New Bike Lanes Face Pushback

Image Courtesy of Andrew Schmitz

MINNEAPOLIS — One of the top 10 bike-friendly cities in the nation is facing pushback from a small group of its denizens over the latest bike path installation.

On Saturday, approximately 20 people gathered in the Lowry East neighborhood of Minneapolis to protest the addition of bike lanes on 26th and 28th streets that led to the removal of lanes on the congested roads. The added bike lanes sit parallel to the Minneapolis Greenway – which is located just one block over from new lanes.

“A whole bunch of people in cars stuck in traffic gave us thumbs up and shouts of encouragement,” Andrew Schmitz, one of the protesters at the event told Alpha News. “The traffic on 28th was really backed up, even on a Saturday afternoon.”

Organizer of the event, Jeremy Piatt, called for attendees to “take back their city,”

“26th and 28th Streets in Minneapolis have become congested driving nightmares since the protested bike lanes were installed a few weeks ago,” Piatt wrote of the event. “Between Lyndale and Hennepin it’s down to one lane for cars making driving a mess. The crusade this city is on to be bike friendly has gone too far. With the Greenway just a few blocks away there is no reason to give up a full lane of traffic to the cyclists! Join us as we protest the bike lanes this Saturday, October 14th. Bring a sign, a loud voice & alert the media!”

However, Piatt never attended his own event.

Piatt’s lack of attendance did not stop those who came to protest. Describing the event as “organic,” Schmitz notes most people made their signs and were cyclists themselves. “They [cyclists] were totally against such stupid placement of bike lanes,” Schmitz told Alpha News.

Candidates, such as Joe Kovacs, running for City Council in Ward 7 were also in attendance. During the 2017 legislative cycle, Republican lawmakers brought forth legislation to issue permits to those who use bike lanes in attempts to educate and prevent accidents for cyclists.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.