This has been a victory for… well, let’s be honest here. Absolutely no one. It took four years, hundreds of traffic engineer hours, a whole bunch of city and community council meeting hours, and thousands of advocacy hours both for and against the plan to approve making an already bike-friendly street a bit friendlier.
The very same city that brought us the ultra-shenanigans of Ayd Mill Road — a road originally designed in a trench to connect two interstates, but which was thwarted — has now brought us its equal and opposite. Where Ayd Mill Road was not residential at all, nearby neighbors screeched to make it a linear park, not a reliver roadway to get cars of the surface streets. Meanwhile, Jefferson is very residential, not especially high speed, and the neighbors screeched that the city might add some traffic circles and make it even more residential and happy. Oh noes.
The final approved “bikeway” will have three traffic circles, down from five; one of the three was added last minute after three were removed from the original plan. And one of that pair won’t be built until 2017.
It’s like St. Paul has embraced being a lesser Minneapolis — the larger Twin having done several bike boulevards “right.” They’ve
wasted taken exponentially more time to create a watered-down result on what should have been a slam-dunk, easily approved project.