Thursday, October 6, 2011

Road hogs: Minneapolis cyclists don’t need to share

Minneapolis, Minn.: "Portland is just an avenue in Minneapolis" -- or so says the sticker on the rear rack of the bike I brought with me on our Dinner & Bikes tour. The words are attributed to R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis, upon learning in 2010 that his city had stolen the crown of most bike friendly city in America from my hometown, Portland.
There is, in fact, a Portland Ave. in Minneapolis -- and it even has a bike lane, albeit an awkward one. (Among other things, it's on the left side of the street.) But I never understood the City of Lake's appeal to cyclists.

There was a dreamlike quality to the whole ride. The paths were clearly marked, the paint was new, signage was thoughtful and useful. I asked Kling if one could get around everywhere without being on the road. "You can get between parts of the city," she said.
A few people on Nice Ride bike share bikes zoomed past. I was in awe. Kling smiled. "I'm very happy with the progress this city is making," she said, "but I can't say I'm satisfied."
There were some spots that were less idyllic. In Minnehaha Falls, a gorgeous park, the bike lane narrowed, the surface was older, the middle stripe disappeared. Pedestrians, inexperienced riders, and wobbly kids strayed into our lane. Tourists tooted by on four-seat, pedal-powered contraptions. It was the same old bike path experience I learned to hate years ago.

photo by nicomachus

similar posts:

Bike Shares Struggle To Work With Helmet Laws

U.S. Bike Programs Escape Federal Cuts, For Now

Smart Transportation Planning in Freiburg, Germany


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