| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Energy : Development News

35 Energy Articles | Page: | Show All

Becoming a 'Transition Town'

The District 12 Community Council in St. Paul is looking to join the international Transition Town movement to “rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.”

As a starting point, the council is hosting a community meeting on Jan. 17 at the St. Anthony Park United Methodist Church, to discuss ways the community is already responding to this challenge.

Tim Wulling, a member of the council’s Environment Committee, which is heading this effort, says, “We want to pull people together to share what’s happening, to be inspired by each other.”

For those who want to learn more about the topic beforehand, the group’s energy resilience subcommittee will also be screening a movie titled “In Transition 2.0” on Jan. 9 at the Joy of the People Center and on Jan. 12 at the St. Anthony Park Branch Library.

The movie tells about what other Transition Towns around the world are doing to make a difference in this area.

It comes down to the fact that “The human species lives too large on earth, creating climate and environment disruption,” Wulling says, adding, “It’s a real concern for our children and grandchildren.”

That’s what motivated the District 12 Community Council's Environment Committee and its energy resilience subcommittee to tackle the problem.

The Transition Town movement, which originated in the U.K. a handful of years ago, emphasizes that problem solving should happen at the local level, he says. Today, the movement is at work in at least 400 communities around the world.

To help build awareness around the issues in St. Anthony Park, related movie screenings, speakers, and meetings will be planned throughout the year, he says. Later on, if the neighborhood group formally joins the Transition network, it will need to come up with a plan for reducing energy use and CO2 emissions, to be vetted by the network.

The initiative also poses big questions such as “Is there another way of living that would be better?” and “Where will we be in 20 or 30 years from now? What life do we want?”

In St. Anthony Park, “We’re fortunate here to have a community feeling,” Wulling says. “It’s a well-knit area. That’s the key. We want to build on that.”

Source: Tim Wulling, St. Anthony Park Community Council committee member
Writer: Anna Pratt

Kingfield solar tour shows off local energy-saving projects

On June 2, Minneapolis’s Kingfield neighborhood is hosting a tour of several new solar projects at local businesses.

The tour includes Quality Coaches, Twin Town Guitars, and Pat’s Tap; tour participants can check out the businesses at their own pace.

TenKsolar, which developed the solar arrays, will be on hand displaying solar models at each stop. There’ll also be other activities at each site, including live music and a solar oven cooking demonstration.  
A $10,000 city climate change grant that the Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) received last year enabled a couple of the projects, according to Sarah Linnes-Robinson, the executive director of KFNA. Around the same time, Pat’s Tap pursued its solar installation independently, she says.
Through the project, she says, “Our goal was to remove barriers for small businesses to install solar.”
In some cases, solar installations can mean a lot of upfront costs, but in the end, “people are saving money,” she says. “We want to highlight that this is doable,” even for private homes. 

To help introduce area businesses to solar technology, the neighborhood group started out by identifying 24 possible candidates for the installations.
From there, the neighborhood group educated business owners, many of whom rent their buildings, about what solar projects entail. KFNA ended up paying for solar assessments at 10 of those sites. At that point, “It was their decision to proceed or not,” she says. 
Further down the line came energy audits for those businesses that wanted to move forward. Later on, when it got down to two businesses, both had to do a lot of roof work to prepare for the solar array. “There was a lot for the businesses to figure out,” she says. 
Today, “These businesses are even further invested in their community.”  
Linnes-Robinson is hoping that families that are thinking of turning to solar energy will join business owners on the tour.
Source: Sarah Linnes-Robinson, KFNA
Writer: Anna Pratt

Local group plans solar projects, training in Nigeria

Next week, a group of local energy experts will head to Nigeria for 10 days to lead solar training.

The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) in Minneapolis developed the “Light Up Africa” project through its two-year-old international committee. The group will make its first stop at an area hospital, where they’ll show workers how to install a 60-watt solar module lighting system, according to Fran Crotty, one of the committee’s co-chairs. 

Their exact itinerary couldn't be shared as of press time.

Committee members will also teach people to put together a solar cell-phone charger and build a soldering station and a solar panel, according to MRES information.

“Technology transfer is mainly what we do,” Crotty says.

Besides helping set up energy-efficient infrastructure, the trainings will “provide the opportunity for [Nigerians] to do a small cottage industry” if they want, she adds.

