Improvements making Minneapolis a better biking city

Minneapolis is already among the top bicycling cities in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and 2009 brought many improvements and additions to the City's biking network. During the year, seven miles of bikeways were built, either as reconstructed bike trails or new on-street lanes.

As of the end of 2009, the city has 44 miles of on-street bikeways and 84 miles of off-street bike paths. 2010 promises a bikeway building boom for bicyclists, whether they ride for transportation or recreation. During the 2010 construction season, 35 miles of on-street bikeways are being built. That’s nearly a doubling of on-street bikeways in the city in just one year. In addition, three new miles of off-street bike paths will be constructed.

Bike commuting continues to increase in Minneapolis, according to the U.S. Census Bureaus American Community Survey. Ridership numbers for 2008 rose 13 percent over 2007. This follows an even more substantial jump of 49 percent between 2007 and 2006.  

The survey found that the number of Minneapolis residents who biked to work increased from an estimated 4,840 in 2006, to 7,200 in 2007, to 8,160 in 2008. About 4.3 percent of all Minneapolis commuters used bikes in 2008. These findings put Minneapolis second among the 50 largest cities in the nation, behind Portland, Ore., where an estimated six percent of all commuters bike.

This year’s bicycling accomplishments included:

Looking forward to 2010, most new projects will receive funding from the federal Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program. Minneapolis is one of four pilot communities nationwide eligible for this federal funding, and the City has received $10.6 million to date to increase bicycling and walking trips while reducing driving. The City of Minneapolis looks forward to showcasing the results of the pilot in 2010 as part of an ongoing commitment to create a more bike and walk friendly city.

Improvements planned for 2010 include:

For more information on Minneapolis bicycling program, go to MinneapolisMN.gov/Bicycles.

Published Jan. 5, 2010