Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee Minutes

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 4 PM – 6 PM

Room 319 Minneapolis City Hall

 

Members Present:  John Barobs, Dan Boody, Jennifer Bordon, Tony Drollinger, Paul Frenz, Robin Garwood, Janice Gepner, Matthew Hendricks, Liz Johnston, Jordan Kocak, Nick Mason, Dan Miller, Tyler Pederson, Elissa Schufman, Sarah Stewart, Georgianna Yantos

Members Absent:  Richard Anderson, Mackenzie Turner Bargen, Wes Durham, Matthew Dyrdahl (excused), Steve Elmer (excused), Joshua Houdek (excused), Chris Linde (excused), Jaime Makepeace, Greg Sautter, Aaron Shaffer (excused), Emily Smoak (excused), Anthony Taylor

Others Present:  Ron Burke, Bill Dossett, Ethan Fawley, Millicent Flowers, Chris Kartheiser, Kate Matusinec, Claire Repp, Emily Wade, David Zafron

 

Actions

 

1.  The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee supports the 2020 Highway Safety Improvement Projects with the following suggestions:

The intersection at Humboldt is built to be consistent with a possible future northbound bicycle connection on Humboldt.

All stop signs for bicycles be removed on the Midtown Greenway from Hennepin Avenue S through James Avenue S.

The connection for bicycles on the east side of Hiawatha Avenue should be straightened out.

Modify the crossing buttons on both sides of Hiawatha to always allow for pedestrians and maximize crossing time.

Make the tapering of the pavement transitions be as smooth as possible for greenway users.

 

2.  The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee encourages the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County to work on similar upgrades to Midtown Greenway intersections at 26th Avenue S, 27th Avenue S, 29th Avenue S and 30th Avenue S.

 

3.  The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee requests that the City of Minneapolis update the Transportation Action Plan to explore the possibility of a Bicycle Boulevard on Humboldt Avenue S from the Midtown Greenway to W Franklin Avenue and/or explore the possibility of making the block from the Greenway to W 28th St 2-way for bicycles.

 

4.  The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee supports the Presidents’ Bike Boulevard/E Hennepin Resurfacing project as presented with the following suggestions:

that Hennepin County explore pedestrian crossing upgrades where they are adding ADA ramps,

that further consideration goes into the planning for southbound bicycle traffic at 5th Avenue SE and E Hennepin Avenue, and

that Hennepin County continue 4 to 3 conversions and bicycle lanes eastward on E Hennepin Avenue to the County border at 280.

 

5.  The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee supports the Johnson Street NE Reconstruction conceptual design proposal #1 which best meets the project goals and priorities expressed by stakeholders, includes a shared-use trail on the west side of the corridor, and maintains parking at key locations, with the following suggestions:

that the city evaluates moving the trail to the other side of the street, especially adjacent to the park,

that the city reduces travel lane widths by one foot, and

that the bus stops are in the travel lane to make more space for bus stop users, reduce speeds, and improve the speed of transit.

 

6.  The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee supports the Vision Zero Action Plan 2020-2022 overall, commends the City of Minneapolis and especially the Public Works department for this important work, and supports the Plan’s emphasis on safe street design.

 

We also have the following recommendations for changes to the draft Plan (please note: Strategy 4 of the “Safe People” section will be the subject of a different BAC motion):

The Safe Streets work emphasized by this plan must be funded for the plan to be a success. Budget that is being put towards, or significantly impacted by, the Vision Zero Safe Streets section should be tracked, evaluated, and compared to past investments, as a Performance Metric in the “Monitoring Progress” section.

Building on the Guiding Principle “Safety and human life first,” make explicit that the safety of all road users is more important than:

o maintaining vehicular traffic flow and reducing delays for drivers,

o accommodating the turning movements of all sizes of commercial vehicles.

Add some bicycle-specific safety treatments to the list on page 14, including:

o Include protected intersections in the “Bicycle lanes and protected bike lanes” bullet.

o Include bicycles in the “Leading pedestrian intervals” bullet.

