Cleveland Avenue Bike Lanes

A woman surrounded by cars, roads and parking lots asks where she will park her car if bicyclists take some street parking to make a bike laneThis coming Wednesday, June 17, at 5:30pm, the Saint Paul City Council faces its first test for implementing the city’s Bikeways Plan. The plan calls for bike lanes on Cleveland Avenue. The question is: Will they vote to implement the plan, or will they listen to claims of bike lane opponents and scrap a major part of the plan before its implementation even begins?

Because there is little money for the Bikeways Plan, the idea was that much of it would be implemented over a couple decades as part of street repaving projects. When paving and paint crews are on a given street to repave it, painting a couple of extra bike lanes can basically be done for free. Ramsey County is repaving part of Cleveland this summer and is proposing to stripe bike lanes from Highland Parkway up to Summit Avenue. So Cleveland has become the first major opportunity to implement part of the Bikeways Plan. From Highland Parkway, north to Randolph, Cleveland is wide enough that bike lanes can be striped on it without taking away any parking. North of Randolph however, Cleveland narrows. So, finding the necessary 5-6 feet of space for two bike lanes will require removing much of the on-street parking between Randolph and Grand Avenue.

As with all parking removals, this has created a lot of controversy. Various business and property owners claim that removing this parking will drive them out of business. Some local conservative pundits like Joe Soucheray have also weighed in, opposing the bike lanes. Many of these folks showed up at two public meetings to criticize city and county engineers and many have voiced their opinions in newspapers and on various social media forums. Let’s evaluate some of their claims.

Why not Finn Street?

First off, opponents question the choice of Cleveland Avenue as a bikeway. They say the city should put bikes on Finn street, one block west of Cleveland, because Finn is safer and more pleasant to ride on. But Cleveland Avenue is one of the only north-south streets at the west end of the city that travels, uninterrupted, from the southern end of Highland Park, through Highland Center, and all the way to Pierce Butler Avenue. There are even plans to connect it north of Pierce Butler across the Union Pacific and BNSF rail lines. By contrast, Finn Street only travels between I-94 on the north end and Ford Parkway at the south end. During this short stretch, Finn is interrupted by the University of Saint Thomas campus, and by a two block gap between Niles and Hartford Streets. These interruptions and the street’s short length often require cyclists cut over to Cleveland to continue their journeys. For all these reasons, Finn was deemed inadequate and Cleveland was designated for on-street bike lanes in the city’s Bikeways plan.

No one will use them.

Opponents of the bike lanes say, “no one will use them” and cite the fact that few cyclists are using the street now. But these same claims were made about Fairview Avenue and now, even with sub-standard-width “bikeable shoulders” it gets 30 cyclists per hour at morning and evening weekday commute times. Like Fairview before its four-lane-to-three-lane conversion, cyclists currently avoid Cleveland because there’s no space for them. Once space is made, there is evidence from past projects that use will grow. There are also two major college campuses on Cleveland that have high levels of student bicycle use—the University of Saint Thomas and Saint Catherine University. Both are part of the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities or “ACTC” system that allows students to take courses on each other’s campuses and share library resources. Cleveland is the most direct connection between the two campuses and provides students and neighborhood residents with access to many stores, bars, restaurants and other businesses from Grand Avenue to Highland Center.

Not Enough Parking?

The main claim of bike lane opponents is that the loss of on-street parking on Cleveland will hurt various businesses and force them to move or close. To examine this claim, it’s important to understand the current and proposed parking situation on Cleveland between Randolph and Grand Avenues. The city studied this stretch, block by block, to see where and when on-street parking is currently used. They found that only a couple blocks at the north end near Grand and the last block at the south end between Randolph and James Avenues, see high use. In addition, the spaces in front of the Kehilat Sar Shalom Synagogue (near Sargent Avenue) get used on Saturdays and when there are services.

