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I really enjoy biking. I enjoy riding on the bike trails available in Hennepin County. However, when I see stories like this, I have to question our priorities.
I always understood the number one priority of our roads and bridges is to transport people and their property. Roads and bridges are for cars and trucks first and foremost, right? Well, apparently no longer.
Last week, Bob Davis and I were driving through downtown Minneapolis and I couldn’t help but notice that while the bike lanes were clearly designated with striping on either side of the roadway (the bike lanes appeared to be the same width as the space allowed for two-way vehicle traffic) there was no centerline striping for vehicles. Perhaps the centerline striping is not necessary, but then it makes you wonder why the bike lane striping is necessary.
The attached news story implies that moving people and their property is not the number one priority for our roads and bridges. In fact, bike traffic is now just as important as cars and trucks. By the way, the story also suggests that bikers do not want to pay attention to other traffic on the road. In the words of one biker, “. . . I can go faster, I don’t have to worry about road conditions all that much . . . it’s just nice to have an established bike lane.”
According to the report, because bike lane striping on the roadway abruptly ends in one location along Minnetonka Boulevard, “it generates a lot of complaints and a lot of confusion.” Really, are people not capable of paying attention to their surroundings and being responsible for their own safety? You have to love the comment from the Hennepin County Commissioner too . . . “I just know when you put bicyclists and cars on narrow rights of way and if you add a pedestrian to that it’s just a recipe for disaster.”
The solution: A million dollar bike lane and pedestrian bridge project? Isn’t it time we revisit the priorities of our roads and bridges?