Supporters of the Midtown Greenway hope another try at resurfacing the heralded bike trail in south Minneapolis will result in a much-smoother path than last year's attempt.

The city resurfaced about half of the 5.5-mile bike and pedestrian thoroughfare last summer, using a less-costly technique called "microsurfacing." But some Greenway supporters said the job was "botched" and called the resulting pebbly and uneven surface "embarrassing" and "crap."

The Midtown Greenway Coalition, a Minneapolis nonprofit that supports the trail, promptly launched a petition titled "Redo the Repaving," drawing 2,268 signatures.

"I guess advocacy works," said Soren Jensen, the coalition's executive director, who was notified last week of the city's intent to repave the surface using regular asphalt. "I'm sure we'll end up with a much smoother trail surface."

The portion to be repaved links the western terminus of the trail near Bde Maka Ska and Lake of the Isles to its midpoint in south Minneapolis.

City spokesman Casper Hill said a timeline for the resurfacing project hadn't yet been established and that he didn't know how much the second round of paving will cost. The city doesn't have to advertise publicly for bids, nor does the job have to be approved by the City Council, he said. The first try cost about $500,000, well within the original $1.6 million resurfacing budget.

The coalition's petition claimed the trail's surface, pocked with tiny stones, was too rough and contained "dangerous gaps," creating a jarring ride for cyclists, inline skaters and people in wheelchairs. "The trail is worse now than before Minneapolis Public Works repaved it," the petition stated.

Some cyclists have taken to using city streets to avoid the Greenway, it noted, a practice that "is dangerous to the public and a liability issue for the city of Minneapolis."

City officials conceded last fall that the results of the microsurfacing technique, which blends a thin layer of asphalt emulsion with crushed stone, were disappointing. But it was unclear at that time whether a redo was in the works.

The Greenway is owned by the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, but the city is responsible for maintaining it. Built along a former railroad corridor, the first phase of the Greenway opened in 2001, with the second and final portions opening in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

The Greenway stops at the Mississippi River on its eastern end, but the coalition is pushing for a connection into St. Paul over a century-old railroad bridge.

"The Greenway deserves a nice, smooth trail. It's the most important commuter trail in the region," Jensen said.