Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis bike lanes’
Friday, November 16th, 2012
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Southwest Journal.
If it seems like there are suddenly more bike lanes in our community, you are not mistaken!
Since the start of 2011, Minneapolis has nearly doubled its bike lanes on city streets from 45 miles to 81 miles (as well as 85 miles of off-street bikeways). St. Paul has 77 miles of on-street bike lanes, with more in the works, and many suburbs, such as Edina, are also adding substantial new bike lanes.
Besides expanding the amount of bike lanes in the city, Minneapolis has also increased bike lane types: the city is home to nine different varieties of on-street bicycle routes, not including off-street bicycling paths.
About Bike Lanes
Bike lanes are defined as “a portion of the roadway which has been designated by striping, signing and pavement marking for the preferential or exclusive use by bicyclists.” In general, all bike lanes are one-way (carrying bicyclists in the same direction as adjacent traffic), on the right side of the roadway, and located between the traffic lane and the parking lane (if there is one).
Designated bike lanes offer several benefits to all roadway users, including motorists and pedestrians:
- Safety– With bike lanes present, motorists and bicyclists stay in safer, more central positions in their respective lanes, according to recent research by the University of Texas. When passing bicyclists, motorists decreased their incidences of wide swerves into adjacent lanes (nearly nine out of 10 times) or close passes. And bicyclists traveled a more predictably straight path within the bike lane.
In addition, adding designated bicycle lanes typically has a calming effect on vehicle traffic. For example, a study found that a city in Washington was able to dramatically reduce average vehicle speed from 44 mph to 35 mph (the posted speed limit) by converting a busy two-lane suburban road into a roadway with narrower traffic lanes, bike lanes, landscaping and sidewalks.
Bicyclists are also less likely to ride on sidewalks when bike lanes are present. Studies have shown that bicyclists increase their accident risk by 25 times when riding on the sidewalk, due to the fact that motorists typically focus on street traffic, and do not notice bicyclists suddenly exiting sidewalks onto the street, and the risk of pedestrian crashes.
- Roadway cost-savings – For the cost of paint and roadway signs to designate bike lanes, cities can instantly increase the capacity of their existing roadways, without costly expansion. For example, 91 bicyclists ride every two hours on West Franklin Avenue, just west of Nicollet Avenue, according to the 2011 Bike Walk Twin Cities Count Report.
- Decreased vehicle traffic – Each bicyclist (or pedestrian) you see potentially means one less person travelling by motor vehicle. This frees up roadway capacity for motor vehicle users.
- Economic development benefits – Areas that add designated bike lanes often enjoy an economic renaissance. For instance, when Orlando, Fla., converted a four-lane undivided roadway into a three-lane road with bike lanes and on-street parking, city officials noted that pedestrian traffic increased, and several new businesses opened on the street.
Types of Bike Lanes
While Minneapolis has nine distinct types of bike lanes/markings, they basically fall into one of three categories:
- Traditional bike lanes – These are the most common of bike lanes. They are typically at least 5 feet wide, and marked by solid bike lanes with a white bicycle symbol in each block.
A variant of this type is a green bike lane – these are pavement markings used to highlight locations where motorists merge across or turn across a bike lane. The green paint is to alert motorists they must yield to thru bicyclists.
Another close cousin of the traditional bike lane is a bike boulevard. Designated with a painted bike symbol and “BLVD” marking, bike boulevards are found on lower-volume, lower-speed streets.
- Buffered bike lanes – These are bike lanes which are buffered from immediately adjacent vehicle traffic through either a painted buffer (marked with white chevrons), or with parked vehicles, which is a special type of configuration called a cycle track. When riding on a cycle track, bicyclists pass parked vehicles on the left, with the curb on the right. Motor vehicles may not drive on top of buffered bike lanes.
- Shared bike lanes – These are bike lanes that are shared by both bicyclists and motor vehicles. They are typically installed on roadways which are too narrow to accommodate traditional or buffered bike lanes. Shared bike lanes may take the form of an advisory bike lane, marked with a dashed white line, or shared lane markings, marked with a symbol of a bike and “sharrows” (derived from “shared” and “arrows”). A motor vehicle must yield to a bicyclist in a shared bike lane, and may pass the bicyclist only when it is safe to do so.
