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Old 04-16-08, 10:12 AM   #1
katmu
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Help please with opposition to local bike path

This is my neighborhood. I am trying to figure out what I can do to voice to the city (or anyone who will listen really at this point), that there are people in the neighborhood who support bike paths. This path would make it possible for me to commute nearly the entire way to work on either a bike path or bike lane. My kids, and the kids of many of the people who oppose the path, also currently ride on this street down to the neighborhood shopping center. Our neighborhood currently has about the fewest miles of bike paths of any area in the city. I certainly don't want to see more trees than are absolutely necessary removed to install the path, but I think there is enough green space in the parkway to accomodate both bikes and trees. Any ideas are welcome.



This is the opposition group's website: http://www.savestinson.org/


I had originally posted this in the Great Lakes board, but after suggestions I am posting it here in hopes that I might get some more ideas about what to do.
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Old 04-16-08, 10:22 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by katmu View Post
This is my neighborhood. I am trying to figure out what I can do to voice to the city (or anyone who will listen really at this point), that there are people in the neighborhood who support bike paths. This path would make it possible for me to commute nearly the entire way to work on either a bike path or bike lane. My kids, and the kids of many of the people who oppose the path, also currently ride on this street down to the neighborhood shopping center. Our neighborhood currently has about the fewest miles of bike paths of any area in the city. I certainly don't want to see more trees than are absolutely necessary removed to install the path, but I think there is enough green space in the parkway to accomodate both bikes and trees. Any ideas are welcome.



This is the opposition group's website: http://www.savestinson.org/


I had originally posted this in the Great Lakes board, but after suggestions I am posting it here in hopes that I might get some more ideas about what to do.
I can't tell if you oppose or support the path. Your title say 'please help with opposition'

From very quickly reading the position paper it does seem like a poor placement for a bike path, that is along a street in front of houses. "The prospect of a bicycle path on Stinson Parkway, either on the grassy median or in front of the homes," That will lead to many dangerous intersections with ambiguous ROW - as bad as a sidewalk.

What is wrong with on-street facility?

Al
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Old 04-16-08, 10:27 AM   #3
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Is this the Parkway?
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...,0.026779&z=15

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Old 04-16-08, 10:28 AM   #4
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katmu, bike paths are a mixed blessing which can be better or worse than the street. The bike path down the median sounds dicey. It could be dangerous with possible conflict with cars at each intersection and with pedestrians all along it. If kids are already riding on the street, what's the problem?
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Old 04-16-08, 11:02 AM   #5
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Kids are riding on the street but it's a narrow and very busy street. The park district is looking at an alternate location that would be seperated from car traffic but I got the feeling from the city that they weren't sure if they could use the land in the 2nd location (a few blocks away from the parkway.) My concern is that the opposition group is expressing a lot of "Not In My Backyard" sentiment about cycling in the area. The parkway has always part of the Grand Rounds system (loop designed in 1881 to loop all around Minneapolis) meant to provide recreation for the city's residents.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:02 AM   #6
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Depending on what you mean by "bike path," you are likely to find many here who will vehemently oppose such a "path." MUPs are especially unpopular here, and a route along a median does indeed raise right-of-way issues. Being right-hooked is a major problem already; installing a bikeway in a median will cause even worse left-hooks, as motorists are not used to looking for things there. I am not trying to be argumentative, just informative. Edited to add: I have seen bad ideas tried locally; I am not opposed to well-thought-out bicycle accomodations.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:17 AM   #7
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From what I can tell from Google Maps this stretch of parkway has an intersections with a cross street every 200m - seven blocks total. Even though there are homes along the parkway, there are almost no driveways to the parkway, motor access is from other side of house. (There are a few driveways between the x-streets, mostly on the north end) Each house has a foot path from parkway side of home to the parkway where there is on street parking, the foot paths from each home intersects with the sidewalk that goes along the parkway. This is mirror imaged on each side of the parkway.

