Last Chance to Support Minnehaha Bikeway

Tonight (Monday, September 30) from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Minneapolis residents will have their first of two chances this week to learn about and give their opinion on the final project design proposal for the reconstruction of Minnehaha Avenue, between 46th Street South and Lake Street. Here is the full info on the hearings courtesy of Hennepin County:

Minnehaha Aveune Reconstruction Public Informational Meetings
Monday, Sept. 30 and Wednesday, Oct. 2, 6:00-8:00 p.m. (presentation at 6:30)
Minnehaha Communion Lutheran Church, 4101 37th Avenue South

Staff from Hennepin County, LHB Inc. (the county’s consultant), and the City of Minneapolis will be available to discuss the project and answer questions. A brief presentation and question and answer session will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 to provide a project update, schedule, and progress to this point.

cropped bicycles

We are disappointed to learn that Hennepin County has decided not to do a protected bike lane (“cycle track”) for Minnehaha Avenue. Instead, they will implement improvements to the on-street bike lanes.  In our view, this design prioritizes carbon-fueled transportation, instead of capitalizing on a once in 50 year opportunity to truly make this road a more accessible and inviting Complete Street for all users, of all ages and abilities.

In one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, it’s no surprise that bike accessibility has taken center stage as an issue in the Minnehaha project. Among the proposals being considered by Hennepin County were a one-way, buffered, on-road bike lane similar to the existing one. A second proposal would install a two-way cycle track separated from the road by the west curb.

minnehaha

Now, Hennepin County is moving forward with only one proposal.  Although we are pleased that the design includes improved, high quality, painted bike lanes, these public informational meetings are an important opportunity for the community to show their support for safer streets, carbon-free transportation, and more livable neighborhoods. If you cannot make the meetings, you can share feedback with Commissioner Peter McLaughlin (peter.mclaughlin@co.hennepin.mn.us) or Project Manager Kristy Morter (kristy.morter@co.hennepin.mn.us).

Minneapolis is a city where more than 1 in 10 commuters walk or pedal to work, and the City Council and Mayor want to increase this number by constructing “30 miles of on-street, protected bike facilities (cycle tracks) by 2020, to allow safe and efficient travel for all types of cyclists”(Minneapolis Climate Action Plan). Saying “No” to a protected bikeway on Minnehaha is not starting off the the right track towards this important goal.

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