City of Minneapolis Approves 30 Miles of Protected Bikeways as Part of Climate Action Plan

For Immediate Release

Ethan Fawley, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition President, 612-964-8902,
Joshua Houdek, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, 612-207-2295,

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a new Climate Action Plan Friday, June 28. One of the key strategies of the plan is to construct 30 miles of new protected bicycle facilities – Bikeways for Everyone – by 2020. This is a big step toward making bicycling more accessible to everyone in Minneapolis. Until now, the City has had no formal goals for building protected bikeways.

Studies have shown that protected bikeways increase comfort for riders, as well as safety, when designed properly. By including plans for protected bikeways in the Climate Action Plan, the Minneapolis City Council has shown a serious commitment to making Minneapolis a safer and even more inviting city for everyone riding a bike.

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, the Sierra Club, and many others will be working with the City and the community to meet this goal. Minneapolis and Hennepin County will need to update their bike master plans to include this new network of protected bikeways and fund their implementation. Immediate opportunities exist for building protected bikeways on Washington Avenue and Minnehaha Avenue, and decisions on designs for those streets will be made in the coming months.
Building 30 miles of protected bikeways and implementing the other strategies in the plan will help Minneapolis achieve a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 and a 30 percent reduction by 2025.

“Setting a clear goal for protected bikeways in Minneapolis is a critical step towards reducing the carbon footprint of our transportation system, and complements the Climate Action Plan’s recommendations to accelerate transition from dirty coal to clean, renewable energy,” said Joshua Houdek, land use and transportation program manager at the Sierra Club.  “Better access to safer bikeways can help more people take advantage of the significant health, economic and community benefits of bicycling, while at the same time reducing the city’s climate impact.”

“We applaud the City Council for this important first step toward a network of protected bikeways that improves quality of life in Minneapolis while helping the city play its part in the global problem of climate change,” said Ethan Fawley, president of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. “We look forward to an exciting community conversation about how to improve connections and neighborhoods all around the city with new protected bikeways.”



Sierra Club Minnesota Statement on President Obama’s Climate Plan


For Immediate Release

June 25, 2013

Contact:  Emily Rosenwasser, Emily.Rosenwasser@sierraclub.org312-251-1680 x119


Washington, D.C. – Today President Barack Obama announced his administration’s next steps for building a legacy of action to fight the climate crisis. The plan includes new energy efficiency standards for federal buildings and appliances, scales up responsible clean energy production on public lands with an ambitious new commitment to power 6 million homes by 2020, and uses the full authority of the Clean Air Act to cut dangerous carbon pollution from power plants.


Sierra Club Minnesota Director Margaret Levin released the following statement in response:


“This is the change Minnesotans have been waiting for on climate.


“President Obama is finally putting action behind his words, which is exactly what the Sierra Club, our 2.1 million members and supporters, and coalition partners have worked mightily to achieve. Today, we applaud him for taking a giant step forward toward meeting that goal.

“By committing to establish new energy efficiency standards for federal buildings and appliances, scale up responsible clean energy production on public lands with an ambitious new goal to power 6 million homes by 2020, and use the full authority of the Clean Air Act to cut dangerous carbon pollution from power plants, the President is stepping up to reduce the climate-disrupting pollution that is destabilizing our climate while threatening our economy and endangering our communities and families with extreme weather and dramatic sea level increases.

“We look forward to a day when the Administration sees fracked gas for what it is – a fossil fuel of the past and a threat to public health. Nevertheless, the President’s plan gives us hope that he will cement his climate legacy and protect future generations by ending destructive oil drilling in the Arctic, rejecting dangerous nukes, halting mountaintop removal, abandoning dirty fossil fuels in favor of clean energy – and by making the critically important decision to reject the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline and other proposed tar sands pipeline expansions.”




Statement on endorsement of Betsy Hodges for Mayor

June 12, 2013
Hodges Campaign Contact: Andrew O’Leary, andy@betsyhodges.org651-357-5234
Sierra Club Contact: Peter Teigland, Political Chair, peter.teigland@gmail.com704-574-5662

Statement on endorsement of Betsy Hodges for Mayor
Minneapolis, MN – Today, the Sierra Club North Star Chapter announced its endorsement in the Minneapolis Mayoral race in a statement by Political Chair Peter Teigland:
“Today we would like to announce our endorsement of Betsy Hodges for Mayor of Minneapolis.
“Among a pool of several very talented and promising candidates—including some with excellent environmental records and ideas—Council Member Hodges rose to the top.”
“Her stance on the issues aligns very well with the Sierra Club’s priorities. The depth of her understanding of environmental issues impressed us, and she can be trusted to champion environmental issues with regularity and by instinct.
“With the city in tight financial straits, we feel that she is the candidate best-suited to lead Minneapolis toward a financially sustainable future, while prioritizing socially and environmentally sustainable policies.
“Betsy Hodges has been a consistent friend of the Sierra Club as a member of the City Council, and has built the relationships during her tenure there to get things done.”
Councilmember Hodges said, “I am thrilled to receive the endorsement of Sierra Club and want to thank their members. I look forward to standing with them as mayor. The organization’s commitment to renewable energy, transit and environmental justice are issues central to our campaign to build a city that meets the great environmental challenges of our time. The 21st- century city we build together will be a zero-waste city and one that is more equitable and livable.”