As you can see from the city study, parking is only allowed on one side of Cleveland. At major businesses nodes like Saint Clair Avenue, there are parking bays that will remain even if bike lanes are striped. Many businesses also have their own parking lots and there is significant amounts of under-utilized parking on side streets. I live on Berkeley Avenue, a half block from Cleveland and my block’s on-street parking is never entirely used. Randolph Avenue has alternate-side street-sweeping restrictions on Monday and Tuesday nights and, at the north end of Cleveland, several side streets near the University of Saint Thomas campus have permit-only parking, designed to deter college students who drive to campus and don’t want to pay for on-campus parking. I made a detailed map showing all the parking bays, lots and parking restrictions.

St Paul, MN 55105 - Google Maps

At the south end, putting in bike lanes would necessitate the removal of nine of the more heavily used parking spaces between Randolph and James. But one major bike-lane opponent, Luci and Luci Ancora, has its own 12-space parking lot and currently, many of its patrons park on James, Randolph or Cleveland (south of Randolph) and walk to their restaurants. A friend of mine lives on the corner of James and Cleveland and parks on James, year-round without any difficulty. Across the street, Accolades spa has a 15-space parking lot.

102luci_lot_edit_streetsmn

Even if you believe that the nine on-street parking spaces are critical for business survival, there are ways to mitigate or replace them. Currently there are some “30-Minute only” restricted spaces designed to encourage frequent turnover for businesses. Other spaces on Randolph could be designated as “30-minute” or even “2-Hour” restricted parking (in the evenings) for restaurant-goers.

Next to the gates of Saint Catherine University is room for two spaces in what is currently a “no-parking” area. This would replace two of the nine removed spaces on Cleveland.

105stcatesspaces_edit_streetsmn

Across from Sportsmen’s Barbershop and Luci, there’s a defunct driveway that would provide space for two cars. Cars occasionally use it for that purpose but it could be officially signed and would replace two more of the nine removed spaces.

103accoladeslot_2space_streetsmn

Finally, in front of Sportsmen’s and Luci, the sidewalk is very wide. A five-space parking bay could easily be put in as part of the street repaving project. This would replace the remaining five of the nine removed parking spaces. If a parking bay can’t be put in immediately, this last block from Randolph to James could be temporarily marked as a shared bike/driving lane, pending construction of a parking bay at some designated future date.

100parkingbay_marked_streetsmn

The five spaces in front of Kehilat Sar Shalom Synagogue on Cleveland could be replaced by creating a couple “10-minute loading-zone” spaces on Sargent in front of the synagogue and perhaps creating some additional “Synagogue-only” restricted parking spaces on Sargent. The city could then provide the synagogue with permits it could distribute to some of its older or disabled patrons.

temple_sargent_edit_streetsmn

At the north end, Davanni’s/Coffee-Bene is another opponent of bike lanes. But they have their own 23-space parking lot on Grand, a 5-space parking bay on Cleveland and use of a 32-space parking lot across the street, at the University of Saint Thomas, on weekends and after 5pm on weekdays. On top of this, a lot of their customers consist of UST students and staff who get to their store on foot or by bicycle. The owner claims that his customers and staff use up to ten of the spaces on Cleveland that would be removed but he has no evidence for this. Many of these spaces are used by UST students who drive to campus but don’t want to pay for on-campus parking and can’t get side-street parking permits. These particular students are not necessarily Davanni’s customers.

davannis_lot_edit_streetsmn

If you still believe additional parking is necessary for Davanni’s survival, permit parking rules could be adjusted to provide them with a few side-street permits for employees. The city has also proposed to make some of the nearby permit parking into “2-hours (or by permit)” to accommodate Davanni’s customers. At some future date, the city could even create an additional two or three-space parking bay, on Cleveland across from the store’s existing five-space bay.

davannis_intersection_edit_streetsmn

When you look at it objectively, many of the claims about the impacts of parking loss on Cleveland are grossly overstated. In the few places where they have any legitimacy, there are ways to mitigate or even replace the lost spaces.

The Future

Many people in Saint Paul feel that publicly-subsidized car storage or “Rock Star” parking in front of their doors is essential for their survival. In the coming years, however, Saint Paul is going to get denser and increase in population. Major new housing developments are going in at the old Ford Plant, on Cleveland Avenue, on University Avenue and many other places in the city. We’re not going to be able to move all these people through our city in cars. There’s simply not enough space. So we’ll need to expand transit, bikeways and automobile alternatives. For businesses, developing a customer base within walking or biking distance rather than relying on car drivers and parking space is good for business. There are many local businesses that don’t have their own parking lots or dedicated parking in front of their doors. They succeed because neighborhood people actually enjoy walking or biking to them, even in winter. The 128 Café, Izzy’s Ice Cream, and Kopplins Coffee all sell great products and mange to get a lot of walk-in business.

