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There's no way that we can possibly cover everything happening around bicycling, walking, and transportation in the Twin Cities region. That's why we started a blog network: a one-stop shop to get read all of the bicycling and walking blogs in the area. If you'd like to add your blog to this network, send an email to tlc@tlcminnesota.org. 

Ellison Secures $750,000 for Two Local Transit Projects

Transit for Livable Communities - Tue, 07/21/2009 - 11:22am

By Katie Eukel, Communications Manager

Just ran across this press release from Congressman Keith Ellison's office. Great news from Washington:

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) secured another two major appropriations for the Fifth District - $500,000 to help develop a new transit hub in downtown Minneapolis and $250,000 to begin planning for the Bottineau Transitway, a new light rail line between downtown Minneapolis and the Northwest Suburbs.

"I could not be more pleased to have this provision included for the Bottineau Transit project and thank Congressman Ellison for his leadership," said Hennepin County Board Chair Mike Opat. "This appropriation will take us one step closer to building a major transit investment and transportation equity in the North Minneapolis and northern suburban communities."

These appropriations are included in the draft House Transportation and Housing, Urban, Development Appropriations bill. This bill is expected to be considered on the floor this week.

For the full release, go here.

Bike to School? Parking May Be a Challenge

Transit for Livable Communities - Thu, 07/09/2009 - 10:14am

From Tony Hull, Program and Evaluation Specialist

Students attending Washburn and Roosevelt High Schools in south Minneapolis may live close enough to bike to school; indeed they may have a working bike to ride to school. It is entirely possible that their loads of homework could be accommodated in a back-pack on this bike trip. But what are they going to do with the bicycle when they get to school?

Teachers would frown on bringing a bike to class. As for bike parking, the students who do ride are learning to be creative. The racks that do exist are generally hidden away from view and, if not home-made by a long-ago shop class, they tend to be the old comb-style rack that is generally not effective for securing a bike today.

But soon all of this will change. Over the summer, the city of Minneapolis will oversee the installation of bicycle racks across the city including several locations at schools, funded by the Bike Walk Twin Cities program. As a result, returning students next year will be pleased to find new, convenient, and secure parking at Washburn, Roosevelt, and other Minneapolis schools.

Bike Walk Twin Cities staff were out before the end of the school year observing the current conditions and counting the number of bikes and how they were parked at the two schools. We will follow up next spring to measure the impact of the investments.

Additionally, to clear the back log of bike rack requests, the City of Minneapolis will be installing racks at locations city-wide with funding from Bike Walk Twin Cities supplementing the city’s 50/50 cost sharing program. Bike Walk Twin Cities staff will be conducting an evaluation of these investments at several key locations, including Lyndale Ave/Lake Street, Hennepin/Central Ave, Broadway/26th Ave, and 13th St NE/University Ave. Staff have compiled an inventory of existing facilities and will be counting bike parking and distributing a “spoke” survey in the target areas to measure the impact of the new bike racks.

For more information about the city bike parking program contact Donald Pflaum, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works (612)673-2129 or donald.pflaum@ci.minneapolis.mn.us.

Check out our Flickr set of Minneapolis bike parking photos.

Minneapolis Releases Pedestrian Master Plan

Transit for Livable Communities - Tue, 07/07/2009 - 11:08am

From Tony Hull, Program and Evaluation Specialist

The city of Minneapolis Department of Public Works has released the draft of the Minneapolis Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan, funded in part by the Bike Walk Twin Cities program, goes far beyond just looking at sidewalks, addressing trees and boulevards, crosswalks and intersections, street lighting, bridge design, street furniture, accessibility, snow and ice clearance, sidewalk cafes, construction zones, and funding pedestrian improvements.

This plan will provide a framework for addressing walkability in Minneapolis for years to come. The plan is now available for public review and the department of public works is looking for feedback. There are many ways that you can participate:

Thursday, July 16, 2009 Open House and Walking Workshops
Walking workshops at 5:30 p.m.
Public meeting 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Master plan presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Minneapolis Central Library 300 Nicollet Mall

Attend the July 16, 2009 public open house
Learn more about the Minneapolis Pedestrian Master Plan at a public open house The meeting site is wheelchair accessible. If you need other disability related accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter or materials in an alternative format, please contact Anna Flintoft at (612) 673-3885 or anna.flintoft@ci.minneapolis.mn.us before July 9.

Attend the July 16, 2009 walking workshops
Come early to the public open house for two walking workshops conducted by the Bike Walk Ambassadors at 5:30pm: a neighborhood walkability audit and a workshop on staying safe as a pedestrian.

Comment on the plan
Let us know if we’ve captured the most important issues and solutions for improving and increasing walking in Minneapolis. Send your comments to anna.flintoft@ci.minneapolis.mn.us.

Sign up for e-mail updates
To receive notification about pedestrian plan updates, sign up for e-mail updates or check this website.

For more information, contact:

Anna Flintoft, Transportation Planner

Minneapolis Dept of Public Works - Transportation Planning and Engineering
309 2nd Avenue South - Room 301, Minneapolis, MN 55401

(612) 673-3885

Transit for Livable Communities and Allies Issue Report on Stimulus Spending

Transit for Livable Communities - Mon, 07/06/2009 - 1:35pm

From Barb Thoman, Program Consultant

At the end of June, Transit for Livable Communities and three local partners (1000 Friends of Minnesota, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, and Fresh Energy) released a report entitled Minnesota and the Stimulus to coincide with the national release of Smart Growth America's The States and the Stimulus. The Minnesota report details how Minnesota allocated its $600 million in federal transportation funding under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (also known as The Stimulus) and the process used to make the decisions. The national report identifies the spending patterns for all 50 states at the Act’s important 120-day deadline.

According to the Minnesota report, MnDOT investments in Greater Minnesota focused on road and bridge repair, but in the metro area nearly 30 percent of the stimulus went for roadway expansion, including the sprawl-inducing Trunk Highway 610 expansion. There was strong demand for money for bicycle and pedestrian projects--a number of cities listed a trail or sidewalk project as their highest project priority.

The national report got great press and was discussed in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal's blog, Fox Business and dozens of other media outlets. The Minnesota report was discussed in the Pioneer Press and Home Town Source.

For more information on the reports, contact Barb Thoman at barbt@tlcminnesota.org