Only experienced bicyclists and bicycle commuters appear to be comfortable riding in Downtown Northfield. I have spoken with many riders on this topic and there clearly is feeling of "not knowing what to do and where to go" by people on bikes when they get to the Downtown area. Even more specifically from 5th St. to 2nd St. on Division.
Sharrows (a shared lane symbol painted on the road surface) may appear to be unsafe at first glance......however, I would argue they are safer than the alternative choices on Division Street. Sharrows on the street, signage, and public education would create a safer environment Downtown while also solving connectivity gaps. Improved safety would be in obvious forms such as getting bicyclists away from parked cars and also off the sidewalks. One example of a gap is where the Mill Towns Trail ends behind Family Hair to the 2nd Street bridge where the Tiger Grant trail is scheduled to end behind the High Crossing condos there.
I have been quite involved in this issue over the last couple of years on the Park & Recreation Advisory Board. I have this specific item on our agenda for our PRAB meeting next week where I will speak and propose a resolution that can be sent to Mayor-Elect Graham and our new City Council.