Ride Boldly!

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St. Paul Approves Jefferson Avenue Bikeway (Finally)

After another fine round of hand-wringing, the St. Paul City Council approved the Jefferson Avenue bike boulevard.

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.

Minneapolis bike boulevard sign

A Minneapolis bike boulevard.

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.


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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.

One Comment

  1. yeah pretty much. still, maybe its “progress”!