Bicycle Infrastructure

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
mattaudio
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby mattaudio » July 20th, 2013, 11:16 am

Given how excessively wide the Hiawatha freeway bridge is over Lake, I've thought it would make sense to chop some of that ROW for the bike trail. I bet there could be a trail and even some vegetation on the west side of the bridge without even removing traffic lanes.

David Greene
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby David Greene » July 21st, 2013, 6:20 am

mattaudio wrote:Given how excessively wide the Hiawatha freeway bridge is over Lake, I've thought it would make sense to chop some of that ROW for the bike trail. I bet there could be a trail and even some vegetation on the west side of the bridge without even removing traffic lanes.
Not sure I would want to climb up that bridge alongside traffic doing 50.

That bridge and almost everything around it was a huge mistake. The consequences echo all the way to SWLRT.

orangevening
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby orangevening » July 21st, 2013, 11:43 am

While I'm on the subject, its *very* frustrating that the Hiawatha lrt trail isn't nowhere near as nice as it could be especially south of the Sabo bridge. Huge commuting potential, especially with the downtown connection done (although having to use the goat path is getting old). North of Sabo a little paint defining the lanes would be nice, south of Sabo I have no idea why they thought a sidewalk works as a bike trail plus the Lake street area mess?

mullen
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby mullen » July 22nd, 2013, 9:57 am

mpls has nothing like this...we could learn something from Indianapolis. Dedicated bike lanes that aren't just white paint on a street.
http://www.treehugger.com/cars/biggest- ... about.html

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woofner
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby woofner » July 22nd, 2013, 12:04 pm

That looks like really well marked, consistent infrastructure, and it looks like someone in Indianapolis actually has a pair of balls with which they removed parking lanes in order to find space for this. However, based on this set of pictures it looks like there is also really terrible compliance with the mode separation:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1032278538 ... directlink

Not sure if these pictures were just taken at a time of particularly high pedestrian volumes, like an opening ceremony or festival, or if the compliance is always this bad.
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David Greene
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby David Greene » July 22nd, 2013, 12:12 pm

redisciple wrote:Not sure if these pictures were just taken at a time of particularly high pedestrian volumes, like an opening ceremony or festival, or if the compliance is always this bad.
That "Yield To" sign is way too complicated. I mean, the enginerd inside me likes it but it's terrible from a usability standpoint.

mullen
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby mullen » July 22nd, 2013, 1:11 pm

this is something we could replicate here. our cultural assets are disconnected and spread out like in indy. Unfortuntely no wealthy gazillionaires willing to provide a big chunk of the money such as in indy.

i remember the "avenue of the arts" concept..that fizzled and went nowhere, save for the bridge across '94.

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woofner
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby woofner » July 22nd, 2013, 2:49 pm

David Greene wrote:That "Yield To" sign is way too complicated.
I agree, and would add that yield signs at the intersecting sidewalk is probably less effective than paint or pavement indicating a crossing, i.e. a zebra crossing. But the more important element is the blue mode designator signs, which seem well done (although I'd leave out the LEFT and RIGHT).
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PhilmerPhil
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby PhilmerPhil » July 22nd, 2013, 3:30 pm

We could probably build a whole network of cultural trails and cycle tracks connecting the NE Arts District, Downtown, Uptown, Linden Hills, Midtown, West Broadway, etc. for less than the cost of that light rail line we're talking about building to Eden Prairie.

MNdible
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby MNdible » July 22nd, 2013, 3:42 pm

PhilmerPhil wrote:We could probably build a whole network of cultural trails and cycle tracks connecting the NE Arts District, Downtown, Uptown, Linden Hills, Midtown, West Broadway, etc. for less than the cost of that light rail line we're talking about building to Eden Prairie.
Perhaps so. Are the cycle tracks going to move 30,000 people from their home to their jobs, everyday, all year round?

I was recently mocked for suggesting that the traffic that resulted from the 35W bridge collapse prevented people from accessing bars and other businesses in Northeast. Is providing easy access for hipsters on fixies to get their taproom fix now of regional importance?

Viktor Vaughn
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Viktor Vaughn » July 22nd, 2013, 4:09 pm

Your tone is so mocking and incredulous it's hard to know whether you're serious.

May I suggest going for a bike ride and getting some fresh air??

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby PhilmerPhil » July 22nd, 2013, 5:42 pm

Well, actually, I'd like to say that it would serve more than 30,000 people.

Using Minneapolis' current population--392,008--and the percentage of bike commuters from 2008--4.2%--implies that there are about 16,500 cyclists currently riding in the city. I think it's safe to say that building a high quality network of protected bikeways, especially if they're all as well done as Indianapolis' Cultural Trails seem to be, would at least double that over the next decade or two. We could easily see 40,000 people riding bikes in Minneapolis by 2030.

We might not have the high numbers in the colder months, but keep in mind that 25% of Minneapolitans currently ride all year, and in Copenhagen, that number jumps to 80%, where the paths are maintained and cars don't end up shifting into the bike lanes. (I know Copenhagen's not as cold as we are, but we could grow that 25% to perhaps 50%.)

