Hennepin and First
A date has been set for the conversion of Hennepin and First avenues into two-way streets: the weekend of October 10-11, weather permitting.
This change will take some getting used to for all road users - drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Drivers going through downtown from north to south will be able to stay on Hennepin for their whole trip. Cyclists will have options. The old bike lanes in the middle of the road on Hennepin will go away, having been replaced by two, significantly more attractive, bike facilities.
For certain riders, a shared bus/bike lane both northbound and southbound on Hennepin, right on the curb, will work just fine.
For less experienced riders, the City is installing a truly innovative set of bike lanes on First, that I'm pretty excited to see in action. They will run along the curb, which in my opinion is the ideal place for bike lanes. During peak hours, they'll have a traffic lane to their left. But during off-peak hours, that next lane will be for parking, creating a physical barrier between bikers and cars. The lanes will use a different pavement color, to make them stand out to drivers (and discourage people from parking in them). If this facility is as successful as I think it could be, it could be a model that we replicate elsewhere.