Reading the “Mean Streets” article about the poor pavement condition in Minneapolis struck home. When I ride my bike, I care as much or more than people in cars about the rough ride – I was once thrown from my bike by a big hole in pavement.
I was also astounded to see number of property tax dollars the City plans to spend on street paving: $49.5 million in 2013, and about $40 million a year for the next five years. Astounded because it’s nearly 10 times as much PER YEAR as the seemingly huge 2007-2011 infusion of federal funding for bike infrastructure. It dwarfs the $25 million spent over five years – which funded projects in Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Edina, Falcon Heights, Fridley, Golden Valley, Lauderdale, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Fort Snelling State Park, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Roseville, St. Anthony, St. Louis Park, and St. Paul as well as Minneapolis.
With about five percent of trips in Minneapolis taken by bike – a number that is growing – I thank the City of Minneapolis for looking for opportunities to include bike improvements during these repaving projects. I also hope that the City will dedicate significant ongoing capital funds for bike-specific infrastructure.
Janne K. Flisrand