According to some chatter on the bike blogosphere (bikelosphere?), the 1st Avenue bike lanes will be getting (or perhaps have already gotten) orange plastic bollards to more clearly delineate the bike lane from the parking/drive lane. Shaun Murphy, the Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program Coordinator (translation: head bike lane fixer/installer), posted this on Minneapolis Bike Love:
Shaun here from the City. I just wanted to give everyone an update on this project. Last week we had some pretty large meetings with Public Works, the Mayor, and Traffic Enforcement. The major issue in these meetings was how to make this project work better for bicyclists. We’ll be implementing some ideas this week – including orange “candlestick” delineators on the 1st Avenue bike lane edge (http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/bicycles/images/HennepinDelineators-1.jpg), City staff out on the street talking to people about the changes, and further ramped up traffic enforcement.
Also this week we’ll be getting the additional striping down on the street weather permitting. I know that’s been a frustrating delay for everyone – I’m sorry it’s taken so long. This will include the bike boxes, sharrows, and “Bus Bike Right Turn Only” pavement messages.
I’ll be posting details on here shortly about an official grand opening for those bike boxes – stay tuned for that. And keep the feedback coming! City staff has followed the conversation on this thread and we took ideas and used them in our brainstorming sessions last week. Also if anyone has any questions let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them. Either post them on here or contact me directly at 612.333.2450 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d like to take full credit for these improvement, but alas, I’m sure it was due more to the dedicated cyclists sharing their frustration on Minneapolis Bike Love and TC Streets for People. I also think it is great that Shaun and others at the city are monitoring these sites for feedback and making improvements.
I do still think the lanes are too narrow, and do not include a “door zone” between the parking lane and bike lane. As the City (hopefully) continues to fine tune these lanes, I’d urge them to consider the 8/80 rule: would you ride in this lane with a kid in a bike trailer or let your young son or daughter ride in this lane? Would you tell your grandmother to ride in this lane? Right now, I think these lanes still fail that test. Thanks for listening Minneapolis, but please keep the improvements coming.