A bike path in the median space will have the same intersection with cross streets every 200m. If the bike path uses the current sidewalk, then it intersects the same x-streets every 200m and intersects the foot path leading to each home, plus a handful of driveways.

I don't see any difference between making a cycle path in the median vs. calling the existing sidewalk a MUP. The assumption is that pedestrian will use both.

Al

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Old 04-16-08, 11:18 AM   #8
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I'm not the original poster, but yes that is it.

To give you some background, Stinson Parkway is part of the Minneapolis Grand Rounds. The Grand Rounds was established in 1886, it's a series of low speed parkways, many designed as boulevard type streets. Click on Goggle Map street view on your link and you will see an example of what I mean. The idea is that you can go completely around Minneapolis on the Grand Rounds connecting to Park assets all over the city and never leave the Grand Rounds.

For a long time (all my life anyway) there has been a hole in the Grand Round preventing it from being a complete circle. Stinson is the North end of the hole and this is part of the effort to fill the "hole in the Rounds". Most of the Grand Round system has a Parkway AND an adjacent bike trail AND a seprerate Pedestrian facility. Here's an example from Miss River Pwy that is also part of the Grand Rounds.


It appears the city is proposing giving Stinson this same treatment. It also appears that the neighborhood is opposing it, since they would likely plow it right down the center of the the Boulevard for path space, cutting down the trees in that center island giving them less of a Boulevard feel. That is how it was done on Minnehaha Pwy and Victory Mem Parkway, both of which have much larger center green islands that allowed them to either preserve or replant trees adjacent to the trail.

The other twist to this is that there are two dead ends on the north side of the Rounds, Stinson Pwy and St. Anthony Pwy. I'm sure the neighbors along St. Anthony are not complaining since they are all dead (big graveyard). So, the Stinson people are saying, "leave us alone, we're redundant". St. Anthony will get "Grand Round" Trail and Parkway treatment so we don't need it to complete the hole.

The dynamic that exists across the whole city is that lite duty recreational riders and kids use the trails and fast recreational and transportation cyclists use the Parkway (aka ride on the road). It's 25mph for the entire round so sharing is very possible without allot of conflict.

I think (but I'm not 100% sure of the original posters position either) is that the original poster would prefer that Stinson get the Parkway and Trail treatment typical of most Grand Round segments that the lite duty recreational and kids use.

Hope that clarifies things for you out of towners (and I tried to be balanced).

Scot

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Old 04-16-08, 11:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by katmu View Post
This is the opposition group's website: http://www.savestinson.org/
That link tells you everything you need to know - who to contact, what meetings to attend, etc. They've done your homework for you!

What I have found effective, as someone who can be in-your-face at city hall

1) Call and/or write the elected officials responsible. I mean an actual paper letter.
2) Be courteous, comprehensive, and concise.
3) Know your enemy.
4) Meet the staff

By "know your enemy", I mean go over, in detail, the opposition's position. Be prepared to rebut any and all claims, and be honest about the claims you can't refute. You'll be lucky to get the floor for five minutes at a public meeting, so be prepared in advance to make your case. Most people base their opinions on knee-jerk reactions, emotional response, and self-interest, so your chances of making a good impression are high if you stay cool, composed, and reasonable.

Finally, "meet the staff". The people who consulted on or designed the proposal are the most likely ones to understand the shy of things - more so than the elected officials. Not only can you get a lot of insight by chatting with these folk, you can also get support for your position.


PS- Not taking sides in the actual debate here, just answering the request for advice.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:43 AM   #10
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This may help... I found it rather interesting, but in the end, it worked.

Rather then ask for a path to help cyclists, insist on the path as a way to improve the motoring thru put.

This way you are telling folks you do not want something for yourself, but for them.

I saw this action work when a below grade (under a cross street) tunnel was requested for a path in my area... Sure, cyclists really wanted the tunnel so they could avoid the intersection and thus avoid having to push a button and wait. (cyclists having to act like pedestrians... ug!)