“Safe Streets” Action 1.3: remove “as appropriate” and replace with something more specific. Lowering speed limits is appropriate on all Hennepin County and MnDOT streets that have pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

“Safe Streets” Action 5.1: clearly articulate that signal actuation should be used rarely, and only within well-defined parameters. 

“Safety Data” Strategy 1: add a new bullet to evaluate traffic stops by race and geography, similar to one of the performance metrics in the “Monitoring Progress” section.

“Safe People” Strategy 3.2: make more explicit that this message toolkit is to be used by the Minneapolis Police Department in media interactions around crashes.

Consider future inclusion of strategies to reduce blocking of bike lanes and implantation of no turn on red in more locations.

 

7.  2020 Budget Recommendation

As a Committee, we refer to a consensus of information that notes infrastructure is paramount in changing the way people driving interact with streets (notably the Vision Zero Network and U.S. Department of Justice). If infrastructure is the most important strategy, infrastructure should be the most well-funded solution. It is concerning to see over $350,000 ongoing dollars proposed for a Traffic Unit when there is only $100,000 in one-time money proposed for Vision Zero Safety Initiatives. If our infrastructure continues to prioritize the movement of cars and trucks at dangerous speeds, we will never reach Vision Zero. The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee strongly supports prioritizing funding for near-term infrastructure changes that prioritize safety. 

8.  Vision Zero & Enforcement

As we engage around Vision Zero strategies, the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee has serious concerns about driver behavior.

People driving cars engage in life-threatening behavior, including speeding, distracted or impaired driving, and running red lights.

People driving cars are subject to very few consequences, even after harming or killing someone walking, biking, rolling, driving, or using transit.

Minneapolis streets are currently designed to enable speeding in most locations, even for more dangerous larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks.

The potential for injury or death by car deters many people from walking, biking and rolling. 

At the same time, the Committee has serious concerns about the application of automated or police enforcement.

Automated enforcement has seen measurable impact in other cities, both positive (reduction of injuries) and negative (disproportionately impacted communities of color).  

Past implementations of Vision Zero in the U.S. have seen police enforcement targeting people walking, biking or rolling rather than people driving. The potential for injury or death by police deters many people of color from walking, biking and rolling. 

The Minneapolis Police Department’s Stop Info Dashboard shows that there is racial disparity in traffic stops. We have seen no evidence that the proposed $562,029 for traffic enforcement in 2020 will not continue these disparities. There has been minimal evidenced ability to change police behavior outside of reducing or eliminating funding for police enforcement, and limited success with community accountability mechanisms.  

Flat fines for enforcement may be ignored by people with high incomes, while being a disproportionate burden for people with low incomes. 

 

Vision Zero can significantly advance the City’s Climate Action Plan, further align the City with the Complete Streets Policy, and advance racial equity. If a larger share of people felt comfortable walking, biking and rolling for more of their trips, the City would reap many benefits, including reduced congestion, cleaner air, fewer pollution-related illnesses, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, health benefits from active transportation, and financial savings to households who are unburdened from the obligation to own a car.

We call on the City of Minneapolis to ensure that any work around Vision Zero protects all people who walk, bike and roll from harm by people driving cars, police, and inequitable financial penalties.

 

Summaries of Discussions

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:01 pm and was chaired by Nick Mason.  The Agenda and August Minutes were unanimously approved.

 

1.  5E Subcommittee Report presented by Elissa Schufman

Draft Resolution for Vision Zero 

o The Subcommittee reviewed the draft resolution to present to the full BAC for input.

o Draft Plan is now out, so comments can include the actual Plan.

o See below for BAC resolutions and discussion in response to Vision Zero.

Discussion on Reporting of Bicycle Crashes

o The Subcommittee met with Dan Boody to discuss how the BAC can work with the Minneapolis Police Dept (MPD) to improve the process of reporting crashes involving bikes.

o Dan took notes on our questions to report back to us.

o Elissa would like to invite MPD to the Subcommittee to discuss data collection.

