So Much News It' Hard To Chew

This contraption can be installed onto existing street signs and used to count cyclists.

Lots to share from sitting in on the recent EEE subcommittee meeting of the BAC.

A Commuter Connection representative announced a couple of cool ideas. One is the contraption in the picture, which can be installed onto existing street signs and used to count cyclists. When cyclists ride next to it, it can track their presence and give them points toward health insurance—similar to the discount if you go to the gym a number of times each month. (Be patient: a variance is required for installment, so they are working through that.)

We also learned that Minneapolis is in the running for the national release of a newly commissioned USPS bicycle stamp. The unveiling would be announced during the National Bike/Walk to Work Day on June 7.

Minneapolis is a bike friendly place to work, too.

City-specific buildings that house workers (e.g., city hall) are being encouraged to build long-term bike parking, according to new recommendations. Whereas a bike rack is considered best for short term stops, long term bike parking is meant for all-day parking while you’re on the job. They are generally located in a more secure area, perhaps partially covered or in an access-restricted place.

The guidelines likely won’t go to the full city council for a review, but reflects the approach the city wants to take. The size of the parking area will depend on the building (e.g. office or industrial), and the number of workers. City hall for instance, has nearly 700 employees with a long-term space recommendation for 45 bikes. Preliminary talk is it would be in the nearby government center parking ramp.


An example of a long-term bike parking area near the Hennepin County Public Health building in Minneapolis

Bicycle Coordinator Shaun Murphy shared more about the 2012 Bicycle-Related Enforcement Vision, which he drafted with input from Sargeant Nelson of the MPD. He cautioned it’s in outline form, and asked for comments from the committee. The plan is to have an education/enforcement campaign that targets both cyclists and motorists, and positioned as a public safety and will include:

• Media involvement

• Police and public works staff working together

• A focus on education handouts

• Small scale as a pilot

• With the involvement of community and advocacy partners

The subcommittee approved it with changes for presentation to the full BAC.

Information was shared about a public safety bill written by Representative Phyllis Kahn that aims to promote safety while cycling at night. Kahn represents the district where a bicyclist was killed last November near East Franklin Avenue and the River Road.

The bill  would give cyclists stopped without a light –a working blinky—and education—in lieu of a traffic citation and the University Police would act as a partner. The committee gave the bill their support, which is working its way through the legislature.

The committee was asked to give their top priorities for the Bicycle Master plan and recommended the the following areas:

  • complete streets (section 3.1)

  • Greenway (3.5)

  • open streets (3.9)

  • speed limits (2.6)

  • economic impact (2.8)

  • support on street bicycle parking (3.10)

  • continue funding (5.8)

Ambassadors news

Shaun shared (draft) brochures of a bike/walk Minneapolis campaign that would offer bike safety classes across the city. The classes would start as early as March. More to come on that.

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