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Updated: 08/12/2013 7:23 AM
Created: 08/11/2013 12:18 PM | Print |  Email
By: Katherine Johnson

Mpls. Cyclists Seek More Protection on City Streets

Image: Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition

With our 80-some miles of bike paths, the city of Minneapolis consistently ranks as one of the most cyclist-friendly places in the country. 

Even our bike lanes on city streets cover more than 90 miles, total. But for some, the safe spaces for cyclists on the street are few and far between.

"They're telling us, 'I don't want to ride on a street like Minnehaha Avenue. I won't ride on a street like Minnehaha Avenue,'" said Ethan Fowley, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.

Fawley is leading the push to install "cycletracks" along Minnehaha Avenue. It's one of many proposals the county will consider in the street's upcoming reconstruction.

"Instead of having a painted white line that separates you, you have planters or you have a curb or ballads and parked cars that are separating you from cars," Fawley said.

There is one example of a "cycletrack" already in place on First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is collecting signatures to pass along to both county and city representatives, Monday morning, asking for their support in the project.

"We're not asking for any more space for biking. We're just asking for better space for biking," Fawley said.

Fawley claims the space would be comparable to the street size now and parking wouldn't be affected, but opponents disagree.

Lead engineers in charge of the Minnehaha's reconstruction also fear the angle of Minnehaha against the city's grid creates too many acute and obtuse intersections and could make cyclists hard for drivers to see at stop lights.  But cyclists argue painted lines on the ground won't stop a car, either.

Click here for maps and where to ride in Minneapolis.



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