March 12, 2013, Oxford Jimmy Lee Recreation Center

Laura Eash, Damian Goebel, Steve Bergman, Chris Budel, Phil Moody, Gary Fifield, Bill Johnston, Deb Alper, Ed Lehr, Mike Madden, Steve Clark and Andy Singer attended.

Damian explained the Zap Twin Cities program and outfitted a few bikes and helmets with Zap tags (including my own). The program counts cyclists automatically and (as an incentive for signing up for the program) offers participants prizes for commuting or making a certain number of bike trips per month or year. Don’t forget to sign up on the Zap Twin Cities website using the ID number you received at the meeting. Your zaps won’t be counted until you register on the website. https://www.derozap.com/zaptwincities/

Laura Eash explained the city’s bike rack cost share program which is now being administrated by David Kuebler, and discussed the 200 parking-meter hitch racks that Public Works will install on behalf of Smart Trips. Mike submitted an application to her on behalf of Cahoots Coffee Shop on Selby. We agreed to talk to the Turf club and a couple other businesses about applying. The SPBC has at least a $1000 that it can put towards racks if businesses are unwilling to pay their share to sponsor a rack. The city still has not updated the contact information on its bike rack cost-share page– http://www.stpaul.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/15796 …but we can forward applications to the correct people.

We discussed the current Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) proposals. To date, we have written letters of support for 5 CIB funding applications– Chatsworth Bike Boulevard, Aldine Bike Boulevard, Margaret Street Bike Route, Little Bohemia (I-35E) Bike Trail lighting, signage and refurbishing, and Snelling Avenue Multi-Modal Improvements (from Van Buren to Taylor). We also wrote one letter of opposition to the Ayd Mill North End Study. All letters are currently posted on the CIB Projects website. You can view them at– http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=4497 …or, if you would like a copy of any of them, e-mail me.

Bill Johnston passed out a Google map he’s made of bike count data, which he’s also put into spread sheets. We very briefly discussed how we want to use this and possible future data collection. He produced a short list of questions.

St. Paul Women on Bikes (WOB) wants your input A new group, St. Paul Women on Bikes (WOB) is looking for input to help understand what gets women out on bikes, what keeps them from biking, and what they can do to get more women biking more often in St. Paul. Complete their seven-minute survey to help guide their work as they “pedal forward.” Survey respondents will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card. The survey is at– https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1NwxNIOZliF1GZUrE-faVeIK4gbu3c1RjTomtLh6xeLY/viewform?pli=1

Last Wednesday, March 6th, the Saint Paul City Council voted 6-1 to allow 3 bars on 6th Street across from Mears Park to expand their sidewalk to 18 feet to accommodate sidewalk cafes. Jim Ivey and myself testified against the project on the grounds that it could block the only remaining north-south street set (5th and 6th) that has space for bike lanes. We urged the council to either limit the expansion to 14 feet or delay it until after the bike plan is completed. In the meantime, we (and others) suggested, they could use “Pop-up” cafes (a.k.a. temporary sidewalk extensions) which are used in many other cities. Council President Kathy Lantry gave project opponents the bums rush and neither Jim nor I had time to finish our case or show pictures of the sidewalk extensions. Others weren’t allowed to speak at all. No one on the council mentioned the downtown bike lane issue in their deliberations. Russ Stark was the one dissenting vote.

Saint Paul Smart Trips got 200 parking meter hitch racks. They bolt onto old parking meter poles. They will be putting a bunch in downtown as parking meters are removed. Jim Ivey is involved in this and has gotten a few downtown businesses to sponsor them. I committed that the SPBC would pay the business match for some of them as well. For locations, I listed: Farmers Market, Union Depot, Senor Wongs, Xcel Center (in front), 5th and 6th in midtown. If you have other suggestions, please hit “reply all” and let me know. I’ll forward them to Jim. Outside of downtown, I mentioned Cahoots (on Selby near Snelling) and The Turf Club (on University). We need to prepare applications for these two businesses and talk to the business owners.