Posts Tagged ‘1st Ave bike lane’
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
We’re starting a new series on the Bike Walk Move blog this week: Featured Routes. The idea? To give you a better idea of the vast network of on-street bike lanes and off-street trails around Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
To kick things off, we’re taking a closer look at the on-street bike lanes on Blaisdell and 1st Avenues in south Minneapolis. These new bike lanes were unveiled late last summer and provide easy routes for cyclists between south Minneapolis and near downtown. These routes also connect with two of the more prominent east/west bicycle routes in south Minneapolis: The Midtown Greenway and Riverlake Greenway. Lets take a peek:
The 1st Ave. bike lane (running north) starts at 40th St. in the Kingfield neighborhood (right across from Martin Luther King, Jr. Park) and runs north through the Lyndale and Whittier neighborhoods all the way to 15th St. near downtown Minneapolis. Cyclists can continue straight into downtown on Marquette Avenue or turn on bike lanes running east/west from Loring Park behind the Convention Center to 11th Avenue S.
The Blaisdell Ave. bike lane starts at 15th St. near downtown (La Salle Avenue heading out of downtown becomes Blaisdell after the intersection at Franklin) and runs south through the Whittier, Lyndale and Kingfield neighborhoods to 40th St. and the Riverlake Greenway in south Minneapolis.
Despite a few high-traffic areas around Lake St. and Franklin Ave., these routes give cyclists convenient alternatives to busy streets like Nicollet and Lyndale Avenues.
- On-street bicycle lanes. Portions of the route heading north on 1st Avenue South includes “buffered bike lanes”, where cyclists are separated from the travel lane for cars by a striped area (see below). The southbound lanes on Blaisdell Avenue include, at the Lake Street crossing, green paint to indicate an area where bicycles lanes and cars turning right need to be aware of each other.
- Helpful signage. A number of signs direct cyclists to other nearby trails, including the Midtown Greeway and Riverlake Greenway.
- More room for cyclists. The routes on 1st Ave. and Blaisdell feature wider bike lanes and enhanced “sharrow” markings where bike lanes are not feasible. Beginning in downtown Minneapolis, cyclists will find enhanced sharrows on LaSalle Ave. South, and as LaSalle becomes Blaisdell, wider bike lanes than were there previously. On parts of 1st Ave. an entire travel lane (for cars) has been removed to make room for bike lanes and to allow parking.
- Midtown Greenway. Just north of Lake St. there is easy access to the Midtown Greenway, which connects cyclists to Uptown and St. Louis Park to the west and the Seward and Longfellow neighborhoods near the Mississippi River to the east (as well as the bike path along the river).
- Riverlake Greenway. On 40th St., the bike lanes on 1st Ave and Blaisdell Ave. connect with the Riverlake Greenway, which connects cyclists with Lake Harriet to the west and the Mississippi River and the River Road Trail to the east. To get a first-hand view of the Greenway, check out this short video.
- 15th Ave. Bike Lane. This connection point, at the start (or end) of each route connects cyclists with Loring Park to the west and downtown locations to the east, including bike lanes along Portland and Park Avenues and 11th Avenue north, all connecting to the Mississippi River path in downtown Minneapolis. The 11th Avenue bike lanes also connect to the Hiawatha LRT bike trail (which currently has a detour for Central Corridor Construction)
Landmarks and notable businesses along routes:
- Eat Street area (1st Ave. and 26th St.). A number of great restaurant options here including the bike-friendly Bad Waitress, Black Forest Inn and Spyhouse Coffee right down the street.
- Blaisdell YMCA. (Blaisdell Ave. and 34th St.) This YMCA has been a south Minneapolis staple for years (although it recently got a nice makeover in 2010)
- Park Nicollet Clinic (Franklin Ave. and Blaisdell Ave.) and Whittier Clinic (Blaisdell Ave. and 28th St.). Shorter trips make up most trips people take & are great to do by bike—visiting your physician along these routes is easy.
- U.S. Post Office (1st Ave. and 31st St.). Drop off your mail—or send a small package—with a quick stop at this location.
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1st Ave. and 24th St.). A Minneapolis institution—literally—is just a stone’s throw away from both routes on 24th St. in south Minneapolis.
- Dining hot spots (various spots). A number of watering holes and restaurants live just between the routes on Nicollet including Blackbird Café (Nicollet Ave. and 38th St.), Pat’s Tap (Nicollet Ave. and 35th St.), and Harry Singh’s Caribbean Restaurant (Nicollet Ave. and 27th St.). Might make for a nice “progressive dinner” on bike some warm, summer evening.
- Pilgrim Lutheran Church (39th St. and 1st. Ave.). Beautiful church right at the start of the 1st. Ave. route in the Kingfield neighborhood. This church was built when streetcar lines served Minneapolis, so it has limited car parking. A great reason to try bicycling to church! There are several other churches along the route, including Plymouth Congregational Church, at LaSalle and Franklin Avenues.
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center (40th St. and 1st. Ave). With 20,000-plus square feet, this rec center is a prime gathering spot along the route for families and kids. Right next door is the Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center, a public tennis facility with 11 indoor courts.
- Kingfield Farmers Market. The market is a few blocks south of 40th on Nicollet Avenue and is close to a number of local shops and restaurants, including Anodyne Coffee Shop. There are many bikes there on Sunday mornings. The market opens May 20 this year.
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