Finally! Jefferson Ave. Bikeway Approved (Mostly)

Saint Paul cyclists rejoice! For a decision has finally been reached on the loooong running Jefferson Ave. Bicycle Boulevard debate.

Believe it or not, the City of Saint Paul initially submitted a proposal for funding of the Jefferson Ave. Bike Boulevard in  February 2008.  Yep, you read that right almost four years ago.  At the time it was coupled with a similar project slated for the Highland Park neighborhood, which ultimately received the funding, and decided not to pursue the project.  In January 2009, that funding was “re-assigned” to the Jefferson Ave. Bicycle Boulevard, and the great debate began.

We won’t get into the specifics of the many, many debates and public hearings held to decide to fate of the Bike Boulevard (and the pedestrian refuge) but in general it went like this at most hearings; neighborhood residents “take your bikes elsewhere”.  If you want to read all about it, you can read in-depth coverage, here, herehere, here, and here.

Luckily, common sense, and cycling, won out announced with this statement (re-published from St. Paul Smart Trips);

“City of St. Paul Sustainable Transportation Planner Emily Erickson appreciates all the input from residents last month about design options for the Jefferson Avenue Bikeway. ‘We received a lot of great feedback in ways new and old, including three public meetings and an online survey,’ Emily said.

The City will share design proposals based on that public input at an upcoming community meeting. Staff will then pursue project approval through the City Transportation Committee, Planning Commission and City Council. The future meeting date and related information will be posted soon on the project website.”

Keen readers will see that technically the project has received approval through the City Transportation Committee, but hopefully with as much public input as they have already received, we might actually see construction action this year.

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4 Responses to Finally! Jefferson Ave. Bikeway Approved (Mostly)

  1. richfieldkid1 says:

    I admit being totally uninformed on this project, but I believe I used to take Jefferson Avenue whenever I was biking between Richfield and River Falls. Without taking a position on the funding or project or anything, I have to say that the street was very bike friendly when I rode it. Other than some construction, I think it had a mix or bike lanes, sharrows, etc, and was a nice alternative to Summit…

  2. richfieldkid1 says:

    SO, I just want to compliment the city on having a nicely bike-able Jefferson Ave currently. If the plans improve it and the funding makes sense and stuff, then cheers.

  3. wjcstp says:

    This was a big part of my work commute route for 10 years until i changed jobs a year ago. Jefferson is such a natural fit for a bikeway; low traffic, plenty wide for long stretches, excellent access to many things. I’m happy it has finally gone through.

  4. Gus says:

    Good to read, but I’m sure a mini van driven by a texting driver on there every important way to soccer practice will still try and kill me the next time I ride down it. Call it what your want, bike way, bike route, drivers have long forgotten that they have paved roads because of cyclists, not because of SUV’s. This really surprise me give there resistance.

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