Well the presenter pointed out that the cyclists would be triggering a red light for motorists, and then pointed out how much a few cyclists could cause delays for the motorists due to the red lights... and then asked the motorists if they really wanted that sort of delay. Bingo... suddenly it became an issue for motorists, not a cyclist issue.

Of course every situation is unique, but look around and see if there is any way to turn this around as a benefit for motorists... Good luck.
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Old 04-16-08, 03:34 PM   #11
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My experiance is that people dont like change. In some cases they are afraid of change. They might think that there will be more crime, that property values will go down, or up, (more taxes). Often there are a few very vocal folks. Sometimes they help their cause and sometimes they hurt it. I'd try to find credible, likable people to help defend the change.

Cocerneing the old trees, cant the city detour around the big trees, making a small curve?

Also who else might be on the side of the MUP? Joggers, parents schools, businesses?
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Old 04-16-08, 03:48 PM   #12
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What will be the difference between the path options being proposed vs. the sidewalks that are already in place?

Al
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Old 04-16-08, 04:11 PM   #13
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What will be the difference between the path options being proposed vs. the sidewalks that are already in place?

Al
On most segments of the Minneapolis Grand Rounds the typical treatment is :
Parkway
Bike Path
Ped Path
They are NOT shared spaces (except in a few places) and are often seperated by a section of grass, bushes, and even trees.
In the pictures above, you can see that person with the stroller off in the distance, they are on a paved ped path. It's hidden by the trees and a slight berm in the foreground of the picture. Also in the overhead shot the lane you see is exclusively for bikes, there are seperate marked paths for peds out of the picture (in addition to the sidewalk across the street).

I imagine if the city was to implement the Grand Round treatment on Stinson they would use the existing road as the Parkway, the existing sidewalk as the Ped Path, and build new bike lanes down the center boulevard to make dedicated bike paths. I don't think there would be room on Stinson to save the trees. Hit Street Views and see what you think.


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Old 04-16-08, 07:44 PM   #14
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I have two major objections. First, I generally favor full integration of cyclists and motorists on 25mph / 40kph streets such as this. Second, I have grave concerns about the numerous intersections.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:21 PM   #15
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This may help... I found it rather interesting, but in the end, it worked.

Rather then ask for a path to help cyclists, insist on the path as a way to improve the motoring thru put.

This way you are telling folks you do not want something for yourself, but for them.
Isn't this a classic example of what Forester asserts? Changes are made in order to facilitate motorist interests. In this case a low speed parkway is going to be converted at the behest of bicycling advocates in order to increase the volume of motorized traffic and anyone that chooses to ride on the street instead of mixing it up with rollerbladers and infants is going to look unreasonable.

Seems completely against the interests of cyclists to me.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:35 PM   #16
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I dunno. For a bike TUNNEL that bypassed a red light, I think I'd make the *deal with the devil* as well.

They think I'm unreasonable no matter what I do....They think each other are unreasonable as far as I can tell.


And I think we need to find some better imagery of the area under discussion... I can't quite make out the individual blades of grass on the median strip.
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Old 04-16-08, 09:01 PM   #17
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For those of you that are not local, you have to understand that this is one little hold-out section that stops one from taking a dedicated bike path loop all the way around the city.

Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs are actually pretty commuter friendly, though I may be biased, as I get on a trail in my back yard, cross 8 or 9 roads, and only one of those is busy (and that has a light....the only light on my commute) and arrive at work 10 miles later. That trail is in great shape, and is usually plowed before the roads in my neighborhood are.

That said, some friends of ours live right along the proposed trail. What they have told us is that most of the residents of these $500,000+ homes do not want anything in their front yard....even if the "front yard" we are talking about is actually already owned by the city. They don't want the pedestrian traffic to rise that close to home.
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Old 04-16-08, 10:19 PM   #18
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Contact the League of American Bicyclists and the Rails to Trails Conservancy. They may have all kinds of advice, resources, studies, etc. or know who would.
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