On Sunday, September 21, 2014, University Avenue will be closed to car traffic between Lexington Parkway and Marion Street. There will be food, vendors, music, dance, games and other activities. Please come by foot or bike. Last year’s event was a lot of fun with hundreds (or even thousands) of people. For more details, see http://stpaulopenstreets.org/
Saint Paul released its draft Bike Plan. If you haven’t already done so, you can download and read it at— http://www.stpaul.gov/bikeplan
The heart of the plan is the “Figures and Maps” PDF but there are important descriptions in the text of the plan, particularly the last 10 or 15 pages. The city’s Bike Planner, Reuben Collins wants your comments on the plan— both suggested changes and which new routes you would prioritize for implementation. You can e-mail your comments to him. His e-mail is on the Bike Plan page, and you should CC those comments to your city council member. You can also post remarks on the Open Saint Paul forum, linked to on the Bike Plan page. We are also asking cyclists to attend presentations of the plan in their local districts. These are listed on the plan page but include:
March 10, 7pm, Como (District 10) Council at Historic Como Park Streetcar Station;
March 11, 7pm, Highland (District 15) Transportation Committee, Hillcrest Recreation Center, 1978 Ford Parkway;
March 17, Dayton’s Bluff (District 4), time and location TBD;
March 18, 6:30pm West Side (District 3) at 1 W. Water Street;
March 24, 5pm, Eastview-Conway-Battle-Creek-Highwood Hills (District 1) Community Council Open House, location TBD;
March 24, 6:30pm, Macalester-Groveland (District 14) Transportation Committee, location TBD;
April 8, Frogtown (District 7) Council Board Meeting, time and location TBD.
If you don’t know your Ward and District, you can find them on this handy map at http://mn-stpaul.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/2822
The City of Saint Paul released it’s Draft Bike Plan. You can download it off the city’s Bike Plan website at— http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=4604
The heart of the plan is in the “Figures and Maps” PDF document but there are important definitions and descriptions in the text of the plan and Appendix C and E. It’s a good plan but can always use improvement and it will need everyone’s support to be adopted by the City Council and the city. We urge you to read it and give the city (and SPBC) your input at one or more of the upcoming open houses. The open houses will be:
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, 6:00-8:00 PM
El Rio Vista Recreation Center/Wellstone Community Center
179 Robie St E
Saint Paul, MN 55107
Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 6:00-8:00 PM
Weyerhaueser Ballroom in Weyerhaueser Hall
(building is on the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and Macalester Street)
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, 6:00-8:00 PM
Duluth & Case Recreation Center
1020 Duluth St
Saint Paul, MN 55106
Thursday, Feb 20, 2014, 6:00-8:00 PM
CapitolRiver Council Office (Adjacent Conference Room)
US Bank Center Building
101 East 5th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Saint Paul Open Streets will be closing down part of University Avenue to motor vehicle traffic on Sunday, September 15, between 11am and 6pm, between Hamline Avenue and Marion. There will be food, music, dance and other entertainment. At 11am some SPBC members will lead an easy, family-type ride of the entire route (details are yet to be determined). Cyclists should meet up by 11am at the corner or Syndicate and University. For more info on the event, go to— http://stpaulopenstreets.org/
Following the departure of Emily Erickson, the city of Saint Paul hired a new Sustainable Transportation Planner. His name is Reuben Collins and he is an engineer, cyclist, parent, homeowner and blogger. You can read his blog posts on http://www.streets.mn/ and on his own blog at http://velotraffic.com/
His primary job will be to complete the city’s comprehensive bicycle plan but he’ll be involved in other planning and implementation projects including (we hope) reviving the city’s bike rack cost-share program.
At a hearing on Wedsday evening, September 5th, the Charles Avenue Bikeway was approved by the Saint Paul City Council on a 5-2 vote. Dan Bostrom and David Thune were the only dissenting votes. The bikeway would run the entire length of Charles from Park Street on the east end to Aldine on the west end. It would have bike boulevard treatments to calm traffic and allow cyclists to cross busy north/south boulevards. Treatments include traffic circles (replacing stop signs) at a number of intersections, closing off the Snelling median at Charles to create a bike/ped refuge and similar or other treatments at Lexington, Dale, Marion and Rice streets.
The Bikeway is partly intended to help cyclists deal with the narrowing of University Avenue for the LRT project and the elimination of on-street parking from most of University, something that will make University difficult to bike on in the future. It remains to be seen what the city will do about accommodating bicycles on the University Avenue corridor west of Aldine street and east of Park street, as University itself is the only way to get across various railroad, warehouse and highway obstacles and is currently used by a lot of cyclists. We’re hoping to get space on the avenue itself if some on-street parking is restored in what is currently the outside travel lane.
You can see photos and commentary from our West Side ride on our Facebook Page at—
The July 10th SPBC meeting will be a West Side Ride. We’ll leave from the Kellogg/river side of City Hall promptly at 7pm. Councilman Russ Stark will join us. We’ll ride over the Wabasha bridge and examine the gap between its southeast end and the Caesar Chavez bike lanes. We’ll ride around the neighborhood a bit and return on Roberts Street for a little post-ride discussion. Join us!
For the entire month of June, there will be a show of bicycle drawings and comics by local artists Ken Avidor, Roger Lootine and Andy Singer at Black Dog Cafe (corner of Prince and Broadway in downtown Saint Paul). To celebrate Twin Cities Bike Walk Week, there will be an opening reception for the show on Friday, June 8, starting at 7pm, with a few cases of free beer supplied by Summit Brewing. To see the poster for the show, go to— http://www.andysinger.com/bike_comics_show_poster.jpg
To download a high-resolution, printable version of the poster, go to— http://www.andysinger.com/bike_comics_show_poster.pdf
Last meeting our ride got rained out but this time we’re going to do it rain or shine. Meet at Black Dog Cafe at the corner of Prince (4th) and Broadway, across from the Farmers Market at 7pm. We’ll ride up Swede Hollow out Margaret Street to McKnight and back downtown. Along the way, we’ll look at connections (or lack of) between the East Side and Downtown, examine what would be necessary to make Margaret Street into a Bike Boulevard, and check out the I-94 overpasses at McKnight and Ruth.