Bicycle Infrastructure

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
MNdible
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby MNdible » October 1st, 2012, 9:08 am

From the link above:

There was some discussion regarding why the county will not consider the ten foot travel lane. Apparently, some county engineers have concerns that if they allow ten foot travel lanes on Franklin, it would open the door for ten foot travel lanes and bike lanes on a number of future road projects which in turn would invalidate the life work of some engineers who have worked hard to make moving cars safely throughout the city. The public meeting attendees struggled with trying to understand this attitude as clearly the city is shifting from a car dominant to a multi-modal transportation model.

My god, being a Hennepin County engineer must be a thankless job. If it wouldn't be a waste of money to go back and fix it, I'd be inclined to have them go ahead and stripe the 10' lanes, and then after one winter they could turn it back to something that works in the real world, not just in bicycle fetishists' notebooks.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby FISHMANPET » October 1st, 2012, 9:23 am

What's wrong with 10' travel lanes, or what's right with them, since there seems to be a pretty strong difference of opinion here.

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woofner
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby woofner » October 1st, 2012, 11:12 am

FISHMANPET wrote:What's wrong with 10' travel lanes, or what's right with them, since there seems to be a pretty strong difference of opinion here.
They work just fine in sleepy towns like Manhattan, but it would be a risk to try them in a city with real traffic like Minneapolis.
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MNdible
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby MNdible » October 1st, 2012, 11:35 am

Manhattan also features five lane wide one ways, so I'm not sure it's really a very good comparison here.

We're talking about a ROW-constrained street that's going to have two way traffic, on-street parking, badly plowed snowbanks, and an active city bus pulling in and out of bus stops. In this scenario, no, 10' lanes aren't adequate.

If I had my druthers, I'd move the bikes to 24th and use any street cross section on Franklin that we can spare to make the sidewalks something approaching adequate.

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby Minneapolisite » October 1st, 2012, 6:09 pm

Franklin Ave really doesn't have much to warrant bike lanes anywhere near destination-filled strips like Lyndale (which aren't due to get any) on the stretch east of Nicollet and west of Seward, which already has bike lanes on Franklin *and* destinations for people to bike to. I've been thinking about which side street(s) would be best for east-west traffic north of the greenway and 22nd could easily be a bike boulevard since it already has low traffic and is a narrow street (would require a two-way conversion of that short one-way block east of Hennepin, while 25th already has speed humps along Mueller Park. 24th could have bike lanes westbound, but eastbound lanes would have to be on a different street and traffic is heavier and moves faster here than the other options. Franklin also has some curb bump-outs which would presumably intrude where the bike lanes would be.

Uptown46
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby Uptown46 » October 1st, 2012, 7:20 pm

Transit for Livable Communities has been saying that Franklin has the highest bicycle counts of any street in the city without bicycle lanes. The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition has made Franklin a top priority this year for advocating bicycle improvements. Franklin has the connections across Hiawatha and 35W so it continues to serve as an important connection in south Minneapolis. The Franklin Planning Study addresses the bump outs between Chicago and Bloomington- they determined that bike lanes could fit even with the bump outs remaining. Also 24th is planned to be a bike boulevard with construction this year or more likely next summer.

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby ECtransplant » October 1st, 2012, 10:26 pm

MNdible wrote:We're talking about a ROW-constrained street that's going to have two way traffic, on-street parking, badly plowed snowbanks, and an active city bus pulling in and out of bus stops. In this scenario, no, 10' lanes aren't adequate.
We could always get rid of the on street parking to free up some room . . .

MNdible
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby MNdible » October 1st, 2012, 10:51 pm

Of course, that would require entirely reconstructing Franklin east of Chicago, so that probably doesn't make much sense. Also, having on-street parking is beneficial to pedestrians and businesses. But bikes are more important, no doubt.

Another option would be to have bikes use the apparently soon-to-open bike boulevard on 24th Street.

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby PhilmerPhil » October 1st, 2012, 11:53 pm

I don't think many people on this forum understand how great of an impact that people friendly streets with safe and user friendly bike facilities have onthe livability and quality of life in the city. There are others that do a much better job of explaining it than I can, namely Gil Penalosa, and you should check some of it out.

This is not just about bike lanes for the cyclists. This is about improving our cities and making our neighborhoods more attractive for everyone--old and young, rich and poor, cyclists or not.

I would try to go into more depth and provide some outside sources, but it's late and I am doing this from my phone. I'll save that for another post.

