The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 26, 2014

Input needed for bicycle system plan

Agency has emphasis on bicycle safety

MANKATO — Mankato is one of nine meeting sites statewide where the public, local government officials and transportation supporters will be able to provide input for Minnesota’s statewide bicycle system plan.

“They’re trying to find out where people ride and where they feel comfortable and where they would ride if things changed,” said Tom Engstrom, president of the Greater Mankato Bike & Walk Advocates, who also serves on the state Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee.

“Anytime an agency comes out and asks for citizen input before they make the plans is a good thing. I think MnDOT is sincere in making streets safer for people to bike and walk. They get it and their leadership gets it,” Engstrom said.

Feedback will help Minnesota Department of Transportation identify and recommend routes, improve existing facilities in the bike system and more effectively address the needs of bicycle riders in Minnesota.

The Mankato meeting is 4-6 p.m. May 6 at Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St. Attendees should plan to stay for the entire meeting, which begins with a brief project description followed by a facilitated workshop.

After the meeting concludes, there will be 6-7 p.m. open house. Attendees do not need to stay throughout the open house.

Engstrom said similar meetings he’s been at include several posters on the walls showing different types of roadways and asking people to rank, on a scale of 1-10, how comfortable they’d feel biking on each one. “It might be a road with no shoulder and 55 mph traffic and there might be another with a 5-foot shoulder and cars going 30 mph.”

Requests for an ASL or foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodations for the meeting should be made at least a week prior to the meeting. To make a request, call Janet Miller at (651) 366-4720 or 1-800-657-3774 (Greater Minnesota); 711 or 1-800-627-3529 (Minnesota Relay).Requests may be emailed to: janet.rae.miller@state.mn.us.

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