Charles Avenue Bikeway passes City Council

At a hearing on Wedsday evening, September 5th, the Charles Avenue Bikeway was approved by the Saint Paul City Council on a 5-2 vote. Dan Bostrom and David Thune were the only dissenting votes. The bikeway would run the entire length of Charles from Park Street on the east end to Aldine on the west end. It would have bike boulevard treatments to calm traffic and allow cyclists to cross busy north/south boulevards. Treatments include traffic circles (replacing stop signs) at a number of intersections, closing off the Snelling median at Charles to create a bike/ped refuge and similar or other treatments at Lexington, Dale, Marion and Rice streets.

The Bikeway is partly intended to help cyclists deal with the narrowing of University Avenue for the LRT project and the elimination of on-street parking from most of University, something that will make University difficult to bike on in the future. It remains to be seen what the city will do about accommodating bicycles on the University Avenue corridor west of Aldine street and east of Park street, as University itself is the only way to get across various railroad, warehouse and highway obstacles and is currently used by a lot of cyclists. We're hoping to get space on the avenue itself if some on-street parking is restored in what is currently the outside travel lane.