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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lack of Bike Parking at The Midtown Exchange

Minneapolis has signed onto the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement:

Climate disruption is an urgent threat to the environmental and economic health of our communities. Many cities, in this country and abroad, already have strong local policies and programs in place to reduce global warming pollution, but more action is needed at the local, state, and federal levels to meet the challenge. On February 16, 2005 the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement to address climate disruption, became law for the 141 countries that have ratified it to date. On that day, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels launched this initiative to advance the goals of the Kyoto Protocol through leadership and action by at least 141 American cities. Mayor Nickels, along with a growing number of other US mayors, is leading the development of a US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement ; our goal was for at least 141 mayors to sign onto the Agreement by the time of the U.S. Conference of Mayors June 2005 meeting in Chicago.

Under the Agreement, participating cities commit to "... Strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities..."

This is what Minneapolis Mayor Rybak has to say:

"Minneapolis has set high standards for CO2 reduction and we're meeting them - a strategy that has earned our City tremendous environmental and economic benefits. Climate disruption is a global problem but we feel the effects locally. We are thrilled with Seattle and Mayor Greg Nickels' initiative and will work hard to challenge our nation through our example." -- Mayor R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis, MN

One very effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to encourage bicycling. Is the City of Minneapolis doing everything possible to encourage bicycling? Are they providing an abundance of quality bike parking facilities? The Minneapolis company Dero has some excellent examples on their web site.

I wrote an article last week for the Twin Cities Daily Planet about the lack of bicycle parking at the opening of the Midtown Exchange at Lake Street and Chicago Avenue. Several bicyclists e-mailed me or posted comments to the Minneapolis Issues forum about the article.

The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have done many things to make Minneapolis a good city for bicycling, but there is a great deal more it could do to make it a example to "challenge our nation", to use Mayor Rybak's words.