The New Lowry Avenue NE Will Have Less Room for Cars, More for Bikes

Hennepin County
One of northeast Minneapolis's busiest streets is slated for a calming makeover

Everyone agrees Lowry Avenue NE is a disaster right now.

The sidewalks are comically narrow in spots, cars and trucks fly through at dangerous speeds, and blighted, boarded-up commercial buildings are too common for northeast Minneapolis, which is experiencing an economic resurgence.

See also:
LOL at This Story About Officials Arguing Over When the Lowry Avenue Bridge Should Be Lighted

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Here's Where Minneapolis's New Protected Bike Lanes Will Be

City of Minneapolis
More than five miles of protected bike lanes will be added this summer

Minneapolis's evolution into a two-wheeled utopia is nearly complete.

The city is spending $790,000 to add seven-foot-wide bike lanes protected by a 3-7-foot buffer area and hard plastic cones to five busy streets this summer.

See also:
Three Miles of Unprotected Bike Lanes Planned Parallel to Midtown Greenway

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Nice Ride Announces Opening Date in Sure Sign Spring Is Here to Stay

Categories: Bicycle

tsuacctnt via Flickr
The ubiquitous neon green bikes will make their way out of storage April 1

Minnesota is rolling full-steam ahead into spring after one of the most perfect weather weekends in months.

The early spring has Nice Ride planning a quick return from its winter hibernation. It announced Friday its huge, lime-green fleet of rental bikes will launch April 1.

See also:
Nice Ride's Fourth Season Was Its Most Popular Yet [MAP]

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Three Miles of New Protected Bike Lanes Planned Parallel to Midtown Greenway [UPDATE]

City of Minneapolis
The new bike lanes will take away either parking or a lane of motorized traffic

Minneapolis came in an embarrassing third place in the latest rankings of America's best bike cities, and to help fix that Mayor Betsy Hodges ponied up $790,000 for new protected bike lanes in her 2015 budget.

Yesterday the Star Tribune reported that nearly three miles of protected bike lanes are being recommended for East 26th and 28th Streets between Portland and Hiawatha when those streets are repaved this summer.

See also:
Washington Avenue to Get Protected Bike Lanes

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Some Republicans Say Walkers and Bikers Should Pay Extra Fee to Use State Trails

Doug Kerr via Flickr
The tax and spend GOP is at it again
Republicans sitting on the House Environment and Natural Resources committee are sick of freeloading walkers and bikers using state trails for free.

Rep. Tony Cornish channeled his inner Ron Swanson during a hearing Wednesday, calling for an extra fee for trail users. He envisions people paying to "attach a sticker on the back of the bike, or a pass on the back of your shirt or a patch on your leotard or whatever they wear on those bikes," according to MPR.

See also:
A One-Mile Bike Path With a $9.2 Million Price Tag

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St. Paul makes major best bike cities list...

St. Paul is getting serious about building a bike loop around downtown.
... and Minneapolis finished 37 spots higher.

But let's forget about that for a second! It's cool, for a change, to see St. Paul get some love as the 40th-ranked city in Bicycling Magazine's biannual Best Cities to Bike list, and we spoke to Anne Hunt, environmental policy director for Mayor Chris Coleman's office, to get some perspective on the exciting bike-related developments taking place there.

See also:
Amber Dallman gave birth after riding Nice Ride to St. Paul hospital

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Minneapolis cyclists battle for a place in traffic

Categories: Bicycle

Benjamin Carter Grimes
Special thanks to Schmit Towing for the location and Chad Padelford, Ramsey Louder, and Sara Abdelaal for modeling.

Last summer, David Briscoe got the call that every parent dreads. It was a nurse. We have your daughter.

Shaina had left her home in south Minneapolis that Saturday, a hot one punctured by rain, and joined her friends for an impromptu race headed north through downtown. Around 3 p.m., lagging behind the pack, she hurried through the intersection of Washington and Hennepin avenues against a red light.

The driver of an ice-blue SUV paused as the first group of riders passed, then tapped the accelerator into the clearing. Shaina hurtled head-first into the driver's side of the car, smashing the mirror. The bike's front tire was ripped from the frame.

Though she was wearing a helmet, Shaina suffered a severe brain injury. Her jaw snapped. As the internal pressure mounted, she lay motionless on the asphalt, with blood pooling around her mouth.

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Johnson supporter vandalizes bike trail to get out the message

Categories: Bicycle, Politics

The infamous Cedar Lake Trail graffiti

The ride from St. Louis Park to Minneapoils along the Cedar Lake Regional bike trail is normally uneventful -- a few twists and tunnels are all the excitement you'll get. But lately, you'll find something different among the gravel and debris a few hundred feet from Target Field. A message has sprouted up on the pavement, spelled out in big, white, spray-painted letters, from a graffiti artist with a point to make.

"DUMP DAYTON," the message reads, sprawled out in all caps. Underneath it sits a big white checkmark, and another hastily spray-painted name: "JEFF JOHNSON."

See also:
Mills Ruins Park defaced by graffiti

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Confessed Greenway masturbator Stephen Smith is allegedly serial self-exposer

Even in Minneapolis biking isn't THIS hot...
Around 7:30 p.m. on May 20, Minneapolis bike cops arrested Stephen Smith while he was touching himself along the Midtown Greenway bike path.

The police report says Smith was "masterbating" [sic] when officers arrived on the scene, and apparently it wasn't the first time he's pulled a stunt of that sort.

See also:
Cyclist claims Molotov cocktail was thrown at him from Midtown Greenway bridge

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John Iverson, alleged drunk driver, charged with vehicular homicide in bicyclist's death

Categories: Bicycle
Olivia LaVecchia. Bike photo by Hryck.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announcing the charges on Friday afternoon. Right, a ghost bike in Pittsburgh.
This afternoon, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that John Iverson has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Marcus Nalls, a 26-year-old who was hit and killed while biking on Monday night.

"He was clearly intoxicated, and he ran up and killed a bicyclist," Freeman said. "It's unnecessary and tragic."

See Also:
- Bicyclist killed by drunk driver in south Mpls, MPD says

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