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Readers’ Twin Cities transportation questions, answered

Minnehaha Parkway
MinnPost photo by Jessica Lee
What’s the story behind the 10 mph limit on Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board trails?
Getting around the Twin Cities can sometimes be a challenge. Whether it’s getting stuck in car traffic, mapping out the safest bike routes or waiting for an overdue bus the good and bad of the metro’s transportation system affects us all.

Last week, we asked MinnPost readers on social media to share their biggest questions about driving, biking, busing or walking in Minneapolis and St. Paul. From biking speed limits on Minneapolis trails to declining bus ridership, here’s a few of what they asked, along with answers from transportation engineers, city staff and other experts. 

What’s the story behind the 10 mph limit on Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board trails? That is achingly slow. Drew Kerr, Minneapolis

First, let’s welcome everybody to the History of Minneapolis Parks 101! The board established the limit in 1981, around the same time a new superintendent took the helm and voters elected a new parks board commissioner, Sherman Malkerson, whose mother was fatally hit by a bicyclist on a walk around Lake Harriet back when the system’s trails did not separate pedestrians and bicyclists; everyone shared the same paths. 


In a phone interview Thursday, Malkerson said the board’s decision to create bicycle-only and pedestrian-only lanes after his mother’s death was a major step to improve safety, and establishing a new speed limit for bicyclists was just an additional system-wide change to avoid collisions. 

“I can’t recall exactly how we all came together as a board to introduce it,” or why it decided on 10 mph instead of 12 or 15 mph, he said. “Just for safety reasons … The trails are set up for families. … They’re set up for recreation, just like the walking trails. … Kids would be running into bikes on those trails.”

But, Drew, you’re hardly the only person who disagrees with the speed limit. For years, avid cyclists have raised issue with the 10 mph rule, saying it doesn’t make sense within the region’s network of trails under different rules and no one enforces it. Police themselves have said they don’t monitor for the violation or issue tickets for it. 

An effort to change the law materialized in April 2015, when the board’s former superintendent Jayne Miller introduced a proposal that would have eliminated the 10 mph ordinance with language that would have required bikers to use “reasonable and prudent” judgment on the trails given their conditions. At the time, the park board rejected that idea for its vagueness.

Two years later, voters elected six new members to the board, and a couple of them said recently that they’re open to changing the speed limit law. 

Board Member Jono Cowgill said the board is in the process of going over ordinances that it should remove or change, including those that other laws supersede or are unenforceable. Board Member Chris Meyer said he is open to revising the speed limit, potentially raising it to 12 or 15 mph.

“I’m not aware of a single case where it’s been enforced,” Meyer said in an email. “But I would still want to keep a limit on the books to nudge people who are biking really fast to use the road part of the parkway. That will become increasingly relevant as more people use electric bikes.”

Is bike share permanently dead in St. Paul? If not, how will next year be different? Jim Ivey, Lowertown neighborhood, St. Paul

In August 2018, St. Paul contracted with a Silicon Valley startup that also runs electric scooters, called Lime, for dockless bike sharing. The company essentially took over the market; Nice Ride, which is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit and had been operating bikes in St. Paul for years, removed all of its docks. 


Then, in early 2019, Lime announced it would only operate scooters in the capital city going forward, as part of a broader effort to scale back its bike-sharing business in cities across the country. That means there’s now scooters, buses, scooters, trains and more scooters as far as government-sanctioned options for getting around St. Paul.

dockless bikes
MinnPost photo by Jessica Lee
Nice Ride, which is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit and had been operating bikes in St. Paul for years, removed all of its docks.
But, no, the city does not want that to be the new normal. According to Lisa Hiebert, a spokesperson for the city’s public works department, transportation staff are talking with potential bike-sharing vendors about providing service in 2020 and beyond, and the city is committed to providing the peer-to-peer transportation option under new contract terms.

Unfortunately, though, she said bike sharing companies are more interested in larger cities, where they can make more money. “This is a challenging period for cities nationwide,” Hiebert said in an email. “While bike sharing vendors continue to invest in large urban markets, mid-size markets such as St. Paul struggle to find vendors.”

I’ve been wondering if the Met Council has a plan or strategy for reversing the continued decline of local bus ridership. —Jake Steinberg, Tucson, Arizona.

