Mayor’s budget is ideal for bicyclists

Protected lanes separate traffic, helping keep commuters safe.

Minneapolis is considering adding protected bicycle lanes throughout the city if Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ new budget proposal passes, the Minnesota Daily reported Wednesday.

The proposal would dole out $750,000 for lanes that separate motorists and cyclists, keeping both parties safer by reducing the areas where the two must interact.

While the University of Minnesota would not receive any of these protected bike lanes, the plan would add 30 miles of protected lanes by 2020, similar to what is currently being added on Washington Avenue South and the Franklin Avenue Bridge.

Hodges’ proposal is the result of calls for increased safety measures for cyclists, due to a steady increase in cyclists who bike to work in the past decade in Minneapolis — partly the result of major additions like Nice Ride rental bicycles and the Midtown Greenway.

Steve Kotke, director of Minneapolis’ Public Works department, believes that supporting projects such as these will continue to increase ridership and will ultimately yield environmental benefits and increase livability in Minnesota.

We agree with Kotke’s sentiment and urge the city to pass Hodges’ budget.

Adding more protected lanes would help link trails together, increase safety of cyclists and continue promoting people to ride to work instead of driving. Minneapolis is one of the best places in the United States to ride your bike; supporting this project would keep us at the forefront of health and livability.