 

2.  Engineering Subcommittee Report presented by Dan Miller – ACTIONS

2020 Highway Safety Improvement Projects – ACTIONS

o Jason Staebell from Hennepin County presented to the Subcommittee 11 improvements to intersections, mostly along the Midtown Greenway.

o Since the improvements included Humboldt Ave S at the Greenway, it was pointed out that Humboldt is the best north/south route for bikes in the neighborhood. 

o Dan presented three motions that were passed by the Subcommittee.

The first motion supports the project with suggestions.

The second motion asks the County to consider upgrading other Greenway intersections as well.

The third motion asks the City to consider adding Humboldt Ave S to the Transportation Action Plan as a bike boulevard or 2-way for bikes.

o The motions were slightly revised after discussions as follows:  the first motion to modify buttons and signaling, the second motion to include 2 additional intersections, and the third motion to include the Transportation Action Plan.

o The three motions passed unanimously.  Jordan K abstained from the first two motions.

Presidents Bike Blvd/E Hennepin Resurfacing – ACTION

o The plan is for E Hennepin Ave from 5th Ave SE to Pierce Ave SE.

o The plan widens the pavement on the north side and adds a 2-way bike trail there, adds a south side bike lane, and improves the intersections.

o Dan presented a motion to support the project with suggestions.

o The motion passed unanimously with an abstention from Jordan Kocak.

Johnson Street NE Reconstruction – ACTION

o The reconstruction extends from 18th Ave NE to Lowry Ave NE.

o Liz Heyman and Alexander Kado presented Option #1 to the Subcommittee.

o Option #1 includes a multi-use trail on the west side of the street.

o Tyler P pointed out that the east side of the street has a park and asked why the trail wasn’t on that side of the street.

o Bus stops and width of street were discussed.

o Dan’s motion to support the project with suggestions passed unanimously with an abstention from Tony D.

Franklin Avenue Corridor Study

o Jordan K explained that since there will soon be several reconstruction and repaving projects on Franklin, it was important for the County to plan to develop a vision for the corridor as a whole.

o Planned timeline:  gather feedback now, develop concepts and alternatives in the fall, and then narrow down options to finalize a proposal next fall. 

o Jordan said the County will return to the BAC as plans develop.

o The plan should be consistent with both the City’s and the County’s Complete Streets policies and acknowledge that Franklin is currently unsafe for all modes.

 

3.  Nice Ride Update presented by Bill Dossett

Nice Ride, which has an exclusive contract with the City through 2021, contracted with Motivate, which was bought by Lyft.

Lyft retained Alta to revise their Master Plan.

A lot has changed in “personal” transportation in the past few years.

Next season there will be new ebikes with new locks, new IOT modules, bigger batteries and better GPS.  Bikes will be either docked or locked with a cable.

Bill will give a fuller report to the 5E Subcommittee next month.

 

4.  BAC Responses to Vision Zero presented by Elissa Schufman – ACTIONS

Ethan Fawley was present at the meeting to answer our questions as they came up.

Nick thanked Ethan for leading a great engagement process.

Draft Vision Zero Action Plan – ACTION

o Robin and Nick presented lists of suggestions for a BAC motion on the Action Plan.

o Robin said it was good that street design was emphasized.

o There were several places where we wanted to see more detail and specifics.

o Nick said that blocked and closed bike lanes were a big issue this year.

o Ethan said they will look at expanding “No Right Turn on Red” for the next plan.

o A revised version of Robin’s motion was passed unanimously with an abstention from Dan B.

Vision Zero Enforcement Initiatives – ACTIONS

o Elissa presented the motion that was developed by the 5E Subcommittee.

o Each BAC member was given an opportunity to provide input on the motion.

o Several members emphasized the importance of changing the culture of the City.

o The motion was slightly revised according to comments.

o Matthew H pointed out that crashes are not the only way transportation impacts health.

o It was decided to pass the first paragraph about budget separately.  It passed unanimously with an abstention from Dan B.

o The remainder of the revised motion passed unanimously with an abstention from Dan B.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 6:22 pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Janice Gepner

 

Last updated Oct 24, 2019

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