The bike lanes are coming! The bike lanes are coming!

Minnesota was recently named the second most bike friendly state in the country. Minneapolis consistently ranks as one of the best biking cities in the nation. There’s a lot that go into those rankings, but one of the key factors is infrastructure development: bike lanes, parking, signage, etc. Despite some modest efforts over the last couple of years, Edina hasn’t kept pace with the need to improve its biking facilities.

But that’s about to change. A number of projects either in the works or in planning phases are about to transform our city streets, improving safety for cyclists and drivers and hopefully encouraging more people to get those bikes out of their garages.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the upcoming bike projects in Edina:

Tracy Avenue — The north end of Tracy (from Vernon to Benton) will be redeveloped later this summer. The new roadway will include dedicated bike lanes on both sides of the street.

Gallagher Drive – The first leg of the Nine Mile Creek Trail, an off-road biking/walking trail administered by the Three Rivers Park District was approved by the City Council and is tentatively scheduled for construction later in 2012.

Bike Racks – Look for 50 new bike racks in the city’s business districts (50th & France, 44th & France, Grandview, et. al.). This is a joint project between the City and Transit for Livable Communities(TLC).

Bike Boulevard (54th Street, Wooddale Ave, Valleyview Lane) –On May 15, the City Council approved a major upgrade to Edina’s bicycle infrastructure. This combination of bike lanes, advisory lanes and share the road facilities should be coming on line soon.  Look for more details in an upcoming blog post.

These projects are a step in the right direction, a sign that our community recognizes the importance of a robust cycling infrastructure. Hopefully they will serve as a stepping stone toward an integrated biking network that encourages all residents to get out and experience life on two wheels.

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