Cedar-Riverside Plaza Renovation Starts in February: (Why CTC is Paying Attention)

Photo courtesy of; Ericka Bailie-Byrne, Thanks!

Well this is a long time coming.

On Thursday the city of Minneapolis announced the time-table for the much-needed and anticipated renovation of the Cedar-Riverside Plaza towers and common area.

Cedar-Riverside is many things to many people.  It is the Minneapolis home for almost 6,000 residents, the front door scenery for Freewheel Bike, has been tabbed as a possible National Historic Building, and is the backdrop for a short film that’s up for a potential academy award nomination.

But besides being aesthetically compared to Beirut, why is the city moving ahead with the planned renovation, and why do we at CTC care?

According to the city outcomes of the revitalization project include:

  • Preserving and improving 1,303 units of affordable housing designed by Minnesota architect Ralph Rapson.
  • Creating more than 200 construction jobs, reserving 90 for residents of Riverside Plaza and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Improving public safety by investing in security, lighting, sidewalks, signage and way-finding and a safety center.
  • Significantly reducing Riverside Plaza’s energy consumption.
  • Improving the pedestrian and bicycle environments and streetscapes.

For all the great cycling infrastructure in that area, and on the adjacent University of Minnesota West Bank Campus, it is a fuster-cluck trying to get from one to the other. As it currently stands a cyclist trying to get from the Hiawatha Bike Trail to campus is left with three choices, for a direct route, you can battle taxis and cars on Cedar Ave., or, take the back way to 20th Ave s. or almost make a U-turn to utilize bike lanes on 15th and 4th Ave. Click on the map below for a larger version and to see what we are talking about.

In our opinion 20th Ave is by far the easiest route, but many cyclists don’t even know it is there.  To solve this issue it might even be as easy as adding signage to the area, but since they are re-working the Cedar-Riverside area anyway, perhaps there is another solution.

If nothing else a re-pave of 15th Ave would do wonders.

What do you think, what improvements would you like to see to the area, let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter – @cycletc.

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