FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014
Contact: Joshua Houdek, 612-207-2295, Land Use and Transportation Program Director, Sierra Club North Star Chapter
Over 100 people biked across Minneapolis on Saturday for the Sierra Club’s 19th Annual Bike Tour. Riders got an up-close look at bike and transit developments in the city as they traveled from near the Lake St. BLUE Line LRT station in south Minneapolis, through the U of M Campus, and into Downtown, Northeast and North Minneapolis.
Riders followed bike lanes, trails and protected bikeways for most of the 21-mile Tour, experiencing firsthand how bike and transit connections make it easier to get around.
“We know that more and more people across Minneapolis and the Twin Cities metro are leaving their cars in the garage and biking, walking, or taking transit to work,” said Alex Tsatsoulis, volunteer chair of the Sierra Club’s Land Use and Transportation Committee. “On this bike tour we want to show riders how our streets can be made into places where everyone – including drivers – can feel safe, and enjoy using them.”
At rest stops along the way, speakers highlighted specific developments that improve biking and walking and even create investment opportunities.
The Tour stopped at the site of Surly Brewing’s “Destination Brewery” – the location for which was intentionally chosen for its proximity to the U of M Transitway and the nearby GREEN Line LRT station. Colleen Carey, President of The Cornerstone Group, spoke of how access to transit and bike-walk facilities can transform neighborhoods.
“We believe that the GREEN Line’s Prospect Park LRT Station has great potential for transformation,” she said. “The new stop is important, but even more important to our decision to invest in this area is a great neighborhood organization with a compelling vision that aligns with ours: to design housing around green space and to create great bicycling and pedestrian connections.”
Other speakers included Ted Tucker, former member of the Planning Commission, and Robin Garwood, aide to Councilmember Cam Gordon, who talked about the brand new Dinkytown Greenway and the Bluff Street Trail, which together create a seamless bike route from campus into downtown.
The Tour also went through Open Streets Lowry, where participants discussed a potential North Minneapolis Greenway, and along Washington Ave. Downtown, where a protected bikeway will be constructed in Spring 2015.