Neighbors push back on Hennepin Co.’s proposal to replace on-street parking with bike lanes – WCCO

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A popular road that borders Minneapolis, Edina and St. Louis Park could see major changes next year.

Hennepin County plans to repave France Avenue between 44th Street and Excelsior Boulevard in 2023, and the county has offered to use the fresh pavement as a chance to repaint. One of their suggestions was to bring bike lanes to this stretch of Avenue France.

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“None of the main avenues, I’m staying away,” said Roy Woodstrom, who is an avid cyclist and lives in the neighborhood along France Avenue. “I’ve been hit by cars more than once.”

Woodstrom doesn’t believe the county’s proposal has much benefit for people on two wheels.

“Why would you want to ride a bike on a busy street? When you can go a block on either side and you’ll have a quiet street with very little traffic and very little risk,” Woodstrom said.

The county says the additional bike lanes would also remove the majority of on-street parking on the east side of Avenue de France, which not only impacts people who visit the area for shopping and dining, but also on landlords and tenants who also use street parking. .

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“[Street parking] is a gift, especially when you have repairmen coming to your house,” said Cindy Soles, who has lived along Avenue de France for 13 years.

Soles is keen on keeping the parking lot as it is, and she hopes to encourage her neighbors to feel the same way.

“I canvassed the neighborhood, introduced myself and handed out flyers,” Soles said.

Hennepin County emphasizes that this is still a proposal and is taking neighborhood feedback seriously before moving forward with this project.

The county says it plans to hold neighborhood meetings soon to get direct feedback.

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In the meantime, you can provide feedback on the county’s website here.

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