The support for a strong biking community keeps growing, and the BAC Engineering Subcommittee meetings are evident of just that. At the most recent meeting, the room was packed, so much that additional seats were needed. That in mind, there was plenty to discuss. Cycle track efficacy, altering Franklin Avenue with the help of the Native American Community Development Initiative, and adjustments to bikeway planning in the Above the Falls and RiverFIRST initiatives highlight the day. Here are a few brief updates:
Cycle tracks and Minneapolis
The BAC has been entertaining the idea of cycle tracks for some time, and whether you agree or not, cycle tracks do provide additional biking infrastructure in our prized system, and the City of Minneapolis plans to find out how cycle tracks work here, if they can. In the near future, the city council will vote on the City’s Climate Action Plan, and City staff plan on pushing the BAC’s recommendations calling for 30 miles of dedicated cycle tracks by the year 2025 and a mode-share goal of 15% by 2025. Of course, there are years of planning, piloting, and tracking that will take place, but you could see a cycle track in the next few years.
Action:The subcommittee passed a recommendation that supports the city taking the lead on this project.
Franklin Avenue between Cedar Ave and Bloomington Ave
Despite the road configuration (complete with bike lanes) on either side of this segment, this portion has yet to be changed, making an area that is already unsafe and confusing even more so. The Native American Community Development Initiative (NACDI)have a plan to not only reconfigure the road to reflect the bicycle lanes, but to utilize the large median space as a meeting and market area centered around Native American culture. With general support from Hennepin County and the NACDI, the BAC and other interest groups are trying to decipher what can be done within regulations.
Action:The committee passed a recommendation supporting this project.
Above the Falls/ RiverFIRST
Both Above the Fallsand the RiverFIRSTprojects aim to protect and enhance our communities surrounding the Mississippi River, and a main tenant of both is an interconnected network of trails and pathways that pass through parks, neighborhoods, places of interest, and places of work. Marshall Avenue was one particular segment discussed during these talks, and Hennepin County is now looking at a variety of road configurations for on-road bikeways. These will complement bike trails that are off street, and provide additional interconnectivity.
More to come as these projects are still in the development phase.