Hennepin County Bike Plan draft encouraging


Hennepin County has released a draft 2040 Bike Plan. We will be reviewing the draft in more detail, but initial takeaways are that the plan offers a smart direction that we hope is supported with some additional investment. It's notable that a big focus of the plan is providing support for all types of people interested in biking, which we strongly support. They propose identifying an "enhanced bicycle network" that "provide a higher level of safety and comfort" and could include protected bikeways, trails, and bicycle boulevards.



The County will be collecting public comment on the draft plan through Decemeber 5, including a Minneapolis public open house Oct 15 (details below).



Big takeaways



The big targets from the plan:





 



Some initial thoughts on the targets:




  • These are good targets. We are happy to see an explicit target to grow bicycling and women riders. The targets are ambitious, but achievable with proper investment.


  • Completing 20 miles of bikeway system per year is about a 66 percent increase over the average of 12 miles per year for the last five years. That will require additional investment, which we hope the County will make (in addition to the state through a transportation bill).


  • Given the County's and Three Rivers Park District lack of investment traditionally in winter bike maintenance, it's notable that winter maintenance is not listed as a target. The plan details basically say that the County will continue to expect winter maintenance to be done by local communities. The reality is that reaching a goal of 50% of bike riders going through the winter (this plan's stated goal) is going to require more from the County on winter maintenance. Maybe it is more efficient for cities or park entities to do that maintenance, but the County should be involved financially in supporting that at some point before 2040.



More details on the plan elements soon. If you are interested in helping us dive into those details, please email me at ethan@mplsbike.org. Our volunteers will be very important in helping us review the plan.



Minneapolis Public Open House



Wednesday, October 15, 4-6:30 pm at the Minneapolis Central Library.



Attend and share your thoughts on the details. We'll have more details later on how you can email thoughts once we've identified the most key things to stress.



Three other open houses will be held in suburban locations. You can see those details at: http://www.hennepin.us/bikeplan


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