After years of public meetings, studies, hearings and planning sessions, the city of Saint Paul adopted a comprehensive Bikeways Plan. But plans are just words on paper. The world and the Twin Cities are full of city plans that were thrown out or never implemented. Now the city faces its first test for implementing the Bikeways Plan. The plan calls for bike lanes on Cleveland Avenue. The question is: Will they really do it? …or will they listen to hysterical claims of bike lane opponents? Come to the public hearing at city hall on Wednesday evening and find out.


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37 Responses to Cleveland Avenue Bike Lanes

  1. Kevin Gallatin June 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    Perfectly stated, Andy. You’ve laid out a reasonable and even-handed view of the pros and cons. Very compelling.

  2. Eric Anondson
    Eric Anondson June 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    Pretty creative options. I’m sure opponents won’t be persuaded. If they don’t compromise an inch they get exactly what they wanted anyway.

  3. paddy June 15, 2015 at 2:06 am #

    I appreciate the time and effort and thoughtfulness in coming up with solutions to what is really a challenging problem.

    I happen to know that some of the affected owners of these local businesses wouldn’t really mind the whole deal if parking bays were cut into the sidewalks but no one has ever given them that option (and really 2 months before construction/painting its probably to late). Tangentially if a bike lane supporter wants to argue that local businesses have received years of subsidized parking go ahead and argue that. That’s not really how the facts on the ground are perceived but go ahead. Politics is about give and take. The bike lanes are taking might want to think about the giving

    But here’s the thing that gets me, your last paragraph says, after years (years!) of planning and study and hearings, no one bothered or cared to think of any of these solutions or anticipate any of these issues. That’s very discouraging

    In the end, I don’t really care about the bike lanes. Build them or don’t (though do we really need bikes lanes on both Cleveland and Prior from Summit to Pierce Butler. Isn’t that a little redundant? Did no one plan for that?) And honestly, in my opinion, bikes lanes and winter dont really work but whatever (I’m sure the next comment will be from Mike telling us all that as soon as you create the capacity the local family of four will be riding their bikes to school down Cleveland all December and January. Color me highly skeptical)

    What bothers me is a) the process b) who gets to make these decisions.The process is beyond screwed up and last time I checked hysterical neighbors were called voters and taxpayers.

    Its not going to get any easier after this. The city better find a way to alleviate some of these concerns and some money to pay for it or its just going to be plans on paper.

    I’d like to think that all involved in the debate care about the city and neighborhoods and could work together to make both points of view work but maybe that’s just a plan on paper as well

    • Adam Miller
      Adam Miller June 15, 2015 at 8:28 am #

      “That’s not really how the facts on the ground are perceived”

      Now that’s some slippery language.

      “The bike lanes are taking might want to think about the giving”

      The bike lanes that do not exist need to give to the roads and parking that do? Hm.

      “But here’s the thing that gets me, your last paragraph says, after years (years!) of planning and study and hearings, no one bothered or cared to think of any of these solutions or anticipate any of these issues.”

      Perhaps because they are not real issues. Or not perceived as real issues?

      • Alex Cecchini
        Alex Cecchini June 15, 2015 at 9:33 am #

        Years of planning and community engagement found that the routes selected for investment struck a balance between accessibility (destinations), connectivity throughout the city (long routes connecting to other existing and planned routes), feasibility (without getting into every engineering detail for every single lane on every single block), and compatibility with existing traffic flows.

        So, it’s very likely that the expected loss of parking was identified when evaluating N-S bike corridors on the western end of the city, and still won out when taking into account all other goals/issues.

        If politics is a game of give and take, I’d really like an explanation for how this project (or even the entire bike plan, if implemented) tips the scale toward bikes taking too much. Look at the last 50+ years. How many houses have been demolished, people displaced, tons of CO2 emitted, pollutants inhaled by residents, etc all in the name of moving people in cars through St Paul? How much $? How many connections within neighborhoods were severed? How much money does the city spend each year paving and maintaining streets so people can store their cars for free?

