Bike options expand: Last stretch of Cedar Lake Trail opens and Riverlake Greenway opens
Minneapolis is nationally known as a great bicycling city and options for bicyclists only continue to grow. Most recently, two more bicycling milestones have been reached:
- The Cedar Lake Trail is now fully complete.
- The RiverLake Greenway officially opened.
Cedar Lake Trail
Some 20 years after it was first conceived, the Cedar Lake Trail is now officially complete. The 3.5-mile bikeway now stretches from the Minneapolis/St. Louis Park border to the Mississippi River. It also links to several other bikeways, making it possible for people to pedal from the suburbs to Downtown and beyond without needing to share the road with motor vehicles.
With the first section opening in 1995, the Cedar Lake Trail is considered America’s first bike freeway because it’s the first one built with two paved lanes for bicycle traffic and one for pedestrians. The final leg, a 1.1-mile section that runs under Target Field and through Downtown to the river, was completed in early June.
The Cedar Lake Trail is expected to become one of the state’s busiest bike thoroughfares because it links other existing bike trails. Bicyclists can now pedal in from the suburbs, through Downtown and beyond without ever joining street traffic.
The connections to the Cedar Lake Trail now include:
- Access to trails along the Mississippi River to and from the U of M campus, Saint Paul and beyond.
- The Kenilworth Trail, an off-street bike and pedestrian trail that links to the Midtown Greenway and the Southwest LRT Trail.
- The Hutchinson Spur Trail, which connects to the western end of the Cedar Lake Trail at the city limits for access to and from St. Louis Park, Hopkins and other western suburbs.
- The Luce Line Trail, which connects to the Cedar Lake Trail and heads west through Theodore Wirth Park, Golden Valley and beyond.
The RiverLake Greenway, a bike thoroughfare that includes Minneapolis’ first bike boulevard, has opened. The 4.5-mile project – so named because it runs generally from Lake Harriet to the Mississippi River – uses neighborhood streets as a biking environment to create a route geared for cyclists of all skill levels.
The goal was to create a green space and an alternative transportation route within the existing right-of-way between the Midtown Greenway and Minnehaha Creek. The result is an east-west bicycle and pedestrian route that runs along 40th Street East from Kings Highway 30th Avenue South and on 42nd Street East from 30th Avenue South to West River Parkway, with additional connections along 30th Avenue South and Nokomis Avenue.
Street enhancements along the greenway put the priority on bicycle and pedestrian traffic. The features include:
- Minneapolis’ first bike boulevard. Bike boulevards incorporate bike route enhancements while also making changes that discourage automobiles from using the street as a throughway.
- New bike lanes along 42 nd Street East, from Nokomis Avenue to Minnehaha Avenue.
- Sharrows, or shared use lanes, that indicate where bicyclists should ride to avoid opening doors of parked vehicles.
- Bump-outs of intersection corners that reduce the length of crosswalks.
More information on the Cedar Lake Trail is available at MinneapolisMN.gov/Bicycles.
For more information including a map of the RiverLake Greenway, go to RiverLake Greenway website.
Published Jun. 22, 2011