It’s true: all kinds of regional transit — from the University of Minnesota’s campus shuttle to MVTA in the suburbs — have seen fewer riders each year since 2015

For Metro Transit, specifically, the downward trend seems to be accelerating. From January to March — the most recent period for which passenger data is available — the transit agency tallied roughly 19 million train and bus rides, a 7 percent drop from its 20.5 million trips during the first three months of 2018. That decrease included local buses, commuter and express routes and the bus-rapid-transit A Line between southwest Minneapolis and the Rosedale Center, as well as light rail trains.

Leaders of the Met Council, the regional governing body that oversees Metro Transit, have cited a range of possible reasons for why less people are choosing bus transit — including a system-wide fare increase in Oct. 2017, a bus-driver shortage, national bus-riding trends, “lower-than-usual” gas prices and a lack of funding support from the state.

A Line test run
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
From January to March Metro Transit tallied roughly 19 million train and bus rides, a 7 percent drop from the first three months of 2018. That decrease included the bus-rapid-transit A Line between southwest Minneapolis and the Rosedale Center.
“We have been doing the divesting, but we haven’t been doing the investing. So, no wonder ridership is lagging on the bus system when we don’t have the money that we need to invest in truly promising service,” Metro Transit’s general manager Wes Kooistra said earlier this year.

In other words, regional transportation leaders say the key part of attracting new riders is having more money (from county agencies, the state or federal sources) so they can fund faster, more reliable service and add new routes. “Everybody at Metro Transit is working hard to provide the best service they can with the money they have,” said Will Schroeer, who is executive director of East Metro Strong, in June. “Without more funds, you can only do so much.”


Electric coaches, for instance, are expensive, though they offer smoother and quieter rides than older buses. And bus rapid transit lines, which give riders a light-rail-like experience with increased frequency and fewer stops, are also costly.

The question is which should come first: New routes and infrastructure, or new bus riders? Will a more efficient, bigger system bring in new customers like Met Council and Metro Transit leaders say? Or, is spending public money on improvements too risky for policy leaders considering declining ridership trends now?

Those questions were at the forefront of transportation debates among state lawmakers last session. Gov. Tim Walz sided with transit supporters in his February budget proposal and asked lawmakers to pass a metro-specific sales tax and a higher gas tax, as well as new fees, to expand the Twin Cities’ regional bus network. But legislators said no to that idea, and the 2019 state budget deal omitted any money for new transit.

That means a request by the Met Council to build new bus-rapid transit lines died. But the council plans to keep advocating for the investments going forward. “We are confident ridership will respond, helping begin a new era of growth in bus ridership,” Metro Transit spokesperson Howie Padilla said in an email.

Are Metro Transit and the Met Council having any kind of conversation around free fares to increase ridership? Amity Foster, northeast Minneapolis

The short answer: No.

The long answer: Fare revenue makes up a significant chunk of the transit system’s budget, Metro Transit spokesperson Padilla said, and “without this funding, Metro Transit would need to reduce service levels.” In last year’s spending plan, for instance, estimates showed customers’ bus passes generating more than $104 million, or about one-fourth of Metro Transit’s total revenue. But Padilla also said the transit agency knows the cost of fares can keep some low-income residents from using public transit, which is why it offers discounted rates for qualifying riders.

What is the update on a timeline to extend the Midtown Greenway over the river? Peter Schmitt, Minneapolis

For more than a decade, some residents and city leaders have wanted the Midtown Greenway, the bicycle and pedestrian path that runs parallel to Minneapolis’ Lake Street, to extend east over the Mississippi, which would allow it to link to the Twin Cities’ network of bicycle-pedestrian routes.

But supporters face an uphill battle due to failing infrastructure and the need for buy-in from agencies that would need to be involved. 

At the eastern end of the Greenway is the century-old Short Line Bridge, which currently only carries freight and, supporters say, could be converted into the trail link with enough support from state and local politicians. In 2006, Hennepin County, which owns the former railroad corridor in Minneapolis, commissioned a study by URS Corp. to explore whether or not the county should assume ownership of the bridge and if it’s safe for a single rail track to run beside a recreational trail. But URS Corp. recommended that Hennepin County back away because of the bridge’s structural deficiencies. 

Then, in 2016, the Midtown Greenway Coalition sponsored a fundraising effort to hire an engineering firm to do its own study of the bridge. Using drone footage and other data, that analysis lays out several ideas for rehabbing the bridge or building an entirely new one. Those options ranged in cost from $7.4 million to about $27.5 million.