        Ask how much has been taken by bikes in that timeframe. Did Summit or Marshall bike lanes make life in St Paul demonstrably worse? How many businesses closed shop nearby? Have property values plummeted? Will anyone be held accountable for claiming the sky is falling when business as usual (or even better) happens post-bikelanes? The Green Line attracted the same sort of comments and now things are better than ever (even according to former haters http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/06/12/green-line-one-year) but hey the next rail line we build will have the same arguments made against it. Rinse, repeat.

        This whole conversation is crazy.

      • paddy June 15, 2015 at 9:46 am #

        They’re not real issues and yet for the second time in two weeks, we have nice articles here at this website detailing how to mitigate the loss of parking.

        I’m being serious when I say that Andy and Mike appear to have put more thought into the issue than the city.

        I appreciate their time and effort

        • Andy Singer
          Andy Singer June 15, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

          Paddy, I think a big issue with these first 3 projects is the absurdly short notice and lack of communication by Ramsey County. Reuben Collins addressed this at the MacGroveland Transportation Committee public meeting and said that, in the future, the county will endeavor to notify the public about future repaving or reconstruction projects at least a year in advance. I think these were such short notice in part because we only got the bike plan passed in late March and Public Works, Planning and Economic Development and city agencies are not necessarily doing a good job of communicating with Ramsey County agencies. I think this will improve. In the meantime, we have this opportunity on the table. I spent time talking with Bob Stupka (the owner of Davannis) who is amenable to the bikeway IF he could get certain things from the city, like some parking permits for his employees. To do this, however, will require amending city permit parking regulations, but this is something that Russ Stark is at least talking about. If the council, mayor and city agencies make these and other changes, it should streamline and improve the process going forward. The main point of my post is there are work arounds for the issues on Cleveland NOW …and even better ones down the road (like a parking bay at the south end). So, in my opinion, we should go for it and do what we can in the short term. If we cave on this first project, the bike plan is doomed because some spots on the plan are going to be even tougher.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke June 15, 2015 at 9:43 am #

      For some reason this fact isn’t out there, but the city HAS proposed a bunch of Andy’s suggestions. Parking bays are more expensive, but they’ve proposed 30-minute spots, and tweaking the permit parking areas to better serve businesses and residents.

    • Alex June 15, 2015 at 11:11 am #

      I’ve seen the lanes on Prior brought up a few times by opponents of lanes on Cleveland, and I don’t understand because I thought the lanes on Prior ended at Marshall. How are they supposed to help N-S traffic south of Marshall?

      • paddy June 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

        The Prior bike lane ends at Pierce Butler (its nice. If I rode I’d use it) but since it is apparently imperative that every north south route in the area has a bike route its okay.

    • Walker Angell
      Walker Angell June 15, 2015 at 11:43 am #

      “do we really need bikes lanes on both Cleveland and Prior from Summit to Pierce Butler. Isn’t that a little redundant?”

      We can also say “do we really need cars on both Cleveland and Prior from Summit to Pierce Butler? Isn’t that a little redundant?

      The same arguments answer both. As others pointed out, Cleveland is a through route. As well, a bikeway on Prior (or Finn) doesn’t provide a way for people riding bicycles to get to businesses on Cleveland.

      • Andy Singer
        Andy Singer June 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

        Prior ends at St Catherine University so it doesn’t get you to Highland Center or south, without cutting over to Fairview or Cleveland. I suggested to Reuben (during the bike planning process) that “Plan B” should be to make Prior a bike boulevard south of Summit and then put on-street lanes on Randolph between Fairview and Cleveland so riders could continue south. ….But this, too, might require some parking removal on Randolph and all the same suspects would oppose it. Plus, like Finn, it’s not even on the table for discussion. Cleveland is on the table and I support it.

        • pad June 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

          Andy,
          As you appear to be very well informed and a participant on the whole issue, I have an honest question.

          Maybe I’m not being clear (quite possible/probable).

