Planning efforts are underway to develop safe and accessible bicycle routes to and through downtown Duluth.
A gap currently exists for people who bike from the new Duluth Transportation Center on Michigan Street at 3rd Avenue West to the Cross City Trail at 6th Avenue West. This will be the location of a temporary two-way Protected Bike Lane from June 30 – August 4, 2017.
The MIC, in partnership with the City of Duluth, applied for and received financial support from the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota to implement an “Active Places” demonstration project.
Community engagement is a central part of this Project. We will be seeking to involve all community stakeholders — bicyclists, motorists, elected officials, planners, engineers, downtown commuters and business owners — in trying out the protected bike lane and in giving feedback.
Why are we conducting this demonstration project?
The basis for this project is the community’s recognition that a safe and accessible route is needed to bicycle to and through Duluth’s downtown central business district.
In late 2015, the Duluth City Council passed a Resolution to study Michigan Street as the location for an on-street bike route, to determine its feasibility and likely level of usage. In addition, the Greater Downtown Council provided financial support for a professionally-produced protected bike lane design along this corridor.
On a broader level, recent Community Health Needs Assessments conducted by both local hospitals identified “obesity, physical inactivity and nutrition” as top priorities to be addressed in the Duluth area.
Goals for this Project
Ultimately, with this project we hope to take another step toward implementing an on-street protected bikeway network city-wide to encourage bicycling as a safe, comfortable and accessible transportation option for all ages and abilities.
This Project offers an opportunity to:
- ● Showcase a protected bike lane as the ‘best practice’ for on-street bicycle facility design;
- ● “See how it works” before making a permanent investment in this location;
- ● Encourage people to build physical activity into their daily routines by riding bicycles as a safe and comfortable transportation option.
What is a Protected Bike Lane?
Protected Bike Lanes are on-street lanes that are separated from motor vehicles by curbs, planters, bollard posts, public artwork, or even parked cars, and meant specifically for people riding bikes.
Protected bike lanes are a ‘best practice’ for on-street bicycle facility design, creating a more comfortable environment for people on bikes, as well as for those walking and driving nearby.
PDF: Why Protected Bike Lanes?