Bicyclists can now travel all the way across Minneapolis on the River-Lake Greenway, most of which is on 40th St. The western portion has existed for several years, including a pedestrian/ bicycle bridge across Highway 35W, but the portion east of the highway has just been completed. Construction took only a few months, but the planning and community meetings have stretched over nearly seven years. Federal transportation funds are paying 70% of the cost, and the City of Minneapolis 30%.
In the Standish Neighborhood, the Greenway follows E. 40th St. to Nokomis Ave. and then goes south to E. 42nd St. There it turns east again and goes all the way to the river, through the Longfellow Neighborhood. Various methods are used to create a bicycle boulevard out of city streets. In some places, bicycles have a specific lane; in others, they share the street with motor traffic. Cyclists and motorists will need to pay attention to marks on the pavement and posted signs.
Some alterations have been made to 40th St. to slow down or discourage automobile traffic. Motorists going west on 40th St. are no longer able to cross Cedar Ave. directly. They have to turn right at Cedar; and, if they need to continue on 40th St., they must go around the block and back to 40th. At the bottom of the hill by Sibley Park, at 19th Ave., the stop sign has been taken out, but medians have been added to help people cross to the park. Parking is not permitted on one side of the street in several areas, including the north side of 42nd St. between Nokomis and Hiawatha.
The River-Lake Greenway is for walkers, too. With less auto traffic and some landscaping yet to come, it will be a pedestrian-friendly place, adding another amenity to our neigh borhoods.