Posts Tagged ‘north minneapolis’
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Transit for Livable Communities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal.
Perhaps as one of those early signs of spring, discussion of greenways is on the agenda in February in Minneapolis. If you ride a bicycle, whether for recreation or transportation, the subject of greenways likely brings to mind the Midtown Greenway, a 5.5 mile former railroad corridor in south Minneapolis with bicycling and walking trails.
If you only drive, you’ve likely passed under the Martin Sabo Bridge, the one with the huge mast and cables (yes, the one that needed major repairs in 2012). The Sabo Bridge gives cyclists using the Midtown Greenway a way over Hwy 55 as alternative to the street crossing. The bridge also connects to other bike routes, such as the Hiawatha LRT trail.
The Midtown Greenway is one of the busiest bicycle routes in the city, with a steady stream of bikes in rush hour. Some have called it a bicycle superhighway. And, people like it because it’s convenient.
As one South Minneapolis resident said, “My back yard literally butts up to the Greenway so it seemed practically criminal to not get on the Greenway–especially since I’ve been freelancing downtown. . . . It was slick and just as fast as driving and saved me anywhere from $7-$12 in parking a day, not to mention that I was able to incorporate exercise into my basic routine.”
Given the success of the Midtown Greenway (and here’s a shout out to the Midtown Greenway Coalition, that works to protect and improve the route), it’s no surprise that people have been looking for other possible places for similar dedicated bicycle and pedestrian routes.
There’s long been discussion of trying to extend the Midtown Greenway over the Mississippi River into Saint Paul, along a route adjacent to the railroad tracks and Ayd Mill Road. In Minneapolis, there are a few different routes under discussion (check out the web site of Twin Cities Greenways for a summary). A greenway route in North Minneapolis has gotten a boost in planning and community discussion via the City of Minneapolis Health Department.
If built, the North Minneapolis greenway would extend from the Shingle Creek Trail in the north and to approximately Plymouth Avenue North in the south. Extending a little over four miles, it would connect three schools and four parks and provide a very attractive north-south route for walking or bicycling, as well as new green spaces for the neighborhoods along and near the route.
A few different models and examples of greenways were considered by the community last fall, including a “full linear greenway’ (with no motorized access except emergency vehicles), “half-and-half” options that create a dedicated bike way alongside one-way or two-way streets, and a bicycle boulevard.
The discussion of options shows how, with bicycling and pedestrian routes, we’re just learning to expand our terms and sense of what’s possible.
Bicycle boulevards are sometimes called greenways.
In Minneapolis, there are several bicycle boulevards, but one of the most scenic and pleasant, the Riverlake Greenway, runs parallel and south of the Midtown Greenway, along 40th and 42nd Streets from near Lake Harriet to the Mississippi River. This “greenway” is an on-street bicycle route on residential streets with very low traffic. On this greenway, it’s easy for two bicycles to ride next to each other and for families to ride together. Bicycle boulevards are very popular routes with women. They also often have features that make walking safer, such as curb bump-outs and medians that provide a place to wait in the middle of crossing busier streets. In Portland, they call bicycle boulevards “neighborhood greenways.”
Greenways can also be “linear parks.”
Do you know Milwaukee Avenue in the Seward neighborhood? Or the 37th Avenue North greenway in North Minneapolis. Though both extend just a few blocks, they may be the closest models for what’s being considered on long stretches of the North Minneapolis Greenway. In the 1970s, a few blocks of Milwaukee Avenue (just south of Franklin Avenue) were closed to automobile traffic. Where the road used to be is now a pathway for walking and bicycling. Streets crossing Milwaukee were blocked off. The result is an oasis of greenery, with houses fronting a park-like stretch, aka a “linear park.” The owners of those houses use alleys behind the houses for driving access and to park their cars.
The preferred option for the North Minneapolis Greenway includes a mix of features, including not only the way the route is constructed but also things made possible by re-thinking how to use space: playgrounds, community gardens, BBQs, and more. The options, once you start to consider them, are many. The response in North Minneapolis indicates that people like the ideas.
