Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Fridley: Maybe We’ll Actually Use that Grant Money, Eh?

So, in this week’s news, Fridley is “considering adding bike lanes and sidewalks to three blocks on Main Street near the Northstar Station.”

To which I can only say: Seriously?

For those of you paying attention, during the 2011 Minnesota Bicycle Summit, Fridley was given a $110,000 grant from Bike Walk Twin Cities to do just this. At the time, it was said the city intended to invest $67,000 of its own cash in the project.

Six months later, Fridley is having public meetings to discuss MAYBE doing this?

What a glorious fate for this grant money.

The public meeting will be at 7:30 PM on September 15, in the Fridley City Council Chambers at 6431 University Ave. NE, Fridley, MN 55432. Please show up and join me in saying: WHAT.

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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.


  1. Well, that is ridiculous. What’s the deal with all the sharows (is that how you spell it?) being put down…wouldn’t signs be more effective?

  2. There are sharrows in Fridley?

    Sharrows can be helpful because many bike riders and many motorists seem to think that bikers should ride dangerously far to the right. Sharrows tell motorists and bike riders, “ride here, away from the curb and parked cars.”

  3. I think Fridley figuring out if this is a good investment is a positive thing. It’s been a few years, but I remember Main as being nice to bike on already. There are painted shoulders that rarely have cars parked on them. And that stretch won’t have much traffic. Painting bike lanes is probably going to have very little additional value.

    I’d guess Fridley would be better served improving biking conditions on Mississippi or Osborne (path is in bad shape in places, but maybe it’s actually in Spring Lake Park?). Or possibly extending the trail on the west side of University to cross Rice Creek.

  4. The point is that the grant was given to make these improvements on Main. A sizable grant. When given money to do something specific, you don’t get to sit on your ass for six months then DEBATE if you should do it, let alone say, “Wait, we want to use the money for something else, okay!”

    Not how this works.

  5. Sure the $110,000 can’t be spent on other projects at Fridley’s will. But, this project will still cost Fridley $67,000. If Fridley can make better improvements for $67,000 via a different project, then why wouldn’t they not do the project on Main? The city gets more benefit and the agency giving them the grant saves the grant money. Who loses?

    I could also see an argument that Fridley doesn’t have $67,000 to spend right now. Or needs the money for something else.

    In any case, I’m confused as why anyone would be opposed to obtaining public comments on the project (and then presumably considering those comments when deciding whether to pursue the project on Main or not). Isn’t that all they are doing?

  6. Well, several reasons. First, BWTC didn’t just say “hey Fridley, we’re going to give you $110,000 to do this highly specific thing that you’ve never even considered doing!” Fridley specifically asked for the money to do this.

    Second of all, BWTC awarded the grant in March. Other groups that received grants in the same round have already started work on their projects, with most in line to be completed before the snow flies.

    Having worked in non-profits and also with grant-writing and grant-making, this sort of behavior is a nuisance at best. There are other groups who were in that process who were passed over in favor of the merit of the Fridley plan. For the plan to turn out to be open for debate, six months later? It’s a slap at the grant-maker and the others who requested these grants.

    In other words: Totally not cool of Fridley.