“We provide technical information that’s always linked to economic development,” she says.

For example, entrepreneurs could start a small business charging cell phones or using solar power for grinding, the MRES website states.

The group will help Nigerians figure out what to build by “listening to them and letting them shape what they want.”

“Solar projects would be helpful in many countries that have problems with unreliable electricity, unsafe lighting, deforestation and poverty,” the MRES website states.

MRES is working with a nongovernmental organization in Nigeria. A couple of committee members happen to be from Nigeria, including Harry Olupitan, who says on the MRES website that the project is a part of a lifelong dream. “My vision is to see every household in Nigeria and in all of Africa at large powered with electricity powered by solar energy,” he says.

Source: Fran Crotty, Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
Writer: Anna Pratt

At Normandale Community College, a $1.5 million data center is in the works

Like many other schools, Normandale Community College, which serves Southwest Minneapolis and beyond, is faced with an increasing demand for technology.
To deal with that, and to give the school a competitive advantage, Normandale is planning a new $1.5 million data center.

This month, the design phase for the center will begin, while the school is still looking for a construction manager, according to Ed Wines, the school’s vice president of finance and operations.

The data center will go into a 20-foot by 28-foot space that's currently a classroom in the College Services Building.

It'll be a "hub housing network servers and blades that provide Internet, telephone, and other digital services for the campus," he says via email.

That's needed because the school's 400-square-foot "server room" has run its course. "It has become entirely inadequate due to the increased use of technology and a growing college enrollment over the past decade,” Wines says.  

A report from the Eden Prairie-based Parallel Technologies, Inc. states that the existing facility is over-taxed when it comes to power and cooling.

The improved data center will provide “more reliable service, an increased connected transmission speed, space for scalable growth, and space for collaboration” with affiliated institutions, he says.

In the long run, it'll also help the school save money, improve server system efficiency, and keep pace with technological advances. It puts Normandale in a position to “expand online resources, improve support for instructors, and provide a marketable resource to attract new students,” the report also states.

“Creating a more robust and reliable data center on campus provides the school with ultimate control of their environment and the ability to provide shared services to other MnSCU campuses” in its network, the report goes on to say.  

The center will open this November.

Source: Ed Wines, vice president of finance and operations, Normandale Community College
Writer: Anna Pratt

Videotect 2 picks winning videos with sustainable transportation theme

Videotect 2, the second annual video competition from Architecture Minnesota magazine, got people thinking in many different directions about sustainable transportation.
The 39 submissions included everything from an old-timey PSA about the benefits of walking to a Super Bowl-commercial-inspired video about getting around in the future.
The grand prizewinner, "SaddleBag," which won a $2,000 prize, was announced at the competition’s March 1 screening at the Walker Art Center. (Watch it below.)
Gaardhouse and Shelter Architecture teamed up on the video, which was tongue-in-cheek yet informative. “I hope more outfits take a cue from it,” Hudson says. “It had a great story line with lots of facts and it was easy to read and understand the diagrams.”   
The most popular video among viewers, which also received a $2,000 check, was “Twin Cities Trails,” by Steven Gamache, Matt Herzog, Ben Lindau, Chris Lyner, and Mike Oertel. It showed a 1980s hair band that sang about the Twin Cities’ unmatched trail system. “It spoofed Queen amazingly,” he says, adding, “It was inventive and funny.”   
The $500 honorable mention awards went to the “Church of Automobility,” by Michael Heller and Ryan O’Malley, “A Fistful of Asphalt,” by John Akre, “Over/Under,” by Daniel Green, and “Sustainable Transportation,” by Ryan Yang. 
In general, guidelines for the 30- to 120-second videos were pretty open-ended. The pieces just had to “present a point of view on transportation choices, their impact on the environment and human health, and the role that design can play in enhancing them,” according to a statement about the competition.
Why is the magazine doing it? “The crux of it is, trying to bring more voices and creativity into urban design debates. It can be dry stuff, but it’s so important to the quality of our lives and how we design cities,” Hudson says. Videotect is a “great way to have fun with it, to make it entertaining to get at some of these issues that we keep debating as citizens.”

That's evident in the fact that the contest drew more submissions this year, and online voting spiked by 250 percent, he says.
Source: Chris Hudson, editor, Architecture Minnesota
Writer: Anna Pratt


Videotect 2: SaddleBag from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo.

