We called this website Cycle Twin Cities and not Cycle Minneapolis for a reason. From the beginning our intention has been to cover all things cycling in both Minneapolis and St. Paul, but the more we report, the more it appears that many of St. Paul’s residents are not big fans of cycling.
First, it is important to note that this is just our perception and admittedly we have a Minneapolis bias, as our headquarters are located here. But we would love to hear from St. Paulites on this issue, so feel free to sound off in the comments or send us a counter-point article, we would love to post it.
Now, in the last week and a half we have seen two different incidents that seem to reinforce our previous beliefs.
1) Jefferson Avenue Bikeway Debacle. We don’t know how else to describe what happened here. For those that need a refresher, the Jefferson Ave Bikeway was a story that we first covered in January 2011, over a year after it had initially been proposed and a request for public comments had been issued. Since that time, the City council has fought against the court of public opinion to finally get it through committee and to the point of voting at the full City Council. Mind you, this is all to build a bikeway that is almost all funded with Federal money! Also, we aren’t talking about a dedicated bike path, Greenway or some other mega-expensive cycling only project, this was simply attempting to add some traffic calming dividers, roundabouts and signage letting drivers know that cyclists and pedestrians would be using the street often. The results of this huge effort? Well in the words of Julie from Ride Boldly! blog, “Meh.” You can read about the entire saga here, but the cliff notes version is that after years (literally) of work, a last-minute amendment stripped away some of the traffic calming that made the project attractive in the first place.
Pleasant Street Some other street King of the Mountain (KOM). So imagine this, a lazy quiet street (glorified alley actually) with a steep incline, Sunday morning, 9am St. Paul, 42 cyclists taking turns racing up the long glorified alley two at a time until a winner is crowned KOM. Maybe one or two dozen spectators. Sound like a pretty nice – non-disruptive neighborhood activity? Not in St. Paul. Minneapolis Musette’s planned Pleasant Street KOM had to be moved last week after the neighborhood association contacted the St. Paul Police Department and said “Not on my street”!
After these seemingly back-to-back issues, we are left scratching our head, what is happening in St. Paul? Do residents really dislike cycling that much?
We would love to hear some responses, those of you who call St. Paul home, let us know how wrong we are.