Learning these types of bike lane configurations may take some time, practice and patience, but the reward is a likely much safer, free-flowing and effective traffic community. To learn more about all of the new lane markings in Minneapolis, go to the city’s Web site at: www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles/understanding-bicycle-markings.
Tags: Minneapolis bike infrastructure, Minneapolis bike lanes, Minnesota bike infrastructure, Minnesota bike lanes, types of bike lanes, types of bike lanes Minneapolis, types of bike lanes Minnesota
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Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Last month, we featured the bicycle boulevards in Northeast Minneapolis along 5th Street and 22nd Avenue. Today, we take a look at the bicycle lanes that were unveiled along Emerson and Fremont Avenues in North Minneapolis last Fall.
The Emerson and Fremont Ave. bicycle lanes are great north/south routes in north Minneapolis, providing access to nearby destinations on West Broadway and Lowry Avenues and (via connecting routes) to Theodore Wirth Park, the Mississippi River, and Target Field and the rest of downtown Minneapolis. Emerson Ave. runs north from 7th St. and Plymouth Ave. to 33rd Ave. Heading north on Emerson takes cyclists through North Minneapolis into the Jordan neighborhood. Head west on 33rd Ave. and you’ll run into Fremont Ave. to head back south towards Plymouth Ave. Cyclists can also go west on 26th Ave. off of Fremont Ave. to hop on the Theodore Wirth Parkway. There also are bike lanes on Lowry Avenue. And, cyclists can continue north on neighborhood streets to catch bike lanes on 42nd Ave. North and the Weber Parkway/Victory Memorial bike paths (part of the Grand Rounds).
Dedicated bike lanes—among the first in North Minneapolis.
Buffer zones–You’ll also notice some stretches of this route that include “buffer zones”, which protect cyclists to traffic.
Bicycle detection stoplight—You’ll notice this stoplight at the corner of Emerson and Lowry.
Nice Ride Stations:
You’ll find a series of Nice Ride stations along this route (or very close to it):
- Plymouth Ave. N. & Fremont Ave.
- Plymouth Ave. N. & N. Oliver Ave.
- Bryant Ave. N. & W. Broadway
- Go east on the Lowry Ave. bike lanes to catch the 2nd St. North bike lanes near the Mississippi and the Lowry Bridge into Northeast (reopening in 2012) or west to the Victory Memorial bike path on the border with Robbinsdale. Don’t miss this bike/bus shelter at Lowry and Penn.
- Go west on 26th Ave. from Fremont Ave. for access to the Theodore Wirth Parkway and all the trails and spaces of that wonderful park.
- Go east on 7th St. from Plymouth Ave. for access to downtown Minneapolis. The 7th St. route also connects to bike lanes on 10th Ave. N. (toward the River) and Glenwood Ave., where better bike facilities are coming soon. Glenwood Ave. is also home to Milda’s Café (great for breakfast) and the Venture North Bike Walk Center (below).
- Bike lanes on Plymouth Ave. provide another east link to the Mississippi River (and over the Plymouth Ave. bridge into Northeast, when it is rebuilt) and west to Theodore Wirth.
Landmarks and notable businesses along routes (just to name a few):
- Cookie Cart (Emerson & Broadway Ave)
- West Broadway Farmer’s Market at Broadway & Bryant (Fridays from 3-7pm during summer)
- Minneapolis Public School Headquarters (West Broadway & Fremont)
- Shiloh Temple (West Broadway & Fremont)
- Parks—there are a number of parks within a few blocks of these routes including Fairview Park on 26th, Jordan Park between 29th and 30th and the North Commons on 16th
- Cub Foods—between 18th and Broadway (great for those short grocery trips)
- North Regional Library (at the corner of Lowry & Fremont)
- Lowry Café, North End Hardware, Aldi Grocery, Doc’s Gym on Lowry Ave. at Penn Ave., about 10 blocks west of Emerson/Fremont bike lanes
- University of Minnesota Urban Outreach & Research Center–UROC (about 6 blocks west of Fremont)
- Minneapolis Urban League (Plymouth & Penn Avenues)
Tags: buffered bike lanes in north Minneapolis, Minneapolis bicycle lanes, Minneapolis bike lanes, new bike routes in Minneapolis, north Minneapolis bicycle lanes, north Minneapolis bike lanes, Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee
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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.
