Overlooked in my article Thursday about Minneapolis’ burgeoning bikeway system was the Dinkytown Greenway, which celebrates its grand opening Sunday.
Touted as a bicycle expressway, the new route connects the University of Minnesota Transitway to the West Bank via Bridge 9 over the Mississippi River. Next year the bikeway will be improved with a nonmotorized tunnel under Interstate Hwy. 35W to 13th Avenue South, providing a more direct route to downtown along river bike trails and bike lanes on 2nd Street.
Both projects come courtesy of Bike Walk Twin Cities, the federally funded pilot program to improve foot-powered transportation infrastructure.
The Dinkytown Greenway “will serve both recreational cyclists and commuters heading to the U of M or downtown Minneapolis, two of the biggest employment centers in the state,” according to a BWTC news release.
The festivities Sunday, which are open to all, include a ride beginning at noon at Carter and Eckles Avenues on the St. Paul campus, a stop at the Malcolm Avenue SE site of the future Surly brewery to meet up with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and a celebration at Oak and 5th Streets SE, next to TCF Stadium. Then the ride continues on the new path across the Mississippi.
It’s a little disconcerting when your humble transportation fellow can’t keep track of all the bicycling improvements going on around here. But I’d rather be embarassed by my own ignorance than by a city and state ignoring growing public demand for healthful, efficient, environmentally friendly and economical nonmotorized transportation.