Hennepin County just recently opted not to seek Federal funds in the reconstruction of Marshall St NE (CSAH 23), from 1st Ave NE to St. Anthony Parkway. This reconstruction would have surely included a protected bikeway between 10th Ave NE to 27th Ave NE, seeing as Marshall Street is identified as a future bikeway in the County’s bike plan and it is also designated as a protected bikeway in the City's bike plan.Read more
There is a new protected bikeway on Blaisdell Ave. S. in my neighborhood and I am ecstatic!
Your input on final plans is needed
Many iterations of planning have taken place, and the latest plan can be found on the County's website. Your input on this plan is crucially important at this time, as the plans near completion.
The expectation is that this project would be fully built next year.
Attend the coffee hour with the County the Bicycle Coalition is hosting, or one of the other open houses hosted by the county, and tell them how you feel about this intersection. More details on how to get involved at the bottom of this post.Read more
The City of Minneapolis is holding a public meeting to discuss the proposal to add bike lanes to Franklin Ave SE.
This project needs your support!
Thursday, January 21, 7:00pm
St Frances Cabrini Church, 1500 Franklin Avenue SE
Please attend this public meeting if you would like to improve Franklin Ave SE for all road users, especially bikes.Read more
Hennepin County is designing a project to make the Cedar/Franklin/Minnehaha intersection safer, and more intuitive. This is the second most dangerous intersection in Minneapolis, with the second most bicycle crashes. It’s also one of the most dangerous intersections in Hennepin County, with crash rates more than two and a half times the “critical rate.”
The good news is that Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, and other local groups are working on improving this intersection. The initial design showed stopping car traffic on Minnehaha north of Franklin, squaring up car lanes, and improving designated turning lanes, but did not have much in the way of specific designs for bicycles. Since then, the County provided three options, which are all detailed in this post.
The Cedar/Franklin/Minnehaha intersection: You've probably walked, biked, or driven through it before. If you're like me, you probably approached it thinking something like, "Wait, how do I stay on Cedar? How can I get across this mess? How did they come up with an intersection more confusing than the Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck?!" There's no denying that this intersection is a huge mess.
The good news is that's all going to change in September 2016 when the County repaves the intersection. When that happens, we want to make sure it is an improvement for biking. So, we're looking for your thoughts.Read more
Alex Tsatsoulis, Development & Communications Coordinator - What Protected Bike Lanes Are You Excited About?
Alex Tsatsoulis, Development & Communications Coordinator for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, sat down with me to talk about some bikeways that he's excited to see come to the Stadium Village and Seward neighborhoods in the next year:Read more
Last week, the City started installing a protected bikeway on Oak Street between Washington and East River Road.Read more
Franklin Ave. SE is due to be resurfaced in the next few years, from East River Parkway to the city border at Emerald St. SE. This is our opportunity to build a high-quality protected bikeway on Franklin Avenue.
We need your help!
Come to a happy hour 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, to get more information and show your support for this project while connecting with other advocates for safer streets and connected communities. We’ll walk down the route of the proposed protected bikeway, and then talk about how you can get involved in making it happen. We’ll meet at the east end of the Franklin Ave. Bridge. After the walk, we'll head over to Stub & Herbs for refreshments and more conversation.
Why install a protected bikeway on Franklin Ave. SE?
There are a number of good reasons for installing a protected bikeway on Franklin Ave. SE:
The current route from the Franklin Ave bridge to the city limit, using bike lanes. This is 1.7 miles.
The proposed new route. This is .7 miles. The current route takes bicyclists a mile out of their way.
Connecting communities: Franklin Ave. SE makes a needed connection between the Franklin Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River and to St. Paul. It will also be a great link between the University of Minnesota and the Prospect Park neighborhood, which is home to many University students, faculty and staff.
Current usage is high: Despite featuring a significant hill and no bicycle facility of any kind, this portion of Franklin carries 400 bicyclists per day near the bridge. This is actually higher than the bike traffic on 27th Avenue SE, which also connects to the bridge but only carries 330 bicyclists/day. Given the fact that the Franklin Avenue Bridge carries more than 1,700 riders per day, it’s reasonable to expect that a high-quality bikeway on Franklin Ave. SE will increase the number of people riding. The Franklin Avenue Bridge is slated to be retrofitted by Hennepin County in 2015 with protected bikeways, making Franklin Ave. SE a natural connection.
Traffic calming: As importantly, Franklin Ave SE has problems that a protected bikeway could help solve. It’s 32 feet wide, with parking allowed on both sides of most blocks. This means that traffic lanes are very narrow (eight 8 feet each), when parked cars are present. Few residents feel comfortable parking their cars on the street, so there is very little parking on the part of Franklin Avenue that's east of I-94. This leads to a situation in which the travel lanes are effectively 16 feet wide, which encourages drivers to speed. The protected bikeway will rededicate this underused space in a way that calms traffic.
What would the protected bikeway look like?
The current proposal is to install a two-way, physically protected facility on the north side of Franklin, all the way from Emerald to Thornton. As proposed, it would consist of two five-foot bike lanes, one in each direction, protected by a two-foot buffer with a physical barrier between bicyclists and moving cars:
In order to build a high-quality protected bikeway on Franklin Ave. SE, the underutilized space currently used for on-street parking will be transformed into a protected bikeway for most of the length of Franklin. According to a parking survey conducted in May by Council Member Cam Gordon’s office, every residence on Franklin but one has access to off-street parking, and the on-street parking east of I-94 is used very little. While there are approximately 111 on-street parking spaces on this section of Franklin, the largest number of cars observed parked here was three. That means that over 97 percent of the space is going unused, and just encouraging drivers to speed.
There is one exception: The on-street parking west of I-94 gets used during events at St. Frances Cabrini Church. The proposed solution is to use some of the boulevard space on the south side of the street between East River Terrace and I-94, in front of St. Frances Cabrini church, for a permanent on-street parking lane, and to allow parking in the protected bike lane in this section of Franklin during peak demand periods at Cabrini: Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. These are not peak commuting periods, meaning that both traffic volumes and bicycle volumes are typically lower.
Is this project likely to succeed?
Yes. The Prospect Park neighborhood has already supported traffic calming on Franklin Ave SE, and removal of parking from one side of the street. The council member for the area is Cam Gordon, one of the most bike-friendly members of the Minneapolis City Council.
But we need your help to make this happen. There will be a public open house later this year, and we need to make sure that people who bike this route are well-represented.
This is a first in a series of posts to examine potential protected bikeways in Minneapolis to help inform planning efforts. If you would like to write a piece or help write a piece about a protected bikeway you'd like to see in your neighborhood, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Minneapolis ponders where to align its protected bikeways, I have one proposal that might not be high on the radar but I think should be: Marshall Street NE. Marshall has an industrial feel, especially toward the north, but also runs through the Northeast Arts District and has its share of unique attractions and landmarks.
This past weekend I took a tour of the street from Hennepin Avenue to Saint Anthony Parkway, snapping some photos with my phone (apologies for the quality). Though ugly and rundown in places, the street has plenty of charm and significant potential. To skip to the tour see below. As for now, let my lay out my argument for a protected bike lane on Marshall.Read more