Thursday, October 13th, 2011
The opening of enhanced bike lanes on 1st and Blaisdell Avenues in South Minneapolis on Sunday, Oct. 9, attracted many families from the Kingfield and surrounding neighborhoods.
Tags: advisory bike lanes, bike paths, Bike Walk Move, Bike Walk Twin Cities, biking infrastructure, enhanced bike lanes, Kingfield bike lanes, Minneapolis bike lanes, south Minneapolis bike lanes
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Construction update: New bikeways, sidewalks near Dinkytown, Bryant Ave. and Hiawatha LRT in progress
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
If you see road construction signs around Minneapolis, they might be related to several new bicycle and pedestrian projects, part of an increase of more than 75 miles of bike lanes and sidewalks funded by Bike Walk Twin Cities, a program of Transit for Livable Communities, through the Federal Highway Administration.
Below are highlights of some of the new routes. Check out the Twin Cities route map to see how the network for bicycling is expanding.
5th Street Bicycle Boulevard (with region’s first bicycle stoplight and better crossings for people walking )
This new route will connect Dinkytown, near the University of Minnesota, with neighborhoods in Northeast Minneapolis and connect up to the Grand Rounds off-road bike path along Saint Anthony Parkway. Also in Northeast, a new east-west route along 22nd Avenue NE connects from the Mississippi River to the Minneapolis Diagonal Trail and The Quarry shopping center.
The region’s first bicycle stoplight is coming to the intersection of 5th Street and NE Broadway. These mini-traffic signals with bicycles on them are simply triggered by pushing a button (much like people walking press the button for the walk sign).
The same intersection will be better for people walking, with better curbs and sidewalks. The same median that bikes will use to cross northbound will make it safer for people walking.
Another bonus for bicyclists is at the intersection of 5th Street and Central & Hennepin Avenues in the heart of Northeast. When cyclists pull up to this stop light, bicycle detection in the pavement will mean the light changes more quickly for cyclists and crossing is safer.
Bryant Avenue Bicycle Boulevard
This is one of the longer new bicycle routes coming to the Twin Cities, connecting from the bike and pedestrian bridge over Lyndale and Hennepin (just south of the Walker Art Center and Loring Park) through many south Minneapolis neighborhoods all the way to West 58th Street (great route for downtown bike commuters!).
New medians along Franklin Avenue (between Lyndale and Hennepin) at the north end of the route make it safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, creating a mid-street refuge.
The sidewalks and curbs also are getting a facelift at the intersection of Byrant Avenue and West 28th Avenue and West 29th Avenue. Farther south on the route, at Aldrich Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway, the curb between the Minnehaha Creek bike path and Aldrich Avenue (on the south leg of the intersection) will be altered to allow bicyclists to pass through.
Hiawatha LRT Trail Connection into Downtown Minneapolis
The Hiawatha LRT Trail is a busy bike path, running alongside the LRT tracks into downtown Minneapolis at 11th Street. Once at 11th, bicyclists had no good way to get into downtown, but a new path will open soon making that much easier.
The off-road path will continue across 11th Street and over to 3rd Avenue. Bike lanes will be added to 3rd (headed into downtown) and 4th (headed out of downtown) Avenues. No longer will the Valspar parking lot be the default.
Note: We will have more information on new routes and bike lanes in North Minneapolis (Emerson and Fremont Avenues) and South Minneapolis (1st & Blaisdell) in the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can always find more detailed information about new bike ways on the Bike Walk Twin Cities Projects page or through the City of Minneapolis Bicycle web site.
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