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St. Paul Approves Bike Plan—200 Miles of Bike Infrastructure Included
The St. Paul City Council approved its long-awaited bike plan [pdf] this week, reports Peter Callaghan. "Approved on a 6-0 vote, the plan identifies routes that would see the current network of 153 miles of paths and shared bike lanes grow to 346 miles. While the plan includes some shared lanes, it emphasizes off-street paths and separated lanes," writes Callaghan.
"St. Paul city planner Reuben Collins said the goal of the bike plan is to have every resident of the city within a quarter mile of a formal trail. But it also addresses issues such as bike storage, signalization, zoning changes and wayfinding. And it calls for the completion of the century-old vision of the Grand Round — a 27-mile scenic parkway for cars and bikes that would connect the Mississippi River, Como Lake and Lake Phalen."
Callaghan also notes that the bike plan includes one big ticket item that could make bike aficionados in other cities envious: an oval bike loop around downtown. That component of the plan has provoked resistance from downtown business interests concerned about losing parking spaces—150 parking spaces according to the plan's estimates. Those concerns led the council to "[put] off decisions on the details of the loop until a consultant could be hired and a resident task-force could meet," according to Callaghan.