Short Line Bridge
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
At the eastern end of the Greenway is the century-old Short Line Bridge, which currently only carries freight and could be converted into the trail link with enough support from state and local politicians.
Another key character in the saga is the bridge’s owner, the Canadian Pacific railroad. It has a contract with the Minnesota Commercial Railway that uses the corridor to serve several businesses in South Minneapolis, according to county spokesperson Carolyn Marinan, and neither company has indicated they are open to allowing an extension of the Greenway.

“Hennepin County has no current plans to extend the Midtown Greenway over the river,” she said in an email. “Any effort to extend the Greenway will need collaboration from these railway companies as well as government agencies on both sides of the river.”

What is happening with protected bike lanes on Summit Ave.? AJ Jahnig, Midway, St. Paul

Last year, a man on a bicycle was hit and killed by a car at the intersection of Summit and Snelling avenues, near the Macalester College campus. His death ignited a movement among street-safety activists to put pressure on the city of St. Paul to improve the corridor, especially since it’s one of the city’s most heavily-trafficked routes for cyclists. 

Right now, Summit has painted bike lanes, but cyclists want more protection to separate them from vehicles such as bollards or delineators, buffer street space or concrete islands.

Summit Avenue bike lane
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
Right now, Summit has painted bike lanes, but cyclists want more protection to seperate them from vehicles such as bollards or delineators, buffer street space or concrete islands.
But here’s the catch: Summit Avenue is within a Historic Preservation District, which means new infrastructure projects must follow certain rules that aim to maintain the area’s historic character. That means some dramatic street redesigns are off the table, pending the decisions of the Heritage Preservation Commission.

Hiebert, of the city’s public works department, said while there’s no formal proposal to install protected bike lanes across all of Summit, the city is hoping to have buffered bike lanes between Mississippi River Boulevard and Lexington Parkway next year.

With the city of St. Paul doing a mill-and-overlay of every single downtown street, will they create new safe spaces for bikes and scooters? Eric Saathoff, Payne-Phalen, St. Paul

The city says it will. In 2015, the council adopted a citywide bicycle plan as part of its routine long-term planning for housing development, green space, infrastructure and transportation. The council has updated the document since with new ideas for biking facilities and pathways, saying it wants to make biking conditions in St. Paul easier and safer in the future so more people do it. In theory, additional bike lanes would help scooter riders, too, since they’re supposed to stay off sidewalks

But in terms of more immediate changes, St. Paul is preparing to add bikeways on Ninth Street east of Jackson Street, Tenth Street west of Jackson and on either St. Peter or Wabasha streets, in coordination with other construction plans for the downtown roadways, according to Hiebert, of the city’s public works department. She said crews are set to roll out those changes in 2020 and 2021.

Comments (23)

  1. Submitted by Joan Estenson on 09/27/2019 - 11:59 am.

    Hmmm, consider the weather in January through March 2019 versus the same period in 2019. We had a lot more snow, and corners and bus stops were not speedily shoveled, at least in the areas where I travel. We also had the polar vortex,

    I am reliant on public transportation and somewhat mobility impaired, so there were a lot of days in the January through March period that I went nowhere when I ordinarily would have been out and about. The days I did go out I often only made one trip because it was so tiring and time-consuming navigating the sidewalks that one was all I could manage.

    By the way, are there new policies on snow shoveling if we get dumped on again this year?

  2. Submitted by Adam Miller on 09/27/2019 - 12:12 pm.

    I’m fine with the Creek Trail speed limit. Nobody follows it and it’s not enforced, but it is still a reminder to not be in a hurry and keep and eye out for slower traffic, especially on the portions that are shared with pedestrians.

    Regarding Summit Avenue and historic preservation, Summit was a bike route before it was a car route. Setting aside more space for bikes would be in keeping with its history.

  3. Submitted by Laurel Browne on 09/27/2019 - 12:35 pm.

    I do use MetroTransit. I also subscribe to their email alerts. I wonder how anyone can rely on a bus if the schedule can be so easily suspended by an email: that bus is just not going to come. I’ve heard this happens because there are too few drivers. Honestly, it makes me think twice about riding, and I’ve been riding less.

    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 09/29/2019 - 09:51 pm.

      That’s what I was going to say!

      If they want people to ride public transit they have to make it predictable or at least frequent enough that it doesn’t matter if you miss a bus. But when buses come twenty minutes to an hour apart (already too far apart for convenience0, missing one can be disastrous.

