Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bike Walk Twin Cities

Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) has approved several bicycle infrastructure projects in the Second Ward as part of the Bike/Walk Twin Cities grants program - part of the larger Bike/Walk effort nationwide, funded by Congressman Jim Oberstar. For more information on the larger program, please go here.

Here is the list of exciting projects in Ward 2:

- Riverside Avenue will be striped for bike lanes between Franklin Ave E and Cedar. Riverside will be converted from four lanes to three, with the center lane being a "turning" lane. Bike lanes will continue down 4th St S and 15th Ave S to the Cedar Riverside LRT station.

- Bike lanes will go in on Franklin Ave E, over the Franklin Ave bridge and west to the intersection with Riverside. Franklin will be converted from four lanes to three.

- Bike lanes will be added to 19th Ave S, all the way from Riverside across the 10th/19th bridge into Marcy Holmes.

- The University of Minnesota Trail will be built in the rail corridor from Bridge #9 across into Dinkytown.

- Shared bike lanes will go in along Como Ave SE, and the Rollins Ave bike lane will be connected to 15th Ave SE.

- Bike lanes will be added to 27th Ave SE, from University to the corner of 27th, Franklin Ave SE and E River Pkwy.

- New bike lanes will go in along Minnehaha Ave, from 31st St E all the way to 20th Ave S. The existing lanes on 20th Ave S will be brought up to current standards and connected all the way from Minnehaha to Riverside.

For a map of these, and all the other funded projects, please go here.

I'm very pleased with the bicycle infrastructure that will be going into the Second Ward. It is clear that residents want these amenities and will use them. The projects above are crucial steps towards building a truly comprehensive bicycle grid in Minneapolis, which I believe will have a major impact on bicycling mode share.

I think that this does represent a significant shift in how we think about transit in Minneapolis and throughout the country and shows that people really are making connections about how important it is to focus on, and invest in, making walking and biking more appealing and possible and ways to get around in Minneapolis.

Thanks to everyone at transit for Livable Communities as well as our own Public Works staff, especially Don Pflaum and Shaun Murphy, who put in long hours writing the grant proposals for these projects. Thanks also to Congressman Oberstar who helped secure the federal the funding that has made this possible.

I want this to be a beginning and plan to keep pushing to improve our system of bike and pedestrian transit in the City and the region. If we consider what has been done in some areas of the world we still have a long way to go before we have the kind of bicycling-friendly walkable City so many of us hope for.


At 11:45 PM, Blogger wheatgerm said...

riding bikes is fun

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Urban Scene said...

Hello! Whenever your office gets back from Fourth of July break, I'd like a response to my questions on the 27th Ave SE improvements.

Also I am concerned whether or not the homeowners will get assessed for any improvements not covered by Federal grant funding.

Again, I can't imagine JUST bike lanes being painted on 27th Ave SE, have you driven on that road? It's horrendous. A full repaving will need to happen before that not to mention the curb along the entire road stretch is crumbling.

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Robin Garwood said...

Urban Scene,

Here's the text of the TLC project description for 27th Ave: "This .55 mile project will add bike lanes to the 27th Avenue corridor in SE Minneapolis. It will include signage, striping, sealcoating, and bicycle racks. The project may need to remove parking between University Ave and Essex St. along w/ a three to four lane road conversion or it will require the conversion of rush-hour restricted parking to 24-hour parking, along with a four to two lane road conversion."

The "sealcoating" above indicates that there will be some improvement of the surface along this route. Though I should say, as a bike commuter who has biked down 27th many times, that I have certainly biked on far worse streets in Mpls.

As this project is neither a renovation nor a reconstruction, I do not believe that property owners will be assessed. I will get a final answer to this question from Public Works staff. The project's budget is $100,000, all of which has come from the Non-Motorized Transportation grants.

Lastly, we need to keep in mind that there are bicyclists using all of these routes, including 27th, right now. These projects are not attempting to make these routes perfect, but to make them better.


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