What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

City may push bike-friendly changes in state law

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: October 16, 2012 - 11:19 AM

The City Council will mull Thursday whether to support a number of changes in state law surrounding bicycle use, including more flexibility to lower speed limits below 30 miles per hour.

The bicycle changes are among a number of items the Council will consider lobbying the state legislature for this year. Others cover the penalty for unused bonding dollars, "fair" sewer charges and continued funding for local public safety radio equipment.

Regarding bicycles, the city may push for a study on the economic impact of bicycling, legislation to "clarify the issue of yielding to [a] bicyclist in a bike lane," and a law that would prohibit stopping a vehicle in a bike lane. The current statute does not include bike lanes in the 14-location list of prohibited areas.

Other possible items the city may lobby for include increased funding for pedestrian and bicycle "infrastructure and programming" and changes to the municipal state-aid street system that allow for streets that "safely meet the needs of all who use them." 

Regarding the speed limit issue, the city may request "flexibility and ease of implementation" of speed limits below 30 miles per hour on "both local residential streets and when accomodating bicycling infrastructure." This House Research document illustrates the limited circumstances when a city can lower the speed below 30 miles per hour.

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