Monday, February 28, 2011

breaking news

Transit for Livable Communities Approves $1.172 Million for Twin Cities Bicycling and Walking Improvements

Funding from Bike Walk Twin Cities program will be used for expansion of Nice Ride Minnesota bike-share program and new bicycling and walking projects in Fridley and Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis

Feb. 28, 2011 [Saint Paul, Minn.]—To improve bicycling and walking opportunities in Minneapolis and surrounding communities, Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) has approved $1,172,000 for three capital projects. TLC administers, under the program Bike Walk Twin Cities (BWTC), the federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, a $25 million initiative to further bicycling and walking as transportation options.

The three projects being funded are as follows:

$1 million to expand the Nice Ride Minnesota bicycle sharing program. The federal funds allocated by TLC will enable Nice Ride to leverage more than $500,000 in challenge pledge funds from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and $250,000 from the Central Corridor Funding Collaborative, a collaboration of private foundations. Nice Ride Minnesota was launched last June through this type of public-private partnership. More than 100,000 trips were taken on Nice Ride bicycles in the first season, which ended in November. TLC, through BWTC, is the largest funder of Nice Ride Minnesota.

“Nice Ride Minnesota has shown benefit in shifting trips from driving to bicycling,” said Joan Pasiuk, director of BWTC. A survey of the system’s annual subscribers indicated that 20% of trips via Nice Ride would have been taken in a car. “We believe that expansion of the Nice Ride system will increase its transportation significance and accessibility by more Twin Cities residents,” Pasiuk said.

The new funding will enable Nice Ride Minnesota to add up to 50 new stations in 2011, including 8 already slated for North Minneapolis, according to Bill Dossett, executive director of Nice Ride Minnesota.

$110,000 to the City of Fridley to provide better walking and bicycling connections between the Northstar Rail Station and communities to the south. The project arises out of Fridley’s recently completed draft bicycle/pedestrian plan. With this funding, matched by $67,000 and in-kind contributions from Fridley, the area will now include sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of Main Street, from 57th Avenue to 61st Avenue.

“This is a model complete streets project,” said Pasiuk, referring to a national and state effort to improve accessibility for all users of roads. “Through these improvements, Fridley residents and visitors will be able to more easily access transit.”

$62,000 for the City of Minneapolis to address pedestrian safety issues on Franklin Avenue in the Seward neighborhood. Hennepin County plans to repave Franklin Avenue this summer from Hiawatha Avenue (TH 55) to the Mississippi River Bridge. The funds will enable the addition of countdown timers, marked crosswalks, and curb extensions at four intersections from 22nd to 26thAvenues. Bicycle lanes will also be considered as part of the work along Franklin Avenue.

“This is an exciting project for enhancing walking and bicycling, including connections to transit, in a vibrant inner city community,” said Pasiuk, noting that the project arose from the grassroots work of several neighborhood organizations, including Redesign Inc., Seward Neighborhood Group, and Seward Civic and Commerce Association. “This project will provide a model for other work along the corridor and is testimony to how residents can shape their community,” Pasiuk said.

The TLC board will consider additional capital projects in late 2011. BWTC has so far funded nearly 90 miles of new bike lanes and sidewalks in the Twin Cities, as well as community outreach, bicycling and walking planning studies, and an effort to measure bicycling and walking as forms of transportation.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snowballs chance

The riding was good today on the 26-inch bike. I took the small block eight approach, mainly because I didn't feel like switching out the tires. I held a good rear but the front kept slipping in the very slick corners.

Keeping it rubber-side-down.
Doobie and Mike

Here's the $20.11 prize for the overall finish.
The $20.11 prize

Burnsie and Janis showed up with a Big Dummy loaded down with two Weber grills, two frozen turkeys, and ultimately served up a feast.

And then we enjoyed the outside evening that only February can deliver.
and then there was fire

A few more images here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snowball's Chance Coming Up This Weekend

A bunch of local people are at NAHBS right now, enjoy it but try not to salivate on the frames, except if it's carbon fiber cause then there's no harm done there.

