Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee Minutes
Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 4 PM – 6 PM
Room 319 Minneapolis City Hall
Members Absent: Richard Anderson, Mackenzie Turner Bargen, Paul Frenz, Jordan Kocak, Chris Linde (excused), Jaime Makepeace, Greg Sautter, Anthony Taylor
Others Present: Alberto De Los Rios, Carly Edson, Ethan Fawley, Millicent Flowers
1. The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee supports the Minneapolis Health Department’s proposal to build Minneapolis’ first Traffic Garden. This proposal would bring much needed biking and walking education to communities that do not always have access to it, including people with disabilities, people of color, and low-income communities. As the City moves forward in adopting its Transportation Action Plan, education and encouragement strategies like this Traffic Garden will support all communities in using new bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The BAC commends the Health Department for this effort.
Summaries of Discussions
The meeting was called to order at 4:02 pm and was chaired by Nick Mason. The Agenda was slightly revised and the June Minutes were unanimously approved.
1. Vision Zero (VZ) presented by Ethan Fawley, Vision Zero Program Coordinator
• In September 2017, the City committed to zero serious traffic accidents by 2027.
• Short term goal: complete a draft of an Action Plan by mid-September, 2019.
• Ethan would like us to comment on the draft Action Plan at our Sept BAC meeting.
• Alberto D. worked as an urban scholar, helping with community engagement.
• They got similar results from in-person and online surveys.
• Key topics raised were street design, vehicle speed and enforcement.
• Many respondees were also concerned about distracted and aggressive driving.
• Guiding principles for VZ are safety and human life first, equity, data & accountability.
• Recommendation will likely include evaluating speed limits which can now be changed.
• They are looking for cost-effective improvements for the streets with the most crashes.
• Paint and bollards are cheaper and faster than changing curbs.
• Suggested changes could also include signal work, bumpouts, and pedestrian medians.
• Goal to make changes to 100 miles of streets in 3 years, so they will be looking at fast, cheap ways to make improvements.
• The city is partnering with the County and State for changes on their roads.
• The city’s Street Design Guide is being updated as part of the Transportation Action Plan and VZ will be a key focus.
• Traffic signals will be updated to align with new speed limits and to help pedestrians.
• Commitment to communicate evaluations and to support options that reduce driving.
• Top 5 unsafe traffic behaviors in Minneapolis: red light running, speeding, unsafe turning, driving under the influence and distracted driving.
• Education initiatives will include expanding access to quality driver and traffic safety education and expand safe walking and biking education for youth.
• Automated enforcement for red light running and speeding is being considered.
• The City police department has not had a dedicated traffic enforcement unit since 2013, so proposing one is likely.
• We discussed negative impacts of increased enforcement particularly around equity.
• There will be a 1-month comment period for the VZ draft Action Plan.
2. August BAC Field Trip presented by Matthew Dyrdahl
• Matthew suggested our ride focus on the U of M area.
• He will bring a suggested route to the 5E Subcommittee.
3. BAC Meeting Attendance presented by Nick Mason
• Elissa created a spreadsheet of BAC attendance at full and subcommittee meetings for the past year.
• BAC members are expected to come to 1 subcommittee meeting each month in addition to the full BAC meeting.
• The spreadsheet showed that less than half of members have gone to at least 50% of meetings.
• Nick will reach out to the people with lowest attendance.
• Absences are noted as “excused” if Janice is notified before the meeting.
• Joshua said that people might be more likely to attend meetings with fuller agendas.
• When agendas are shorter, issues can be discussed more fully.
4. 5E Subcommittee Report
• Follow-up Enforcement Conversation led by Elissa Schufman
o Continuation of discussion from the previous full BAC meeting.
o Robin G said that the BAC should weigh in on the enforcement issue soon.
o He said that additional police are likely to be in the upcoming budget.
o Matthew H said that reduced traffic enforcement has encouraged an increase in bad driving behavior.
o Increased enforcement is the easiest short term option. While engineering changes might be more effective, they are longer term.
o Minneapolis has a history of problems with enforcement.
o Sarah S said that education campaigns are of limited value because people generally think of themselves as safe drivers.
o Emily W pointed out that different people define safety differently.
o We need to state our concerns about the problems associated with increased enforcement.
o The Subcommittee will try to come up with a motion at next month’s meeting.
o Tyler P favored an emphasis on outcomes.
o Wes D said our motion could include data and policies from other cities.
o Email Elissa with ideas about a BAC motion on enforcement.
• Bicycle Friendly Community Application Renewal presented by Matthew Dyrdahl
o Minneapolis is currently rated “Gold” but we aspire to “Platinum.”
o Matthew had us participate in a group activity to provide input for the application.
5. Health Department Traffic Garden Proposal presented by Sarah Stewart – ACTION
• The Health Department is applying for funding for Minneapolis’ first Traffic Garden.
• A Traffic Garden provides a safe place for people to learn traffic skills.
• This Garden would be a pilot, with the hope that more could come later.
• Emily S worked with Sarah on the proposal.
• There’s a great space for the Garden at Seward Elementary School and Matthews Park.
• Sarah presented a motion to support the application.
• The motion was approved unanimously with one abstention from Elissa Schufman.
Nick M: there was a fatal crash involving a bicyclist last night.
- Joshua H: the 800-car downtown parking ramp was stopped.
- Matthew D: BAC vacancies for Ward 4 & 10 representatives have been posted.
- Tony D: MetroTransit’s first secure bike parking facility is now under construction in Ramp B. Users can register and use it for free. It should open this summer. There is hope that more will be built as light rail is extended.
- Tyler P: Update on slope failure on East River Pkwy: now 1 north bound lane open for cars that cyclists can use, too. Southbound bikes need to use a detour. Closures will remain for the foreseeable future as solutions are researched. Repairs could include improvements to the bike path.
- Tyler P: There is a new Bike Park pilot north of Minnehaha Pkwy on the other side of the Nokomis Community Center.
- Jenny B: Year End Minneapolis Public Schools update: around 30% of 4th & 5th graders received universal bike education, students traveled 10,000 miles on trails, 75,000 miles for Summer School, and a grant for a 3rd bike fleet of around 40 bikes was funded.
- Emily W: 5 more Open Streets events remain this summer and attendance at the first two events has set new records. People seem to be connecting with the purpose of Open Streets.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:06 pm.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Janice Gepner
Last updated Sep 6, 2019