Help Nice Ride Plan for North Minneapolis Expansion--Public Meeting October 12

Share   |  Posted Sep. 23, 2010 by Bill Smith

Nice Ride Minnesota, the bike sharing program that was launched this summer, will be expanded in North Minneapolis. A commitment has been made by Nice Ride to locate at least six bike share stations in strategic areas beginning in spring 2011, with funding from the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support.

UROC station, Plymouth Ave N.  & Oliver
UROC station, Plymouth Ave N. & Oliver

With Nice Ride's debut in June, nearly 700 rental bicycles were made available at 62 stations, mostly in downtown Minneapolis, Uptown, and near the University of Minnesota. Since then, additional stations were installed north of downtown at International Market Square, next to Summit Academy on Olson Highway, and at the intersection of Plymouth/Newton Avenues. Bill Dossett, Nice Ride Minnesota's executive director, commented that the program had met and exceeded expectations with more than 72,000 bike trips taken and almost 1,200 year-long subscriptions sold by mid-September. "When we initiated the program, we wanted to be assured of success. For that reason we selected station locations where bicycle activity was known to be high. Now that we know the program works and that people will rent the bikes and sign up for subscriptions, we are excited about expanding into other parts of the city."

According to Gretchen Musicant, Minneapolis Commissioner of Health, the connection between physical activity and health is clear, "If more people use bicycles for transportation and fun, it will be good for the health of city residents." Musicant said, "We want to hear from residents in North Minneapolis about how Nice Ride can help make this happen."

During fall 2010, Nice Ride will conduct an outreach program in North Minneapolis, Nice Ride on the North Side - Get Engaged for Active Living, to officially introduce the program and gather input from residents, bicycle advocates, businesses, and community leaders to identify: a) possible station locations and b) ways to eliminate obstacles that might prevent bike sharing in North Minneapolis. Bill Dossett explained, "Now that bikes are on the street, we have an opportunity to listen closely to what people think and take steps to make the Nice Ride system better and accessible to even more people. That is why Nice Ride will be hosting community meetings and focus group meetings in North Minneapolis."

Biko Associates, Inc., a community-based planning consultant firm, has been selected to conduct the outreach program, which will include two Community Meetings and focus group meetings. The first Community Meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 12, between 6:30 and 8:00 PM. The meeting will be held at the the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC), 2001 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis. All members of the community are invited to attend this planning meeting. Contact Biko Associates, Inc. at 612-623-4000 for additional information.

This project is supported by the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support and its Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Funding was made possible by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Health. Nice Ride, a non-profit organization, is sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Bike Walk Twin Cities (a program of Transit for Livable Communities), and the City of Minneapolis.

2 Previous comments:

(1) On October 3, 2010, Ariah Fine (http://ariahfine.com) said:
Can you share how your getting the word out? If we really want to engage the community we need an intentional and strategic effort of engagement and communication.
How have you spread the word already?
(2) On November 1, 2010, Alan () said:
Any chance you're going to expand in NE Minneapolis? A station near the Quarry would be great!

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Bike fitting:

Nice Ride bikes are all one size and have been designed to accommodate riders between 5'0" and 6'6" in height. The seat height is easily adjustable. Our bikes are built for quick trips in the city by people wearing regular clothes and carrying ordinary stuff.