Protected Bike Lane in Minneapolis

In an effort to increase city attractiveness and biker safety while reducing pollution in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Bicycle Coalition created a Bikeways for Everyone campaign supporting the design and construction of 30 miles of protected bikeways to be in effect by 2020.

The coalition first introduced this campaign to the general public by transforming one block of an Open Streets event to include a protected bikeway. Open Streets events temporarily close major roadways to car traffic to create a safe environment for residents of all ages and abilities to walk, bike, skate, and play. These events bring together community groups and local businesses to encourage active transportation and healthy living, giving residents the opportunity to think of their streets as a public space.

Photo by Kristina Perkins for BikewaysForEveryone

Photo by Kristina Perkins for BikewaysForEveryone

This Pop-Up cycle track, or protected bikeway, was easily created by the coalition utilizing 15 plywood planters as barriers to separate the bike lane from pedestrians at the city’s four summertime Open Streets events. This proved to be a hit in the community, where those utilizing it were clearly more at ease to travel to their various destinations by bicycle, especially when children were involved.

Chrissy Lee of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition sets up a \

Chrissy Lee of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition sets up a "pop up" bike lane demo

By putting a map of the entire city at the end of the cycle track, residents were able to mark streets they believed were in need of a protected bike lane. These proved to be many and very widespread. A majority of all who traveled on this lane hope to see the campaign successfully completed by 2020.  

These 1-day, 1-block demonstrations proved to be the spark that ignited the protected bike lane fire across America. During the summer of 2014, communities from small-town Kansas to downtown Atlanta created their own handmade barriers to build temporary bikeways to spread this concept and awareness throughout society.

References:

  1. Anderson, Michael. “Steal This Idea: A $600 Protected Bike Lane Demo at an Open-Streets Event.” Green Lane ProjectWeb. 24 Jan. 2014. <http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/steal-this-idea-a-600-protected-bike-lane-demo-at-an-open-streets-event.>

  2. Bikeways for Everyone. Web. 20 June 2016. <http://www.bikewaysforeveryone.org.>.

  3. “Dance. Bike. Play!: Experience your streets in a whole new way!.” Open Streets MPLS. Web. 20 June 2016. <http://www.openstreetsmpls.org>.  


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