Enough already with the bike lane articles (“Divided over bike lanes,” May 11). Nathan Koster, transportation planning and programming manager, and Ethan Fawley, executive director of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, haven’t figured out yet about common sense when it comes to “planning” bike lanes.
Also, whatever happened to city officials who make automobile drivers follow rules, but obviously not bike riders? Car drivers must wear seat belts. Car drivers must turn on headlights at dusk. Car drivers must turn lights on when it rains. Car drivers must signal turns. Car drivers must stop at all stop signs and red lights. Car drivers must follow all rules for merging into traffic. Car drivers must yield to all pedestrians. If we don’t do these things, we are issued tickets and must pay the fines.
Can city officials tell us why bike riders aren’t required to wear reflective vests like construction workers when riding their bikes? Or why they aren’t required to have reflectors on front and back of bikes? Or why they aren’t required to have headlights on bikes turned on at dusk? And why don’t the vast majority of bike riders comply with the rules of the road?
The May 11 article mentions the results of a “Longfellow Community Council survey.” Why weren’t there Community Council meetings announced and promoted for input from both sides in other communities?
The vast majority of residents in all communities would like the opportunity to sit down with Koster and Fawley and other officials in the city and discuss the fact that the fastest-growing population is seniors, not bike riders. The purpose of our “planning and programming” manager should be to figure out how to move car traffic safely and rapidly.
Poor planning examples include: Blaisdell moves traffic to 36th Street, leading in turn to major highways: 35W north and south, 94 east and west, and 62, which leads to 55. Blaisdell was changed from two lanes to one lane for cars from 31st Street. No common sense.
Then, forgetting that when accidents happen on 35W south, cars are rerouted to Portland, and when 35-W north traffic is detoured, it is to Park Avenue, we reduced traffic on both avenues from three lanes to two, plus bike lanes seldom used.
Bike lobbyists then focused on Washington Avenue, taking one lane in each direction without considering that Washington leads to major highways: 35W north, 35W south and 55, which leads to 62.
Also, even though the major designated bike path is on old railroad tracks on 29th Street, bike lobby advocates had lanes made on 26th and 28th streets, with plans for bike lanes on Lake Street (30th) — all within blocks of 29th.
As for downtown, 3rd Street was selected for bike lanes, while it leads to all highways heading west — 94, 394 with offshoot to 55.
As the Longfellow businesses and residents expressed so well, “no parking results in no business and lost revenue.” Homeowners and residents lose parking for themselves and guests. Construction workers are building condos and apartments as fast as they can. Without parking, it’s a hard sell. All to make bike lanes on streets never used by bike riders?
Sadly, we — the majority of the population — have had no voice in these senseless examples resulting in these examples of poor “transportation planning and programming.” They reflect no common sense for traffic moving in a safe and efficient manner.
Barbara Nylen lives in Minneapolis.