a stick figure of me and my bike superimposed on the intersection described

Getting Lost Going Straight

Tonight I rode my great new winter bike home from the bike shop. I’m not too familiar with most anything south of the Greenway and west of the River, but I got directions to the Hiawatha LRT Trail, and figured I was set from there. “Just head north on the trail ’till I know where I am,” said I to myself.

Me smiling with my new bike outside

Inaugural ride time!

Well, I headed north on the trail, and I got lost.

I biked north, and north, and north, and really appreciated the great job public works was doing keeping the trail clear. It’s beautiful. I had to seek out spots at corners to put my new studded tires to work.

Then, my path split off from the train. “Oh no. I’m supposed to stay next to the train?” I rolled down the incline to the hi-lake intersection. The trail petered out into a sidewalk. There were no signs. Did I miss a turn somewhere?

I didn’t like my options. Head back up and look for signage, or pull off my gloves and ask the internet. I chose the latter. “It wants me to go straight, but also to walk my bicycle for awhile and I guess meet up with the path later? I must have missed a turn and this is what I’m stuck with now.”

a stick figure of me and my bike superimposed on the intersection described

An artist’s rendition of the problem.

Putting my gloves back on, I waited for the light to change. And waited. And waited. And then I realized that 10 feet behind me was a beg button. Got my feet pretty cold for not a lot of a good reason.

For the life of me, I will never understand why someone thought it was okay to make this intersection beg-button based, and not have pedestrians(/cyclists?) be part of the cycle automatically.

I went north from here after hitting the button and waiting another interminable light cycle, decided to pick up the greenway instead of hunting for the continuation point on the Hiawatha trail, and made it home mostly without incident from there. It feels so great to have a bike you’re happy with!!

Back at home, I’ve looked up the maps, and I was going the right way the whole time. The trail just… does that. Without any indication of the gap in trail coverage or anything to tell you that you’re going the right way.

I know we’re working on fixing the whole intersection and path connection, but could we at least put up a sign in the meantime? “Hiawatha LRT Trail Continues Ahead” on that beg-button-and-traffic-light post would go a long way.

Pine Salica

About Pine Salica

Pine lives in Minneapolis and works in Saint Paul. Pine hasn't owned a car for over a dozen years, and can count on one hand the number of times they've operated one in the last 12 months. Housing is a human right, car storage is not. Member of the Climate Committee.