Minneapolis will have five protected bikeways installed this year, pushing us closer to our goal of 30 miles by the end of 2020. Where will the bikeways be? How close will we be to our goal?
Well, let's talk about the bikeways themselves first:
1. 26th and 28th St Bikeways (1 1/4 mile each way)
We've been working hard on these two streets for awhile now and our efforts paid off! This pair of bikeways was completed last week. Between Portland and Hiawatha, each street got a protected one-way bikeway on one side, with the two of them forming a one-way pair. To complement the bike lanes, there are raised crosswalks at certain intersections to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street. Also, each street was reduced by one car lane, slowing down traffic and making the street safer for all users.
2. Plymouth Ave/8th Ave Bikeway (1 mile)
In 2013, a protected bikeway was installed on the Plymouth Avenue bridge over the Mississippi. Since then, according to the City, bicycling increased on the bridge by 67 percent. Because of that success, the city will install a protected bikeway from Lyndale and Plymouth in North Minneapolis all the way to 8th Ave and University in Northeast. The bikeway will be two-way, with one protected lane on each side of the street. There will also be a great connection to the 5th St NE Bike Boulevard by way of a new bike boulevard on 8th Avenue east of University. This will be a fantastic bridge between North and Northeast Minneapolis, one that has been very challenging in the past if you don't use a car.
3. Oak St SE (1/3 mile)
This bikeway, currently under construction, runs on Oak between East River Road and Washington Avenue, hitting the commercial core of Stadium Village and grazing the University of Minnesota campus. The bikeway is two-way, with both lanes located on the west side of the street. The Protected Bikeways Master Plan aims to extend this bikeway to the Dinkytown Greenway within the next five years. For now, a multi-stage turn will be provided to allow northbound bicyclists on Oak to continue north of Washington. The bikeway will also feature a bike signal phase at Fulton St, similar to the one found at southbound 15th Ave SE.
4. Intercity Regional Trail (1 mile)
You may not have heard of it, but this is a major project. The Intercity Regional Trail will span from Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis to the Mall of America and Wright Park in Bloomington. While the whole trail is scheduled to be completed next summer, the Minneapolis portion of the trail, from Nokomis to Taft Park, should be completed in 2015. Following Cedar and Bloomington, it will be an off-street run alongside each street until it diverges from Bloomington and runs through Taft Park.
5. Broadway Ave NE (3/4 mile)
Currently, Broadway Ave is a road for cars and trucks only, with two wide lanes in each direction and zero bike or pedestrian facilities. So, the City will be giving it a road diet and installing a protected shared-use trail on the south side of the street. It will run from Stinson Blvd to Industrial Blvd, connecting major employers in the area such as UPS. The trail will be protected by a buffer zone and white bollards like on the 36th Street Bikeway.
Honorable Mention: 26th Ave N (1/2 mile)
Next year, the City will be installing a curb-level protected bikeway on the north side of 26th Avenue in North Minneapolis. While by the end of 2016 it will stretch from Theodore Wirth Pkwy to the Mississippi River. However, only a half mile of this eight foot bike path will be completed this year: Lyndale Ave to 2nd St N and Theodore Wirth Pkwy to Broadway. The rest will be complete in 2016.
So, with all those bikeways being constructed, how many miles will be complete at the end of 2015?
Six miles! That puts us well on track to meet our goal of 30 new miles of bikeways by the end of 2020. And looking at the City's recently-passed Protected Bikeways Plan, it looks like we should surpass that by far and have 43 miles of protected bikeways by 2020! We're looking forward to seeing the plan complete and being able to expand protected bikeways farther into the city.
Check out what future projects will be coming to Minneapolis soon!