For actions and resources related to connecting roads and trails for bicycle and pedestrian transportation, see best practice #18: Parks and Trails.
Make functional/recreational walking/biking possible between at least one park/open area and city streets. Report remedies for gaps entirely within your city's system of parks, off-road trails and open spaces or those that connect your city to a key destination/area/trail outside of the city under BPA 18.1.
Add a walking/bike trail that significantly improves access between two areas without a full network of streets (e.g., connecting cul-de-sacs within a housing development that has very long blocks).
Fully integrate your street and off-road trail network to facilitate bike/pedestrian commuting.
Who's doing it
Bemidji - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Bemidji has a series of biking and pedestrian trails that connect the city to key areas outside of town, such as Lake Bemidji State Park, the Paul Bunyan Trail, and the South Shore Development area (see attached route map). The Paul Bunyan Trail Bridge was opened and dedicated in September of 2012. This bridge, usable by both pedestrians and bicyclists, spans Hwy 197 and connects a major gap in the Paul Bunyan Trail and facilitates walking and biking across the highway. See attached map for bicycle and pedestrian trails.
The City is partnering with Three Rivers Park District to design (2015) and construct (2016)a Three Rivers trail connection on 57th Ave which will connect the Shingle Creek trail with the City of Minneapolis park/trail along the Mississippi River
80th Street box culvert project created a safe route for pedestrians and trail users to have an at-grade crossing of 80th Street. This trail conection also provides conectivity between Kingston community park and the regional West Central Ravine Park.
Many of our recreation and transportation trails link to the Mississippi River Trail which connects Cottage Grove to both our neighboring communites to the east and west.
Our missing links map also indicates future connections to our neighbor to the north, Woodbury, during future development.
Multiple trail connections connect cul-de-sacs to main roadway and transpertaion trails within the community as shown on the attached trailway map.
In December 2013, the Duluth City Council adopted a Plan for Duluth's Bikeway System, establishment of bicycle lanes, paths and routes, and requesting City Staff to implement such plan.
Duluth's premier bike path, the Duluth Lakewalk provides a walking and bike trail that connects the Duluth Canal Park downtown district to the Gitchee Gammi Park North of the Lester River Bridge on Duluth's eastern City boundary. Duluth is in the process of constructing the Cross-town trail to connect the Lake Walk trail to the Northern Minnesota Munger Trail.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Duluth's Lake Walk has over 5 miles of walking and biking trail.
The City created trails in Lions Park connecting the park to the parking lot and to Louisiana Avenue. The City also created a trail in Brookview Park running parallel to Winnetka Avenue, a major roadway. In 2002 the City facilitated MNDOT’s construction of a pedestrian bridge over Highway 100 connecting Bassett Creek Park in Crystal to Briarwood Nature Area in Golden Valley. A trail connection was also added between Regent Avenue and Briarwood Nature Area.
In 2009, we added sidewalk to Blake road from Excelsior Boulevard to Highway 7.This sidewalk connects significant residential property to the Southwest Regional Trail.I have attached the final plans which explains that it connects portions of the city to a regional trail which connects to many key destinations outside the city.
Hutchinson has a series of paved trails, bike lanes, and bike friendly streets that create a commutable bike-friendly grid to access most areas of the City. The City was also instrumental in the project of paving the Luce Line trail in 2015 to connect the east and west sides of town, in addition to connecting Hutchinson to nearby communities of Silver Lake and Winsted. See attached map for more details.
In 2015, as part of a total reconstruction of Jefferson St. SE, the City narrowed the street and widened the sidewalk area, replacing the 5 ft. wide concrete walkway with a 10 ft. wide paved bicycle-friendly trail. This reconstructed trail connected bike paths along Adams St. SE with a trail on Jefferson St. SE South of Century Lane SE.
As detailed in its 2015 Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan and the 2040 Transportation Plan portion of the City’s comprehensive plan, the City of Lakeville has a well-developed local trail system including connections to City Parks, its historic downtown, Lake Marion, and portions of two planned regional trails that extend through the City, and its schools. Over the last decade, Lakeville has incorporated off-street trails, sidewalks, and bikeways into major roadway improvements throughout the City, creating key linkages within the bicycle network. Many roadway improvement projects have included trails on both sides of roadways, providing more connections to neighborhoods and local trails and enhancing the local trail system. North-south trails extend along one or both sides of Kenrick Avenue, Kenwood Trail, Ipava Avenue, Dodd Boulevard, Highview Avenue, Cedar Avenue, Flagstaff Avenue, and Pilot Knob Road. East-west trails extend along 160th Street, 162nd Street, 165th Street, 170th Street, 175th Street, and 185th Street. Other prominent existing local trails adjacent to City streets that create connections into neighborhoods and business centers include the Juno Trail. The City of Lakeville continues to improve and expand its trail system and multimodal planning focuses on filling identified gaps in the existing local trail system and connecting the local system to the regional parks and trail systems, regional employment clusters and regional transit facilities.