Minneapolis Convention Center prioritizes going green

Recently, the Minneapolis Convention Center unveiled an exhibit that highlights various sustainable projects around the city, including its own.

The interactive two-sided display, which has touch screens, includes a map that features everything from the Nice Ride Minnesota bike-sharing program to the Downtown Improvement District.

The convention center itself has become more eco-focused in recent years, according to convention spokesperson Kristen Montag.

Although it has been working for years to improve its green profile, it’s now amping up its effort, with goals to reduce water consumption by 50 percent; slash energy use by 10 percent, and increase recycling by 75 percent by 2015.  

To do so, bathrooms will be retrofitted with energy-efficient systems to help conserve water, while light fixtures throughout the building will also be upgraded. Lights in rooms that aren’t being used will be kept off.

Further, the center plans to recycle 1.4 million pounds of its 1.8 million pounds of waste every year--which involves more sorting, Montag says. “When you think about how much waste the convention center recycles and what it’ll do, it changes the way it disposes of waste,” she says. “It’s about increasing recycling in a way that it hasn’t done if before.”

The center is also looking into the possibilities for managing stormwater.   

It wants to be a role model in this area throughout the city and nationally, she says.

Already, it’s reduced its energy use by 24 percent since 2008, which has amounted to $1 million in savings to taxpayers, according to Montag.

Right now, “Employees are working to figure out how to do it personally. It’ll be an on-the-ground team effort,” which brings together people from different parts of the workforce. “It’ll change the way they do their jobs and the way the building is run--and it’s something they’ll own.”  

Source: Kristen Montag, spokesperson, Minneapolis Convention Center
Writer: Anna Pratt

$9.5 million Central Exchange project planned for Frogtown neighborhood

Central Exchange, a mixed-use development that's planned for St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood, will help turn around a site that has long been rundown.

Historically, the neighborhood as a whole has been under-invested in when compared with other parts of the city, according to Craig Johnson, who is the project manager for developer Model Cities.

Model Cities, which is based just a block-and-a-half away from the University Avenue site, wants to be a part of its improvement, he emphasizes.

For the project, the organization has acquired four vacant commercial properties that he describes as an “eyesore on the avenue.” It has often attracted vandalism, he says.  

Johnson says that the development will provide a boost to the area. “It’ll help make the area more attractive,” as opposed to somewhere that one would merely drive through.

Two of the buildings on the properties have been torn down, while the city will soon demolish the remaining couple of structures, he says.

Model Cities may also acquire another adjacent property, for which it’s trying to secure financing.

Central Exchange will have ground-floor commercial space along with a couple of stories of housing.

Altogether, there’ll be 30 to 45 units of mixed-income housing. Depending on its final footprint, the project could cost anywhere from $9.5 million to $13 million, according to Johnson.

The commercial spaces will be “oriented towards nonprofits, educational institutions or small businesses,” with an eye on what’s “useful to the community,” he says.

Model Cities is planning to install green roofs that will allow for urban gardening and stormwater management, as well.

The complex will alternately rise up one and three stories in different areas, to help break it up, visually. “If we built this as one big building it might have a more imposing feeling,” he says.

The coming Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line helped make the development possible. As such, “We see this project as a part of something bigger that’s going to really help the community.”

Construction at the site is scheduled to finish up in the spring of 2014.

Source: Craig Johnson, project manager, Model Cities
Writer: Anna Pratt

Hampden Park Coop makes plans to remodel its vintage building

Through a master planning process that it recently wrapped up, the Hampden Park Coop in St. Paul has identified short- and long-term remodeling priorities for the vintage building that it owns.

Coop member Paul Ormseth, an architect who is leading the process, says that several years ago the store expanded into a corner space in the building “with an eye to doing some planning about how to manage it into the future.”

Right now, the coop rents out part of the second-floor space to Oak Floor Dance Association, and there’s potential for more tenants.

“With a large space upstairs, the building can serve the community,” perhaps by accommodating public gatherings or various educational uses.

It’s something that any remodeling project should strengthen, Ormseth says.

Additionally, the building is well positioned to take advantage of traffic from the coming Central Corridor light rail transit line and right-of-way improvements planned for Raymond Avenue, he says.

In general “We want to do near-term remodeling that makes sense in a longer vision for the building,” and which will probably happen in a couple of phases.

For starters, the store needs more office and storage space.

