Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Ongoing Saga on Jefferson Avenue


Bikeway Arrow Dramaz

I’ve written before about the saga of making St. Paul’s Jefferson Avenue an official bike boulevard. As I’ve noted, it was on a 1998 Twin Cities bike map as a good bicycle option. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing by some about how making it a bikeway is just a horrid idea, but, truly, it already is a bikeway.

Today’s PiPress actually addresses that fact in an opinion that mentions the Jefferson Avenue project:

Some of us who bike down Jefferson are amused that the attempt to make it a super-duper official bike route has been difficult and expensive. There is a $1 million plan in the works that would, as as we understand it, slow down or divert cross-town traffic. Part of the plan involves bike-lane marking and signage, some of which is already up. It could be very cool.

I still don’t quite get what the neighbors near Snelling who object to the bike arrows think they’re getting by doing so. The area is mostly a no parking zone already, so it’s not as though it preserves parking. Bikes are already using the wideness of the lane at will, legally. Yet, there is a huge objection to painting arrows.

It’s going to happen. And even if it doesn’t, arrows and signage are really not all that relevant – bikes are largely legal on most streets in Minnesota, save some that, truly, you don’t want to be on a bike there anyway, like interstates and expressways and inroads to toxic waste dumps. If anything, I think what signage sometimes does is create a perception that bikes should be on those streets with signs and paint, and not other streets, which is also absolutely not true. It also creates opportunities for people to stand up and hate on the legality of the bicycle on the streets.

Check Out Jefferson Yourself!

Jefferson’s a lovely ride this time of year. You can get onto Jefferson from Mississippi River Boulevard and ride up through the neighborhoods of St. Paul.

Pop left a block on Lexington and turn right on Lombard.

Swing another right on Ben Hill Road to check out the statues of Winnie the Pooh and his friends at one of the big houses on the hill.

You can cruise all the way down to the river by going right at the bottom of the hill on St. Clair, and then take the Shepard Road bike path – newly remodeled near Crosby Farm! – all the way back up to Mississippi River Boulevard to rejoin Jefferson.

It’s a nice little loop, although there is a bit of altitude change. The downhill is much steeper than any of the climb, and the trees are really colorful right now!

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

One Comment

  1. As both a traffic engineer and cycling advocate, I admit that I just have a hard time getting enthusiastic about bike boulevards. Usually, I already consider the low-volume roadways we propose turning into bike boulevards to already be extremely bike-friendly.