      I subscribe to rider alerts for the #6 and the light rail on my phone, and there are alerts nearly every weekday, such as cancelled runs or buses substituting for trains. (When Portland can keep five light rail lines running the vast majority of the time without a hitch, why do the Twin Cities’ two lines need constant repairs and maintenance?)

      If people have to get to an appointment or their job or some other time-sensitive event, they’re going to be angry if they miss it because all of a sudden the bus they were counting on didn’t show up.

      Since there’s a shortage of drivers, I’d tell the most distant suburbs to start their own bus routes if they think there’s a market and concentrate on improving service in the core cities and first two rings of suburbs. After all, no one moves to Eden Prairie or Maple Grove or Farmington with the thought, “I’m looking forward to taking the bus.”

      The routes should be made more rational. All arterial routes, whether east-west or north-south, should have frequent bus service that stays on the same street as much as possible. None of this zigzagging between Lyndale and Bryant, for example, or between Nicollet and Grand, or between 36th Street and 38th Street.

      How many of the people who plan the routes and schedules have ever tried to be car-free in the Twin Cities?

  4. Submitted by Pat Thompson on 09/27/2019 - 01:18 pm.

    On the question of fare-free public transit: okay, so a quarter of Metro Transit’s budget currently comes from fares. We also need to know what percent of their operating expense comes from *collecting* the fares – the entire infrastructure of GoTo cards and MetroPasses, fareboxes, transfers, the parts of the website for payment, cops enforcing payment… If you take that out of the budget, how does it net out?

  5. Submitted by Benjamin Osa on 09/27/2019 - 01:54 pm.

    I’d be interested in learning about how the popular smartphone navigation/map apps (the one I use ends in “oogle maps”) are updated when new bike lanes are added to city infrastructure. There seems to be a couple year delay between the addition of a new bike lane and when the bike navigation / maps factor the new lanes into best routing or map views.

    Does the City currently contact the developers to add the new bike infrastructure? Can the updates to these apps be expedited so citizens can learn about and utilize the new infrastructure closer to when they are completed as opposed to several years after they already are built/striped/bollard/curbed?

  6. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/27/2019 - 03:36 pm.

    I’m less concerned about bicycle speed limits (though I think keeping the limit – and posting it – is a good idea, even if it’s only symbolic) than I am about the widespread lack of common courtesy shown to pedestrians by cyclists. In 10 years of residence, including daily walks on Minneapolis’ paved trails probably 350 days a year, I’ve had many hundreds of encounters with cyclists approaching me from the rear. I can still count on my fingers (with four left over) the number of times a cyclist has said “On your left,” or otherwise let me know that s/he is riding up behind me.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/03/2019 - 08:47 am.

      Ray,

      As a cyclist I can tell you my biggest issue on a daily basis riding on trails is pedestrians! They just saunter around in and out and over paths and streets without paying any attention to whether or not they’re in their lane, crossing in front of someone, etc. etc.

      Whatever, be that as it may let me take a stand against pedantic’s: The law doesn’t actually require an audible warning whenever a cyclists passes a pedestrian. The law requires that cyclists issue an audible when necessary or appropriate. The question isn’t whether or not EVERY cyclist says: “On your left” but rather whether or not you were aware of or endangered by the cyclist when they passed you. Are talking about near collisions, or are you just complaining about the lack of audibles?

      When I ride, I only issue audibles (I use a bell and only shout at someone if they don’t respond to the bell) if someone is in my way or otherwise clearly oblivious to my presence. When you walk on a bike path you should always walk in your lane, to the right and not wander around the path. There’s more than enough space (more space on some paths than others) for everyone. Many cyclist won’t shout at someone who’s obviously staying in their lane because they’re not a potential hazard and shouting at someone who’s enjoying their walk is unnecessarily rude.

      And of course, if you’re walking on the bike path instead of the pedestrian trail (where they’re separate) that’s something to think about as well. We don’t ride on the pedestrian trails.

  7. Submitted by Alex Schieferdecker on 09/27/2019 - 03:44 pm.

    I appreciate the work to get these answers, but my goodness are some of them disappointing.

    Re: Bike Share in St. Paul,
    The big reason why the St. Paul market for bicycling is so poor isn’t that Minneapolis is bigger, it’s that St. Paul’s bike infrastructure is frankly embarrassing.

