Bike Lanes and Signs at the University of Minnesota – East Bank Construction Projects

I haven’t been around the University of Minnesota-East Bank and the nearby Motley neighborhood for a few months — long enough to notice the jump in construction from what already was happening earlier this year.

The first thing I noticed were the neon yellow and proactive bike lane signs stating simply that cyclists “may use full lane.” This is safer and more effective than the orange signs around other Minneapolis neighborhoods that say something like “bike lane closed ahead,” or that have no signs at all. 

Share the Road sign

Share the Road sign

Bicyclists may be more surprised to see this, suddenly, at places like Hennepin Avenue.

Bike Lane Closure on Hennepin Ave

Turn around, bright eyes

The East Bank construction projects have plenty of pedestrian crossing signs, including this one in front of the University of Minnesota Medical Center on SE Harvard Street.

Pedestrian Sign

Stop for Pedestrians

From my limited experience, drivers seem to notice these signs around the university campus and tend to let bicyclists (and pedestrians) share these roads more equally.

Just a few of the projects at the UofMN:

Health Sciences Education Center: The overall project looks fantastic and was granted funding back in 2017.

The anticipated completion date of the building is slated to be fall of 2019 to early 2020.

They have a great start. However, on one end and for emergency-room visits, it looks like you may currently run into this mess, as the ER shares space with the main entrance.

Shared ER and Main Entrance

Shared ER and main entrance

Oak Street Ramp: A short, protected bikeway project is planned in addition to the construction. This is certainly welcome as the Oak/Delaware crossing is a little dangerous, and confusing for a pedestrian with its diagonal crossing just south of Delaware. It looks like this now is going to be replaced.

Crosswalk Replacement

Crosswalk replacement

The Pioneer Hall renovations are on target for welcoming first-year students this coming fall. When the renovations started, I was amazed by how large of a project this has become.

Part of Pioneer Hall Restoration

Part of Pioneer Hall Restoration

The University of Minnesota seems to do a better job than the city of Minneapolis in providing proactive signs for detours and bike lanes during construction projects. What’s your take? Here’s a shared Google photo album for all of the pictures taken.

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3 Responses to Bike Lanes and Signs at the University of Minnesota – East Bank Construction Projects

  1. Aaron S July 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm #

    This is my first post here – but I’m a regular reader. Thanks to this author and all other contributors!

    One thing I find myself comparing Minneapolis to places like NYC on is how we treat urban construction and peds/bikes.

    I was amazed when we were in Manhattan last year to see that whenever there was a construction project that impacted bike and ped traffic, it appeared to be required to create a similar zone.

    Sidewalk needed for construction? Pedestrians were given space on the street, covered by a protective scaffolding.

    Bike lane needed? Cones and markers extended space from the pedestrian zone to give bikes a safe space where they don’t need to merge with vehicle traffic.

    Every time I reach a “Bike Lane Closed” sign it makes me cringe and think that we could do better.

    • Paul Jahn
      Paul Jahn July 9, 2019 at 7:53 am #

      Welcome Aaron and thanks for your comment! I’ve visited Manhattan only once and vaguely remember situations that you mention. Maybe Mpls could learn from their playbook.

      • Aaron S July 9, 2019 at 8:47 am #

        Thanks Paul!

        As we try to move toward an all ages/all ability bicycle network, I mostly cringe because what stronger way to dissuade someone new to bike commuting than to have their protected space suddenly evaporate and merge them with commuting drivers!

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