The North Minneapolis Greenway is the focus of a community open house on February 12 from 6-7:30 PM at North Commons Recreation Center, 1801 James Ave. N. Maps and information are available on the City’s web site: www.minneapolismn.gov/health/ship/northminneapolisgreenway
Tags: 37th Avenue North greenway, bicycling, bike boulevard, green space, linear park, Midtown Greenway, Milwaukee Avenue, north minneapolis, North Minneapolis Greenway, Riverlake Greenway, walking
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Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Annual Bike Fest events in North Minneapolis encourage children and their families to learn more about biking and biking safely. One organizer shares how the events come together and what she hopes the community will take away from them.
Name: Janet Marvin
Occupation: Current: Program Director for Herb Brooks Foundation; Past: Folwell Center for Urban Initiatives – City Kids
You’re an advocate for getting more kids in North Minneapolis to bike. Why is this important to you?
Bicycling is a great way to stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors. Minneapolis has great bike trails. Bikes provide transportation for youth to get to destinations like church, school, parks and local stores.
The Folwell Center for Urban Initiatives (FCUI) created Bike Fest as part of its City Kids initiative; that program was then adopted by the Webber-Camden Neighborhood as a primary event in 2010 and 2011. The Pohlad Family Foundation supported the 2011 Bike Fests and delivered bike programming in six events across the northside from May to August. These events served more than 1,000 people, primarily youth, and included bike giveaways, helmet safety with 1,000 helmets donated by the American Academy of Neurology, bike maintenance and repair.
What was your role in the summer of 2011 Bike Fests?
My role was to coordinate the events; bringing together volunteer mechanics at the host site, organizing activities and volunteers.
The Bike Fest event was started seven years ago through the Folwell Neighborhood Association (FNA) office. North Minneapolis did not have a bike shop or a place where families could take bikes and get basic repairs done. We thought it would be a great idea if together with FNA, PAL (Police Activities League) and the Minneapolis Parks, we could offer a solution to some of the bike issues. Since then, it has grown from doing events at three sites to doing six sites this past summer. This past summer, The American Academy of Neurology donated 1,000 helmets to be fitted and given away. The Bike/Walk Ambassador organization came in and set up the safety course at the events. The Pohlad Family Foundation helped with buying new supplies to fix the bikes and also provided hot dogs at the events.
Bike Fest is a family event with some of the activities focused for 6- to 12-year-old girls and boys. They register for a chance to win a new bike; there are two brand new bikes raffled off at each event. Then we also raffle off used bikes that have been donated and repaired. At the registration table the kids get a “punch card” with activities on it. Once they complete the punch card they will get a gift bag. The gift bag typically contains a water bottle, lock, stickers, etc. At the Bike Fest there are six to eight activities for the kids to participate in: repair a flat tube, ride the safety course, get fitted for a new helmet, get a free basic tune-up, ride a high-wheeler, ride a unicycle, brain injury simulation station.
What’s one piece of advice you would give a youth if they were looking to ride a bike more frequently?
Wear a helmet. Lock your bike when you are not riding it! Ride safe and enjoy the trails we have; we are so blessed to have such a great trail system.
Friday, September 30th, 2011
The bike trails in North Minneapolis are a gateway to a number of neighborhood landmarks, parks and community gathering spots. We’ve rounded up a few of those spots to start with – pick one, or hit all of them in a day on your bike. Great way to get out and see the neighborhood in a new way.
The Victory Memorial district covers the northwest loop of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway and honors soldiers of World War I. At 3.8 miles, it’s recognized as the largest war memorial in the Twin Cities – a historic and tree-lined ride. No shortage of scenery here.
In addition to featuring local artists, The Warren also hosts community events and is home to the Workhouse Theatre. Keep an eye on its Facebook page for announcements about upcoming events. Hours vary (open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Tuesdays), so be sure to check the schedule or call ahead on weekends.
Tennis courts, a playground, a pond, a library – take your pick of activities at the 22-acre Webber Park. A fixture in north Minneapolis for years.
Located in North Mississippi Regional Park, the Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center is filled with information and displays on nature, recreation and transportation including a wall of maps and a virtual ride aboard of ’73 Barracuda that will help you better understand what the development of I-94 meant to the community. Oh, and you can also hunt for features of the building that are made out of sunflower seed shells, wheat and recycled plastic.
If you’re a north Minneapolis resident, or you bike in the area regularly, what other destinations would you add to this list?
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