|[I even made this fancy chart.]|
Saint Paul has good intentions and fine goals. The city has a new bicycle coordinator (who writes for this very website), and has been working on a bicycle plan for some time. But without bike lanes in downtown Saint Paul, those eye-catching green bikes are are for urban bicycling what those Snoopy statues are for street life. They’re strictly symbolic. Maybe this year will prove me wrong, but I’m afraid that until Saint Paul has contiguous and comfortable bike lanes downtown, Nice Ride will remain a underused symbol of good intentions and lack of action.
Saint Paul is way behind Minneapolis on bikes. It's been lapped and lapped again, and as a guy who rides back and forth between the two cities every day, it's frustrating. (If Minneapolis didn't exist, would I think Saint Paul was the bees knees?) The Nice Ride disparity really throws that gap into stark relief. We need a bike plan and some downtown bike lanes pronto. We can't keep trumpeting our nice Ride program if we're averaging only one person at each station each day.