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Erik Burgess, Published August 27 2012

Moorhead OKs inter-campus bike lanes

MOORHEAD – Just in time for the school year, bike lanes will be coming to streets near the two college campuses here following City Council actions Monday night.

Council members approved the painting of on-street bike lanes surrounding Minnesota State University Moorhead and additional bike signage connecting paths that already exist on either side of MSUM and Concordia College.

The project will cost $16,775, with all the funds to be taken from a Blue Cross Blue Shield healthy living grant.

Councilwoman Nancy Otto said this is a great move forward in connecting all parts of the community.

“This is a huge step in that direction – to get our college students into our downtown,” Otto said.

The installation of bike lanes comes at the end of a 2012 parking study of both campuses here and a bicycling and pedestrian plan that dates back to 2009, City Manager Michael Redlinger said. The issue was originally tabled at the Aug. 13 council meeting after two council members expressed concern for the safety of bicyclists on the street.

One such member, Councilman Steve Gehrtz, said a recent trip to Denver, which has bike lanes, changed his mind.

“After seeing them in use, having them actually striped tells that bicyclist ‘This is where I need to stay,’ ” he said.

The lanes to be installed here will be 5 feet wide, and they are being painted onto streets with “lower traffic volumes,” Assistant City Engineer Tom Trowbridge told the council.

On-street bike lanes will be painted along Sixth Avenue South, 11th Street South and 14th Street South surrounding MSUM, as well as along Seventh Avenue South between Eighth Street South and 11th Street South.

Additional bike lane signage reminding drivers to share the road will be installed starting from the Woodlawn Park bike path following Seventh Ave South north of Concordia, then continuing south of Concordia along 10th Avenue South until the 20th Street South bike path east of MSUM.

In other business: The council voted 7-1 to approve an amended limited joint powers agreement as well as the $29 million budget for 2013 for the Flood Diversion Authority. The city of Moorhead will provide $145,000 from its general fund reserve toward the proposed budget. Councilman Luther Stueland voted against the measure.

Cass County commissioners voted to approve the proposed 2013 budget in a meeting Aug. 20.

The proposed budget and limited joint powers agreements still need to be approved by the city of Fargo, Clay County, the Cass County Joint Water Resources District and the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518