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Nathan
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby Nathan » October 2nd, 2012, 12:32 am

A lot of us are with you too! Most people who drive should even be in on it, just makes for a safer all inclusive system.

the other scott
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby the other scott » October 2nd, 2012, 1:01 pm

MNdible wrote: We're talking about a ROW-constrained street that's going to have two way traffic, on-street parking, badly plowed snowbanks, and an active city bus pulling in and out of bus stops. In this scenario, no, 10' lanes aren't adequate.

If I had my druthers, I'd move the bikes to 24th and use any street cross section on Franklin that we can spare to make the sidewalks something approaching adequate.
I have to agree with MNdible here. I think Franklin is a difficult street to fit cars, buses, pedestrians and bikes into the given space. Are there ways to improve bicycle access to destinations along Franklin without making it a "crosstown" bike corridor?

Also, if the 35W Lake St interchange is ever going to be reconstructed, are they going to include a new bridge across 35 at 24th? That way 24th could become the crosstown link for bikes. Hauling a bike up the stairs, even with a ramp is kind of a pain.

On another note, Park Ave from 46th to Lake has the new wide bike lane, buffer zones,and the auto traffic has been cut down to two lanes. I rode it last weekend with my wife and it was really, really nice. I leave for work before rush hour (on my bike) so I haven't seen what effect the new two lane markings have had for the morning commute for cars.

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby PhilmerPhil » October 2nd, 2012, 1:41 pm

the other scott wrote:
MNdible wrote: We're talking about a ROW-constrained street that's going to have two way traffic, on-street parking, badly plowed snowbanks, and an active city bus pulling in and out of bus stops. In this scenario, no, 10' lanes aren't adequate.

If I had my druthers, I'd move the bikes to 24th and use any street cross section on Franklin that we can spare to make the sidewalks something approaching adequate.
I have to agree with MNdible here. I think Franklin is a difficult street to fit cars, buses, pedestrians and bikes into the given space. Are there ways to improve bicycle access to destinations along Franklin without making it a "crosstown" bike corridor?

Also, if the 35W Lake St interchange is ever going to be reconstructed, are they going to include a new bridge across 35 at 24th? That way 24th could become the crosstown link for bikes. Hauling a bike up the stairs, even with a ramp is kind of a pain.

On another note, Park Ave from 46th to Lake has the new wide bike lane, buffer zones,and the auto traffic has been cut down to two lanes. I rode it last weekend with my wife and it was really, really nice. I leave for work before rush hour (on my bike) so I haven't seen what effect the new two lane markings have had for the morning commute for cars.
It's about priorities. Do we need to have 4 wide lanes of car traffic at the cost of having literally 1 ft. wide sidewalks at several points, unsafe bike conditions, and a degrading streetscape that decreases value from and sucks the life out of the surrounding properties?

Why should cyclists have to detour when it is much easier for cars to do so? There are other options for cars: 26th/28th and 94.

The fact of the matter is that people on bikes are using Franklin Avenue whether it's safe and comfortable or not. Even by providing parallel options, people will still ride here because it connects major destinations very directly and efficiently. Should we just continue to allow it to be the most used bike corridor in the city without any bike facilities? Should we just accept that Franklin Avenue has higher crash rates (not just involving cyclists) than average streets of this type?

Bike lanes will make this street safer for everyone while also improving the neighborhoods around it.

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby mattaudio » October 2nd, 2012, 2:14 pm

I'm not familiar with all sections of Franklin, but I am familiar with the four lane section near Portland/Chicago and the three lane section east of there and closer to the river...

If anything, Franklin should have a center turn lane, parking lanes for short term parking as a trade for less off-street parking for businesses (no net increase in parking usable for residences), bumpouts, refuge medians at locations far from signaled intersections... I think this would be relatively friendly for bikes in addition to a 24th Street bike blvd. Edit: This would involve making it 3 lanes of course, not 5 lanes. And it would allow for wider sidewalks in spots.

The 24th St. ped bridge over 35W would likely get replaced if the weave bridge underneath it is replaced as part of the Lake Street access project... The plan is to weave SB 35W over north AND south downtown distributors (this would facilitate a southbound MN-PASS lane without crossing lanes, and a southbound 35W exit to Lake Street without crossing lanes.

I'd like to see the northbound exit to 28th dropped ($37 million for traffic to avoid stoplights at 31st and Lake????) and use the money to make the project more palatable for the neighborhoods. A full bridge at 24th would be great, or at least a nicer bike/ped bridge with no stairs. Moving the 35th/36th exit to 38th which was once part of the project (and which would help eliminate the weave bottlenecks that are driving the desire for the northbound exit to 28th Street in the first place). Ideally even wider decking on the bridges to create a buffer of greenery between the cross streets and the freeway below.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby FISHMANPET » October 2nd, 2012, 11:18 pm

Franklin could use some serious work between the light rail station and Bloomington Ave. Even driving it's an abominable hell hole. I live right near the light rail station, and I might be much more willing to take my bike up the street to Aldi if it wasn't so inhospitable. I did the walk once, and even though the distance isn't very far, it's downright awful.