The checkout stand could also be revamped, while the coop is also hoping to make the building more energy-efficient.  

For example, “We’re looking at bringing more daylight into the store to improve the feel of the store and reduce the need for lighting,” he says.  

Enhancing accessibility is another goal.

Whatever changes get made will be sensitive to the building's historic character. 

It goes to show, adds Ormseth, that “An old building is valuable because it can be adapted and it strengthens the community by retaining some existing historic fabric.”

At this early stage, the budget for the remodeling projects is still debatable. “The coop has been an asset for the neighborhood for a long time,” he says. “In buying the building, the coop made a commitment to improving the store, as well as keeping the existing building intact.”

Source: Paul Ormseth, Hampden Park Coop member
Writer: Anna Pratt

Lehman's Garage on 54th & Lyndale reborn as a more energy-efficient shop

Lehman’s Garage, which has been a fixture in South Minneapolis since 1917, is reopening on 54th and Lyndale this week with a new, bigger facility.

Over the summer, its old building was torn down to make way for a longer and narrower 20,000-square-foot facility that’s more environmentally sound, according to project information.

During construction, work at the shop went on, with technicians repairing vehicles from the company’s five other locations.

The state-of-the-art auto body, mechanical, and glass repair shop, which has one level, includes a storefront entrance and windows that overlook the street.

Shannon Rusk, vice-president for development at Oppidan Investment Company, which led the project, explains that energy-efficiency was a top priority.

The company accomplished that with high-efficiency heating and cooling units on the rooftop, along with operable windows that can be adjusted to allow for air-flow and temperature control, she says.  

The building envelope and windows are also energy-efficient, while a rain garden behind the building helps manage stormwater, she says.

Inside its new home are such amenities as a customer lounge and wireless Internet access, state-of-the-art paint booths, employee break areas, and new garage lifts.

“It’s a huge improvement from what was there. It’s a beautiful building,” she says, adding, “It’s a nice, clean, classic design that doesn’t look like a [typical] body shop."

The paints the garage is using are water-based, which is also a green element, she says.

From the beginning, the neighborhood has been supportive of the project. When the proposal reached city officials earlier on, “We didn’t have one issue,” she says. “It’s something that the community wanted."

Source: Shannon Rusk, Oppidan Investment Company
Writer: Anna Pratt

$750,000-worth of energy-efficiency improvements help RiverCentre parking ramp go green

As the latest development in a larger project to go green at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, this week an 82-kilowatt photovoltaic solar installation was shown off on its parking ramp.

The 348 solar photovoltaic panels will produce 100,000 kilowatts of energy--or enough to run about nine homes each year, according to city information.  

Anne Hunt, who works for the city, says that when it comes to energy efficiency, “I’m not sure people think of a parking ramp," adding, "This is definitely the greenest ramp in the metro area."

It complements the $2.5 million solar thermal array that went onto the RiverCentre’s rooftop earlier this year, which is considered to be the largest of its kind in the Midwest, according to city information. (See the story from The Line here.)

The two installations, which use different solar technologies, will help the RiverCentre to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint by 2012, she explains.  

Looking all over the country, “I can’t find another public building that has two different solar technologies,” she says.

Other related energy-efficiency work has recently been underway at the parking ramp as well.

For example, high-pressure sodium lights were swapped out for energy-efficient fluorescent lamps, while a couple of electric-car charging stations have also been added, she says.  

Already, the building gets power from District Energy St. Paul, which “operates the largest, most successful, biomass-fueled hot water district heating system in North America,” its website states.

As one more layer to the project, the RiverCentre complex is part of the special Energy Innovation Corridor that highlights various energy projects along the in-progress Central Corridor Light Rail line.

Funding for the $750,000 worth of energy-efficiency measures at the ramp comes partly from the federal stimulus package.  

These initiatives save money while also producing clean energy, Hunt says.

Source: Anne Hunt, spokesperson, City of St. Paul
Writer: Anna Pratt

Public to help guide $4 million improvements to Webber Park

This week, local residents will have several opportunities to weigh in on the redesign of Webber Park in North Minneapolis.

Landform, a Minneapolis-based landscape architecture firm, is leading the master-planning process with the Minneapolis park board.

As a part of an early information-gathering process, it'll host a public meeting, studio time, and open house between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, along with an online survey.