If you look at a Minnesota map of paved bike trails you will notice that southwest Minnesota clearly has fewer trails that most other areas of the state. For the past 25+ years there has been a vision for a paved bike trail that would connect Marshall with Camden State Park. The 14 mile trail was finally completed in 2015 due to an historical partnership between the City of Marshall, Lyon County, City of Lynd, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
$2.6 million in Legacy Funds Secured. Financial and In-kind contributions from City of Marshall, City of Lynd and Lyon County. 14 mile section of trail completed that connects 2 cities and a Minnesota State Park.
In 2016, FM Metro Council of Governments created a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. This plan (attached as a descriptive file) is a sub-element of the Long Range Transportation Plan and is updated every 5 years. The purpose of the plan is to identify current issues and needs as they relate to bicycling and pedestrian movements in the area; develop goals, objectives, and recommendations to enhance bicycle and pedestrian accommodations and safety for all types of users regardless of age, gender, race, social status, or mobility needs. On table 4.3 in the plan, they identified gaps in the network of bike and pedestrian transportation. In table 6.3, they have short-term and long-term plans to connect trails using bike lanes, shared use paths, sharrows, signed roadways, bridges, and underpasses. Currently, they have replaced an existing bridge with a new automated lift bridge going from Oak Grove to Memorial Park which has an exclusive bike and pedestrian use. The bridge will connect bicycle and pedestrian traffic between Fargo and Moorhead Downtown areas.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Evaluation of the plan’s success will be measured through manual and automated bicycle and pedestrian counts as well as maintenance of pedestrian and bicycle crash data, results of which will be updated every five years.
The city has worked with the Three Rivers Park District to remedy street-trail gaps. Proposed connections include reconnecting the Bassett Creek Regional Trail with the east/west linear trail corridor at the 36th/Winnetka Avenues intersection (pg 9). Should the opportunity arise, a future regional trail alignment along 36th Avenue between Boone Avenue and Winnetka Avenue may be considered. In 2003, a 10-foot bituminous trail on the south side of 36th Avenue was constructed between Hwy 169 and Boone Ave. A new ten-foot-wide bituminous trail will replace an existing aggregate path at the western portion of Northwood Park. As the regional trail rejoins 36th Ave at Winnetka Ave, an existing five-foot sidewalk will be replaced with a bituminous trail.
In 2017, the city partnered with MnDOT and Alta Planning + Design to develop Safe Routes to School (SRTS) plans for the three elementary schools in New Hope. The SRTS plans include an assessment of existing infrastructure and non-infrastructure barriers and opportunities for each participating school site. Planning is completed in close coordination with school-based teams to support a clear path to implementation. For each school, detailed action plans for specific short- and long-term infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects that support the overall vision of enabling more students to access their schools and communities on foot or bicycle were developed.
When the plans were developed, the intersection of Boone and 62nd avenue was identified as a dangerous crossing for students walking to and from school and a candidate for a demonstration pilot program. In 2018, the city was awarded a grant from MnDOT to help fund a temporary installation at the intersection. With the assistance of Alta Planning + Design, Robbinsdale Area Schools, Meadow Lake Elementary, and Brooklyn Park, an installation concept was developed. The demonstration project will allow the city to evaluate potential infrastructure improvements to the intersection before investing in permanent changes. The demonstration project was installed on September 25, 2019, and coincided with Stantec’s annual worldwide “Community Day.” Volunteers from Stantec helped with the installation. A traffic study was conducted before and during the installation. The installation was in place for three weeks. The city will be using the results of the study to apply for an infrastructure grant from MnDOT.
In 2022, the Metropolitan Council approved the city’s grant application for infrastructure improvements near Meadow Lake Elementary. The city requested $363k in federal funds for the project, which would include the installation of high-visibility crosswalks, flashing stop signs, curb extensions and ADA-compliant ramps, blinking pedestrian crossing lights, stop bars, additional signage, and the elimination of a turn lane.
The Mud Lake Trail and Boardwalk was approved to connect the Oakdale Nature Preserve to Castle Elementary School and residents in the northwest neighborhoods of Oakdale. Currently residents must go around Mud Lake to enter the Nature Preserve or to join up with city trails that connect to the rest of the city. The boardwalk and bituminous trail addition will offer a connection directly to the neighborhood from the Nature Preserve. The trail also has a connection to the nearby Gateway Trail. Construction will begin Fall 2015.
With the Connect the Park Plan, adopted in 2007, the city had identified gaps of sidewalks, trails, bike lanes and bikeways through their community. In 2017, the city has been implementing the plan with tangible communtiy results found at this link. https://www.stlouispark.org/2017-connect-the-park-sidewalk-and-trails.html
The City currently has a draft Bikeways Plan that identifies street-trail gaps between City streets and off-road trains/bike trails. The City recently approved for 2015, $8 million towards reconstructing Jackson Street and completing the first phase of the downtown bike loop, and $13.2 million toward completing the Grand Round – including road reconstruction and bike pathways along Wheelock Parkway and additional bike pathways along Johnson Parkway and Pelham Boulevard.
