City of Minneapolis Adding Protected Bike Lanes

Updated: 05/09/2014 7:23 AM
Created: 05/08/2014 12:44 PM
By: Todd Wilson

On a rainy Thursday morning, a group of cyclist gathered outside of Jackson's Coffee and Gelato at the intersection of Bryant Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis.

Joining them on their ride was City Council Member Lisa Bender and Mayor Betsy Hodges. They took an easy ride to the Hennepin County Government Center.

"It was great; what I learned is that the bike facilities we've been putting in in Minneapolis work," Hodges said.

But Hodges isn't content, she is helping to add more bike transit ways.

"The city's goal is to have 30 miles of protected bikeways in the city," she said.

Right now, Minneapolis has 80 miles of off-street trails and 95 miles of on-street bike lanes. Hodges says not everyone feels comfortable and safe riding on a busy street, even with a bike lane. So, a protected bike lane will separate a rider from traffic.

Washington Avenue will be the first place to have protected bike lanes. It will go from Hennepin Avenue to Fifth Avenue. The lane has been added to the Washington Avenue street project scheduled for 2015. 

The drivers we spoke with say build the protected bike paths. But their reasons for building them are completely different.

"I do think it would allow more people to utilize bike lanes," Jenae Mattson said.

Another driver said.

"It's a good idea because the bikers already don't obey the rules and I'm always worried I'm going to hit someone," Melinda Swanson said.

Hodges says she hopes the new lanes will cut down on breaking the rules and regulations of the road. But at the same time, she hopes they save lives.  

More Info: Bicycling in Minneapolis

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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