Six Miles of Protected Bikeways in Minneapolis This Year
The City of Minneapolis has designated $750,000 towards constructing protected bikeways in Minneapolis in 2016. Six miles of protected bikeways have been installed this summer, and next year we hope to double that! The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and Bikeways for Everyone partnering organizations have a goal of building 30 miles of protected bikeways by the year 2020.
Not everyone feels comfortable and safe riding on a busy street, even with a regular bike lane. A protected bikeway creates a more comfortable space to ride that is physically separated from motor vehicle traffic. A separated facility can attract a wider demographic of riders and the City sees protected bikeways as an important tool to increase bicycling in Minneapolis.
Plymouth Ave N/8th Ave NE
One of the projects that was built this summer is a protected bikeway along Plymouth Ave N and 8th Ave NE. If you bike, walk, or drive in the area you might have seen some new plastic posts and green paint go in over the last month. On Plymouth Ave N, starting at Lyndale, across the river along 8th Ave NE to University. The bikeway continues from University Ave and connects to the 5th St bikeway, but instead of being protected is a traffic-calmed "bike boulevard." In a few years, Plymouth will be resurfaced from Lyndale to Emerson, at which point the protected bikeway will be extended.
We are so excited to see these plastic posts and green paint in action! The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition organized a ride from one end of the protected bikeway to the other, and then back again, ending at a local business. Coalition staff were joined by volunteers, residents, and Council Members Jacob Frey of Ward 3 and Blong Yang of Ward 5.
Gratitude to Our Champions
Council Members Frey and Yang supported the construction of this project, and champion better biking and walking infrastructure in their wards. We want to recognize that without the combination of community support and leadership this safe and comfortable bike connection would not have been constructed. Council Member Frey spoke to us about the bikeway being a bridge between communities as well as a connector between communities. Council Member Yang voiced that he would like to see more racially diverse people using bike infrastructure. Building top-notch bikeways like Plymouth/8th is a great step to making that happen!