Monday, 23 July 2012

The Blundering Berry Street Bikeway

Berry Street Bikeway: Cement on the right bikeway, cement on the left
sidewalk.

Photo taken by The Analyst.
The Assiniboine Avenue Bike Path wasn't the only bikeway funded with quick-to-expire stimulus dollars. The Berry Street Bikeway was also funded that way. The Berry Street bikeway is weirder, though, looking more like a sidewalk than a bikeway.



Berry Street bikeway clearly above street-level,
separated from sidewalk via a stretch of grass.

Photo taken by The Analyst.
 I wasn't even sure that it was for bikes when I started off on it, as (at least where I started) there didn't seem to be signs indicating that it was a bikeway (unlike the Assiniboine Avenue Path, which is full of signs stating that you are on a bike-only path).

There's quite a few other problems with the Berry Street Bikeway, starting with the fact that it's not at street-level. It's proximity to the sidewalk serves to reinforce the mentality that bikes aren't really vehicles - which traffic laws disagree with (as some Osborne Bridge bike-riders are well aware of).




Berry Street bikeway weirdly merging into the sidewalk.

Photos taken by The Analyst

The other problem is that the bikeway merges into sidewalk at intersections. This leaves bike riders with the option of walking the bike across the pedestrian crossing, which is pretty inconvenient and especially odd given that bikeways typically merge into roads, not sidewalks!

But it also might encourage some bicyclists to ride across the the pedestrian crossing at the intersection, which is the wrong thing to do and extremely dangerous. The design of the Berry Street bikeway is hence utterly dysfunctional, incentivizing the exact wrong sorts of behaviours.

Rather than adding a bit more pavement at the sidewalk level, the city should have produced a road-level, bikeway physically separated from motorized vehicles (but eventually merging into the regular roadway).

All in all, the Berry Street Bikeway is just one more element of the haphazard, gap-filled, and underdeveloped bike infrastructure in this city.  

This only serves to make my resentment towards the wonders of Minneapolis's bike infrastructure all the more burning.




 Damn you, Minneapolis, and you're forward-looking city councillors!


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2 comments:

  1. I ride all the time, but never saw Berry b4, You are absolutely right. That's really fucking stupid path designing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're is a contraction of you and are.

    ReplyDelete