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MN News Roundup – 25 October 2010

City OKs bike-trail funds (Mn Daily)

A long-delayed bike trail that would connect the University of Minnesota with downtown Minneapolis got two injections of funding in the past week.

The Transportation and Public Works Committee of the Minneapolis City Council accepted $98,535 for the trail Tuesday from the Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program, a federal program to promote bicycling and walking.

On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council funneled $247,765 to the bike trail from other city projects that fell through.

Construction will begin in June or July, Ogren said, and will take about three months to complete.

DNR awards $4.19 million in Parks and Trails Legacy Grants (MN DNR)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded $4.19 million in grants to 17 local communities from the Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Program.

Funding for this program comes from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment approved by voters in 2008. These awards are from the second year of funding from the 25-year amendment. The first year of funding was awarded in January 2010, with grants totaling $3.4 million to 21 local communities.

Planned bike trail for Roseville and Falcon Heights delayed until spring (Prevention MN)

According to an October 2, 2010, article in the Star Tribune, a federally funded bike trail project in Roseville and Falcon Heights will be delayed until spring as the planning process continues. The $1.08 million Fairview Pathway project involves coordination between the cities as well as the University of Minnesota. The cooperation of homeowners and businesses along the proposed trail route also is required.

Governmental units not liable for trail injuries to cyclist (Brainerd Dispatch)

Judge John P. Smith has ruled in Cass County District Court that the county and the city of East Gull Lake, under the Minnesota recreational use immunity statute, are not liable for the injuries a bicyclist suffered while riding on a trail in East Gull Lake.

Two-wheeled tension (MN Daily)

Enforceability and consistency are important. […]

The best solution is to have realistic policies and infrastructure that reflect the natural flow of bikes — without punishing reasonable behavior. Which is to say: If cyclists need to cross Northrop Mall without dismounting or clashing with pedestrians, then put a bike lane there. If cyclists habitually run a particular stop sign without endangering anyone, then change the sign to “yield.”

Five things you might not know about Minnesota bicycle rules (MN Daily)

Our October 7 editorial argued the University needs to establish consistent, clear and reasonable rules for cyclists on campus. Since then, letters to the editor and e-mails have been filling up our inboxes, and we thought it’d be useful to publish some of the research that went into the editorial.

(Note that I left a comment on this article disagreeing with their interpretation of one of the MN statutes.)

Possible safety improvements on docket for Gateway Trail (Oakdale Lake Elmo Review)

The section of the Gateway Trail that crosses Hadley Avenue in Oakdale may soon be considered for safety improvements following a serious crash involving a bicyclist and a vehicle last month.

Parking enforcement — for bicycles (MN Daily)

For years, police and University officials have been fanning out across campus, writing tickets to improperly parked bicycles. As the student population swells each year, cycling has become more common, and so too has bike theft, one of the most frequent crimes on campus. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that the University should offer students more safe places to lock their bicycles, without fear of being fined or becoming the victim of theft.

Edina wrestling with tough question of whether Nine Mile Creek nature area should become a ‘trail’ (MinnPost)

The current brouhaha over Nine Mile Creek is mostly about to whom nature should belong. Should the picturesque creek valley remain primarily a view shed and natural buffer for homeowners along the banks? Or should it be opened to the public as a regional bicycle and pedestrian trail?

Suburban trails: To be embraced, they need to be about more than exercise (MinnPost)

But for any trail to be successful, it must be about more than exercise. “The best trails, and the ones likely to receive the most use, are ones that connect users to something desirable — to nature, to special places in the community, to other people,” a U.S. National Park Service employee who oversees hundreds of trail projects told McKinney.

Bike lane plan for 16th Street Southeast derailed (Post-Bulletin)

A city “complete streets” policy that calls for restriping city streets to add bike lanes and subtract traffic lanes will not be put into effect on a repaved part of 16th Street Southeast, the Rochester City Council decided Monday.

Editorial: Not every street will be right for bicycle lanes (Post-Bulletin)

…we believe the Rochester City Council made the right call concerning a proposal to add two bicycle lanes to 16th Street Southeast between Third Avenue and 11th Avenue. The plan would have reduced vehicle lanes from four to two, with a left-turn lane in the middle.

Draft 10-year strategic plan for Minnesota state parks and trails available for review from DNR (MN DNR)

A draft strategic plan outlining goals and priorities for the Minnesota State Parks and Trails system will be available for a 30-day public review beginning Friday, Oct. 22. The draft plan, which lays out the direction for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Parks and Trails from 2011 to 2020, focuses on the division’s state park, state trail and state water recreation responsibilities.

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