Lowry Bridge Opening
Posted October 27, 2012 @ 3:15pm | by Ethan
The community came out today to celebrate the opening of the new Lowry Bridge. The slate of elected officials that addressed the crowd attested to the hope for this new bridge that connects North and Northeast in majestic man-made beauty.
Biking proved to be a big part of the day!
- Senator Amy Klobuchar declared that she will be riding over the bridge on her bike and that it forms an important part of bike connections along the river and elsewhere.
- Commissioner Mike Opat said the bridge reinforces that Hennepin County doesn't just think about roads for cars, but also for walking and biking.
- State Senator Kari Dziedzi, who was influential in getting bike improvements on the bridge in her former role in Hennepin County, declared to applause that she can't wait for the next bike parade on the bridge. (We can only hope that can happen as part of the next Lowry Avenue Open Streets!)
- State Represenative Joe Mullery recounted with former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein how he became "the bike guy" because of his persistance to make sure that biking facilities were included.
- Council Member Diane Hofstede also talked about the importance of the biking connections.
So, what does the bridge have for biking? Big improvements were made since we first started working on the bridge nearly two years ago. Special recognition goes to Coalition volunteer Matthew Hendricks who worked tirelessly with then Commissioner Stenglein and County staff to make sure that the bridge worked as well as possible for bicyclists. A few of the things you'll see:
- Bike lanes are included for cyclists who are comfortable riding next to fast-moving traffic.
- The sidewalks on each side are wide and there are symbols to help walkers and bicyclists safely share the space. We hope they may add a few more symbols depending on how popular the sidewalk proves to be.
- The west side of the bridge includes excellent ramps to allow cyclists to transition from the street to the sidewalk over the bridge. As future connections for biking are made on the east side we hope that ramps can be added there too, but for now cyclists will transition off the sidewalk at the Marshall intersection or at a driveway.
Here are some more pictures from the day...
Tags: Lowry Bridge, Hennepin County, Mike Opat, Mark Stenglein, Peter McLaughlin, Barb Johnson, Diane Hoftstede, Kevin Reich, events