Sunday, February 1, 2009

Running the Gauntlet?

The Hennepin Av. bike lane cuts right through downtown Minneapolis.  I ride it quite often, because I live across the river in North East.  It's probably the fast way to get through downtown on a bike.  Sometimes I take it for granted that I can get through town real quick on this path.  But is it really a safe and well thought out path for bicycles?  You are right in the middle of the street, with buses on one side and 3 lanes of traffic on the other.  You always have to watch out for cars turning in front of you.  

Is this the best the Minneapolis can come up with?  For me it's OK.  I'm used to it and know where the danger spots are, but what about the cyclist who is new to this path?  Is this really the best design they could come up with?  

The more I think about it, the more I realize that it was just a first step.  It's not really the best option we have.  We need to be doing something different, here.  We need to be incorporating ideas that have been tested.  In Europe or other cities around the country, there are solutions to our problem.  How to get this city, which has been designed for cars to start having respect for other, more efficient means of transportation.

I am beginning to buy into the notion that we need to be design bike paths that work for the average person.  Road design that doesn't require a risk taking attitude to participate.  


Anonymous said...

I agree. Sometimes riding in the city is genuinely scary and I understand why a lot of people are not willing to deal with that. We'll never have a real cycling culture without infrastructure that supports the average person.

- Dottie

Sigrid said...

There have been a number of meetings on this particular bike lane, and other bike lanes downtown. Let your voice be heard and look on the City of Mpls. site to see if they are having any more. I went to one and spoke specifically about the crazy bike lane set up here. I don't go downtown often, but when I do I specifically avoid riding in the middle of Hennepin - I'm too old to not care about dying. :)

spiderlegreen said...

Thanks, that is something(city hall) that I want to mix in the blogging. Blogging as a means... to advocating better biking. But there are many things that need doing if the biking is going to get better. Going to City Hall is one of them. There are many venues to share the biking way with others. I will check that site out.