In Anoka County, work has been being done on County Road 14, especially in the segment from US 10 to the west to Central Avenue to the east. A big overpass was built over Central a year or two back, and now lots of repaving and road improvement has been going on. I was out there checking it out.
The road previously had okay shoulders for riding, although once you pass US 10 it’s no shoulders, and straight through a retail district with multiple driveways in every block. In the newly paved sections, the shoulder is slightly narrower, but in better shape thanks to new pavement. In addition, as you pass Coon Creek Boulevard, there is now a sidepath.
I can be anti-sidepath for safety reasons, but in semi-residential areas they can have a lot of value relative to giving kids a slightly better place to be than a sidewalk, which is generally narrower than a sidepath. In this instance, the sidepath basically starts in someone’s driveway not far past the big Lowe’s on Main/County 14, and then dies an abrupt death at Hanson Boulevard. New road pavement continues up to University Avenue, after which the road is closed for major work.
The issue with this sidepath is it really doesn’t GO anywhere. Hanson is okay in sections for riding, but most parents are probably not going to be keen on their kids using the street there due to speed and general conditions. Main keeps going and goes up to Bunker Hills, which is a nice destination including a park and a water park. But the sidepath doesn’t go there. Once you get past Hanson going east, your choice is a narrow shoulder (it might be a full 4-foot, but it doesn’t look that way by eyeball). It doesn’t look as though there are plans (or right-of-way) to extend the sidepath further east; I haven’t found more info as yet. Still looking.
I understand issues with easements and right-of-way. But at the same time, I have a hard time calling roads like this complete streets, even though I see it happen. When your sidepath goes nowhere, what purpose does it serve?