Posts Tagged ‘Como Ave bike lanes’
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
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.
St. Paul Smart Trips’ Ride — Exploring the new Como Ave. bike lanes from St. Anthony Park to the Mill City Farmer’s Market
Monday, June 25th, 2012
There was a big turn out for a group ride on Saturday, June 23, to showcase new bike lanes along Como Avenue in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The Como Ave. lanes provide a very good east-west route from the University of Minnesota campus to downtown Saint Paul (see Google map below for the exact route).
The ride is one of two meant to make cyclists familiar with how easy it is to get to popular destinations on a bike. This ride focused on the western end of Como Ave. The next ride, heading east to the Hmongtown Marketplace, will be on Saturday, August 4. Thanks to Mary Heer-Forsberg and Emma Pachuta from St. Paul Smart Trips for organizing the ride, and to Jason Tanzman, of Cycles for Change bike shop, who lead the ride.
Here’s a photo tour of the route and some of the stories gathered along the way. For one Saint Paul native, the ride provided a pleasurable first-time experience (read on to find out what and where). For others, it was a way to discover a new route across the cities, riding with friends old and new.
Gathering at Saint Anthony Park
Jason Tanzman, a League Certified Instructor of bicycle safety, gave the group some tips about how to check bikes before a ride—the ABC Quick Check—and to be safe on the ride to the Mill City Farmer’s Market, which is along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, next to the Guthrie Theater.
About 30 riders spooled out from the St. Anthony Park Library and headed west on Como Ave. In addition to the Library, the St. Anthony Park commercial district features several shops (including PeaPods and Micawber’s Bookstore), restaurants (Mufalettas and Colossal Cafe), and a Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop and Panera. The area of was full of bikes on a Saturday morning.
Everybody enjoyed riding down the hill next to the Luther Seminary, to the light at Highway 280, next to HealthPartners. There is a mid-block crosswalk at HealthPartners, a feature to make Como Ave. safer for people walking added with the same Bike Walk Twin Cities funding that brought the new bike lanes to this east-west route across the Cities.
West of Highway 280, Como Ave. is a nice, flat ride, passing by Weekes Lumber, a Nice Ride station at SE 29th Ave, and Manning’s Cafe & Bar, a popular hangout for burgers and sports on TV since 1932.
Turning on SE 15th Ave
The bike ride turned left onto 15th. There are several businesses at 15th and Como, including a hardware store, shops, restaurants, and Muddsuckers Coffee. There’s a Nice Ride station next to Van Cleve Park. The University of Minnesota intramural fields are also along 15th.
Turning on SE 5th Street Bicycle Boulevard at Dinkytown
Everybody on the group ride got to experience one of the unique bicycling lanes in the Twin Cities: the “contraflow” bike lane along a One-Way section of SE 5th Street. In some European cities, it is legal for bikes to travel both ways on all one-way streets. But here in the Twin Cities, we have this one street, with the contraflow bike lane clearly marked with an orange stripe. Next up was the bike/ped bridge over 35W.
Over the Stone Arch Bridge
And then we took a left on SE 6th Avenue and headed down to the Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi River. There we were literally stopped by the huge crowds participating in the Heart Beat 5000 run/walk sponsored by Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota. We walked our bikes through the throngs until we could pedal freely again.
As we walked over the bridge, one of the men on the ride, who grew up and lives in Saint Paul, said it was his first time on the Stone Arch Bridge. It was marvelous to hear that the bike ride included a cross-city first for him!
It was a quick few blocks from the Stone Arch Bridge (left on West River Pkwy, right on Portland, left on S 2nd Street) past the Mill City Museum to the organic and local Mill City Farmer’s Market.
Once at the Market, we discovered that one of our group managed to fit in a stop at a yard sale along the way, scoring a London Underground clock. There were bikes and riders of all description on the ride. Mark your calendar for August 4 and join the next one.
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