirely different set of challenges!
If you see a car parked in a protected bikeway, call 311, or use the amazing 311 app, to alert the city. Even if they are not able to catch the car in the act, a record will be made, and problem areas can be identified.
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