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby Lancestar2 » October 4th, 2012, 1:36 am

FISHMANPET wrote:Franklin could use some serious work between the light rail station and Bloomington Ave. Even driving it's an abominable hell hole. I live right near the light rail station, and I might be much more willing to take my bike up the street to Aldi if it wasn't so inhospitable. I did the walk once, and even though the distance isn't very far, it's downright awful.

YES! I think on Franklin Ave East of 16th Ave S. they could tear down that dumb wall and build a line of townhouses which would be a great addition to the area. I would suggest retail to but there might not be the demand or best placement. I think low income hosing townhouses would look wonderful! maybe even duplexes which if they are all connected may make them defined as apartments lol.

Also I would love to see many of thoes entire blocks next to the station demolished and started from scratch! would be wonderful to get a 10-20 floors residential project to help pave the way forward!

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby Minneapolisite » October 4th, 2012, 6:33 pm

Uptown46 wrote:Transit for Livable Communities has been saying that Franklin has the highest bicycle counts of any street in the city without bicycle lanes.
I would never have guessed Franklin, but then again despite not having much going on (Seward aside) there isn't a northern Midtown Greenway equivalent. Even though I have no issue with vehicular cycling, I've ridden on suburban arterials in 45-50MPH traffic after all, but I don't go out of my way to do so.

Franklin in my experience gets avoided because of all the parked cars (western end around Lyndale and Hennepin) and because I need the full lane I end up waiting behind parked cars before moving on, going back into the right lane and then having to wait for traffic to pass before safely moving on. Now further east there's less clutter, but around Bloomington you can see you have one narrow travel lane and a turn-lane and even with the latter motorists are less likely to interact safely with you since you're in the lone travel lane: I'll take a street that has at least travel 2 lanes in one direction any day, even with faster traffic, because motorists have an "out" from having to sit behind you. When they don't have that they get aggressive and will endanger your well-being. My hometown of Columbus is about to implement a treatment of two travel lanes,one each direction with a turn lane, on a similarly high-speed street (35MPH speed limit) and are only going to paint sharrows for 2 miles. The other 3/4 of a mile is going to consist of two narrow lanes, again one in each direction, and no turn lane with only sharrows for cyclists amidst pickups that are used to going 40MPH or faster.

Image.

Clearly when infrastructure is implemented on Franklin cyclists' safety will need to take priority, otherwise you end up spending money on infrastructure that is not only doesn't attract more cyclists, but puts them in danger. The plan says, "From Columbus Avenue to Bloomington Avenue, the existing three-lane section would be maintained", but as you can see I'm having a hard time visualizing how they'd squeeze in bike lanes to avoid sticking cyclists in with high-speed traffic, unless they're going to traffic calm this stretch considerably.

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby seanrichardryan » October 4th, 2012, 7:49 pm

You're lucky to go faster than 25mph on Franklin in a car east of 55. It is traffic calmed.
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby PhilmerPhil » October 4th, 2012, 8:20 pm

There have been a few public meetings in regards to the bike lanes on Franklin.

http://www.bikewalk2012.com/content/dra ... lity-study

Here is some info on the study that was conducted. Along with other resources, Fig. 24 on page 10 of the feasibility report outlines how bike lanes would fit between Columbus and Bloomington by narrowing lanes (which the county is not in support of).

Couldn't find up to date details on what the preferred designs are, but at this point, the area around 35W is the only part that is still undergoing several different options.



On an unrelated bike infrastructure matter, has anyone heard about this:

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/172683591.html

This is right up my alley. It seems like an amazing concept that, if done properly, would really help the neighborhoods. I'm not sure I've seen anything like this implemented elsewhere, so I wouldn't be suprised if it gained national attention in urban planning and bike circles.

Unfortunately, there will be A LOT of opposition, which will probably reduce the project to a half done bike boulevard no different than any of the other unimaginative ones in the city. But if city leaders are bold and push this through, it will without a doubt ultimately be seen as an enormous amenity to the area and other neighborhoods will fight over who gets the next one.

MNdible
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby MNdible » October 4th, 2012, 8:49 pm

10' drive lanes and 7' parking lanes? That's a real recipe for success.

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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure.

Postby Tcmetro » October 4th, 2012, 8:56 pm

That's a really cool and radical idea. Some residential streets could be converted into bikeways! I'd be worried about crime though. And I suppose it only really works on streets with alleys for auto access.


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