    Re: the Greenway Extension
    Huge bummer to read such an uninterested answer from the county spokesperson. Let’s hope that Commissioner Conley is more attuned to the issue and willing to fight for it. The circumstances around the Short Line bridge have changed, now that we know more, and now that the bridge is down to just a single customer.

    Re: Summit Avenue
    The ‘historical designation’ line is an unbelievable cop-out. The street long predates the automobile era. If history truly governed the street, then the asphalt would be ripped up, and the road returned to dirt and horses and buggies. A “historic” street shouldn’t be an excuse to preserve the street entirely for cars. There is ample room to flip the parking and bike lanes and put a curb buffer in between them.

    In these answers, St. Paul continue to demonstrate the small thinking that is that city’s curse.

  8. Submitted by lisa miller on 09/27/2019 - 04:58 pm.

    ‘We are confident….’ That kinda of sums it up. It does seem like input and public opinions don’t matter much. Maybe I missed it, but the last article I read stated light rail riders were down. And yet they expanded it into an area that many did not favor vs building it where people did want the option–Brooklyn Park area.
    I appreciate encouraging mass transit. Many people don’t go right from work to home or have to haul kids, have disabilities and factor in the winters, so assuming people have the same needs is faulty. Some love the idea of not having to drive, so why some buses may be pricey, so is having a system that is underutilized. Bus routes also can be easily adapted to changes.

    • Submitted by Alex Schieferdecker on 10/02/2019 - 11:38 am.

      Through the first half of 2019, light rail ridership was up 2.67% overall.

      In Q2 2019, it increased 8.63% over Q2 2018.

      So light rail ridership is actually continuing to rise sharply.

  9. Submitted by John DeWitt on 09/27/2019 - 09:54 pm.

    Part of the drop in transit ridership is due to services like Über and Lyft. Those services replace walking, biking, and transit trips. Last year, San Francisco compared congestion levels in 2010 and 2016 and found that 50% of the increase was due to Über and Lyft.
    (https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Uber-Lyft-cars-clog-SF-streets-study-says-13309593.php)

    An article in the Economist estimated that over half of all Über and Lyft trips in big American cities would otherwise have been made on foot or by bike, bus, subway or train.
    (URL: https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/11/03/the-social-costs-of-ride-hailing-may-be-larger-than-previously-thought)

    Über has stated that it intends to replace public transit. But Minneapolis’ Transportation Action Plan calls for a 38% reduction in vehicle miles traveled by 2050 even with an all electric vehicle fleet if we are to meet our 2050 goals for GHG reduction. That seems to suggest that a much bigger role for walking, biking, and transit will be needed, not more Über and Lyft trips.

  10. Submitted by Douglas Owens-Pike on 09/29/2019 - 08:28 am.

    a huge shift in transit will happen as we move to a service of reliable, autonomous electric vehicles moving people far more efficiently than buses, light rail or our current religious devotion to each individual owning, operating, and storing an internal combustion-powered auto.

  11. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 09/30/2019 - 08:46 pm.

    Free transit rides? Be careful what you wish for.

    I guess I’m a borderline Certified Old Guy, because I recall in the 70’s when the MTC allowed people under18 to ride for free.

    Kids with nothing better to do would ride the buses, with assorted hootin’ & hollerin’ & other shenanigans ensuing. They didn’t care if they got kicked off, they had noting invested financially & could just wait for the next free bus ride.

    Similarly, in the early 80’s, I had a high school teacher who worked for Sims Security at Center events. Usually, the day after a concert, he would tell us about how the evening transpired, including any drunken or rowdy behavior. (Some times this included students from our school.)

    KDWB sponsored free concert with local bands one evening. He said it was chaos, as people who were kicked out would just walk around the building to enter another door. My teacher was cryptic, but he let us know that one fella had somehow assaulted a young woman, & he went off on the assailant, so much so his colleagues had to step in. I noted that a few years later the Twins issued free tickets when the Metrodome was opened to welcome the team back from Detroit after winning the LCS.

  12. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/01/2019 - 09:02 am.

    The bicycle speed limit has never been enforced and according to the police is practically unenforceable. That’s said, 10 mph is too slow, and anything much over 15 mph is too fast on most of the city trails.

    Republicans and Libertarians have been trying to kill public transit for decades, they just don’t believe in it and they’ve been defunding and underfunding it whenever they get hold of the budget in any way. What’s weird is while they claim to be all about roads and bridges, they never come up with budgets that properly finance those either.

