Glenwood Avenue will be totally reconstructed (including sidewalks) between 10th Street (downtown) and Aldrich (International Market Square) in 2019. This is the last realistic chance we will have in our lifetimes to add protected bike lanes on Glenwood. Right now, the County is set to miss that chance, but we are hoping to change that.
After further discussions, County staff have said they plan to include white plastic bollards with the buffered bike lane design. While we had hoped for curb-protected bike lanes and are disappointed that will not be part of the design, we appreciate that the County will be taking this step to make the bike lanes better. The City Council transportation committee will discuss the project tomorrow.
Map of upcoming Glenwood Ave projects
While the County has proposed including unprotected bike lanes (as in the first image below), we think protected bike lanes are the best long-term choice for this corridor. They will make the area more connected and support safety, health, and vitality. They would connect Downtown, a future Southwest LRT station, the Farmers Market, International Market Square, and much more. In the future, they could be extended past Aldrich when Glenwood is reconstructed farther west. If we don't do it on this section now, that will never happen.
Current County proposal for reconstruction (note that block to block it varies some):
Not much needs to change to make those bike lanes protected bike lanes:
Project engineers have said they don't support protected bike lanes on Glenwood. They have said there is not enough space, but that is with the assumption that for some reason they would need to do 15-foot-wide car lanes (11' lane + 4' "curb reaction distance") if there were protected bike lanes, which is just not true. (For comparison, the approved County layout for Washington Avenue in downtown includes 12.8' outside lanes (11' lane + 2' curb reaction) on a much busier street.) We can have protected bike lanes, wide sidewalks, and boulevards with trees in all the same locations as the current proposal. We shouldn't miss this opportunity to build Glenwood to be the best it can be for the next 50 years.
Protected bike lanes can happen on Glenwood, but we aren't there yet. If you are interested, please contact County Commissioner Linda Higgins and City Council Member Blong Yang as soon as possible with your thoughts. You can reach them at linda.Higgins@hennepin.us & firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: The City Council Transportation and Public Works Committee voted 11/7 to delay discussion on Glenwood until 11/29. This is great as it gives us more time for discussion and for people to weigh in with their thoughts. Thanks CM Yang for bringing that motion and thanks CM Bender for bringing up protected bike lanes as part of that. We certainly don't have protected bike lanes yet, so please do contact if you are interested in seeing them.