Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bike Lane Closures

From the City of Minneapolis:

Bicycling Update Subscribers,

Two bikeway closures are affecting bicycle travel. The first is the reconstruction of Marquette and 2nd Avenues in downtown. A Bicycling Community Advisory (pdf) has been issued by project staff. Sections of the bike lanes are closed on both streets. Work will continue through the end of 2009. Alternative routes are on Hennepin Avenue (bike lanes) and 3rd Avenue (no bike lanes).

At times general traffic lanes will remain open, and bicyclists may use those lanes. Please use extra caution when bicycling through this area. Here are a few tips to keep you safe:

* Ride with the flow of traffic, unless a contra flow bike lane is open.
* Stay visible by not riding in the gutter. Ride where the right wheel of a car would be.
* Follow traffic signals, and signal turns and lane changes.
* Use headlights and taillights after dark.
* If you would rather be on the sidewalk, walk your bicycle. Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the downtown business district.
* Use heightened awareness at intersections, and be particularly cautious around turning motorists. Read more about defensive bicycling.

When Marquette and 2nd Avenues reopen, the bike lanes will no longer exist. At that time Nicollet Mall will be reopened to cycling traffic 24 hours a day. The City Council has directed City of Minneapolis staff to study the possibility of bicycles using the bus lanes on Marquette and 2nd. A recommendation has not yet been made by staff to the Council. For more information on this project, visit the MARQ2 project website.

The second closure is the Washington Avenue bridge over the Mississippi River. Hennepin County has eliminated the bike lanes due to concerns over the strength of the upper deck of the bridge. Because of high pedestrian traffic, bicyclists must walk their bikes through the enclosure. University police are enforcing this rule. Read more about the closure on the University of Minnesota website. A signed detour route using Bridge #9 is currently being developed. The bike lanes on the bridge are expected to reopen in the spring.

Happy Riding,

City of Minneapolis Bicycle Program

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