May, 11, 2010, Oxford/Jimmy Lee Recreation Center

We had our Second Meeting, attended by 9 people, including Brady Clark from Smart Trips and Steve Clark (no relation) from Transit for Livable Communities. We chose a name for the group– “The Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition.” Matt Cole volunteered to register a domain name for us and find some hosting space. Richard Arey is offering us a free quarter page ad space in the Saint Paul Classic program guide. So we hope to get a website up and running and have the URL included in the ad.

We outlined a few broad goals for the group. They are– 1. Build an Organization to advocate for cyclists (particularly one that can turn people out at important public meetings). 2. Build a coalition with business and neighborhood groups (particularly as it relates to University Avenue). 3. Improve and implement elements of the Transportation chapter of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. 4. Work towards a Comprehensive citywide Bike Plan (with ties to other/existing plans and connections to surrounding cities like Minneapolis and Roseville). 5. Develop advocacy and education tools including a website.

Mike Madden and Andy Singer agreed to go to a meeting of the University Avenue Business Association’s Parking Committee, next Thursday afternoon, May 20th at 3:45pm at the Central Corridor Resource Center (corner of Lexington and University Avenues). I’m hoping to get one person from Sibley Bike Depot to go with us, as they are members of UABA. Dana is going to try and connect with the Southeast Asian Economic Development Council. We will talk to these two groups about the city’s current plans for the avenue (2 lanes of traffic in each direction) versus our plan (one lane, plus parking and a bike lane) …and see what they say.

Kurt Schroeder presented the group with some information on proposals for bike lanes in downtown on 5th and 6th streets. He volunteered to find out more information on upcoming public meetings and develop a letter and talking points for the project.

The Jefferson Bike Boulevard proposal was approved by the City Council by a 6-1 vote and construction will begin soon. It would be nice to get either a traffic light or median/diverter on Cretin and some pavement markings west of Snelling but, otherwise, we got most of what we wanted. It promises to be a great project. Thanks to everyone who turned out to the meeting and public hearing!

The Union Park District Council and Public Works have agreed to continue the Marshall Avenue bike lane snow plowing pilot project for another year and promise to be more diligent about towing cars and actually plowing to the curb. The ultimate goal is to maintain a couple east-west and north south bike routes that are kept free of ice and snow for winter biking. If the Marshall pilot works out, it could be expanded to other routes. We have Council member Russ Stark to thank for this one.

The Central Corridor Bike Walk Action Plan passed more or less “as-is” (with nothing about bike lanes on University Avenue). We have heard from various sources, however (including Russ Stark) that the programming of travel lanes on the Avenue is not a done-deal and that we may still be able to influence the process.

Steve Clark at Transit for Livable Communities says they have some grant money for installing bike racks around the city. They are looking for suggestions of places that most need racks. At the meeting, Xcel Center was suggested (as was helping the owner of the Blue Door on Selby get a rack). Can any of you think of other places? If so, CC your message to Steve Clark at– stevec (at) tlcminnesota.org

The next meeting of the group will be at the usual place and date (second Tuesday of the month)– Tuesday, June 8th, Oxford Jimmy Lee Recreation Center (corner Lexington and Marshall) …but we have pushed back the start time to 7pm as this is more convenient for everyone and allows people to participate in the 4-6pm monthly, city-wide bike counts.