To cap off 2011 Bike to Work Week, Nice Ride MN has announced the locations of 40 new bike-share stations to be located in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Key new stations include several stops in North and Northeast Minneapolis — currently not well served by the network — as well as the Lake Street YMCA and light rail station. Funded stations in St. Paul will be near several of the colleges in St. Paul — Concordia, University of St. Thomas, Macalester College and Hamline, plus along Marshall Avenue and Summit/Grand, and several stations near/on University Avenue. The perky press release claims that “if you want to avoid congestion during the Central Corridor construction, Nice Ride will get you to your University Avenue destination fast!” but let’s all view that as publicity propaganda, because no one is getting anywhere on University fast via any mode of transport for some time. (Also, bring a breathing mask for the construction dust, gak.)
As expected, projected future St. Paul Nice Ride stations focus on downtown, the Macalester-Groveland area, and the Highland area. Aside from projected stations at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus, stations are not presently planned for the Como and Phalen areas or Indian Mounds/Battle Creek, let alone the wilds of the North Side. Presumably in the longer term the park areas will be connected into the system, particularly Como.
It is good to watch this network expand, and it is to be hoped that future stations continue to reach into diverse neighborhoods and education centers.