Protected Bikeways Update to the Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan
In 2014, the Minneapolis Public Works Department is preparing an update to the Bicycle Master Plan on Protected Bikeways.
What is a protected bikeway?
A protected bikeway is a bicycle facility that is physically separated from motor vehicle traffic. Off-street trails are the most common type of protected bikeway; however, protected bikeways may also be located within street corridors and separated from traffic lanes through parked cars, curbs, medians, bollards/flexible traffic posts, planters or other vertical feature. Two examples of existing protected bikeways in Minneapolis are shown below.
Why do we need protected bikeways?
Minneapolis is a great city for bicycling. The bicycle network has been expanded significantly in recent years, and a lot of people are biking. However, not everyone feels comfortable and safe riding on a busy street, even with a bike lane. There are some parts of the city where potential bicycling demand is high, but where low-stress bikeway facilities such as trails, bike boulevards, and lower-traffic streets aren’t an option. To continue to grow bicycling in Minneapolis, we need to make more of the city easier to bike for more people.
Why do we need to update the plan?
The current Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan, approved in 2011, addresses a broad range of bikeway facility types, including off-street trails, bike boulevards, bike lanes, and shared lanes, but it does not specifically address on-street protected bikeways. The City of Minneapolis also approved a Climate Action Plan in 2013 recommending implementation of 30 miles of on-street protected bike facilities by 2020.
What is the scope of the plan update?
This plan update will identify priority locations (a list and a map), capital costs, and maintenance costs for implementation of protected bikeways in Minneapolis. The final document will be an addendum to the existing bicycle master plan.
What is the process and timeline for updating the plan?
Public Works staff is working closely with the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee throughout the process to develop the protected bikeway master plan update. Staff is also coordinating with Hennepin County on the Hennepin County Bike Plan, also currently being updated. A public open house and online survey were held in May 2014 to gather public input on where protected bikeways are needed. Public Works staff will use the public’s ideas on where protected bikeways are needed to inform an initial list of corridors for further evaluation. More detailed evaluation of potential corridors will be conducted over the summer. A draft list/map of priority corridors and associated costs will be prepared and shared with the public in Fall 2014. Following the second round of public engagement, a final draft master plan amendment will recommended to the Minneapolis City Council by the end of 2014.
Anna Flintoft, Transportation Planner, Department of Public Works, City of Minneapolis
Last updated Dec 31, 2014