09/05/11

Biking, Walking, & Blogging:New bike routes— Celebrate during Bike Walk Week

 

New bike routes- Celebrate during Bike Walk Week 

 

Several new bike routes, many with pedestrian improvements, are opening this autumn, the culmination of long and painstaking work on behalf of Public Works departments and elected leaders, with significant engagement from community members. As with most things worth doing well, it takes a village to make new routes a reality-even when funding is secure. The celebrations of these routes are meant to acknowledge all the work and to spread the word so that residents of our communities know there are new routes-for commuting to work, for short trips, or just to be outside and enjoy the weather.

 

Many of these new routes are part of October Bike Walk Week celebrations. These celebrations are a chance to check them out:

 

Wednesday, Oct 5-new routes in Downtown Minneapolis, 4:30 pm, Loring Park (near Willow & 15th).

Featuring advisory bike lanes and the completion of the Hiawatha LRT Trail into Downtown.

 

Thursday, Oct 6-new bicycle boulevards in Northeast Minneapolis, 4-6 pm. Starting at Holmes Park.

Featuring a "geek tour" of new infrastructure (such as bicycle stop light, traffic circles, and medians) and a group ride with stops at nearby eateries.

 

Saturday, Oct 7-Biking and Walking in North Minneapolis, 11:00-1:30 pm, starting at Lowry & Fremont

Featuring new bike lanes on Emerson & Fremont Avenues, a parade and group ride, activities at West Broadway & Fremont, and a stop at the new Venture North Bike Walk Center

 

Sunday, Oct 9-1st & Blaisdell bike lanes in South Minneapolis, noon-3pm, starting at MLK Park, Nicollet & 40th

Featuring activities and food at MLK Park (Chef Shack will have free donuts while supplies last) and safety instruction at the 5th Precinct Police Station as well as a group ride along the route.

 

Celebration events already happened for the Byrant Avenue Bicycle Boulevard in South Minneapolis and the new bike center at the University of Minnesota. These new routes and centers are part of the effort to expand the network for nonmotorized transportation in the Twin Citites. The region has long been known for its fabulous off-street bike paths. Many of the projects opening this year provide on-street routes to connect to the system of off-road trails, or they fill in key connections or gaps.

Bryant Avenue Bike Boulevard Celebration:  (left to right) Minneapolis City Council Member Meg Tuthill, Shaun Murphy Nonmotorized Transportation Coordinator, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works, and Mackenzie Turner Bargen, Bike Walk Ambassador for City of Minneapolis (credit: Leslie Foreman)

 

Ribbon cutting opening the Bryant Avenue Bike Boulevard (left to right): Barb Thoman, Transit for Livable Communities, Meg Tuthill, Minneapolis City Council Member, and Shaun Murphy, City of Minneapolis Public Works

There are many new features for bicycling as part of these new routes-such as advisory bike lanes and bicycle stop lights. The projects also include features that improve conditions for people walking as well. On bicycle boulevards, these include curb extensions or bump outs to shorten the crossing distance and medians at major intersections. New bike lanes also have been shown to dramatically reduce bicycle-riding on sidewalks, making it safer for pedestrians along these routes.

 

One focus of October Bike Walk Week is encouraging cyclists and people walking to keep on going as the seasons change. BWTC monthly counts show that 74% of people keep walking and 19% keep bicycling through winter months. During all seasons of the year, people are choosing different ways to get where they need to go. It takes mutual respect and sometimes a willingness to yield to accommodate all the users of our streets. Here's to good cycling and walking in the village!

 

Check out these new videos about features on our streets:

Road Diets

Bicycle Boulevards

Bike Boxes PSA