Four missing links in the Minneapolis bicycle network have been added to the City’s bike map thanks to efforts by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. The City Council’s Transportation and Public Works (T&PW) Committee voted today to add segments of Johnson St NE, Washington Avenue, Lyndale Avenue N and 38th Street to the bike map (details of the segments are below) after a proposal introduced by Council Member Robert Lilligren. The map of existing and planned bicycle facilities is being updated as part of the city’s first Bike Master Plan.
The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition worked closely with the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) to identify gaps in earlier drafts of the bike map (the current draft is on page 160 in this link). Dozens of gaps identified by the public, Bicycle Coalition volunteers and BAC members were already added to the current draft of the bike map. This is a huge victory for the bicycling in Minneapolis and a testament to how well the new BAC is working.
What you can do:
Call and thank the Council Members who were there for today's T&PW Committee vote: Sandy Colvin Roy (chair), Kevin Reich (vice-chair), Betsy Hodges, Robert Lilligren, Elizabeth Glidden. (CM John Quincy was not there but you can call him anyway!)
Call your Councilmember before Thursday to tell them you support the additions to the bike map at the full Council meeting.
You can find out which ward you live in and contact information for your City Councilmember here.
Bike Gap Details
Here is a description of the three gaps that were added to the map today, from a letter we sent to City Council Members:
Johnson Street Northeast, between East Hennepin Avenue and 18th Avenue Northeast. Johnson is proposed to be a bikeway to the north of 18th Ave NE. Between 18th and Hennepin, the Fillmore St bikeway is on the other side of Interstate 35W, with only one crossing at Broadway. Johnson has relatively little traffic in this area (except near the Quarry intersection) and the current four-lane configuration is actually constrained to two lanes under a railroad bridge just south of Broadway. If a bikeway were also included in the 10th and 11th Avenue one-way pairs south of Hennepin, this would create a direct access route from most of Northeast to the University of Minnesota area.
Washington Avenue, west of 11th Avenue South. Washington is proposed to have bicycle lanes between Seven Corners and 11th Ave S. There are several options for adding bicycle lanes to the section west of 11th Ave S without diminishing automobile capacity. Bicycle lanes on Washington could help change the character of this roadway to be friendlier and more human-scale, which in turn would help with the redevelopment of Downtown East.
Lyndale Avenue North, between Plymouth Avenue North and 41st Avenue North. There is a north/south gap in the proposed bike map between the Emerson/Freemont facility and the 2nd Street North facility. Interstate 94 divides 2nd from residents who live to the east of Emerson, and given the limited number and difficulty of crossings, there are few good alternatives. Additionally, there are currently two Nice Ride stations within two blocks of Lyndale with another one planned in the next expansion round. Some sections of this roadway south of Broadway may support a four-lane to three-lane conversion. North of Broadway may be more difficult, but there are shared-lane solutions that could be put in place.
38th Street, west of Bloomington Avenue. This roadway appears to be wide enough for bicycle lanes and would provide good access to local businesses. A facility in this location would connect to the planned bikeway on 38th east of Bloomington Avenue.
One Missing Gap
Both the Bicycle Coalition and the BAC have also recommended adding a segment of Nicollet Avenue but that was not recommended at today’s Committee meeting.
Nicollet Avenue, from Grant Street to 40th Street. Part of this roadway is being reconstructed soon. It serves several important commercial areas, connects to the existing Nicollet Mall and the proposed bicycle lanes south of 40th Street. Unlike the parallel facilities on Blaisdell and 1st Avenue, Nicollet connects to the Midtown Greenway , which means that a well-designed bike connection could serve as the key downtown access point for most of Southwest.
The Committee action directs staff to present the type of bicycle facilities that could work on these streets at Thursday's full City Council meeting for consideration by the full Council.