Posts Tagged ‘Riverlake Greenway’
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
Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
The following is a guest post from Masami Kawazoto, local food blogger, Kingfield and Fulton Farmer’s Market board member, and avid cyclist. On Oct. 1, Masami led a ride of 10 south Minneapolis cyclists through south Minneapolis on a “progressive lunch on bike.” The following is her summary of that wonderful Saturday afternoon.
Earlier this summer, Bike Walk Move got in touch with me about organizing a progressive lunch by bike event. I was thrilled to be asked and said yes immediately. Why? For a few reasons – my husband Aaron and I have been car-less by choice since 2003 and use bikes as our main means of transportation from spring to fall, we are passionate about good food (especially the locally-sourced variety), we wanted to learn more about the bicycle amenities in Minneapolis, and we wanted to meet others who feel the same.
So on Sat., Oct. 1, a small group of bicycle and food enthusiasts gathered for the progressive lunch by bike. It was the perfect day for a ride – in Minnesota, you have to take advantage of sunny warm weather in October!
We gathered at the Fulton Farmers Market to peruse the market stands. Upon convening, we realized a number of us had bought the delicious granola from Bliss, who was making her Fulton Farmers Market debut that day. Aaron shared the apple cider he bought from Sweetland Orchards. After introductions, we were off on our bikes! Obeying all traffic laws, we cruised down 52nd Street until we hit Minnehaha Parkway, where we followed the bike path eastwards towards Wise Acre Eatery.
Wise Acre Eatery is pretty new to the restaurant scene in Minneapolis. They opened this summer in the former Liberty Frozen Custard location. For you locavores out there – this is THE place to eat. Most of the ingredients come from a farm near Plato, Minnesota. Wise Acre Manager, Caroline Glawe, was incredibly enthusiastic about our event and put together a “Bikers Special” for us – half of a grilled ham, jam, cheddar sandwich (their most popular sandwich) along with a cup o’ soup and a beverage. I admit I had reservations about strawberry jam in a hot ham and cheese sandwich. But I was so wrong, the sweetness of the jam complimented the briny saltiness of the ham and the rich cheese perfectly. I chose the squash and apple soup, which had a slight zing of ginger and came garnished with popcorn – fun!
Others ordered off the full menu – I saw a hearty hash with beautiful farm eggs, house-made sodas, and ham and egg sandwiches. We were also treated to a small bite of their house-made custard, with our choice of sauces. I chose a silky-smooth pumpkin custard and drizzled salted caramel on top. We all agreed we could’ve drunk vats of the salted caramel on its own. Wise Acre also has a pick-up window so it’s a great option for bicyclists looking for delectable local eats on the go.
Happily fed, we hopped on our bikes again to take the scenic route towards our next location. After backtracking on Minnehaha Parkway, we hit Bryant Avenue, taking advantage of the Bryant Ave. Bike Boulevard. Next was a turn onto 40th Street – also known as the RiverLake Greenway – followed by another turn onto First Avenue to take advantage of its new bike lane. Once we hit Uptown, we hopped onto the Midtown Greenway to make our way over to the Herkimer.
We arrived in time for happy hour at The Herkimer. Sitting outside on their picnic tables, we enjoyed their hand-crafted German beers over conversation. It’s pretty amazing how bikes, food, and drinks can bring people together. We didn’t all know each other but conversation flowed easily amongst us. We talked jobs, schools, kids, bike amenities, favorite restaurants and managed to get some professional networking in. I sampled the Oracle, a local vodka and energy drink cocktail created for our group – a great pick-me-up after biking all over Minneapolis.
We parted ways after the Herkimer after a lovely afternoon. I think my friend Frank Grazzini (picture above at left) summarized our day the best: “I thought it would be a great way to visit a couple of places that are quickly becoming south Minneapolis landmarks, while getting to meet a few new people from my extended neighborhood. As luck would have it we ended up getting one of the most beautiful fall days I’ve been able to relax and enjoy for a long time! For me it sort of summed up most of the reasons I love Minneapolis: interesting people, the possibility of great weather, and an incredibly bike friendly environment.”
Tags: Bryant Ave. Bike Boulevard, Fulton Farmer's Market, Masami Kawazoto, progressive lunch, progressive lunch on bike, Riverlake Greenway, The Herkimer, Wise Acre Eatery
Posted in Featured | No Comments »
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