I was in Minneapolis this past weekend dropping my girls off for Summer Studio at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. While there I snapped several shots of cyclists, paint, and signs. The slideshow includes signage around town, bike lanes (the good, the bad, and the ugly), rental bikes (Nice Ride MN), and some general shots of cyclists around town.
In particular, watch for how green paint is used (any time cars may cross the path of a cyclist), what kind of signage is available, and among the bike lanes, watch for what happens on one-way-streets.
There was also some interesting signage near Loring Park that I thought might be helpful on N. Mason (whenever that’s finally improved for cyclist and pedestrian safety). Where cyclists might be tempted to hop onto the bike lane heading the wrong direction, there was this sign.
And here’s a shot of the bike lane with the wrong way sign before you reach it. Because cyclists will be coming off a path through the park, they might find it tempting to hop onto the on street lane. But both paint on the ground and the sign give them a heads up that they should use a different route.
On N. Mason it might be nice to have a clearer path for cyclists to take when they’re coming out of Martinez Park headed south on Mason. Signage could indicate that continuing on the sidewalk will be the wrong way. They should cross Mason to the right side before crossing Cherry.
This intersection was in the same general area. These gals waited for 4 or 5 cars to pass before they finally started across. They still ended up with this truck and trailer crossing their path. When I tried crossing later as a pedestrian, I also had a motorist do her best to speed through the intersection before I reached her lane.
There’s a an overpass that I saw a few peds using. But for the most part, cyclists stuck to the crappy intersection above rather than go out of their way to climb the overpass.
Also at this intersection was a two-way bike lane along the side of the street. This reminds me of the section of the Mason Trail that goes through campus. You’re stuck going the wrong way on a sidewalk… against traffic. I’d be curious to know what their accidents rates are at this intersection. Do motorists know to look for oncoming cyclists?
It’s a little hard to tell what’s happening in this photo. But several cyclists had just turned right onto this street because the bike lane was blocked at the cross street due to construction. But because this is a one way street, the bike lane was on the far side, so they had to cross over several lanes of motor traffic to get to the cycle lane. And all of this was taking place as motorists were zooming up behind them.
I was a bit surprised by the number of cyclists that would come to a red light, stop, and then proceed through. It seemed to be a fairly common occurrence.
I didn’t hop on a bike myself and toodle around town. It’s $6 to rent a bike for a day plus $3 for each trip after the first. (Allowed trip time is 30 minutes.) With my two girls in tow, it wasn’t worth it to me to pay $18 for the one trip where we needed to get somewhere, when it was only a bit over a mile away. I also love to take photographs of buildings, so I preferred walking for that.
But I did appreciate getting to see what Minneapolis is doing and how it looks from the ground. Though cyclist behavior seemed somewhat worse than what I see in Fort Collins (if you can believe that), there was a considerable number of cyclists. And motorists, for the most part, seemed to be rather patient and aware of them. In fact, I think it was motorist awareness that impressed me the most. Bike lanes ran the gamut in terms of quality and availability. Signage was impressive and helpful. We can definitely learn from that. But the key difference that I saw in what’s going on in Minneapolis is drivers that are aware they’re sharing the road. I’d like to see more of that in FoCo.