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Should 46th Street Get Bike Lanes? Some Say No

Information and comment meeting to be held Wednesday night.

You wouldn't think repairing four blocks of potholes and cracked asphalt could be contentious. 

However, a proposal to repave the four blocks of West 46th Street between King's Highway and Lyndale Avenue has drawn fire for a proposal to put bike lanes on the soon-to-be-rebuilt road. After an informational meeting last fall, businesses and some residents raised concerns about everything from lost street parking to cyclist safety.

The intersection of 46th Street and Bryant Avenue South registered three accidents in the city's most recent tally of bicycle-car crashes from 2000 to 2010.

"During rush hour, all the parking spots in front here are filled," said Guse Green Grocer owner Terry Thompson told Patch back in October. "If they take away half those spaces, where will those people go? How will our businesses be impacted?"

Thompson said at the time that many of her customers come to her store specifically because it is "easy, friendly—and easy to get in and out." A church and preschool near Thompson's store at the corner of 46th Street and Bryant Ave South also draw lots of drivers at odd times of day.

Other area residents have criticized the bike lane proposal for not connecting the Bryant Avenue Bikeway to any other major bike routes, like the trail around Lake Harriet. The bike lanes would have to move several blocks north or south to connect with the lake.

Wednesday evening, city planning officials will present two new options for public consideration (copies of the plans are posted above). The first layout now retains (PDF) parking on one side of the street and cuts into the boulevard at the corner of West 46th and Bryant Ave to provide parking for the businesses at that node. The second proposal includes (PDF) parking on both sides of the street and advisory bike lanes on West 46th Street, similar to those on Bryant Avenue.

The new proposals will be presented at St. Luke's Episcopal Church at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16

AviationMetalSmith January 16, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Do the repaving first, then decide. The repaving will be a 200% improvement. The cyclists should wear reflective vests if they don't want cars to hit them. It would be cheaper to give every cyclist a free reflective vest than to paint bike lane markings and erect Bike Lane signs.
Jakeoclubs January 16, 2013 at 05:49 PM
You know what, with all this bike stuff you are going to make driving cars a pain and pretty soon nobody will be driving them. In the USA that is. However, they will still be driving them in India and China where it is not against the law to drive a 2 cycle. You think the pollution is bad, just wait until the lack of gasoline demand drives prices so low that they can drive in the 3rd world? http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/01/14/beijing_pollution_breaks_china_s_air_quality_index_why_china_needs_a_war.html We should all have Excursions and Suburbans and use up the gasoline quickly. This would solve three problems, first somebody would have to come up with an alternative, and without the cost effective ICE, it would happen much quicker. Second, the oil would be consumed by ICEs that give far cleaner emissions than the alternatives. Third, we could stop worrying about the Middle East.

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