Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Parks, Minneapolis Public Schools, Density, Zoning, etc.
MNdible
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby MNdible » April 20th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Anecdotally, at least around the lakes, the real problem seems to be the runners, who are all over the blessed place and too close to everybody.

Didier
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby Didier » April 20th, 2020, 12:40 pm

I've been meaning to post about this since they closed the lane. The current system doesn't make any sense. Clearly bikes should be in the street — and most of them are. As a result it's just a jumble of people of all modes spread across the three paths.

alexschief
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby alexschief » April 20th, 2020, 1:15 pm

It's a good example of a situation where less is more. The right approach is a "shared space" approach, where the street is closed or slowed to a safe speed, and then people are left to figure it out on their own. Unfortunately that's not a vocabulary that we come by easily in the United States. Organizations like the Park Board feel pressure to micromanage every detail of these types of changes, because they are uncomfortable with a loss of control (and maybe worries about liability) and the result is confusion and under-use.

Didier
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby Didier » April 20th, 2020, 1:26 pm

Some direction was needed to avoid everything becoming a total mess; they just provided the wrong direction.

In the existing system you already have bikes on the outside, pedestrians on the inside, sticking to the right. Moving bikes to the road would have kept that alignment while also providing the widest space to the bikes.

It's so obvious, and what most people seem to be doing naturally. Somebody at the park board was just overthinking it.

talindsay
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby talindsay » April 21st, 2020, 10:53 am

MNdible wrote:
April 20th, 2020, 12:04 pm
Anecdotally, at least around the lakes, the real problem seems to be the runners, who are all over the blessed place and too close to everybody.
Frankly, as a runner this is tough. We're out there 365 days a year and have our set routes, and every year about this time we have to deal with an influx of people who aren't giving us space to get by, aren't paying attention, yell at us for real or perceived violations of the "rules" anyway. That's a normal thing for runners in the spring. But this year, on top of that normal thing, there's way more people, they want us to stay six feet away from them, and the Park Board is giving idiotic instructions about where we're supposed to be. So I hear you, but understand that we're just trying to figure out how to navigate this too, and some people (runners and otherwise) are less nimble in making those decisions on the fly.

cmagnuson
Block E
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby cmagnuson » April 22nd, 2020, 4:51 pm

The park board has put up signs on West River Parkway on the southbound side, indicating that biking in the lane open to traffic should be single file and stay to the right.

This seems like the worst advice they could give from a safety perspective! It is not a wide enough lane for a regular vehicle to safely pass. This signage encourages bikers to not take the lane, and gives drivers the impression that it is safe to pass - why else would they stay to the right?

Does somebody know who at the Park Board to best contact about this signage? It seems like the signage should say something along the lines of "bike's take the center of the lane for safety, vehicles no passing!"

lordmoke
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby lordmoke » April 23rd, 2020, 1:51 pm

Why is West River Parkway open to vehicles at all? It doesn't provide access to anything that other roads don't. Just close it all.

dajazz
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby dajazz » April 23rd, 2020, 2:49 pm

lordmoke wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 1:51 pm
Why is West River Parkway open to vehicles at all? It doesn't provide access to anything that other roads don't. Just close it all.
Angry white rich car owners, plus MPB doesn't own all of the parkway.

NickP
Rice Park
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby NickP » April 23rd, 2020, 9:25 pm

At least for downtown, there are a couple buildings near the stone arch bridge who have their garage access via west river road. I get the 100 feet of road open for them from Portland to the lot entrance. (Full disclosure my parents live in one of the buildings). That being said I don’t know why there is a lane open from 11th to 13th.

talindsay
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby talindsay » April 24th, 2020, 8:30 am

lordmoke wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 1:51 pm
Why is West River Parkway open to vehicles at all? It doesn't provide access to anything that other roads don't. Just close it all.
In principle I agree with you, but there are several houses with driveways directly on the parkway.

lordmoke
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby lordmoke » April 24th, 2020, 1:23 pm

The houses in question are all in a very small stretch, between 27th and Lake. Could still fully close the rest.

MNdible
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby MNdible » April 24th, 2020, 3:15 pm

Besides not liking cars, what are the real reasons to eliminate the parkway auto lanes? There's plenty of space in non-quarantine times.

grant1simons2
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby grant1simons2 » April 25th, 2020, 4:59 pm

There is definitely not plenty of space. A real "not hating cars" take is the environment. People running and being out around a constant ring of running cars is maybe not a the best practice.

Didier
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby Didier » April 26th, 2020, 12:20 pm

The current system feels like a pretty fair compromise. In my experience people generally have enough space to spread out, even at the busiest times, and nobody seems to be choking on fumes from the occasional car that still uses the single lane.

grant1simons2
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby grant1simons2 » April 26th, 2020, 9:06 pm

The current paths are fine for the US, I guess. They're sub standard for any universal system.

MinneapBliss
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby MinneapBliss » April 27th, 2020, 8:12 am

The current set-up does make me wonder if the road portions of the river parkways (to be overly specific ;) ) could remain as one-ways without too much public outcry. I imagine some homeowners and businesses along the routes would be opposed, but it would really allow for a greener and more relaxed parkway feel, like Minnehaha Parkway between Hiawatha and the re-merge near the Lake Nokomis park building. During non-pandemic times, peak hours can feel pretty congested and not very parkway-esque. It would cause some re-routing of car commuters, to be sure, but it would be a nod to the river corridor as the gem of a public recreation space it is.
"That rug really tied the room together, did it not?" -Walter Sobchak

NickP
Rice Park
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby NickP » April 27th, 2020, 12:34 pm

That’s interesting you say that because I had a different initial thought. I would think that having it be two way actually slows traffic down and gives it a more parkway feel. I hear what you are saying though :-)

cmagnuson
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby cmagnuson » May 10th, 2020, 6:04 pm

They have now closed both lanes of West River Parkway from Bohemian Flats to Greenway, and Lake to 46th, with the exception of 42nd to 44th, so everything that isn't needed for people to access their homes is closed to traffic.

Unfortunately the signage seems to have gotten even worse - the signage indicating (dangerously) that cyclists should stay to right remains up on the closed sections, which may give the wrong impression that the road is still open to cycling.
Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 7.00.51 PM.jpg
Someone (maybe not the city) also added some new signs in places which give the same trail/road directions as the original signage, but with the graphics moved around which without reading the text could also indicate that the road is intended for cyclists. And kept the original signage up as well.
Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 7.02.21 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 7.00.45 PM.jpg
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Silophant
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby Silophant » May 10th, 2020, 7:03 pm

It is honestly gobsmacking how bad of a job the MPRB is doing with the parkway closure messaging.

amiller92
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Re: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Postby amiller92 » May 11th, 2020, 9:45 am

Around Nokomis, a lot of people seem to be ignoring the signs (like me) and mixing bikes and peds in the closed parkway without issue. I'll also take the mostly empty lane where it's only closed one way and use the parallel, low volume streets, but really, at least down here, it's fine and people can respectfully co-exist.


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