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St. Paul looking to add more than 100 miles of new, safer bikeways

Saint Paul is looking to add more bike paths
Saint Paul is looking to add more bike paths 01:51

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The city of St. Paul is looking to add more than 100 miles of new bikeways around the city. 

The city already has more than 200 miles of bikeways. The new plan would increase that by more than 50% by the year 2040.

A typical bike lane you'll see all around St. Paul separates cyclists and traffic by a barrier-less white line.

"You just have a painted stripe that's separating you from multi-thousand pound cars that are zooming by you," said Zack Mensinger, Chair of the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition.

The city's plan, if all goes as planned, would add 119 miles of new and improved bikeways.

The plan calls for more off-street, separated bikeways and paths throughout St. Paul.

Mensinger said surveys show roughly one-third of people avoid cycling due to feeling unsafe on busy roads like Hamline Avenue.

"Really this is about giving that extra third of people that option to really have that choice that they want to make, to get around, that works best for them, helps them be healthier and more active, saves money on gas and things like that, saves a lot of wear and tear on the roads as well," said Mensinger.

Critics of the plan say they worry more bikeways will impact their ability to drive.

"Every single one of these plans will still dedicate far more space to cars than it will to bikes," said Mensinger.

Mensinger said he's optimistic, with about five to one support at Friday's public comment session.

He says more protected bikeways will benefit more than just cyclists.

"When you add some kind of protected or separated bikeway to a street, that ends up making it safer for all road users drivers included," said Mensinger.

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