2011 Annual Report
This concise report tells the story of our successes in 2011 after our creation in December 2009.
Hosted Minneapolis’s first-ever Open Streets event (June 2011)
On June 12, 2011, we hosted the City’s first-ever Open Streets Minneapolis Ciclovia, a car-free event filled with exercising, shopping, socializing, and more on Lyndale Avenue South. By opening up more than 2 miles of Lyndale for walking, biking, running, and skating we gave people the opportunity to experience the city in a whole new way. More than 5,000 people attended! We hope to do additional Open Streets events in future years.
We thank Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and all our other supporters for making the event possible.
City Hires Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator (August 2011)
We began advocating for the City to create a Bicycle Coordinator position in late 2010 and have been involved in all steps in the hiring process. We led the mobilization of more than 300 Minneapolitans to contact their City Council Member when the position was threatened in budget challenges. This person will be responsible for leading Minneapolis on bicycling and pedestrian issues, adding a level of responsibility that has not existed. We feel that such a position is important for helping to institutionalize bicycle-friendly activities in road design and other City functions and to help coordinate activities between the many various entities working on cycling in the city. The position will also hopefully help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of bicycle-related activities and make sure that the City maximizes any opportunities to become more bicycle friendly. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator will oversee an office of four or five people, including the Bike Walk Ambassadors.
Thank you to the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee, Transit for Livable Communities, and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota who also have advocated for this position. A big thank you to Mayor Rybak, who took leadership on the idea and Public Works staff, Hennepin County staff, and others who supported it internally. Thank you to Council Members Gordon, Schiff, Hodges, and Lilligren for speaking thoughtfully in support of the position when it was brought before the Council to be eliminated. Thank you to Council Members Gordon, Reich, Hofstede, Schiff, Lilligren, Tuthill, Quincy, Glidden, Goodman, Hodges, and Samuels for voting to protect the important position.
Bike Lanes and Other Safety Improvements on Lowry Avenue Bridge (May 2011-January 2012)
The Lowry Avenue Bridge will be as safe and comfortable for all types of bicyclists as possible when it opens in the summer of 2012. We worked with Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein, County staff, and others to get bike lanes, a well-designed area for bicyclists to ride safely next to pedestrians on the wide sidewalk, and "slip ramps" to get cyclists safely to the sidewalk path. This likely will be the best road bridge in Minneapolis for bicyclists, which is a huge improvement from the original design which basically told bicyclists to figure it out.
City Approves Robust Bicycle Master Plan (July 2011)
The City Council unanimously approved the City's first-ever Bicycle Master Plan, which will help guide work for the next 30 years. The Plan was greatly improved from its original draft through tireless work of members of the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee, volunteers with the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, staff, and with comments from the public. While most of the plan was strongly supported by both the bicycling advocates and Public Works staff, there were five routes that we (and the Bicycle Advisory Committee) encouraged the City Council to add to the Bike Plan map that were not supported by staff (Lyndale Avenue North, Washington Avenue, 38th Street west of Bloomington, Johnson Street NE south of the Quarry, and Nicollet Avenue between downtown and 40th Street). In the end, the City Council sided with us on all but Nicollet Avenue. The Plan will help leave a bicycling legacy for the City. We continue to work with the Bicycle Advisory Committee and staff on implementation recommendations related to the plan and are encouraged by the discussions--the City Council will hopefully improve a final implementation plan by the end of 2011.
Thank you to Public Works staff who spent countless hours on the plan, the Bicycle Advisory Committee members who worked so hard to improve it, and the hundreds of members of the public who commented at various points in the process. Thank you to Council Member Lilligren for offering the amendment to include the four extra bicycle routes on the Bike Plan map and for the entire City Council for supporting the plan.
Bike Lanes on Franklin Avenue in Seward (July 2011)
The County installed new bike lanes on Franklin Avenue as part of a repaving project. This was one of our top priorities for 2011 and we began discussing it with County staff in January. Thank you to Seward Redesign, Seward Neighborhood Group, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, and the Native American Community Development Institute for working along side us for the bike lanes. Thank you to Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and City Council Member Cam Gordon, who supported the lane. And thank you to Hennepin County staff for implementing the lane.
Bike Lanes on 26th Avenue East (July 2011)
When the County repaved 26th Avenue in 2010, bike lanes were unfortunately left off north of the Midtown Greenway. Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition volunteers and local advocates quickly worked with County staff, who arranged for the lanes to be added as part of restriping the next year.
Thank you to the Sierra Club North Star Chapter and Seward Neighborhood Group, who also supported the lanes. Thank you to Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and staff for getting the lane put in.
Bike Parking in Lowry Hill and Lowry Hill East (November 2010; installed late 2011)
We worked with two Uptown neighborhood groups to create a bike rack-matching program that will lead to an initial installation of 95 bike racks in 2011 (as of November 2010) with opportunity and interest for more in the future. You can read more about the program in this Southwest Journal article. Thank you to the Lowry Hill and Lowry Hill East neighborhoods for supporting the project.
Improvements to future Riverside Avenue bike lanes (November 2010; installed in 2012)
Riverside Avenue will be reconstructed from Cedar to Franklin Avenues in 2011 and 2012. The road will include bike lanes for the full length. We worked with numerous allies to successfully get a full bike lane all the way to Cedar Avenue (instead of repeated designs that left a 1/2 block gap in the bike lane approaching Riverside) and to get better signage approaching the difficult 3-way intersection at Franklin.
Thank you to Council Member Cam Gordon for his strong support of a complete bike lane, to Council Member Robert Lilligren for offering amendment to direct staff to implement a full bike lane, and for the full City Council for supporting the direction. Thanks to everyone came out to support the bike lanes at community meetings. Thank you to Seward Redesign, who really championed this efforts, and to Sierra Club North Star Chapter, Seward Neigborhood Group, Transit for Livable Communities, the African Development Center, West Bank CDC, and West Bank Business Association.
Improvements to Hennepin and First Avenue Bike Lanes (Installed July 2010)
We successfully advocated for improvements to the Hennepin Avenue shared bike/bus/right turn lane and to the protected bike lane on First Avenue. A green stripe and larger stencils will be added to Hennepin Avenue to improve visibility for cyclists in the shared lane and make it clear that drivers and cyclists should both use the full lane. A buffer will be added to the bicycle lane on First Avenue to better protect bicyclists from getting hit by an opening car door. We proposed both of these improvements to City staff back in January and City staff worked very hard to make the changes happen. Implementation is slated for the Summer of 2010.
Thank you to Mayor Rybak and Council Member Goodman, who have been strong supporters of the bicycle improvements. Thank you to Public Works staff who reviewed and implemented improvements.
Bike lanes on 4th St, 5th St and 6th Ave downtown (Installed August 2011)
We won new bike lanes on 4th and 5th Avenue and 6th Street in downtown Minneapolis. The City of Minneapolis received federal funds to repair extra wear-and-tear on City streets caused by the 35W bridge collapse. We worked successfully with Mayor Rybak, Council Member Goodman, and the City Council to take advantage of this opportunity to add bicycle lanes at virtually no additional cost when these streets are repaired. Thank you to staff for implementing the new lanes.