Bike path/lane changes in Uptown

Community, Featured — By on August 15, 2012 10:01 pm

You may have noticed some changes in the Uptown area relating to bikes recently. The City is in the process of completing four projects in the area: resurfacing, adding lighting, and changing up access to the Midtown Greenway trail and painting the Bryant Avenue Bike Boulevard.

This week, sections of the Midtown Greenway were closed and will continue to be closed until sometime in the next week or two to allow crews to resurface the trail. This means that a new asphalt topping will be applied. New lane paint and recessed reflective tape symbols will be installed as well.

Concurrently, electricians are in the process of adding lighting to the Midtown Greenway in the East Isles neighborhood (west of Hennepin and east of the dog park) as this area never had lighting and the neighborhood has been advocating it. Either some or all of the funding is coming through the neighborhood, from what I understand. This has not been confirmed.

In addition, Public Works is finishing up changing access to the trail in East Isles at James, Irving, and Humboldt by adding new signs, removing a few signs, and making it legal to bike from The Mall to the Midtown Greenway trail at Humbodlt. New directional and stop signs were added to make it clearer what bikers are supposed to do. The stop signs at James aimed at trail users were removed due to the trail having more traffic than James Avenue. The other two intersections will continue to have stop signs for all traffic.

Contra flow bike lane in Uptown Minneapolis

Contra flow bike lane on Humboldt Avenue just north of The Mall in Uptown

A contra-flow bike lane was added for the 15 feet or so between The Mall and the Midtown Greenway to provide a legal and safe way to access the trail. Apparently there was a cop who was ticketing bikers for failing to stop at this intersection and there was concern that cops may ticket people for going in the street to access the trail, so they decided that since they were already there, Public Works would create a legal access point.

New paint on Bryant Avenue Bike Boulevard

The new lime green paint on the Bryant Avenue Bike Boulevard is intended to remain visible even when fading. The paint in the foreground is the old paint from last fall that faded to a dull green.

Bryant Avenue Bike boulevard got a new coating of paint using a brighter green that doesn’t blend in to the street as much and should be more visible as it fades. No comment from the City about the quality of the paint job, as at first I thought it was done by stealth bikers in the night since it looks like it was rolled on and they missed the edges. But fresh paint is fresh paint.

Thatcher Imboden

How cities work and change, how they are the product of their inhabitants and outside forces, and the resulting livability keep me thinking and dreaming about the future. I work in transit oriented development and have a background in urban real estate development. I am Past President of an Uptown business organization, grew up in Uptown, was on an Uptown neighborhood association Board, and am an Uptown and Lyn-Lake historian.

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9 Comments

  1. Anon says:

    Instead of slapping green paint everywhere and pretending that makes it safe to bicycle there, the city should be installing more separated bike lines like how it recently improved 1st Ave downtown. A few well-placed quality lanes like that would do a lot more good for cyclists than green paint splashed all across the city.

    • conigs says:

      What have they done to 1st Ave downtown and when? I used to ride through downtown on 1st but migrated over to Nicollet Mall in July because I felt it was unsafe.

      • Anon says:

        They put these white, I believe plastic, about three foot high posts, along the path to segregate from the automobiles. I believe this was installed at some point in the past couple months — not sure exactly.

  2. dean carlson says:

    As a frequent rider on Bryant, I am not convinced a green painted lane are needed. They are good at heavily traveled intersections like 4th Street SE and 15th Ave in Dinkytown but the bike sharrows are sufficient on Bryant. And by the way, the green is already fading two weeks after being applied.

  3. Allison Ruby says:

    I wondered why it looked so sloppy too, but agree better than nothing. Relatedly, I am concerned about the sinkhole on Bryant just north of 36th Street. Hard to see at night and dangerous.

    • Thatcher Imboden says:

      Allison, I haven’t noticed the sink hole. You should report it to 311 (using their app or online site). I’ve found them to be very responsive to pot hole/sink hole issues. Traffic signal timing, not so much.

  4. Janne says:

    I’m totally psyched about the contraflow lane on Humboldt, and the new lighting. I hope they’re installing it at distances similar to phases 2 and 3 of the Greenway, because phase 1 the lights were too far apart.

    I’m also a fan of the green paint. Since it’s gone on, I haven’t ridden Bryant much, but elsewhere I’ve noticed cars behaving differently around the bike space. They seem more aware of us. I guess I don’t think it’s there so much for us, as it is to warn them to pay attention for us.

    One other question/thought. Where the new Girard Meander bridge has appeared over the Greenway, on the south side there’s a stop but no indication of which direction that one-way bus access road goes. I *know* it’s a one-way and which way it goes, but I’ve found that due to the lack of an arrow I have to think really hard and when I’m trying to cross it and I get confused. Is there any hope of adding an arrow to the signage there?

    • Thatcher Imboden says:

      Janne, approaching the south, there is a no left-turn sign right below the stop sign.

      • Janne says:

        Oh, good! I wonder whether I didn’t notice the sign, or whether it’s been too long since I rode there? If I didn’t notice, does that say something about sign placement? Hm.

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