So it turns out I am not a very good amateur transportation planner. Like a number of things in my life recently, the concept is a little better than the reality. I rode some of this today and here's the deal:
Oakland Ave. needs some repairs - quite a few potholes (those could be fixed) and it has a lot of on-street parking, particularly as you go north towards downtown. I had three open doors I had to pass on my Sunday test ride, so the prospect of getting doored at rush hour seems pretty high if you were not careful. Also, although I am no sensitive suburbanite, but there were some places along this route where I would wonder a bit about personal security. I don't get that vibe as much on Park or Portland. Finally, there are stop signs on almost every block as well. If this were going to work, then Oakland Ave. would have to get priority treatment like Nokomis Ave. does in the stop sign location lottery and many of signs would have to be removed and the cross streets controlled. And now that I think about it, this is damn unlikely since both Park and Portland have controlled intersections at cross streets.
Maybe not a good idea just yet but I still like the concept of a bike boulevard from South MPLS to downtown. I'll be riding up Park Ave. and thinking about this some time between 7:00 and 8:00 tomorrow morning, it seems.