When times are bad, at least people can laugh. Unfortunately I'm not aware of any witty Robocop quotes to insert here (now give me Office Space or Lebowski and it's a different story.) I never did like that movie, it was supposed to be futuristic but the cops drove a Ford Taurus for chrissakes. Detroit will likely have to outsource that statue overseas.
Matt Bors.

In honor of the Discovery's last flight today, here's an in-cockpit view of a space shuttle launch, I think it's pretty cool (launch is at about 3:20). Only two more launches to go now.

And speaking of space, may Jebus help us:
I spent the day trying to talk with high school students at a career day...

And finally, that was a nasty cold, but at least I'm done with the worst of it; nothing but dry phlegm for a day or two and I'll be cleared up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday post. Testing. 1. 2. 3.

It's Friday, you deserve a video to watch at work for your toils. I'd seen about half of these cycling related crashes, and I'm certainly not a fan of the laugh track:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ride me!

Made a stop off at the CC Club to visit a few acquaintances. Much too sad to see transportation devices like these rest idle, pending their demise. Current temps are -5F drybulb and -11F windchill; winter is hopefully just beginning!
Carry on.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stupor Bowl 14

I'm here to say that a good time was had by all. Like any race there is a lot of bitching about how the rules aren't fair and blah blah blah, but it's a race and Nick and Leif can do whatever the hell they want because "thems the rules." Nice job to the organizers and all who volunteered on this thing, by the way.

Highlights include meeting a lot of people from out of town, quite a few from in town, and of course riding all over the damn place. After a few post-race party stops, I got home at 0130 and was ready for some peanut butter on bagel, which I happily obliged myself, but I digress.

The Men's winner bags:
Men's Stupor and Speed Winner Bags

There are three manifests this time, you don't get the second and third manifests until you complete the first and second, respectively:
The first of three manifests

Roughly 300 racers heading out on the Le Mons start down packed trail through the snow; we can stop the race now, Frane up front there wins:
Le Mans Start

The stop at Nick's house (Motörhead is playing on the 15th):
Dude, dog, and Amy man the stop at Nick's house

Okay let's just cut to it.

Chelsea ends up winning women's speed (even after stopping to fix an early flat) while Erin takes 2nd in men's stupor:
Chelsea on the right, post win

Jana ends up taking second in speed, seen here before the race:
Jana, a frequent alley cat winner and favorite for the day

Women's stupor champ goes to Christina from Chicago:
And from Chicago, women's Stupor winner Christina!

The rest of the photos are here, wait until you're at work then take a gaze.


My new friend Rogelio has a few photos up.

Another flickr set from Levi.

MPLS bike love coverage.

And Showen took a few pic(s) as well - props for bringing yourself and Hoss up from Lincoln.

Stupor Bowl 14 has come and gone

Lots of action. In summary, it was a hell of a weekend.

I got one photo uploaded and will get more up in the next day or so.

Stupor Bowl Former Champs
(L-R) Marko Sundlin(Stupor 1), Matt Allen (Speed 7,10), Jeff Frane (speed 13,14), Jason Stukel (Stupor 2)

Corrections? Leave 'em in the comments or hit me here: mark at

Thanks to Hurl and Spencer for above updates.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Why We're Here: Twin Cities

You've probably seen this one, but it has nice images of MPLS summer weather in the background. One of the backgrounds reminded me of riding right before a thunderstorm strikes; the darkening gray sky, the wind speed increasing. Then you have to decide on whether to try to beat the downpour or take it safe and seek shelter in a nearby watering hole - I can never resist the urge to race the storm and almost always end up soaked to the bone.

I recognized nobody in that video, sort of depressing; the city isn't that big. Saw a white Banjo Brothers bag, and a few riders going by, but their backs were turned.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The streets are clear again

The odd-side-only parking restrictions go into effect as of 8am today; I forecast a lot of neighbors getting towed.

There's always that one guy with the Christmas lights.
MPLS Winter

I need some thin gloves that keep my fingers cold while operating a camera; any ideas?