Final stretch of Lake Harriet-to-Mississippi River bikeway opensby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — The city of Minneapolis has opened the last segment of a bikeway that connects the Mississippi River to Lake Harriet.
The RiverLake Greenway is a bike and pedestrian corridor in south Minneapolis. It runs east-west along 40th Street East and 42nd Street East, about midway between the Midtown Greenway and the Minnehaha Creek corridor.
City Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy said the new path is designed to deter automobile traffic.
"This is a very significant step because we have moved from accommodating bikes next to cars to dedicating a stretch of road more for bikes than cars," Roy said. "Cars will still be able to use it, but it will be much easier for bikes. It's really optimized for bike travel, and that is a first here in Minneapolis."
Roy said the project was 14 years in the making. She said it includes the city's first bike boulevard -- a stretch that puts bicyclists first and cars second.
"Cars will be diverted at a couple of busy streets so there won't be so much cut-through traffic. It means that along 40th Street when cars come to Cedar Avenue, if they're traveling east to west they will not be able to continue through. They'll have to turn right onto Cedar. And cars will have to find another way around -- go one block north or south, but bikes will be able to go straight through."
Colvin Roy said the new path dramatically expands transportation options for residents in south Minneapolis.