    If we want proper infrastructure and transit mixes we simply need to unseat Repubicans and Libertarians and get Democrats to address the problem despite their facile anxieties regarding “over-reach”.

  13. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/01/2019 - 12:57 pm.

    And what’s up with St. Paul blowing it’s bike share? They went with a for-profit companies instead of the well established and wildly successful local non-profit? Kind of a dumbbell move.

  14. Submitted by Dave Carlson on 10/01/2019 - 02:32 pm.

    Regarding the Minneapolis lakes bike trails:

    “But I would still want to keep a limit on the books to nudge people who are biking really fast to use the road part of the parkway. That will become increasingly relevant as more people use electric bikes.” (Chris Meyer)

    For many years, many bicycle advocates have tried to get the Park Board to add even 3-4 ft. bike lanes on the parkway roadways to more safely accommodate the “really fast” bicyclists — as well as any bicyclist who may wish to go the opposite direction of the one-way bike trails on several of the lakes — but the Park Board has steadfastly refused, even though the parkways and trails serve as commuter as well as recreational purposes.

    And, regarding Summit Avenue… wasn’t the bicyclist fatality at an intersection? That is the main problem, which more separated bike lanes does not necessarily solve. In fact, it can make it worse as it might be harder for the motorist to see the bicyclist crossing at intersections if they are not a visible part of the roadway “traffic”.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/01/2019 - 05:29 pm.

      I think widening all the parkways could be a very expensive proposal, and since most of them have adjacent dedicated bicycle paths already it’s not easy to justify adding MORE bike space. These are parkways, if you want to cycle “Fast” i.e. steady speeds of 19 – 22 mph, no parkway is a great place to do that, nor are most city streets.

      I do think that we could make all the paths two way, and widen some of them to accomodate two way traffic. But we have to decide what is the function of the bike paths? Are they transit corridors or leisure and exercise amenities? To some extent obviously they can be both, but speeds need to be contained in order to keep them safe, and one-way only segments don’t work well for commuters.

    • Submitted by Dave Carlson on 10/01/2019 - 07:44 pm.

      Summit Avenue con’t…
      I would certainly support and push for better striping of the bike lanes on Summit from Lexington to Mississippi River Blvd. The driving lane is way too wide and encourages higher speeds, where a narrower driving lane and a painted buffer to the bike lane would make biking safer. But putting a bike lane to the right of parked cars doesn’t make sense and keeps the bicyclist less visible. The bike lanes on Summit have worked well since they were installed in what I believe was the late ’80s or early ’90s.

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/02/2019 - 10:26 am.

    Maybe a little off topic but I’d like to make a speed related observation regarding cycling.

    No one should be riding a bicycle equipped with Aero-bars on city streets or parkway trails. Aero-bars are those funky attachments you see on road bikes, on top of the handle bars; the riders rest their arms and elbows on them while leaning way forward.

    Aero-bars are simply too dangerous to use on city streets or bike paths. They severely restrict maneuverability and make it impossible to reach brake handles in an emergency. These feature have gotten Aero-bars banned in racing, professionals can only use them on tracks to quality in time trials, they’re no longer allowed in races themselves because of the big pile-up crashes they caused. I still see a few riders using them in the parkways and trails and it’s a really really really bad idea. And by the way, if you’re riding with these things you’re not fooling anyone… anyone who knows “knows” you’re not a pro or a real racer because we know you shouldn’t be riding with those things.

    Likewise, your hands on a bicycle handlebar should always be withing easy reach of your brake levers. Extenders usually designed to alleviate wrist or back discomfort are not the best idea. Get a properly fitted and proper style bike, and you don’t need to modify the handle bars. For those who ride modern road bikes, their design intent is for you to have your hands resting on the brake hoods, not the top bar. Unless you have the old dual lever brakes your hands are out of position for braking when they’re on the top bar. I think they should bring the dual levers back but nobody asks me. I don’t have any data to prove it but I suspect that failure to reach brake levers in time is causing some accidents and injuries.

  16. Submitted by Eric Saathoff on 10/07/2019 - 08:12 am.

    I appreciate my question being included here. It’s good information for people to know about. However, what I really wanted to know is if they would create bikeways beyond those mentioned in the article. Creating the Capital City Bikeway is super important. I wanted to make sure they weren’t wasting the opportunity to put in other downtown bikeways that would complement this existing plan. We shouldn’t let construction of other streets go by without considering where else in downtown we need to make safe travel for cyclists – or where there are excessive car lanes.

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