Archive for June, 2010

Construction/road closures

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 21st , 2010. One response

42nd St Bridge across Mississippi River just north of Minneapolis is closed for reconstruction. It appears to be closed for the season. Two river crossing options include going north to I-694 or south to Lowry Ave.  (CORRECTION: The Lowry Bridge isn’t complete.  The next bridge to the south is Broadway. Thanks to Hokan (see comment below) for the correction)

The Loring Park Bike and Pedestrian Bridge connecting Loring Park near downtown Minneapolis and the walker Art Center Sculpture Garden has been closed for reconstruction. The work will include replacing wooden decking and touch-up painting. The closure will last about one month. Riders can cross at the major intersection of Vineland/15th and Hennepin/Lyndale Ave.Crossing lights are available, but the intersection is wide and should be navigated carefully.

40th St. S, just west of the town of Afton, is closed between Neal and Trading Post Trail for repaving. The pavement has been removed and deep trenches and loose dirt make it impassable. No word on when the road will re-open. The inconvenience is offset by a dramatic reduction in traffic on the rest of 40th St. S.

Neal Ave. S (near Afton) between 50th and 70th has been repaved. Current versions of the Twin Cities Bike Map indicate that it has rough pavement. That is no longer true. The 2011 version of the map will not have the warning.

S. Robert St in St. Paul is under construction. although it is not a bike route, traffic from this busy road has been re-directed onto Rich Valley Rd, a bike route. Rich Valley Rd now has a considerable amount of traffic and is not desireable for riding. The  detour may exist through most of the 2010 riding season.

Flooding this spring on Black Dog Rd along the south side of the  Minnesota River broke up the asphalt in a number of places. The road is stil rideable, but portions are now gravel instead of asphalt. The road won’t be repaired before 2011, at the earliest.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Construction on the Hank Aaron Trail

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 14th , 2010.

Here is a note I just received from Menomonee Valley Partners:

There will be a lot of construction work this summer along the western end of the Hank Aaron State Trail.  From this week through the end of September, the Trail will be rerouted from the smokestacks just west of the 35th Street Viaduct to Selig Drive.  There will be a temporary detour just before the smokestacks that routes the Trail along the Canal Street median, then back along the Trail for about a block, and then another temporary detour that crosses Canal Street at the east end of the Derse, Inc. property, follows their sidewalk until Selig Drive, and the crosses back over onto the Trail.

Construction is starting this week on the Canal Street side of the Valley Passage project, and later this summer construction will start immediately across the street for the Ingeteam development in the Menomonee Valley Industrial Center.  Please be cautious in this area since there will be a lot of construction activity here.  By the end of the year, the Valley Passage will be open as a trailhead in the Silver City neighborhood and the Trail will extend west to 94th Place.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Pheasant Branch Trail in Middleton Paved

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 13th , 2010.

Middleton’s Pheasant Branch Trail has recently been paved between Century Blvd on the east and Airport Rd on the west. The trails north of Century Blvd in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy are still mostly unpaved but in good condition for road bikes. West of highway 12, the northern-most branch of the trail becomes unpaved after crossing under Airport Rd, ending at Capital View Rd.

The trail crosses the stream a number of times. The first time I rode the trail, one had to ford the stream at the crossings. Then bridges were added, but adventurous riders can still try the fords.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Woodbury: Changes and Discoveries

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 10th , 2010.

Woodbury, a suburb on the far eastern edge of the metro area, is a mixed bag for bicyclists. During a weekend research ride, riding buddy Dave Olson and I finally discovered the bike trails that run between suburban lots connecting many subdivisions with Carver Park. The trails are well maintained, about 10 feet wide and under used. To their credit, the city built the trail along the border between housing lots, making the it immediately accessible to thousands of residents. The residents, however, were not out in force despite a sunny and cool summer day.

My biggest complaint about the trail is that it has no signage. “You are Here” maps or other indications about where the trail goes would help trail users find their way around the system.  The problem is compounded in the parks by multiple intersecting trails, some merely connectors to a neighborhodd,  others major trails in their own right. We wandered around for several hours, enjoying the scenery for the most part and re-orienting ourselves when we reach major intersections, but I never got a real sense of where the trails went until the next morning when I downloaded my GPS track onto a map. The trail also has a few very steep exit/entrance connectors that will make most folks walk uphill and scare any mother who’s child wants to skate down the ramp on a scooter or skateboard.

Getting around Woodbury by road is more of a challenge.  Woodbury was built when cul de sacs and winding roads with no destination were considered the height of residential development. The net effect is a constant funneling of all vehicles, bikes included, into collector routes and major roads. Woodbury has done a credible job of building and maintaining bike trails in the right-of-way of the major roads, but like all bike trails along major roads, these are noisy, the scenery is minimal and crossroads are dangerous.

Despite the drawbacks, we found some beautiful roads, such as Pinehurst Rd north of the Tamarack Nature Preserve. The new routes will appear on the 2011 update.

One road that will disappear as a bike route is Lake Rd. When first built, a decade or more ago, it was a low traffic, free flowing road through the city. Traffic has increased dramatically ove the years and with new updates of the Twin Cities Bike Map it has gone from low traffic to high traffic.  Traffic is now high enough that it is no longer an acceptable bike route. Several alternates have been found and more research is needed to avoid the last mile or two of  Lake Rd. The changes will appear on the updated bike map.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Starkweather Creek Path in Madison

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 6th , 2010.

Two new sections of the Starkweather Creek Trail in Madison were recently opened. The first section connects the Capitol City Trail at Marquette St. with the recently-constructed bicycle bridge over Washington Avenue. The second section includes a bridge over highway 30 to connect two the trail shown on the map north of Washington Avenue with another existing trail to the north.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

13th Annual Ride with Jim June 6

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 1st , 2010.

The 13th annual Ride with Jim, Congressman Jim Oberstar, on the Paul Bunyan Trail will be held June 6th starting at the Northland Arboretum in Baxter/Brainerd, Minnesota, at 9 a.m. There will be a 28 mile ride that will include the dedication of a new trail segment. Everyone is welcome. The ride is free.

Congressman Oberstar is the chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. It is widely acknowledged that he has done more to promote the funding and development of bicycling infrastructure and programs than any other member of congress in the past decades. This is not a campaign event. Rather, it is an in district celebration promoted by the Paul Bunyan Trail Association to honor his efforts and show off the work that has been by DNR, Mn/DOT and the cities of Brainerd and Baxter.

For more information about the ride, click here.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc