Bike Walk Move has featured a handful of routes in the past few months (including the bike lanes along Blaisdell and 1st Avenues, the bicycle boulevards along 5th St. and 22nd Ave. in NE Minneapolis and the bicycle lanes on Emerson and Freemont Avenues in North Minneapolis).
Today, let’s take a look at the bicycle lanes along Como Avenue, which stretches across both Minneapolis and Saint Paul (if you want to get an up-close-and-personal look at these new bike lanes, tag along on the August 4 group ride from the Lake Como Pavilion to Hmongtown Market hosted by St Paul Smart-Trips and Bike Walk Twin Cities).
The Como Avenue route is a good east-west route that connects Minneapolis and Saint Paul, with many iconic Twin Cities landmarks along the way. Starting in Minneapolis at 10th Avenue (parallel to I-35 West) and ending at Rice St. in Saint Paul, the Como Avenue route is 7 miles long.
The Minneapolis portion of Como Avenue is just a few blocks north of Dinkytown and the University of Minnesota campus – access it via 15th Avenue SE (Dinkytown) or 10th Avenue SE (University of Minnesota campus) . Heading southeast into Saint Paul, Como Avenue goes through the St. Anthony Park neighborhood, then cuts east through the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Next, the route turns into Horton Avenue, winding through scenic Como Park and around the southern edge of Lake Como. After the lake, Horton Avenue turns into Como Avenue again, which heads southeast all the way to the Capitol.
- Bicycle lanes: Much of the Como Avenue route consists of bicycle lanes, which are on-street lanes specifically for bicycle traffic. They’re striped with solid white lines and a bicycle symbol on each block. At intersections, the lines become dotted lines, meaning that bicyclists and motorists share that space. At some locations, instead of bike lanes, there are sharrows and “bikes may use full lane” signs.
- More bike parking. Not only new bike lanes but also more places to lock your bike, including at bus stops, apartment buildings, eateries, and in business areas, such as at Como and 15th, Como and Carter Avenues, and Como and Doswell Avenues.
- Bicycle signage and safer crosswalks: Bicycle signs along the route help with way-finding by noting nearby destinations (e.g., the University of Minnesota campus), routes (such as the Northeast Diagonal Trail) and connections (to the 10th Avenue Bridge and East River Parkway). New crosswalks, many with curb bump outs (at Scudder and east of Eustis), and countdown timers, also were added as part of the project. Check out the mid-block crosswalk at Health Partners, just east of Highway 280.
- Nice Ride stations: There are three Nice Ride stations right along Como Avenue (as well as nearby stations on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus, in downtown St. Paul, and near the Capitol):
- 15th Ave. SE and Como Ave. SE
- Como Ave. SE and 29th Ave. SE
- Carter Ave. and Como Ave.
- 10th Ave SE into the West Bank of University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus – now also featuring bike lanes after a 4-3 lane conversion road diet)
- 15th Ave. – into the East Bank University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus
- 18th Ave. North to Stinson Ave.
- University of Minnesota Transitway at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds
- Lexington Parkway – south to Summit/Grant Avenues or north (via trails around Lake Como)
- Victoria Street and Wheelock Pkwy (on the east side of Lake Como)
- Minnehaha Avenue & Pierce Butler Route
Landmarks and notable businesses along the route
In addition to being a great link between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the bicycle lanes along Como Avenue are also chockfull of restaurants and attractions. Here are a few:
- Manning’s Restaurant (Como Ave. and 22nd Ave. SE)
- Luther Seminary (Como Ave. between Eustis St. and W. Luther Place)
- Colossal Café (Como Ave. and Doswell Ave.)
- Muffuletta (Como Ave. and Carter Ave.)
- Micawbers Bookstore (on Carter, just west of Como)
- Saint Anthony Park Library (Como Ave. and Carter Ave.)
- Minnesota State Fairgrounds
- Nelson Cheese & Deli (Como Ave. and Snelling Ave.)
- Como Park (trails connect to the zoo, conservatory, and amusement park)
For more information on the Como Avenue route, check out our post about a community ride on the western part of the route in June.