Archive for January, 2012
Monday, January 16th, 2012
The Twin Cities biking and walking community had a busy—and successful—2011. Just take a peek at a few of the events and milestones that took place last year:
- New bikeways, bike boulevards and walking paths debuted all over the area, including the Riverlake Greenway and enhanced bike lanes on 1st and Blaisdell Avenues, just to name two.
- New bike centers opened, including the University of Minnesota Bike Center in September and Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee in October
- We went behind-the-scenes at a few of the Twin Cities most bike-friendly companies, including Clockwork Active Media Systems, Colle+McVoy and Northern Brewer
The cherry on top: December’s news that numbers for both biking and walking in the Twin Cities are up – way up. Bicycling in the Twin Cities increased 52 percent over the past five years, and walking is up 18 percent, according to data from Bike Walk Twin Cities. In fact, from 2010 to 2011 alone, biking increased a whopping 22 percent. And that’s really what all the new bike paths and other infrastructure changes are all about: helping people bike, walk and move more.
Why the increase in biking and walking? Why now? Bike Walk Twin Cities officials attribute the increase to several factors, including new bikeways, fluctuating gas prices and heightened community awareness of the health and social benefits of bicycling.
The big jump in biking and walking numbers drew local and nationwide attention, once again solidifying the Twin Cities as one of the most bike- (and walk-) friendly areas in the country. Here’s a full list of the media/blog stories in the last month:
Huffington Post –“ How to boost biking and walking in your town”
Energy Bulletin – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Planetizen – “Twin Cities see remarkable increases in biking, walking”
Star Tribune – “A new attitude about biking in Minneapolis?”
On the Commons – “How to boost biking and walking in your town”
Minnesota Public Radio – “Advocates tout increase in Twin Cities cyclists”
Common Dreams – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Oregon Emerging Local Government Leaders Network - “The Afternoon Delight” (summary)
MinnPost – “Study says Twin Cities biking up 52% in last five years”
Open Salon – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Downtown Journal – “Community Notebook”
Shareable – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Transit Oriented Development News – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
People for Bikes – “More people than ever are biking and walking in the Twin Cities”
Mostly Water – “How to boost biking and walking even furthering your city”
Tokyo Progressive – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Humanitarian News – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Twin Cities Sidewalks – “Minneapolis bike count show disparities in cycling infrastructure”
Velo Traffic – “Measuring Cycling Growth”
Cycle TC – “5 years, 52% increase in cycling”
TreeHugger – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
AidNews – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Clearly, the positive news attracted a lot of attention inside and outside the Twin Cities. Here’s to continuing the momentum in 2012!
Monday, January 9th, 2012
I recently stopped by Venture North Bike Walk Center to chat with them about their first few weeks as a fully functioning bike-walk center and what they have in the plans for 2012.
Venture North Bike Walk Center opened in North Minneapolis right before Thanksgiving in 2011 and offers a full range of services and programs relating to bicycling and community development.
“The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Alicia Adams, Health and Program Outreach Coordinator. “People stop in just to say hi and thank us for being here.”
In addition to providing quality used bicycles at affordable prices and fashionable bicycling accessories, Venture North provides hands-on training to neighborhood youth through their Build a Bike program.
The 16-week Build-a-bike apprenticeship program provides a framework for community youth to learn basic bike repair and maintenance, sales, and customer service skills. Over the course of the program, apprentice mechanics attend two four-hour classes twice a week and then personally shadow the master mechanic to work on individual skills. Current apprentices are fixing up used bikes for the floor of the shop. As the program develops, apprentice mechanics will mentor younger students through the program and earn a free bike.
“We’re more than just a ‘bike shop,’ we provide a fully functioning service center, used bikes, and a community space,” said Casey Pavek, Service and Education Manager. “We fix all sorts of things!” Also, in January 2012, Dogwood Coffee will be opening a small coffee shop inside of Venture North. Coffee and bikes –a great way to build community space!
Venture North Bike Walk Center provides basic bicycle maintenance classes to the broader community and even a couples bike class to encourage people to ride together. Fridays are “Free Flat Fix Fridays at Five,” where community members can come learn the best ways to change a flat tire.
With the apprenticeship course and service center up and running, Venture North is looking towards providing additional programming in 2012. In early 2012, the Center will be hosting a series of events entitled “Dream Because You Can” to encourage all people in the community to give bicycling or walking a try. They will be releasing a video with information about Venture North, free workshops on Thursdays and Saturdays, and a group bike ride to check out new bicycling infrastructure in North Minneapolis and surrounding neighborhoods.
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal. Now that Nice Ride bikes are tucked away for the winter, consider using the bus for your quick trips to lunch, meetings, doctor’s appointments, or shopping. Using Metro Transit is an ideal way
The following is a post written by Bri Whitcraft, Special Projects Coordinator, Bike Walk Twin Cities. It all started with a video as inspiration and a Tweet as declaration. (My mom thought it was a joke.) Map & Route From my home in South Minneapolis, I biked to St. Paul to borrow the trailer from
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Southwest Journal. Practical, affordable and surprisingly rewarding, winter bicycling has become increasingly popular in Minneapolis, recently named one of the top five cities in the nation for winter bicycle commuting by MetaEfficient. That’s amazing when