this article was written by Katie Fitzpatrick
Share your ideas with planners
The City of Minneapolis is undergoing a planning process to install a bike boulevard on Queen Avenue North. The boulevard is part of the City’s long term plan aiming for less reliance on cars and more pedestrian and bike infrastructure. Ultimately, the City hopes its efforts will result in a healthier natural environment and healthier residents.
The Queen Avenue Bike Boulevard will make it safer for cyclists to travel between 44th Avenue and the Bassett Creek Trail south of Glenwood. Bike boulevards do not have designated bike lanes, rather they employ other roadway enhancements to make streets safer for bikers and walkers. New signage will be installed, pedestrian ramps will be reconstructed, and new striping will be painted. The goal of the Queen Avenue Bike Boulevard is to encourage more recreational and commuter cycling by better connecting amenities like parks and schools. An example of a similar project can be found on 40th Avenue between Cedar and 35W in South Minneapolis.
The City’s Bicycle Master Plan calls for designated cycling infrastructure every one mile. On the Northside, little bike infrastructure has been built for cyclists traveling north and south. Queen Avenue was selected for the boulevard because of its proximity to public transit on Penn Avenue and its distance between already established bike lanes on Emerson and the Parkway. Residents will not be assessed for the improvements.
Don Pflaum, a transportation planner for the City of Minneapolis, manages the project. He believes that installing the boulevard will improve livability for residents on Queen Avenue. The improvements made to the roadway will result in calmer traffic and potentially less traffic altogether. Because there are not designated bike lanes, there will be limited impact on parking.
Construction of the bike boulevard is expected to start in the spring of 2020, with a goal of having a draft design completed by March of 2019. Pflaum and his team are seeking input from community members to learn about their needs for the bike boulevard. Specifically, they would like information on where problem areas can be found along the corridor: Where is consistent speeding? Where is traffic calming needed most? What intersections are unsafe for pedestrian crossing?
To share your feedback, attend the Victory Neighborhood Association’s January 23 gathering. City staff will be in attendance to hear comments and field questions. Pflaum also welcomes one-on-one feedback and can be reached at 612-673-2129 or firstname.lastname@example.org