Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Jefferson Avenue: Debate Continues


Summaries of the 2010 pedestrian refuge test at Cleveland and Jefferson Avenues have been published by the Mac/Groveland community council. This is the latest bit of data to be thrown into the ongoing debate about St. Paul’s attempt to turn Jefferson Avenue into a formal bicycle boulevard.

Per the Transit For Livable Communities summary of the data, there is clear evidence that a number of the concerns expressed by those expressing opposition to the project are not sustained by traffic study data.

As I’ve previously discussed, this is mostly a matter of formalizing something that’s been essentially true for years. However, a stink is being made of it by people who are concerned about the traffic calming impact, parking impact, and the horror of formally sharing the streets with bicycles (instead of the somehow informal arrangement that exists). Jefferson Avenue was designated as ‘bicycle friendly’ on a 1998 bikeways map published by the Metro Transit Chain Gang.

The pedestrian median appears to be useful. The lingering debate about the sharrows and other paint/signage on Jefferson continues to flirt with ridiculousness. Jefferson is already recognized as a good route by many local cyclists, and is designated as such in many resources designating good routes in the Twin Cities. The paint job is just PR, and not an especially impactful improvement to cycling in St. Paul. Now, if they’d work with the ongoing trauma of going north-south in the city, that would be a delight.

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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.