We don’t reconstruct streets often in Minneapolis. Bryant Ave S, to pick a not-very-random example, was last rebuilt over half a century ago. So when we do full reconstructions, they’re an incredible opportunity and one we need to take advantage of to the greatest extent possible.
Bryant as it exists today is a sun-baked, pothole-filled road whose width encourages high speed driving despite being designated a Bicycle Boulevard. I live on Bryant Ave, so I spend a lot of time on this street. (Basically all my time for the past 16 months, if I’m being honest.)
Through the past year-plus of public engagement, Minneapolis Public Works has settled on converting Bryant to a one-way, which makes room for a two-way separated bike path along the entire length, as well as sidewalks and boulevards.
This option even maintains more parking than previous options had, by a significant amount. Despite all the public engagement, and providing far more parking than is needed, according to the city’s own parking studies(PDF), there’s a concerted effort to get city council to reject this design and remove the bike lanes.
Bryant is a key north-south bikeway, and the city’s own priorities have this designated as part of the all ages and abilities bike network. Removing bike facilities on this street would go against all the city’s policies as passed by the full city council in the Transportation Action Plan, Complete Streets policy, and Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan. It is imperative that city council members hear from residents that this section of the bike network is a priority.
In this era of climate change having very real effects we see every day, we cannot backslide on providing ways for people to get around the city without a car. Transportation is the number one cause of carbon emissions in this country. When making half-century investments, we need to be ready for a future with far fewer cars. Bryant should be a chance to show the world that we’re serious about climate.
So what can you do?
Email your city councilmember, and include the entire transportation and public works committee on the email. Tell them:
- Bryant is a priority bike network street and needs separated bike facilities
- The city’s own policies in the Transportation Action Plan, Complete Streets, and Minneapolis 2040 plan call for high quality bike facilities on Bryant
- Bryant is an important north-south bikeway with loads of bike traffic even with its current sub-par facilities, so this is a key piece of the all-ages and abilities bike network
- Given our climate emergency, it is imperative we make investments in zero-carbon transportation
- The one way design with separated bike facilities accomplishes these goals, and the city should adopt it
You can find your city council member using the map here. And be sure to CC the members of the Transportation and Public Works Committee when you email:
Every day I look out my window and I see families biking up and down Bryant, people biking to work, biking with friends, and parents with their small kids in cargo bikes. They deserve a safe place to bike. Let’s get this one over the finish line.