Public meeting on 36th Street bike lane scheduled

City plans “protected” bike and pedestrian path for this summer

The city plans to start work on a new West 36th Street bicycle and pedestrian path this summer, and the public has several upcoming opportunities to learn more about the project.

The two-way bikeway and pedestrian path will run along the south side of West 36th Street between East Lake Calhoun Parkway and Bryant Avenue South, requiring the removal of one eastbound vehicle lane. The city aims to finalize the design of the path and start construction this summer.

A public meeting on the path is set for 6 p.m.–7 p.m. May 6 at Saint Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave. S. The path is also on the agenda for the ECCO neighborhood’s Livability Committee meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s.

The path would connect two streets that, according to city counts, carry high numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s designed as a “protected” bikeway, and will be separated from motor-vehicle traffic by a three foot buffer strip and a line of reflective delineators.

Advocates for protected bike lanes say they make bicycling appealing to a wider range of riders, not all of whom are comfortable riding in mixed traffic. The city aims to add 30 miles of protected bikeways to streets by 2020.

The path would also create a pedestrian walkway on the south side of West 36th Street, where there currently is now sidewalk. Transit users waiting for eastbound buses must stand in a narrow strip of land between the Lakewood Cemetery fence and the curb.

The new path would give pedestrians a place to walk and wait for buses, but the two-way bike path running alongside it poses a design challenge for city planners.

While there are no cross-streets to contend with between East Lake Calhoun Parkway and Dupont Avenue South, planners still need to come up with a suitable design for the two-way bicycle lane between Dupont and Bryant. Continuing the bike lane through that section would require removal of a parking lane. The connection to the parkway on the west end of the path has not been finalized, either.

The cost of the project is estimated at $190,000. The city’s funding partners include Hennepin County and the East Calhoun and CARAG neighborhood groups.

For more information on the project, go to minneapolismn.gov/bicycles/projects/36th_St_West.