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A step up for safety, if built (and if used)
As someone who moved here from New York City, I am thrilled by the consideration of physically protected bicycle lanes on Minnehaha and Washington Avenues (Hennepin County weighs ‘cycle tracks’ in Minneapolis,” July 19). Cycle tracks increase safety for all users of our city streets. New York has several (8th and 9th Avenues), and they have a positive impact on the corridors and communities around them.
Protected bikeways are the next step in the evolution of roadways. Streets can provide so much more than traffic throughput. Cities all over the country have taken the lead on this, and Minneapolis is falling behind. By 2012, there were 100 cycle tracks installed across the United States, and 100 more are planned in 2013. Minneapolis needs a connected system of cycle tracks to protect its growing numbers of bike commuters.
While the cycle track design that Hennepin County has put forth for Minnehaha Avenue needs improvement, it’s heartening to see that these ideas are gaining traction.
MOLLY SULLIVAN, Minneapolis
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As a south Minneapolis resident, recreational cyclist, and motorist, I can appreciate the challenges with determining the optimal configuration for accommodating safe cycling on Minnehaha Avenue. As for cycle tracks, we have a working example on West River Parkway just a mile or so to the east of the proposed Minnehaha Avenue changes.
The irksome fact is that despite a beautifully maintained “cycle track” along West River Parkway, many cyclists continue to ride in the traffic lane, sometimes two-by-two or three-by-three, or even in large packs. While I can understand and respect an aware and cooperative cyclist using traffic lanes, the fact is that the traffic lane on the parkway is not wide enough to safely accommodate these cyclists and cars, while the bike trail is mere feet away. One wonders if these cyclists are incredibly dense or are just trying to cause troubles for motorists. I think a little of both.
DAVID BERG, Minneapolis
Give the Windsors their educational due
As a true American believer in constitutional democracy, I am also bemused by the British fascination with the royal family, and by the media’s coverage of the birth of Prince George. However, though I might agree with the July 25 letter scolding the Star Tribune for its front-page announcements of the royal birth, I must take exception to the writer’s description of the Windsors as “dimwitted.” Both Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge attended the University of St. Andrews, ranked one of the best universities in the United Kingdom. Both graduated with upper-second-class honors, the equivalent of an American GPA of 3.33 to 3.67. Can the letter writer claim a similar educational pedigree?
STACY BLUMBERG GARON,
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.