Aug 17, 2008

The Bike Boulevard Field Trial

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.


  1. When I head downtown (I live near Diamond Lake and Nicollet), I head down the Parkway to Oakland and up Oakland to 44th or 43rd (where ever that church is) and then cut over to Park. I used to do Oakland the whole way, but, as you've mentioned, it is infested with stop signs.

    I've never felt unsafe on it, but I always take the Greenway at Park and have rarely ventured farther north on Oakland.

  2. Thanks for the information, Brother Yam! I felt Oakland got a little sketchier north of 38th street, but it was sporadic and probably more due to my lack of familiarity with it than anything. To tell the truth, I did not make the entire route because I did not like the street and my heart was not in it yesterday. I am coming to view Park and Portland like the freeways of the bike world - nobody rides on them because they are nice but they are handy and can get you where you need to go pretty efficiently.