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May 15th, 2015
Update on 54th Street bike lane/parking restrictions:
The city sent Annunciation a revised plan last night.
The plan provides for a 10 ft dedicated bike lane from the Spirit Center driveway to approximately the sidewalk/stairs leading to the parish office/old rectory. (The width of the current parking lane is 10 feet). This space will allow for school bus loading/unloading east of the main school entrance during the school day. The bike lane narrows to 8 feet at the sidewalk/stairs to the parish office. This moves the car traffic two feet closer to the kids walking on the sidewalk, and forces bikes to ride closer to the sidewalk. The bike lane then narrows to 7 feet in front of main walkway/stairs leading to the church, and remains at 7 feet until Grand Avenue, moving the cars and bikes even closer to kids on the sidewalk.
The city proposes to move the existing disability parking spaces that are currently in front of the church, down the hill (to the west). This creates a dangerous situation for persons who have difficulty walking. They will be getting out of their cars on an incline, will have to walk either up or down an incline to get to the sidewalk, and will have to walk up the incline to get to church. This will be extremely difficult in good weather, and nearly impossible in the winter. The proposed plan provides for very limited general (non-disability) parking on Sunday mornings only. Parking would be allowed on Sunday mornings between Garfield Avenue and the first church driveway.
While the city estimates they are providing 15 parking spaces (including the 4 disability spaces), there is only enough space for approximately 7 cars between Garfield and the church driveway for general parking. There will be no other general parking on the street on Sunday mornings, no on-street parking in the late afternoon/evenings, Saturdays, or Sunday afternoons.
This plan is unacceptable to Annunciation from a safety standpoint because:
(1) the car traffic will be moving closer to the side walk beginning at the parish office stairs;
(2) the bikes will have to ride closer to the sidewalk where the bike lane is 7 and 8 feet wide; and
(3) the proposed location for the disability parking will be dangerous (and unusable) to those who need to use the spaces.
The plan is unacceptable from a logistics and community awareness standpoint because it eliminates all general parking Monday through Saturday, and allows for approximately 7 general parking spaces on Sunday mornings.
Annunciation is a community gathering space and hosts events year round in the evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. No other business between Lyndale Ave and Nicollet Ave will lose parking spaces as a result of the bike lanes, and the city should afford Annunciation the same courtesy.
We have asked the city to consider other alternatives for bike traffic including:
(1) a shared bike/parking lane of 10 feet to keep the car traffic at the distance it currently is from the sidewalk; and
(2) using a "sharrow" lane between Lyndale Avenue and Grand Avenue where the bikes and cars share the traffic lane.
A sharrow would allow on-street parking to remain as it currently is, and would create a 10 foot safe buffer free of both cars and bikes. The city uses sharrows on several city streets including Bryant Avenue and Upton Avenue. And the city uses shared bike/parking lanes on numerous street in the city.
Please contact the city council members and share any concerns you have about the proposed plan.
We need as many parents as possible to attend a hearing on this proposal on Monday evening, May 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Windom South Park/Dual Immersion School, 5843 Wentworth Ave S, Minneapolis. Let us turn out in force to voice our concerns.