Story of advocacy around the new 26th Ave bike lanes

26th Avenue Bike Lane (Photo credit: Alex Tsatsoulis)

This is a guest post from Joshua Houdek, a Longfellow resident and Sierra Club organizer who bikes all over. Thanks Joshua for helping get bike lanes on 26th! The Bicycle Coalition provided just a little support and advice as he showed that one person can make a difference! If you have a street you want to make a difference on, let us know and we'll do what we can to help.

Sometimes All it Takes is Just Picking up the Phone

What’s Wrong Here?

26th Avenue South in Seward/Longfellow was resurfaced last summer. The road is super smooth and nice new bike lanes were striped south of the Midtown Greenway down to Minnehaha. But bike lanes on 26th Avenue north of the Greenway, connecting it to Franklin Avenue, were mysteriously missing. I scratched my head, thinking: “what’s wrong here?” So I contacted the friendly folks at the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. They confirmed that 26th Avenue is on the Minneapolis Bicycle Plan Map to have on-street bicycle facilities, and Hennepin County has a Complete Streets Policy. There was no good explanation for the oversight.

“Quick” and Easy Fix

First, I found out who resurfaced the street by calling my city council member’s office. Who knew that 26th Avenue is actually County Road 48? So the County was my target. After a call and email to my county commissioner’s office, I was connected to the project engineer. Presto! Promises were made that it would get fixed this summer. Last week, it did. A shout-out to Hennepin County. Happy riding, Minneapolis bicyclists!

Moral of the Story: Be Aware, Take Action

Is there road construction on a street you ride (or would like to ride if it had better/safer bike facilities)? Is a street near you going to get resurfaced soon? Pick up the phone and drop an email. Sometimes it’s that easy. And remember, the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is here to help!

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