The 22-acre Webber Park is a wooded facility that has a pond, swimming pool, wading pool, playing field, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground and recreation center, according to park board information.

Roberta Englund, who heads the nearby Folwell and Webber-Camden neighborhood groups, describes the park as a comfortable and pretty urban area that’s “an important community attribute [that] hasn’t had the attention it deserves."

A big draw at the popular park is the annual Victory Labor Day Races and Community Picnic, according to Englund.

The well known “woodchopper statue” and Webber Park Library are also on the grounds, she says. 

But the park has a number of issues that need to be addressed, including a lack of parking.

Also, the swimming pool needs to be replaced. “We don’t have enough water features here. The priority is making it considerably more accessible,” she says.     

Other issues at the site center on reforestation, tornado damage, and inadequate lighting, she adds.

Whether the library should stay put, expand, or relocate, is also up in the air.

While ideas for the park are still in an early stage, the idea of enhancing the park's connection to the nearby Shingle Creek and Mississippi River in some way has come up, she says.

Englund hopes that people will take the time to voice their opinions about how the park should be configured. “It’s a major project that has a great deal to do with the visioning of parks and [their] role in recreation in North Minneapolis neighborhoods,” she says, adding, “It’ll be a careful look at how the land is used.”

Construction will begin next summer, while the park’s grand re-opening is planned for the summer of 2013, according to park board information.

Source: Roberta Englund, leader for Folwell and Webber-Camden neighborhood groups
Writer: Anna Pratt

Mississippi Market Natural Foods Cooperative plans a $400,000 makeover

The 12-year-old Mississippi Market Natural Foods Cooperative store on Selby Avenue in St. Paul is due for some upgrades, according to company general manager Gail Graham.

It's about the overall maintenance of the place while also keeping pace with customer demands. "All stores need to be freshened up and it's time for that to happen to this one," she says.

As one part of the $400,000 remodeling project, new energy-efficient refrigerators are on the way. "We're improving some coolers. That won't be visible to customers but it'll help us manage the flow of goods more efficiently," she says.  

Further, the checkout stands will be rearranged to "make better use of space," with an additional express lane. Other cosmetic improvements involve a fresh coat of paint, flooring upgrades and new lighting fixtures.

The coop is also introducing a new salad bar and deli. 

Right now, the market is in the process of getting equipment bids and it hopes to begin work on the place in the fall, she says. During that time, the store will stay open. 

Separately, in the future, the coop is hoping to add another dozen parking spots to its existing 66.

Last month the coop acquired a nearby house that had long been vacant. "Our intention is to get the property rezoned to allow for business use, demolish the house and expand our parking," the website reads.

Considering that the store sees 145 employees and nearly 1,000 customers daily, expanding its parking even that much is a big deal, she says.

Graham says the coop is trying to build community support for the idea.

Although she admits that the economy is rough, she says, "That doesn't stop us from continuing to move forward and improving the buildings so we can continue to provide the level of service that customers expect and deserve," she says. 

Source: Gail Graham, general manager, Mississippi Market Natural Foods Cooperative
Writer: Anna Pratt

Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative moves forward with community engagement phase

At an August 4 community meeting at Farview Park Recreation Center in Minneapolis, people got a chance to learn more about the RiverFirst proposal for redeveloping a 5.5-mile stretch of the Mississippi River. It starts at the Stone Arch Bridge and goes north. 

The meeting focused on benefits for the city's North and Northeast areas, which are largely cut off from the river, along with the idea of "problem-solving" parks that would be destinations, according to a prepared statement about the event.

It's part of a broadly based community engagement effort to gather feedback about the RiverFirst proposal--under the umbrella of the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative--for re-imagining this portion of the riverfront. The TLS/KVA team of landscape architects and designers won a design competition earlier this year to bring its proposal to fruition.

RiverFirst is a multifaceted plan for revitalizing the riverfront. It includes everything from riverfront trails to a "biohaven" that would use recycled materials to form a riparian habitat for endangered species and migratory birds, according to project information.
Right now the design team is working to refine its proposal, studying its feasibility and gathering public input, according to project manager Mary deLaittre. On Sept. 21, the team will present its recommendations and implementation plans to the city's park board.

HR&A Advisors from New York is working closely with the design team to come up with a strategic plan "that will shape the priority projects and financing approaches," she says.  

Six youth ambassadors are also working to help spread the word about the project and collect feedback at various community events.

