Spring 2009 Detour Update
The bike lanes on the Washington Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River have reopened. Last fall, Hennepin County eliminated the bike lanes due to concerns over the strength of the upper deck of the bridge. As of April 17th, the upper deck has been enhanced structurally, and bicyclists and pedestrians have full use of this area.
Meanwhile, the reconstruction of Marquette and 2nd Avenues in Downtown continues. Bike lanes on both streets have now been eliminated. Work will continue through the end of 2009. Alternative detour routes (pdf) are on Hennepin Avenue (bike lanes) and 3rd Avenue (no bike lanes).
One lane of traffic is open to traffic on sections of Marquette and 2nd Avenues for property access. This lane is currently unpaved in several blocks. Bicyclists are allowed to use these lanes, however it is recommended that bicyclists use other routes where possible. Please use extra caution when bicycling through this area. Here are a few tips to keep you safe:
- Travel slowly in unpaved areas and stay within the area designated for traffic.
- Always ride with the flow of traffic.
- Stay visible by not riding in the gutter. Ride where the right wheel of a car would be.
- Follow traffic signals, and signal turns and lane changes.
- If you would rather be on the sidewalk, walk your bicycle. Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the downtown business district. Many sidewalks are closed to through traffic on Marquette and 2nd.
- Read more about defensive bicycling.
When Marquette and 2nd Avenues reopen, the bike lanes will no longer exist. At that time the Nicollet Mall bus lanes will be reopened to cycling traffic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In addition, construction will occur in 2009 and 2010 on several new bicycling projects in Downtown. These include the Cedar Lake Trail extension, the Hiawatha Trail connection, the conversion of Hennepin and 1st Avenues st Avenue N), and multiple bicycle striping projects. Planning is also underway for Bicycle Sharing to fully launch in Downtown in 2010.
Published Apr. 24, 2009