Bike season begins with a near doubling of on-street bikeways
Minneapolis is one of the top bicycling cities in the country, and for 2012 it’s even better. Thanks to a busy construction season last year, there are more bikeways in Minneapolis than ever before. This includes an 80 percent increase in the number of miles of on-street bikeways. To help everyone get up to speed on these and other improvements, Minneapolis Bike Walk Ambassadors are reaching out to folks young and old so they’re more comfortable pedaling and strolling down our streets.
With the addition of 37 miles of bikeways in 2011, there are now 167 miles of bikeways in Minneapolis. That includes 80 miles of on-street bikeways. Of those, 35 miles were added last year – an 80 percent increase. Minneapolis is now just 11 miles short of the City goal of having 178 miles of bikeways by 2015.
“Know the Road” videos
The addition of the many on-street bikeways means you’ll see many new bike markings on the roadway. Two new videos produced by the City of Minneapolis will help road users understand these markings so both bikes and cars can safely use the same streets.
Rides, walks and classes all over town
The Minneapolis Bike Walk Ambassador Program is hosting more than 40 rides, walks and classes this spring and summer. Sessions are designed to help people get back on their bikes, ride on our streets and trails, and consider walking and biking for some of their trips. Sessions include:
- Family Bicycling– This series is designed to encourage parents to take to the streets and trails with children. Many parents have questions about how to approach family biking. These classes and rides are designed to provide skills and answers, and to encourage families to experience the joy of riding together.
- Adult Bicycling– This course will teach adults about finding a route, planning trips and riding safely and comfortably with traffic. Participants will ride some of Minneapolis’ great bikeways and make stops at bike-friendly businesses. Several adult maintenance classes are also being offered to teach people how to fix up a bike and get it safely moving again.
- Stroll Minneapolis, 55 + – Walking Wednesday strolls and the 55+ Bicycling Mini-Series are designed to offer an easy, pleasant, social experience and give you the confidence to consider walking and biking as transportation options.
Nice Ride returns to city streets
Nice Ride Minnesota will begin its third season of operation in early April. These bright green bikes provide a great way to get around many parts of the city. This year, Nice Ride is expanding its service area to include downtown St. Paul, so riders will be able to travel farther than ever before.
Many people already use bikes for transportation in Minneapolis, and the City strives to make bicycling an even more attractive option for others. By choosing to bike instead of drive, residents help reduce traffic congestion, improve our air quality and reduce our dependence on oil. Plus, biking is a healthy way to get around; it boosts physical fitness and lowers health care costs. Minneapolis is among the top cities in the country for bicycle commuting, according to a U.S. Census comparison of the nation’s 50 largest cities.
For more information on bicycling in Minneapolis, go to www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles.
Published Apr. 3, 2012