One idea that has been well received, deLaittre says, is for a green land bridge over I-94 to link Farview Park to the river. It's a creative solution for reconnecting this part of the city with the river and other parks and trails.

DeLaittre underscores the need for community input, for which people can fill out an online survey. All along the way, comments and images from people are being featured on the website under the heading, "River Is."

"This is a big civic project and it's imperative that people weigh in," she says.

That being said, "The level of support has been tremendous," she says, adding, "People are very interested in making sure it happens."

The project has also attracted the attention of a delegation from Seattle who are  running a civic design competition. In coming to the Twin Cities, the delegation "wanted to emulate the innovative community engagement and coalition-building," she says. 

Source: Mary deLaittre, project manager for Mississippi Riverfront Development Initiative and founder and principal of Groundwork City Building
Writer: Anna Pratt

St. Paul building owner to set up first urban wind farm in the country

This summer, several wind turbines have been welded to the rooftop of the building at 1010 Dale Street North in St. Paul. Soon, a fourth one will go on a separate pole in the parking lot.

The installation will be the first urban wind farm in the country, according to building owner Tony Magnotta, who also heads several companies, including Minnesota Wind Technology, which is housed in the building.

Macalester College also has a wind turbine-system, but wind as a main power source is a new phenomenon in the city, St. Paul's Monitor reports. As such, getting the proper city approvals was a challenge.

Magnotta's building will be a kind of test that will help inform more detailed city policies on the subject further down the line, the Monitor reports.

Additionally, solar panels will also make the building "totally self-sufficient," energy-wise, Magnotta says.

The wind turbines that Magnotta is using are the product of a Taiwanese company that will soon be setting up shop in St. Paul, he says. "These are the only ones that are viable in an urban environment."

In fact, they're built to withstand wind speeds of up to 134 miles per hour, the Monitor reports. They move with the wind, not against it, and they shut down when the wind becomes too powerful, the story explains.  

At $20,000 for each wind turbine and $50,000 for the solar panels, it's a big investment. But between federal government incentives and long-term energy savings, he says, it's a good deal.

And, rising utility costs coupled with growing environmental concerns mean that soon enough "we'll all have to do this," he says.

Source: Tony Magnotta, CEO, Minnesota Wind Technology, LLC  
Writer: Anna Pratt

Bikes Belong gathering in Minneapolis highlights city's bicycle integration

Earlier this month, a group of transportation and policy leaders from Pittsburgh, Penn., and Columbus, Ohio, came to Minneapolis to check out its growing bicycle network as a part of a Bikes Belong Foundation workshop.

Gary Sjoquist, government affairs director for Bikes Belong, a national organization that works to increase bicycling, says that it has led similar workshops in Boulder, Colo. and Portland, Ore., "places where there've been significant changes to increase bicycling." 

The group, which is planning another get-together in New York City in the fall, also hosts international tours in cities such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Munster, Germany, where 40 percent of all trips are taken by bicycle.

When people attend the workshops, "they get to experience it, ride it, and philosophically understand what's going on," he says.

Often a city official will think that developing bicycling infrastructure is a low priority because participation won't be high enough. By coming to Minneapolis or another city, "they can see how bicycling has been integrated and implement what they've seen," he says.  

Those who visited Minneapolis got to see that "what it's like when there are more vehicles on a bike trail than cars on a street nearby, like on certain parts of the greenway," he says.

By the Walker Art Center, where 15th Street intersects with Hennepin Avenue South near Loring Park, the bike lane goes from the street to the sidewalk. "Cyclists can do a left turn on a busy intersection to reach the bike trail," he says. "It's unique to move the bike lane to the sidewalk. I don't think there's any other treatment like it in the U.S."    

Only blocks away, near First Avenue, the bike lane is placed between the line of parked cars and the curb. "That's a lesson from Amsterdam, to move the bike lane to where there are fewer doors opening. It makes for smoother riding for the cyclist," he explains.

Additionally, Minneapolis's bicycle network will grow by 40 percent over the next couple of years, as a related $25 million federal grant continues to be spent. "That's another thing that really struck people who came," he says. "Minneapolis is pretty good in this area, but it will get a lot better once [more] is built." 

Source: Gary Sjoquist, government affairs director, Bikes Belong
Writer: Anna Pratt

35 Energy Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts