Archive for June, 2014

Apple Valley Bike Routes

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 23rd , 2014.

Apple Valley is an auto centric suburb that is trying to be more bike friendly. It is only partially succeeding. The city has built a lot of miles of bike trails, but because the town is laid out in a cul-de-sac and arterial pattern, the only logical place to put the trails is along major auto through ways.  The result is a noisy and sometimes exhaust filled bike ride. It isn’t working so well for cyclists. I haven’t seen more than a couple of riders in several days of research. The riders I do see are either hard-core roadies or young teens who don’t have driver’s licenses.

That’s too bad, because the few through roads with little traffic are quite exceptional. Apple Valley has a pleasant mix of rolling hills and the bike routes south of the Zoo and Lebanon Hill Park (132nd, Diamond Path, Evermoor Pky) roll through quiet residential neighborhoods with mature trees shading the road and well maintained houses and yards. Continuing east on Connemara Trail in Rosemount, the route moves into newer developments with younger trees and a wider road.

Connemara Trail now runs through to Akron (updates will appear on the Mobile Twin Cities Bike Map_2014 in July and on the 2015 printed version of the map). Turn right on Akron and drop south into U-More Park, a unique area owned by the U of M. More on that in the next post.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Black Dog Rd Closes in July

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 17th , 2014.

Black Dog Rd runs along the south side of the Minnesota River between Cedar Ave and I-35W. it has served the employees of the Blackdog Power plant, fishermen, birdwatchers, nature lovers and bicyclists for decades. It has always been a destination ride for me because of its close proximity to the river and it’s low traffic, paved surface.

Next month the road will be permanently closed to the public. The only vehicles permitted on the road will be employees of the power plant.

The beginning of the end began several years ago when heavy flooding washed out the road between the power plant and I-35W. The damage was never repaired and that section was closed to traffic. It was still possible to ride the closed section, but with each passing year the pavement crumbled more and weeds began growing in the cracks. Today, most of that section of road is potholed gravel.

The future, however, is not as bleak as it may seem. A path will run the length of the old road, providing access for bicyclists and pedestrians. Fishermen and bird watchers who depended on close access to their vehicles will have to stay closer to the public access points.

Cyclists looking for one last ride on the old Blackdog Road should make their pilgrimage soon, but come prepared for a gravel road experience.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

More Updates to the Mobile Twin Cities Bike Map_2014

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 3rd , 2014.

I’ve been updating the 2014 version of the mobile Twin Cities Bike Map approximately once per month. In the June update:

  • I added Riverside Rd near the West Bank. It now has striped bike lanes and offers a good connector to Franklin Ave.
  • Revised routes in downtown St. Paul to reflect construction around Lowertown Ball Park.
  • Removed Black Dog Rd. It’s private now.
  • Changed road configuration around Home Depot in Richfield.
  • Added new roads in north metro- mostly new subdivisions
  • Added roads north of Hudson, WI.
  • More readability changes.
Filed under: Bikeverywhere News