City of Edina Split on Allowing Bicyclists on City Sidewalks

Updated: 06/14/2014 12:47 PM
Created: 06/13/2014 8:26 PM
By: Todd Wilson

The Edina City Council is divided with its mayor over space and safety, after the council gave bicyclists the green light to ride on sidewalks.

Andrea Banks loves riding her bike around Edina with her kids. She prefers the sidewalks to the streets.

"I don't like taking the kids on the roads. It's one thing for me to ride on the roads but when I've got them with me, it's scary," she said.  

Banks and all the other bikers in the area are in luck. Thursday it was illegal to ride on the sidewalk and Friday it's legal. The plan to change the law was presented in February.

"To give options, active options for kids to get to school," Mark Nolan of the city of Edina said. 

But the plan soon evolved into allowing everyone to ride on the sidewalks. Edina Mayor James Hovland feels city council moved too fast.  

"I guess I'm disappointed that we didn't take it first reading only and have a couple weeks to think about it then have another discussion," he said. 

For walkers like Amy Phung, bikes on the sidewalk are a concern.

"I like the idea of being bike friendly but right here the sidewalks are pretty tiny and pretty narrow. So right around here makes me nervous," she said. 

The approval came with a few conditions. You can ride on a neighborhood sidewalk. But you can't ride on the sidewalks in the business district at the intersection of 50th and France. You also can't go faster than 10 mph, and they must slow to a walking pace when a pedestrian is present.

Banks says it really didn't matter to her.

"I would rather break the law by being on the sidewalk but now we don't have to," she said.

You could face a misdemeanor charge if caught disobeying the rules on Edina sidewalks.

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