Both 35W and Cedar Ave need to have accompanying bike lanes. There is no effective river crossing for non-motorized commuters.
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Urban Mountain Biking is not a unique or new idea, it is still a good idea. Why not bring people to underutilized areas of open space in the cities? Theo Wirth MTB Trail fills in a space that is otherwise used for illegal activities, and skiing in the winter. Now MTBers fill that space and provide appropriate use of that area. Plus it's healthy and fun, and with sustainable trail design we won't scar the land.
We should continue to fill voids with appropriate uses.
Many, many places around the metro have critical gaps between destinations for bike/ped users due to bridges that were built with zero width available for them. There isn't even a shoulder in many cases - just car lane and then railing. This is the most frequent cause of problems for linking regional parks to each other and to population and business areas and for the continuity of regional trails.
All new bridge construction should include at least a 4' sidewalk on one side an an 8' bike trail on the other, and several existing ones will need to be retrofitted or replaced in key areas.
Rumble stips should NOT be installed unless there is a specific reason at a specific location where they are needed. Even then rumble strips should only be insalled where there is enough foodway to allow for a fully bicylce compatible installation. Rumble strips cost more to install, collect debris, and generally make biking less safe.
Commuting between the urban centers of the Twin Cities is often difficult and hazardous to bicyclists. And with University Avenue becoming less bike friendly, we need to encourage funding for the cities to build some protected bike corridors between themselves.
-Extend the Midtown Greenway across the river (a multi-city, multi-county project involving railroad corridors is perfect for Met Council assistance)
-Complete MPRB's missing link in the Grand Rounds and connect it to an east-west segment along 4th Street SE/Territorial/Charles Ave into St. Paul
-Redesign Franklin Ave east of the river to protect bicyclists going uphill and connect across University Ave or create a parallel bike corridor south of University and complete the bike lanes west of the river
Portland currently has 85 on-street bike corrals citywide and leads the nation in this respect. While Walkscore's bikescore ranked Mpls over 10% higher than Portland based on bike lanes, hills/topogaphy, bike commuters, and destinations, Mpls maybe has a measly two on-street bike corrals. At a price of only $2,000-$4,000 each (for the racks themselves depending on how extravagant the design is and installation costs) Mps could dominate Portland further in one fell swoop while making a huge improvement in citywide bike parking. Each parking space which currently only holds one car and most of the time one occupant/customer would instead provide parking for a dozen people/customers at any number of business districts around the city and make it crystal clear that cyclists do have a place on the road and not just when they're riding on it. After all, the reason why so many people drive so often is because there isn't a doubt as to whether parking will be available: it's perceived as a given (even when it's not all that readily available). This, I predict, would have a bonus effect by inceasing the number of cyclists including the number of bike commuters on a regular basis in addition to accommodating today's avid cyclists. It's cheap, it's easily and quikly doable in the short-term, has positive long-term effects, it would get great press and further the Mpls brand/image nationwide (which indirectly benefits the MSP region as a whole), lost parking spaces would be negligible, and there are plenty of other benefits as well. Did I mention how cheap it is on a cost/benefit ratio?
The Twin Cities should create bicycle highways that extend the option of bicycle commuting to more citizens. Though Minneapolis is consistently named one of the best in the country for biking, much more could be done to increase the percentage of trips made by bicycle. In addition, more urban corridors should be designated as bike boulevards to make riding safe and easy for everyone.
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