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Old 10-26-11, 04:07 PM   #1
modernjess
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Behind the Bicycle Boom

Minneapolis is my town. It's far from perfect but it's pretty dang bike worthy. Here's a story.

http://www.thelinemedia.com/features...oom101911.aspx
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Old 10-26-11, 08:03 PM   #2
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That was a nice article. I also found this on that site; it really shows our infrastructure in action.
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Old 10-26-11, 08:49 PM   #3
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Great article, great job Minneapolis! Other cities please take note!
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Old 10-26-11, 09:55 PM   #4
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I think there are some pretty spectacular things going on in cities across the country but I do feel lucky to have the infrastructure that we enjoy in Minneapolis.

For the last couple of months I've been riding on one of the poorest excuses for a bike path you can have. Basically it's an old, underutilized and uneven sidewalk that's been widened here and there with some hastily applied asphalt. But to me it illustrates how far the city has come in being serious about bikes as transportation.

Why?

Because it's a detour.

They closed a portion of a commuter bike trail to work on a bridge. In the past cyclists would have just been out of luck and have to negotiate the surface streets. But this time they actually went to the effort and expense of creating an alternate route. I'm impressed.

Having said that, all the money being spent on infrastructure isn't without some controversy. The Sabo bridge (which is also featured in one of the films on that site) is something I have mixed feelings about. It cost $5,000,000.00 and it's debatable whether it has made cycling through that area any safer or more convenient. It does look cool though and it's a very visible part of the cycling infrastructure and that visibility has some value.
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Old 10-27-11, 10:50 AM   #5
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I hate to say it, but Minneapolis is a pretty nice city.
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Old 10-27-11, 07:18 PM   #6
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My takeaway from this article.
Quote:
Local bicyclists would have howled at the idea of Minneapolis being named America’s best city 30 years ago. It was a frustrating and dangerous place to bike, crisscrossed by freeways and arterial streets that felt like freeways. Drivers were openly hostile to bike riders, some of them going the extra step to scare the daylights out of us as they roared past. Bike lanes were practically non-existent at that time.

What changed in Minneapolis was that local bike riders patiently lobbied for better conditions, slowly winning over elected officials and city staff. Also, as the number of bike riders steadily rose, motorists became accustomed to sharing the streets with us.
If you want to see better bike infrastructure, you need to start talking to people in your community. There are a lot of selling points... not the least of which is the low cost of bike vs car infrastructure.
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Old 10-28-11, 08:30 AM   #7
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Great article, and definitely agree that biking today is definitely improved over when I was biking 30 yrs ago in the same Minnesota neighborhoods. There are bike trails now where there were none before, and the attitude of the drivers for the most part (with a few exceptions) has generally improved.
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Old 10-28-11, 08:54 AM   #8
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one more vote for 'nice article'. great program out there.
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Old 10-28-11, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gna View Post
I hate to say it, but Minneapolis is a pretty nice city.
You must have moved to St. Paul later in life. I can't imagine a St. Paul native ever uttering such a thing about their neighbor to the West.

I live in Minneapolis but didn't grow up here. Though I like it and don't really have a desire to move, I have to say that St. Paul has a much more interesting topography, history, and character.

I particularly like the story about the police chief back in the 20's and 30's who basically made St. Paul a safe haven for the mob in exchange for an agreement to keep their nose clean while in the city. An interesting approach to bring money into the city while at the same time keeping crime at bay. Of course, the mob could commit all the crimes they wanted in Minneapolis as far as the St. Paul Chief was concerned.

Last edited by tjspiel; 10-28-11 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 10-28-11, 11:24 AM   #10
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one more vote for 'nice article'. great program out there.
^ This.
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Old 10-28-11, 05:00 PM   #11
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Hey, does the city plow the bike trails in the winter?
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Old 10-28-11, 05:03 PM   #12
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I'm still waiting for LA to get it/
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Old 10-28-11, 07:19 PM   #13
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Hey, does the city plow the bike trails in the winter?
Yes. They do a better job than they do on the streets but I suppose it's easier since they don't have to deal with parked cars.

While the trails are pretty well maintained throughout the winter, the bike lanes become useless pretty quickly. Snow banks start to narrow the roads and eventually cars end up parking in what was a bike lane.
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Old 10-28-11, 09:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
You must have moved to St. Paul later in life. I can't imagine a St. Paul native ever uttering such a thing about their neighbor to the West.

I live in Minneapolis but didn't grow up here. Though I like it and don't really have a desire to move, I have to say that St. Paul has a much more interesting topography, history, and character.

I particularly like the story about the police chief back in the 20's and 30's who basically made St. Paul a safe haven for the mob in exchange for an agreement to keep their nose clean while in the city. An interesting approach to bring money into the city while at the same time keeping crime at bay. Of course, the mob could commit all the crimes they wanted in Minneapolis as far as the St. Paul Chief was concerned.
Hey, I didn't say it was better (or even equal). The bike infrastructure is great, though.
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