City Council to vote on new Dakota bikeway project

Adding bike lanes on streets plans to connect city


Photo illustration by Jane Pupeza

Sam Swisher

Hoping to connect the city with bikeways on north and south streets, city transportation engineer Ben Manibog said the Dakota bikeway will solve a north south connection problem.

“It fills in a very key pedestrian and bike (path) north-south connection,” Manibog said. “There’s not a lot of easy ways to get north and south, so this is a big connection for pedestrians and bikes. What this also does is connects the schools.”

English teacher Chris Nordmark said adding bike lanes on busy roads will help bikers feel more comfortable.

“It will make biking around the city a more valuable option and I can speak from experience with biking in Minneapolis, when they’ve made bike highways or a whole lane made just for bikes at busy roads, biking feels a lot more comfortable,” Nordmark said.

According to Manibog, the project still needs the City Council to approve before they can start the final design.

“We will be asking the City Council (in) the beginning of December to approve the preliminary layout, and once we have that thumbs up from them we start working toward the final design,” Manibog said.

Junior Liam O’Gara said the bikeway would provide him with a safer way to get to school.

“It might be nice to just have a route to school because the way I take right now has a lot of four-way stop intersections,” O’Gara said. “Cars aren’t really looking for bikes and it’s worse even now because of the snow.”

According to Nordmark, the bikeway will help St. Louis Park become more bike-friendly.

“The project will help St. Louis Park become more bike-friendly, and I’ve always felt St. Louis Park is a pretty bikeable city because it has the greenway that goes through it,” Nordmark said.

O’Gara said the bikeway on Dakota street will help people understand how easy it is to get around by bike.

“People will be more aware and it just makes it more easy to get around, and it’s less annoying because you aren’t interacting as much with cars or people,” O’Gara said.

According to Manibog, the bikeway will make the road safer for people who use it.

“This would provide a safer roadway for all users, for pedestrians walking along the street and crossing, bicyclists on the road and people who are driving as well,” Manibog said.

The City Council will be voting Dec. 2 to approve the preliminary layout for the Dakota bikeway project.