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MnDOT will broadcast Snelling Avenue improvement plans live on Facebook

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has plans to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists who use Snelling Avenue in St. Paul's Hamline-Midway area. And they will be shared during a meeting at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

That's an inconvenient hour for many, but anybody who can fire up a computer or phone at that time can catch the presentation. MnDOT will stream a live broadcast on Facebook.

For those who want to go in person, MnDOT personnel will host an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. in Room 111 at the Anderson Center at Hamline University, 774 Snelling Avenue N. A repeat session will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. with a presentation at 5:30 p.m. The evening presentation won't be on Facebook.

MnDOT commissioned a study to learn how it could improve mobility, safety and comfort for walkers and bikers between the Minnesota State Fair grounds and Hamline University, or for those who prefer exact locations that's from Hewitt Avenue to Midway Parkway. The purpose and goals of the Snelling Avenue Multi-Modal Transportation Plan conducted by MnDOT, Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul were to:

  • Improve the safety and mobility of bicycling and walking while maintaining the safety and mobility of all users and modes of transportation
  • Provide direct and accessible routes for walkers and bicyclists to key destinations
  • Improve transit connections and mobility
  • Connect neighborhoods across the study segment
  • Develop designs that are appropriate for the multiple land use contexts along the study segment
  • Leverage the recommendations from other projects/studies to benefit the study segment
  • Develop both short-term and long-term recommendations

Nice Ride reduces single ride fee for app users


Nice Ride Minnesota has a new app. It also wants to raise the number of single rides taken on the bike sharing network.

To get the word out about the Nice Ride Share app - available free from Apple iTunes and the Google Play Store - and get occasional riders to hop on the shiny green bikes, Nice Ride has reduced the price of single rides to $2.50 per half-hour for trips booked using the app. Riders using the app will pay $2.50 for each subsequent thirty minutes of ride time.

The regular price of $4 for half-hour trips remains in effect for riders who check out a bike from pay station.

Riders can use the app to locate the nearest Nice Ride station, rent and unlock bikes, and see real-time dock and bike availability. Nice Ride Bike Share also lets users purchase or renew memberships and manage their accounts while on the go, said spokesman Ian Reed.

The app also lets riders plan bike friendly routes using built in maps, track recent trips and distance traveled, and access unique insights into gas savings and carbon dixoide reduction.

Through Tuesday, Nice Ride users have logged about 238,000 trips, a decline of about 9 percent compared to last year. Reed attributed the drop to the lack

Nice Ride use is down about 9 percent this year compared to last summer, Reed said.

"This season has in some ways been a challenge because we had such great weather and great events downtown - like the MLB All-Star Game - over the past couple of years that we just haven't had this year."

While ridership systemwide is down, one bright spot has been usage around the University of Minnesota where there has been a 15 percent increase this season, Reed said.

Nice Ride has 1,700 bikes and 190 stations throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul.