With temperatures expected to flirt with 80 degrees in the Twin Cities today and a beautiful canopy of fall color to boot, it's a great day to go for a bike ride, especially in Edina.
The western suburb has recently added a number of bike lanes on north-south and east-west thoroughfares and other streets to make it easier cyclists to pedal around town.
In addition, Edina has added 48 new bike racks at more than a dozen retail outlets and other popular locations in the city.
Among the improvements are a bicycle boulevards on W. 54th Street and Wooddale Avenue, colored bicycle lanes on Valley View Road, bicycle detectors at traffic signals on 54th Street and France Avenue, and advisory bike lanes on Wooddale Avenue and parts of 54th Street.
Advisory lanes look like dedicated bike lanes, but instead of having a solid separating them for the regular traffic lanes, they have a dashed line. That means motorists may drive in the advisory lanes when bicyclists are not present.
"Between the enhancement of Edina roadways for bicycling and the city's new bike racks, this is truly a watershed year in Edina," said Brad Schaeppi, a member of the Bike Edina Task Force. "This is a great win for our community and residents, to enhance our overall quality of life."
City staff have passed out flyers and posted signs to educate residents and motorists about the changes. The city also has posted a portable electronic sign on Wooddale Avenue to alert drivers.
Bicyclists can look for more improvements in the near future. Earlier this month, the City Council approved restriping several city streets to have bike lanes, including Antrim Road, Cahill Road and W. 70th Street.
Other streets that already have or will soon have bike lanes include Interlachen Blvd. from Blake Road to Vernon Avenue and 58th Street from France to Xerxes avenues.
The recent improvements were paid in part by Bike Walk Twin Cities, a program of Transit for Livable Communities. Bike Walk Twin Cities contributed $250,000 to the Edina bike expansion project