February 14th, 2012, Oxford/Jimmy Lee Recreation Center.

In attendence were Chris Budel, Ed Lehr, Matt Cole, Mike Madden, Jeff Zaayer, Bill Lindeke, Paul Ogren, Tracy Farr and Andy Singer.

We had updates on the Griggs Bicycle Boulevard project, which passed the city council. I stressed that only 3 of us turned up for the public hearing at the City Council and were outnumbered by opponents, most of whom were objecting to the traffic circle at Dayton and Griggs, which was ultimately dropped. In the future, if you see “City Council Public Hearing” on a notice, make every effort to turn out and speak in favor of the project. This is the core reason for our existence.

MnDOT has pledged to extend the bike lanes on Montreal Avenue down to West 7th, as part of its upcoming resurfacing project on Highway 51, also known as “Snelling Avenue.” Unfortunately, they refuse to do anything to improve any of the unsignalized intersections on Snelling to help pedestrians and cyclists cross this busy street. This was despite pressure from 5 different groups (including the SPBC). Simultaneously, MnDOT is doing a project called “Minnesota Go” to get feedback on its long range mulit-modal transportation planning. You can give feedback on this plan’s draft objectives at– http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/587SR5V …and get a little more info at– http://www.minnesotagoplan.org/OpenHouse.html

It’s an opportunity to try and change the agency’s nearly complete disdain for urban pedestrians and cyclists on its numerous trunk highways (like Snelling Avenue in Saint Paul, or Central Avenue in Minneapolis) or its numerous, inaccessable overpasses and underpasses. If you want to see the answers I gave to this survey, e-mail me at– andy (at) andysinger.com –and I’ll send them to you as a MS Word document.

We spent a large chunk of the meeting discussing the proposed Union Depot Bike station. There is some concern/problems with the RFP (The Rail Authority’s “Request For Proposals”). The biggest issue is the “30 Day Termination” clause on the lease which makes it difficult for anyone to get financing for interior modifications or anything else and/or to want to risk investing a lot of money in setting up a repair, retail and rental operation. There were also questions about who would be responsible for insurance/liability for stolen bikes (from the bike storage facility) and how bikes would be locked up there, signage and other issues that make bidding on the project possible. We were told that official answers to these questions have not been provided. I said I would call Josh Olson at the rail authority and inquire.

After the meeting, beer and pizza were consumed at Lucé, with whom we raised the issue of their proposed additional parking lots, which are being rammed past the zoning commission.