The above calculations exclude the additional value such a system would bring to even the non-cyclists by creating a more livable city, a tourist draw, and an amenity for economic development.

MNdible
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby MNdible » July 22nd, 2013, 6:13 pm

I'm all for improving the bicycle infrastructure, and I'd love to see the system you described built out. But when we begin to suggest that it's ever going to play the important role in our commuter system that a robustly developed LRT system would... or that swapping out a heavily used lane of automobile traffic for a bike lane is a one-for-one deal... it's just not. Biking is great, and in the future, on a lovely September day, I could see it making up a significant portion of the commuting.

When I was in my early 20's, I used to commute by bike every damned day, no matter the weather. I don't anymore. I know people in my office who are "bike commuters", but during the summer, they drive their car when it's above 85 degrees, and when it's raining, and so on.

Building out bike lanes as part of your commuter infrastructure is like building windmills as part of your electric infrastructure. They're great when the weather's right, but you still need to have a back up generator to pick up the slack.

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby PhilmerPhil » July 22nd, 2013, 7:07 pm

The point I was making was that we could have an entire network, a full system, something that would be right outside the door of 400,000+ Minneapolis residents, all for the price of one single LRT line. Bike infrastructure is extremely cheap, and yields high returns on investment. It's also something that actually has a realistic chance of being fully built out in our lifetimes. Sure, it's not the answer to all of our transportation woes, but I think the power of the bicycle is greatly underestimated by most. I'm all for transit, but when I compare the changes I've seen to our transit system in the last decade (one line, not much else) to the changes I've seen in our bike infrastructure, it's clear to me that biking is the way to go if we want to quickly make our cities places where living car free or car lite is at least a viable option for more than just young guys like me.

So while we're waiting and waiting for the next couple transit investments to move along, let's build a robust bike infrastructure that meets 21st century needs in the next decade.

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby PhilmerPhil » July 22nd, 2013, 7:11 pm

Also, I agree with your windmill analogy. And I'll add that it applies to all modes of transportation. The future of transportation is a multimodal cocktail consisting of car share, personal bikes, bike share, bus, rail, personal vehicles, walking etc.

orangevening
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby orangevening » July 22nd, 2013, 8:19 pm

Obviously trains and bikes complement each other well. Both are needed if we want to get away from car-centric society and make it feasible for people to live car-free or mostly car-free. It would make me very happy if/when SWLRT gets built that we see hordes of people riding there bikes to the station in Eden Prairie/Edina/SLP etc, load their bikes on the train then ride to their job in Mpls or St.Paul. For tis to happen we need a bike infrastructure that is safe/attractive/easy to use. Minneapolis is on its way, but still has a way to go (having bike lanes on DT streets is ok for experienced riders, at the same time riding next to 3 lanes of one-way traffic is NOT comfortable for new riders). Nice Ride in DT St.Paul has shown us that you can have a nice, attractive, relatively inexpensive option to get around, if you don't have enough infrastructure (even bike lanes would be nice) your not going to have the use like you could.

mullen
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby mullen » July 23rd, 2013, 8:08 am


orangevening
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby orangevening » July 23rd, 2013, 9:25 am

I LOVE Midtown town for it's pure utilitarian-ness, but I would vote for Kenilworth followed by Minnehaha because they mix utilitarian-ness with beautiful scenery,as my favorite.Burke-Gillman in Seattle is on that list and I lived there for awhile and I was kinda disappointed (unless you take it around the lake, which is a haul) the "missing link" is a joke. I would take a few trails in Mpls over it.

eazydp
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby eazydp » July 23rd, 2013, 11:10 am

I use a section of Minneahaha everyday. I do love it, but the section I am on (and many other sections) have quite dangerous intersections. If I was playing the role of an inexperienced cyclists, I can think of about 4/5 intersections that are quite dangerous. For that reason, I prefer West Mississippi Parkway trail, it has very few intersections, so you can fly and enjoy scenery. Although it is in rough shape when you are between Mill Ruins Park and Plymouth Ave.

If I ruled the world, I would fix one dangerous intersection in particular. This tiny little connection on 22nd Ave from M'haha to Lake Nokomis Parkway is always tricky to navigate for everyone (http://goo.gl/maps/ho3YF). I'd prefer the move it slightly up the street so it does not intersect 2 ped and the main bike trail (http://goo.gl/maps/6wc0e).

I checked out Lady bird trail in Austin. I actually like rocking the crushed limestone paths, I wonder if there are any spots we could implement in the TC to reduce the impact and maintenance costs of pure paved. Might not really work out well given our landscape with plowing, though.

David Greene
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby David Greene » July 23rd, 2013, 11:13 am

eazydp wrote:I checked out Lady bird trail in Austin. I actually like rocking the crushed limestone paths, I wonder if there are any spots we could implement in the TC to reduce the impact and maintenance costs of pure paved. Might not really work out well given our landscape with plowing, though.
Aren't the Luce Line and LRT trail southwest of Hopkins both crushed limestone? That's what I've been assuming since given information a couple of years ago. I'm afraid to take my road bike on them for fear of a blowout.


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