Minneapolis officials to make driving cars more difficult along two new bike boulevards [MAPS]

In an effort to keep bicyclists safe, Minneapolis officials will make driving harder along the soon-to-be-constructed Presidents and and Southern Bike Connection bike boulevards.

SEE ALSO: New Dinkytown bike highway set to open in June [MAPS]

Both boulevards, the former in Northeast and the latter in South, will feature miniature traffic circles, concrete medians, and curb extensions designed to slow down automobile traffic. The Southern Bike Connection with also have speed bumps like the ones adorning the Bryant Avenue bike boulevard in the Uptown area.

Shaun Murphy, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for Minneapolis, explained to MinnPost that "Bicycling is prioritized on these streets."

"Motorists are still welcome, but the traffic calming is in place to keep motorists going slow," Murphy continued, adding that the 20-feet-in-diameter traffic circles will "have landscaping in them maintained by local residents. They should be a neighborhood amenity."

Meanwhile, the concrete medians will run down the center of the road with the idea being that they'll help bikers and on-feet pedestrians cross automobile traffic safely.

According to MinnPost, the $985,000 needed to fund the total cost of both of the new bike boulevards comes from federal Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program funds awarded to Minneapolis in 2008 and '09.

Together, the boulevards will add about seven miles of bikeways to the current 190-mile system. Construction is expected to begin in September and be completed by October.

To see maps of the Presidents and Southern Bike Connection boulevards, click to page two.

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