March BAC Engineering Meeting

Only a few new projects came before the Subcommittee this month, but all quite impactful. The Emerson/Fremont Ave Project was looked at and supported again. There is now a detailed layout available on the project website of what the bikeway and pedestrian improvements will look like. It is unclear what sort of turn staging elements (e.g., bike boxes) will be included for bike traffic at intersections, they will be important to include in order to establish a safe flow of traffic. The Subcommittee discussed several intersection design possibilities and requested that curb stops be added in the buffer space where feasible. However, there is limited room in the project budget for additions. Continue on to see new projects discussed this month.

On the Docket:

  • Glenwood Avenue Resurfacing Project

  • Hennepin Avenue S Reconstruction

  • 3rd/Central Avenue Protected Bikeway

Glenwood Ave Project

Glenwood, from Aldrich Ave N west to Xerxes Ave N, is being resurfaced this year. The current layout of the project shows a dedicated bike lane on the north and south side of the street, with the location of parking and the presence of a buffer varying along the route. Parking is always limited to one side of the street as you travel block to block. The Project Website provides some background and feedback avenues. It also includes the work being done east of Aldrich to 7th St. The Subcommittee supported the layout of the project.

(Picture: Glenwood as seen today, facing west at Morgan Ave)

Separately, The North Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Council passed the following motion to change the layout a bit and add plastic bollards:

“Increase the width of the north side bike lane by 1 foot from 5 feet to 6 feet and increase the north side buffer by 1 foot from 2 feet to 3 feet and add delineators to the center of the 3 foot buffer, using the two extra feet on the roadway that was not counted because of the widths of the gutter pans”

There is space currently dedicated to car travel and the gutter that could instead be used to improve the quality of the bike lane and to help slow car traffic. The North Mpls BAC considers it important that we take advantage of this opportunity to better “encourage a healthier lifestyle through the physical exercise of riding a bicycle in North Minneapolis.” It also emphasizes that the design of the bike lane needs to be consistent with the design east of Aldrich. This is an opportunity for the County to show its commitment to improving racial equity in pedestrian and bicycle projects.

Hennepin Ave Reconstruction

The City brought the current designs concepts for this reconstruction project between Lake and 36th St before the subcommittee. To be brought up to speed on this project, all the goodies you’ll need are available on the Project Website. There are four design considerations between Lake/31st St and three considerations between 31st/36th St. The subcommittee moved to support concepts 1A and 2A.

Concept 1A (between Lake and 31st):

Concept 2A (between 31st and 36th):

For a full look at all the design options and their differences, take a look at the linked pdfs above. Concept 1A is the only one to include a dedicated bike lane throughout the block. The others have different configurations of parking availability but all include the mid-block pedestrian crossing, a much needed addition. Concept 2A is one of the better combinations of dedicated bike lanes and some parking availability. Parking is removed from the west side and is available on the east side.

3rd/Central Avenue

This extension has been in the works since last July. Today, this section of road is very wide so it is not challenging to add a sufficient bikeway connection. The City plans to add a buffered bike lane with bollards on both sides of the street, requiring some parking removal north of the bridge. The Subcommittee moved to support the layout. There is a chance that MnDOT will work on the bridge in 2022, allowing for a better protected bikeway along the bridge.

(Pictured: Cross section north of bridge)

 

The Subcommittee meetings are open to the public, and occur every third Tuesday of the month, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Colonial Warehouse Building, 212 3rd Ave N, Suite 404. If you will be attending a future meeting, have questions or you are interested in being included on the email list for the subcommittee, which includes updates on meeting times and agendas, contact Kurt Wayne, the committee staff member.

 

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