In general the City of Minneapolis has their act together when it comes to cycling infrastructure. In summertime, the lanes are debris and sand free and also very visible. But the true test of a city’s commitment can be seen during winter.
Let me make one thing clear, a fantastic and speedy job is done keeping the Greenway and off-road paths cleared of ice and snow, however, when it comes to on street bike lanes, Minneapolis is falling down on the job. While I won’t argue that this winter has been brutal, this is an issues that seems to come up every year, at least every year with appreciable snow fall.
The city covers this extensively in their own maintenance manual. On the second attached page, you will find; “example[s] of poor winter maintenance [that] are not acceptable and should be avoided and/or corrected.” All of these can be found on the city streets today.
According to the City of Minneapolis website, the city has over 46 miles of on street bike lanes. It is certainly a strain and challenge for the city to keep up with the maintenance, however, current conditions and just unsafe for drivers and cyclists. A ride north on Park Ave, or south on Portland showed almost no evidence of a bike lane besides the road side signage. Cars are consistently parked in the lane (see below) force a cyclist out into the lane of traffic, usually angering approaching drivers. When you get to sections not full of cars, what you are left with is a very icy and uneven surface for riding.
I have posted pictures for two locations, where else are people having problems? Most importantly we need to let the city know that these unsafe conditions are not ok! The information for contacting the city can be found here.