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Connectivity in Northfield is at the Top of My Christmas List!

How "sharrows" are an effective and inexpensive solution to connectivity for bicyclists within our multi-modal trail network.

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.

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Griff Wigley December 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Delighted that you're working on this, Dale. Keep us posted on what happens at next week's PRAB meeting. I blogged about sharrows on Division back in July. It generated considerable discussion: "How to make bicycling in downtown Northfield safer and more popular? Sharrows might work" http://locallygrownnorthfield.org/post/26694/
Sean Hayford Oleary December 14, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I agree that sharrows would be a good option for the time-being on Division Street. Bicyclists must understand that they should occupy the travel lane when there is not a bike lane and there are parked cars on the road. Wayfinding signs like those shown in your third image would be helpful, especially if placed consistently around the city on bike routes.

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