Cycle Tracks Community Forum

 The forum. Credit: Grant Boelter

Cycletracks Community Forum, Credit: Grant Boelter.

On Saturday, February 2, more than 50 people came to a forum hosted by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition at Hope Community in Minneapolis to discuss and learn more about cycletracks. The forum included a brief presentation by volunteers, Molly and Sam, on cycle tracks and and small group discussions on our goals for advocating for this network of cycle tracks and what information is needed to inform the larger public.

Molly presenting WA Ave Cycle tracks

Volunteer Molly discussing Washington Ave Cycle Tracks

What are cycle tracks? Cycle tracks can be somewhat confusing because there is not just one example or definition to point to. Another frequently used term is either a protected or buffered bike lane, where the bike lane is protected by using parking, white posts, or often raised medians to separate the cyclist from moving travel lanes. There are many examples internationally and in U.S. cities like Washington, D.C. and Chicago. The Bicycle Advisory Committee and others have been talking about how we can make this happen in Minneapolis.

Forum Details:

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and our partner organizations had spent Friday and Saturday in a training put on by the Alliance for Walking & Biking discussing where we should take our campaign in 2013. The forum was the perfect opportunity to begin to work with our partners on what we see as a collaborative effort to advocate for cycle tracks. It was also a fantastic way to hear from local cyclists, residents, and a number of elected officials on their thoughts and goals for a network of protected bikeways in Minneapolis. 

Saturday before the forum, Credit: Grant Boelter.

Work leading up to the forum, Credit: Grant Boelter

Partners Involved in the Campaign:

·         Hope Community

·         Sierra Club

·         Nice Ride

·         Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota

·         Midtown Greenway Coalition

·         Transit for Livable Communities

·         Spokes

·         Twin Cities Greenways

Some Highlights:

·         People want more information and a clear way to define cycletracks and their benefits.

·         There is strong interest in the safety, health, and economic benefits of cycling.

·         There’s still some work that needs to be done to educate the larger public on how this network will be safer and provide more connectivity for all users than the off-street paths and bike lanes we have. 

·         Overall, there was a lot of enthusiasm and support for a network of cycle tracks. People want to live in a city where you can bike and walk safely regardless of age, experience, or comfort levels.

I want to end by saying thanks again to our partners and Hope Community.  Stay tuned for more updates and posts on cycletracks and our Bikeways for Everyone Campaign! We’ll have updates on Washington Avenue this week and more info about cycle tracks and advocacy coming soon.

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