So, there have been quite a few comments on my contrarian post from a few days back. it’s motivating me to clarify a few things relative to my curmudgeonliness.
- I don’t oppose the bike/ped coordinator. I think timing makes it a challenge, because the firefighters have some awesome soundbites, and people love firefighters. And it’s pretty indisputable that Minneapolis has some issues relative to fire staffing — CityPages has done coverage on it previously, well before this round of budget kerfuffle.
- If anything, ongoing budget issues make the coordinator a good investment. While good planning is important, it’s easier to make a lot of impact when you have buckets of money to spend. When dealing more in existing funding, a Complete Streets approach, and trying to stretch what you have, having the right skillsets in place helps a lot.
- There is also a lot of stuff that can be done for cyclists that will cost almost nothing. Take, for instance, this post at Twin Cities Sidewalks. How about ticketing trucks in the bike lane? Revenue stream!
- I do think that calling the bicycle boulevard in Minneapolis a bicycle boulevard unfortunately trivializes it to a lot of people, which is an extended problem around the perception of biking, but also around the actual impact of such a project. The RiverLake Greenway calms neighborhoods, reroutes traffic to appropriate through-streets, and allows for better allocation of enforcement and maintenance funds. Parking and speed can be more appropriately dictated along routes. It actually helps pretty much everyone.
The Minneapolis City Council did manage to save 4 firefighter positions and voted 11-2 to preserve the new bike coordinator/engineer job today. So hopefully this round of chest-pounding is over.