Letters to the editor // Elated by buffered bike lane

As a resident of the Lyndale neighborhood, our family is elated about the new buffered bike lanes on Blaisdell Avenue. My 2-year-old even noticed the difference, stating yesterday, “Mama, you happy and singing on the bike?” — because usually I tell him that we have to be quiet as I try to negotiate vehicles that are absolutely flying down Blaisdell.

Yesterday, we were able to sing the alphabet song while also safely navigating the street thanks to the buffered bike lane with bollards.

People used to treat Blaisdell like a freeway. It used to take our family multiple scary attempts to cross Blaisdell on foot and by stroller to access businesses on Nicollet and community spaces like the YWCA. We encountered life-threatening conditions on Blaisdell when we biked home from errands and work.

This area is home to the Blaisdell YWCA and Lyndale Community School. There are many small children and their families negotiating this impor- tant street. I have noticed that the vehicle traffic flow has adjusted in the past two weeks. The new buffered bike lanes literally change our lives. The difference in the average speed of cars has created much safer conditions as we navigate the streets. It’s not just an improvement or accommodation for bicyclists. By slowing the speed of vehicle traffic and creating space for ALL users, the entire surrounding neighborhood is benefiting from safer streets. I believe that the changes will make life better for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists in the long run.

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