Steve Elmer, a bike planner at the MET Council, presented on the possibility of putting bike trails along freeways generally and, in particular, in the I-94 corridor and wanted feedback from the group. He showed slides of freeway trails in Portland, Salt Lake City and between Boulder and Denver, CO. Advantages included the ability to slip under overpasses and thus avoid having to cross major boulevards like Snelling Avenue. Disadvantages included pollution (brake and tire dust) and possibly crime due to secluded nature of freeway trenches. He passed out his e-mail address. The vibe from the group was that it might be worth exploring in places but the cost to do the entire distance between downtowns would be huge and the money Could be better spent elsewhere (like extending the Midtown Greenway into Saint Paul), but no decisions were made on whether to vision the corridor further. Contact him if you have further thoughts.

Women on Bikes hired a new administrator and we’re still talking to them about coordinating and possibly overlapping meetings.

We talked about Cycles for Change’s upcoming Slow Roll Rides in Frogtown and another upcoming one in District 1 on the Battle Creek Trail. Dates TBD.

We discussed upcoming activities for the Fun Committee which now has 8 people signed up. These include Bike to School Day on May 10 and Bike to Work Day on May 19. Minneapolis Bike Coalition wants to do “Bike Month.”

We decided that we should try a formal “chapter” relationship with BikeMN, although we are still in the process of collecting information on how to proceed.

We had updates on Rice Street, Gateway Trail options, Pelham Avenue and the Smith Avenue High Bridge. On Gateway, we liked the option that cuts behind Asian Foods closer to the highway. Since Asian Foods wants to expand towards L’Orient, they might be up for putting in some lighting or other amenities if trail was rerouted behind their warehouse instead of in front of it. This would also make the trail more direct and avoid a not-as-good street crossing. Smith Avenue Bridge is hopeless. Pelham is getting parking-removal-pushback from a condo developer (says Russ Stark). Rice (see below).

March 13 was Falcon Heights City Hall MnDOT presentation of rebuild of Snelling where they are ignoring the city bike plan with their turn on Larpenteur Ave. When we attended this open house (after the SPBC meeting) we were told that bike lanes are out of scope for the project, but the new right-turn lanes will make bike lanes here impossible for the foreseeable future.

April 5th there will be another public meeting about the possibility of converting Rice street from 4 to 3-lanes (at Washington Technology Magnet School, 7PM.)