          Cleveland Bike Lane

          Phase I – Ford to Summit (currently contentious not addressing at all in this post)

          Phase II – Summit to Pierce Butler??? (technically transfer road but whatevs time TBD)

          The Phase II portion will run parallel to the existing Prior Ave Bike Way less than 1/4 mile apart.

          Prior is better than Cleveland (in my opinion) and will be closer to the LRT station at Fairview.

          Isn’t Phase II and the existing Prior Ave Bike Route redundant?

          If it isn’t redundant can you explain the logic why?

          Some have argued the importance of a “through route” others want to have access to businesses along the route (I’m not endorsing one or the other just trying to restate the positions as I understand them)

          It can’t be for the St Thomas students (they have access to campus at Cleveland and Summit)

          There are businesses between Summit and Marshall on Cleveland, Cafe 128 (who is very much NOT in favor from what I’ve heard), Trotters, the cleaners, Izzi’s, the Dojo, etc. I’d think those could be accessed from Prior and the bike route on Marshall but maybe not.

          Ultimately Phase II fails a common sense take for me. Maybe its just they want it in the plan because they want it in type deal. I’m just curious to hear your thoughts.

          • Adam Miller
            Adam Miller June 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

            Why is it “common sense” that there should only be one street in the neighborhood with bike facilities?

          • Andy Singer
            Andy Singer June 17, 2015 at 4:37 am #

            Pad,

            I don’t understand your comment about UST students.

            Regarding your other questions, Prior doesn’t go through the entire corridor but ends at Randolph. You could then have cyclists cut over to Cleveland on Randolph but you would need to create lanes for them on Randolph and this would require some parking removal as well. The same suspects that are opposing Cleveland lanes would oppose any removal on Randolph as well (The Chandlers, Luci, Soucheray, etc).

            During the planning process, I actually advocated for this (Bike lanes on Randolph from Fairview to Finn, with bikeways on both Prior and Finn to Randolph). But I was over-ruled and Reuben and the city chose Cleveland, partly for the reasons I explain in this column. Another (lesser but significant) problem with Prior is that it is three quarters of a mile from the river, so you’re adding a half mile more to every round trip (over Cleveland). The goal of the plan was to create bikeways at half-mile intervals.

            Finally, when you get up to University Avenue, since the city eliminated bicycle access to that street with the Green Line LRT and 4-lanes of traffic, more bike access is better than less. Try biking back and forth between Prior and Cleveland on University Avenue (the only street in the area that connects them across the rail line) and you’ll see what I mean.

            The bottom line is we had a 4-5 year-long, involved public planning process that produced the Saint Paul Bikeways plan. Hundreds of people and city staff worked on it, attended countless public (and private) meetings, rode proposed routes, submitted comments and volunteered (or occasionally were paid) for thousands of hours of time. The final plan was approved unanimously by the city council. Now one council member at least is behaving as if they never read the plan or as if it is irrelevant. A plan is (in large part) a promise to the public to do something. The city, the state, MnDOT and countless others have broken so many promises and thrown out so many plans related to bicycles and pedestrians. Cleveland is EASY to mitigate parking issues compared to many other spots on the bike plan, for the reasons I outline in my post. If the council throws out Cleveland from this plan, it will be another broken promise to all the people who volunteered their time, and I, for one, will never participate in another city planning process. What would be the point?

            • Jeff McMenimen June 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

              I would also add that the destinations (shops/restaurants) I would be interested in bicycling to are on Cleveland Avenue, not on Finn or Prior. And…isn’t that a goal of the bike plan – to provide better connections between our homes and neighborhood destinations?

            • Jenni July 4, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

              Andy,

              I also appreciate all of your time and consideration and I am sorry your earlier suggestions were not heeded re: a connector lane from Fairview to Finn – to me (a business owner on James and Cleveland) it makes way more sense.

              I am just wondering how many residents and business owners who would be affected by the parking removal planned were engaged in these 4-5 year planning sessions? I suspect little to none (unless they were bikers). Perhaps we should have been watching more closely for notices of such planning but not being lifestyle bicyclists, only recreational, we weren’t.

