Update; Earlier this week we posted this story about the Minneapolis North bike center. On Friday the Star Tribune posted a story about the outcome from the meeting. Our usual warning applies if you are planning to read the comments section of the Strib, it gets ugly!
Also the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder has posted part two of their article on the bike center. From the sound of it the THREADS project is dead in the water, from the article;
“As for the TREADS proposal, Thomas says, ‘I don’t think there is a next step for the TREADS proposal. The Pohlad Foundation is not pursuing this.'”
The month of January brought good and bad cycling news for residents in the Minneapolis’ Northside neighborhood. We are going to take a look at what happened last week in two parts;
Part I – The bad news; Planned bike/walk center sent back to the drawing board.
On January 4th the Minneapolis City Council’s Public Safety and Health Committee voted 3-2 to reject all proposals and issue a new request for proposals (RFP) for a bike/walk center in North Minneapolis.
It is interesting that they indicated that they rejected all proposals, when it has been reported that only one proposal, Major Motion, backed by the Cultural Wellness Center and the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota, was still on the table. The other proposal, called THREADS, was fronted by Behind Bars Bicycle Shop (located in Northeast Minneapolis) and facilitated by the Pohlad Family Foundation, had been reportedly pulled from consideration on November 30th, 1 day before a scheduled meeting to review proposals.
So why were “all” of the proposals rejected?
According to the Twin Cities Daily Planet;
“Fourth Ward Council Member Barbara Johnson, in framing her Jan. 5 motion, said she wanted it clear for the record that at the time the original RFP (Request For Proposals) was issued, it did not require that the grantee be a non-profit organization (required by the funder), and this motion fixes that. “The new RFP should also cover a broader geographic location, and the review team should include both business expertise and project management, and the city council members,” she said. She, along with Third Ward Council Member Diane Hofstede and Tenth Ward Council Member Meg Tuthill voted to issue a new RFP.”
Clear as mud?
Let’s look at some the arguments against it (according the the article referenced above);
– People in the Northside don’t ride bikes. This is hogwash. While there may not be TCBC training rides going through the area, people ride bikes. They ride for transportation and they ride for fun. According to a report in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder 49% of the members of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club reside in the city’s Northside. may not be riding carbon fiber or going out on training rides,
– If there was enough market to sustain a bike shop on the Northside, one would already be open there. This point was brought up at the December 1st meeting and it is true that while there are over 80 bike shops in the metro area, there are none in an area from the Mississippi River to Highway 169, Highways 394 to 694. However, this point alone highlights the need for such a project (and grant money for funding it) in the Northside.
Hopefully this is only a temporary set back for the project as opposed to a more permanent hold that would prevent this center from materializing.