MSA pushes for bike lane on Wash. Ave.

The bike lane would connect Stadium Village to downtown Minneapolis.

MSA pushes for bike lane on Wash. Ave.

Cody Nelson

 

The Minnesota Student Association is leading a possibly late attempt to put a bike path along Washington Avenue Southeast from Stadium Village to downtown Minneapolis.

While Metro Transit intends to make parts of Stadium Village bikeable when the Central Corridor light rail is complete in 2014, city officials say the area may not have space for a bike lane.

MSA voted in support of a resolution at its forum Tuesday to partner with the University of Minnesota and City of Minneapolis to create the bike lane.

Haila Maze, a Minneapolis city planner, said the potential for bike capacity was  heavily discussed  during the Central Corridor planning process, but there wasn’t room in some areas — including Stadium Village’s business district, she said.

It may be too late in the construction process to propose anything new along the Central Corridor line, Maze said.

“The engineers need to be talked to early on just to make sure that we’re not proposing something they say is not possible,” she said.

But Phil Kelly, co-director of MSA’s facilities, housing and transit committee, said there’s legally enough space for a bike lane on the Washington Avenue Bridge.

Minneapolis bike lanes are typically at least 5-feet wide, according to the city’s website.

He also said the University’s Parking and Transportation Services told him the bike lane was “feasible,” he said.

The University and City of Minneapolis are responsible for areas across the Mississippi River, said Central Corridor spokeswoman Laura Baenen. Currently, bikers can only go on the upper deck of the Washington Avenue Bridge.

The proposed bike lane, MSA’s resolution said, will provide a safe, efficient way for University students to explore the areas around campus.

But MSA voting member Kyle Kroll said he doesn’t think there’s room for a bikeway on the lower level of the Washington Avenue Bridge and voted against the resolution.

“I don’t think this is a safe measure,” he said.

Construction on a bike lane that would connect the University campus to downtown Minneapolis is already underway but on a different route.

This path would begin near TCF Bank Stadium and continue under Dinkytown along a gravel road until it reaches the Mississippi River, connecting it with Northern Pacific Bridge No. 9, located near the 10th Avenue Bridge and downtown Minneapolis bikeways.

This project is slated to be complete by July 2013.