              So, is it any surprise that, given 6-8 week notice of great changes to our streets and our livelihoods we would be a bit up in arms? BTW, thank you for acknowledging this oversight.

              Most of us would not oppose the bike lanes if there were better accommodation for ALL of the businesses (parking bays, etc.) not just the BIG guys on the ends of the route in question.

              We are looking forward to the upcoming discussion and feel confident we can find a compromise – I think it will all pan out if we are all of goodwill toward all.

              Thanks,
              Jenni

    • Walker Angell
      Walker Angell June 15, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      “in my opinion, bikes lanes and winter dont really work but whatever (I’m sure the next comment will be from Mike telling us all that as soon as you create the capacity the local family of four will be riding their bikes to school down Cleveland all December and January. Color me highly skeptical)”

      Winter is a challenge. It’s certainly much nicer to use a bicycle for transportation in Davis CA or Paris FR. On the other hand, huge numbers of people in Oulu Finland use bicycles for transportation all year and they have weather nearly identical to ours in both temps and snow. Well, a bit more snow than we get. The Netherlands, while not as cold or snowy as Minnesota, still has a fair bit of cold and snow. People in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark ride all year. Even up in Trondheim Norway.

      Here in St Paul it’s not unusual for kids to stand outside waiting for a school bus for longer than it would take them to ride their bicycle to school. If it’s too cold for them to stand outside then school cancels, if not then they can ride their bicycle just as well as stand on a street corner.

      I’m an old guy from Alabama and yet I’ll ride a mile or two in just about any weather. If I have a safe protected bikeway to ride on. Something that’s always impressed me about Minnesotans is how well they (we) rise to and overcome challenges. I don’t know why we can’t deal with this challenge as well as Finns or Swedes.

    • Aaron Berger June 16, 2015 at 10:58 am #

      “[D]o we really need… both Cleveland and Prior from Summit to Pierce Butler. Isn’t that a little redundant? Did no one plan for that?”

      I smell a compromise. Ban cars on Prior and the bike lanes can be removed there.

  4. Ken Avidor
    Ken Avidor June 15, 2015 at 6:54 am #

    Good article.

  5. Monte Castleman
    Monte Castleman June 15, 2015 at 7:32 am #

    Not that these are bad ideas, and since I neither ride a bicycle nor park on Cleveland I don’t have a dog in this fight. But this is a simple mill and overlay, not a street reconstruction. It’s one thing to move paint around, but another to move curb lines (which may impact utilities, vastly increase the cost, and require more planning and studies than smoothing out the bumps of what’s there.

  6. Mike Sonn
    Mike Sonn June 15, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    Reminder that Mac-Groveland wants safe streets for all road users.

    MGCC’s Transportation Summary from the new Long Range Plan:

    “Transportation is critical to our neighborhood’s vitality and quality of life. In the planning process residents, students, business owners and stakeholders expressed a strong desire for all forms of transportation- walking, bicycling, public transit and driving – that are both safe and accessible. Transportation must serve current as well as changing needs. Safety when walking to school or transit stops and bicycling to restaurants and shops is a high priority.

    Macalister Groveland Community Council is committed to improving transportation infrastructure, education and investment to provide excellent mobility and access within the neighborhood. MGCC partners with the City and other communities and strives to be a Saint Paul leader on traffic issues and initiatives.”

  7. Keith Morris June 15, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    All I see being offered by the anti-bike lane crowd is “no” and not offering anything to resemble a “compromise”.

    There is a severe shortage of parking: for bikes. At many of these intersections you have to lock up to a bus stop or a parking sign with newspaper dispensers taking up a parking space. I suggest business owners on Cleveland visit businesses with lots of bike parking and in particular those like Northbound who chose to remove a space for cars so that a bike corral for a dozen bikes could accommodate more customers.

    And I wouldn’t be against ditching bike lanes if they support additional stop signs every two blocks and speed humps and traffic circles and bump outs to keep traffic speeds safe and slower to accommodate more cyclists.Think something closer to Nicollet Mall which sees lots of cyclists and no bike specific infrastructure.

  8. Ryan June 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    It’s not often that I have “boots on the ground” experience relevant to a streets.mn post, but as some of my favorite restaurants and local shops are on Cleveland (Cecil’s, Snuffy’s, Regina’s, Izzy’s, etc. etc.), I feel like I should do my part to inform the public.

