06/01/09

Concerned About a Particular Bike Walk Twin Cities Project? Adopt It!Concerned About a Particular Bike Walk Twin Cities Project? Adopt It!

By Steve Clark, Bicycling and Walking Program Director

Yesterday, I got an email from a TLC member inquiring about the Marshall Ave Livable Streets project. He had heard that bike lanes weren't going to happen west of Cretin because of a problem meeting county standards. I emailed back explaining the new design (bike lanes going uphill, "use full lane" sign for the downhill side), and all the details as to why. 

Two days ago, a cyclist called about the Fillmore Ave Bike Walk Street project in Northeast Minneapolis. She asked if this meant we would never see bike lanes on Central Ave, the absolutely essential street, in her mind, for bicyclists to connect to to downtown and key destinations. I said that, no, Fillmore wasn't conceived as a substitute alternative for bike lanes on Central, and that we had also funded a planning study to demonstrate the feasibility of bike lanes on Central - which is scheduled to be completed this summer.

Just today, we received notice that the City of Minneapolis wants to officially remove Riverside Avenue - the corridor that I consider our most important 4-3 conversion "road diet" bike lane project -- from their "to do" list next year. (Instead they want to retain $50,000 to plan for bike and pedestrian accommodations that could be part of a more major reconstruction in subsequent years.)

The insightful reader will quickly realize that in just 4 days, four different projects were brought to our attention, with four different timelines and issues. Well, guess what folks? We have now funded 46 projects, under the authority of eleven different jurisdictions, each extremely important, and all with huge opportunities for engagement... Well, this is where you come in.

TLC leaders can help!

Yes, indeed, we're looking to formalize something that has already begun to happen: connecting members who care about certain projects with the people who are responsible for their implementation. It's called Adopt-a-Project (who said we had to be original?) and we're looking for people who are passionate about a project that we've funded and want to help us keep track of its progress.

A call to a council member, attendance at public meetings, a call to the project manager, a call to TLC, a photo every once in awhile, maybe even participating in a bike and pedestrian count along the corridor, involvement in the project opening.... These are the kinds of tasks you might find yourself doing.

The goal? Just to be able to follow a project through to its completion, helping to ensure that it truly is designed as proposed, and that officials realize every step of the way, just how important the project is.

To learn more about this opportunity to help improve conditions for people in the Twin Cities, please come to our membership meeting on Wednesday, June 24th at the Bedlam Theatre.