City’s first planter-protected bikeway proposed for 3rd Avenue

An illustration of the planter-protected bikeway on 3rd Avenue. Credit: Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition

The city’s first planter-protected bikeway has been proposed for 3rd Avenue from the Convention Center to the riverfront.

The proposed street redesign would cost about $3 million and come from the city’s Public Works department, according to the mayor’s office. The goal is start construction in 2016.

Three planted medians would be removed from the street to accommodate the new bikeway. The bike lane would be lined with sidewalk planter boxes and plastic posts to protect bikers from traffic.

Ethan Fawley, executive director of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, said a north-south protected bikeway through downtown has been a top priority for biking advocates.

“With Nicollet Mall being reconstructed over the next couple of years (with no bicycle improvements), getting an alternative in place as soon as possible is extra important,” he wrote on the coalition’s website. “This proposal will certainly make it a lot safer and more comfortable for thousands of people to bike downtown.”

The City Council is expected to vote on the proposal as part of the city’s 2016 budget in December.