Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Local Transportation

In Downtown Minneapolis, Marquette and Second Avenues are under construction right now. Once the project, called Marq2, is complete in the Spring of 2009, all express buses that currently use Nicollet will move to Marquette and Second. The new layout for both streets will be two bus lanes and two traffic lanes. Neither one will have a bike lane and bicyclists are expected to use Nicollet Mall. Currently, bikes are not allowed on Nicollet Mall between 6am and 6pm, although I see plenty of them there and have never seen one getting a ticket. At some point, bikes will be allowed on Nicollet 24 hours a day. The Marq2 project is costing approximately $41 million dollars and is funded by the $133.3 million grant that Minnesota got from the US Dept of Transportation in order to reduce congestion in the Twin Cities.

In 2009, Hennepin and First Avenues will be converted from a 1-way street to a 2-way street for vehicular traffic. That project doesn't have a slick brochure like the Marq2 yet and doesn't appear to be funded by the grant.

There are plans to build 45 more miles of bikeways in Minneapolis through 2010.

The Lowry Avenue bridge was closed in April of 2008 and reconstruction is not scheduled to begin until summer of 2009. It is expected to take 2 years.

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