    I visit businesses on Cleveland regularly, especially near the Cleveland/Highland south-most point of the proposed bike lanes. Cleveland Wok is our go-to Chinese takeout place, I see movies at least 5-6 times a year at the Highland theater, Cecil’s is a regular brunch destination, etc. I can barely remember ever having to travel more than a block out of my way to find a place to park, and that’s without any of the mitigation steps outlined in Andy’s fine article. This is parking we can afford to lose.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke June 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

      I agree. I bike to Cecil’s and other places because it’s more convenient.

      Plus the parking isn’t not lost, it’s moved. And it’s not for “nothing,” it’s for improving safety on the street for everyone trying to get around without a car. That’s a big “win” for the city.

      • Adam Miller
        Adam Miller June 15, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

        “And it’s not for “nothing,” it’s for improving safety on the street for everyone trying to get around.”

        Fixed that for you.

    • Jeff McMenimen June 19, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

      Agreed.

  9. Keith Morris June 15, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    Also, I have to say that after reading further that some having anti-bike lane petitions sitting next to their register doesn’t make me keen to patronize these businesses.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke June 15, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      Me neither!

      • Jim June 16, 2015 at 10:34 am #

        I stopped frequenting Midway Books after I saw all their “Blight Rail” signs on their store.

        • Bill Lindeke
          Bill Lindeke June 17, 2015 at 8:38 am #

          me too!

          • Matty Lang
            Matty Lang June 17, 2015 at 11:12 am #

            These people don’t need bike lanes to kill their businesses, they’re doing a fine job of it on their own.

    • Walker Angell
      Walker Angell June 17, 2015 at 11:16 am #

      Who all have these?

  10. simeon June 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Solution:

    Take away a travel lane, say, northbound. Add bike lane in each direction, keep all the parking you need.

  11. Jeff McMenimen June 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    Hmmm…I replied to another article on this issue before seeing this article. I should have posted here originally. Here goes…

    I live near Cleveland Avenue in the Mac Groveland neighborhood and am in favor of the bike lanes on Cleveland. I’m also an urban designer and have been involved in planning and designing several neighborhood retail districts around the country. I understand the desire that traditional retailers have for on-street parking in front of their shops but the times are changing. Millennials prefer to ride their bikes to and from work, running errands, meeting friends for dinner or drinks, and recreating. They do it because it’s cheap, good for the environment, healthy and fun.

    I support the businesses in my neighborhood as much as possible and think that’s important, but if I have to get in my car to go out to dinner, I’m as likely to drive to Minneapolis as I am to drive down the street. If there is a safe and convenient way for me to bike, however, I’m more likely to shop and dine in the neighborhood.

    The economic benefits of bicycle facilities have been well documented but few are aware of them. However, one has only to look at the positive impacts the Midtown Greenway has had on property values and development interest in Minneapolis. The development boom along the Greenway is unparalleled in any other part of the Twin Cities. Here you see restaurants and shops integrated into the ground floors of mixed-use/residential buildings, in some cases, facing directly onto the Greenway.

    Saint Paul’s newly approved bike plan provides the blueprint for realizing an enhanced quality of life in our City by providing better/alternative connections between homes, amenities and businesses. It’s disheartening to see city leaders and decision makers cave in to the cries of a few retailers who don’t get it.

  12. James June 23, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Man, I hope these bike lanes will be put in…I only wish they would continue north to at least Marshall, if not up to Gilbert, which would allow bikers to easily cross over to Prior and ride further north.

    Being a regular bike commuter (to downtown Mpls) and living in Merriam Park, I can tell you that this St. Paulite values additional bike lanes and appreciates efforts to make both our Twin Cities more easily walkable, bikeable, and safe for alternative modes of transportation.

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  1. Bikeway Logic | streets.mn - June 17, 2015

    […] spaces available? Of the hundreds of cars parked in this area, if only nine choose to walk or ride (or fewer according with an Andy idea or two) we’ve broken even. If eleven then we’ve actually freed up two spaces for Joe and The […]

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