On October 13, I was fortunate enough to spend some time touring Bicycle Infrastructure in Minneapolis with some public works and planning officials. We saw their new bike share program, bike lanes, bike boulevards, the Midtown Greenway, and a 4 to 3 conversion in an area with 50% more traffic than 16th Street SE.
Minneapolis has set a goal of 7% bike commuters by 2014. Thus far they seem to be exceeding all of their goals. They clear all of their bike trails and lanes within 24 hours of a snowfall event. If Rochester could achieve 7% bike commuters that would be $70 million in just downtown parking savings.
Here is one of 60 places to take or return a bike. The program is structured so that bikes should typically be returned in less than a 1/2 hour. The entire city is serviced by 1 truck that does rebalancing. The bikes cost about $1000 and are SERIOUSLY heavy duty. It would be great to have a system like this even if they were just at the Mayo Campuses, IBM, and the Government Centers.
Below is a shared bike lane on Hennipen Avenue. This road is busier than almost every road in Rochester.
Below is a bike lane on 1st Avenue in Minneapolis where the bike lane is outside of the parking lane. Also here some of the parking becomes a driving lane at peak times. Both Hennipen and 1st continue to function just fine and have become much safer for cyclists.
Below is Bryant Ave. this parallels some very busy routes and this street is being redesigned to provide a safe route for cyclists. This will also serve to keep bikers of the busier streets. I think that 1st St. SW in Kutzky might be perfect for this.
Below is an image of part of the Midtown Greenway. This is an important connection and features bike centric businesses that even face onto the Greenway. The Greenway is a former rail route similar to our newly preserved NW multi-modal corridor. In the future the Midtown greenway may also feature a street car system parallel to the trail.
Finally, below is a 4 to 3 conversion like the one proposed on 16th street SE. Here the traffic is far heavier overall and at peak, bikers, pedestrians, and cars are safer. They made the scientifically based correct decision. We did not.