The Bikeways Plan is intended to guide future biking and walking infrastructure improvements.
Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail Length: 15 miles The Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail stretches between Hopkins and Carver Park Reserve, offering scenic views of Lake Minnetonka along the way. The Trail starts in Victoria and ends in Minnetonka but connects to multiple different trails - all the way to Minneapolis.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
People in the city of Victoria are very proud of the bike and running trails. They are constantly being used in Victoria. The trail runs right behind City Hall and it is a great place for people to park and ride.
The trail connecting downtown Willmar to Robbins Island a major recreational park had a gap just north of the first street bridge. The previous trail crossed ella ave at a dangerous location about 200ft away from the intersection of Ella and First Street. This project changed the crossing location to the intersection and repaved 1 mile of trail to Robbins Island in 2013.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Crossing Ella Ave now takes place at the intersection where cars are stopped do to controlled lights. The route has been make with accessible slopes and is more direct than the previous crossing 200 ft away from the intersection where cars are traveling at higher speeds. This project improves safety and is a enhancement to the Willmar Footlake Four 4 mile Fun run course. This trail also make the access to the downtown more accessible to riders of the State Trail system.
Bike lanes have been painted, and we have also added more bike racks. City of Austin Trails Map and Safe Routes to Schools are posted online on City and Vision 2020 websites for all 4 Elementary Schools , 5th & 6th grade Intermediate School and Middle School – 7th & 8th grade. Earlier this month City Council approved new “Red Bike” program it will be free use of 60 single speed red bikes. The project is being funded by SHIP (State Health Improvement Program) grant, Vision 2020 and the City. Rydjor Bike Shop is rehabbing bikes, Riverland Community College Auto Repair/Maintenance program is painting bikes bright red. Committee is encouraging donation of bikes and donations. Program will go into effect Spring 2016.
The City worked with regional partners to provide a critical roadway link in the southern portion of the City (Enterprise Drive Overpass) providing a second functioning connection between primarily residential areas south of Hwy 169 with business services and school facilities north of the Highway. Post construction the Park Board noted school children were creating their own 'path' in the vicinity of the overpass attempting to get from their homes to trails/sidewalks installed with the overpass. The City identified a half mile segment of off-road trail and constructed the facility in the CSAH 3 boulevard.
The City's park bond referendum added several new trail segments throughout the City to improve critical connections to our trail system. We have constructed many trail and sidewalk connections within the past several years. A sidewalk gap project is planned for construction along Coon Rapids Boulevard in 2021. The city has many miles of off-road paved trails. Highlights of the trail sytem include the Sand Creek and Coon Creek Trail System, which begins at the entrance to Lions Coon Creek Park and follows Coon Creek then Sand Creek from Hanson Boulevard to Foly Boulevard and north into Bunker Hills Regional Park. Wildwood Park Trail winds through the park located just east of Shenandoah Boulevard from 131st Avenue to 133rd Avenue. A play area and basketball court are nestled into the woods adjacent to the trail. Prairie Oaks Park was completed in 2004. The park and trail wanders through the interior of the surrounding neighborhood offering a scenic view of oaks and prairie. A section of the trail tunnels beneath Hanson Boulevard which will eventually connect the to Woodland Oaks Park and will continue west to become a part of the Northern Regional Trail System. You can see the city's trail network map.
The City of Crookston has purchased a right of way from BNSF to construct a 1.228 mile multi-use trail adjacent to Fairfax Avenue. The new Fairfax trail will connect two existing pathways and complete a loop. The loop will include active signage and promote both walking and biking. The full loop trail will connect users from Crookston's Historic Downtown with river access and residential neighborhoods.
In 2013 the Rice Marsh Lake Trail Loop was completed – a 3.4 mile multipurpose pedestrian trail loop connecting the Cities of Eden Prairie and Chanhassen, including abutting neighborhood developments and encircling Rice Marsh Lake.
Utilizing and local funding and Federal Transportation Alternative funding, the City of Fridley installed a 1.6-mile trail within the boulevard of Main Street, a highly trafficked County road. The project also included the installation of a pedestrian bridge crossing over Interstate 694 since the existing road bridge was not wide enough to safely carry pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
This project addressed a major street-trail gap and provides a safe method for the residents of Fridley and Columbia Height reach transit, employment, and commercial areas such as the new Fridley Market center which includes a grocery store.
The City of Fridley, with the support of the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, took advantage of this opportunity to divert storm pipes in the Main Street right of way that drained untreated stormwater to the Mississippi River to an underground infiltration basin and to enlarge an existing dry pond.
A very relevant example is our proposed extension of a grade-separated trail along Bailly Street to interconnect pre-existing segments of the Mississippi River Trail system within the City. We also have completed a number of trail projects in the last decade to better serve this segment of the traveling public as well as to interconnect park facilities and schools with neighborhoods.
The City of Inver Grove Heights received SHIP funding to complete a Trail Gaps Study (2011). This study highlighted areas that lack trail connectivity between trails and sidewalks. Since this study, the City of Inver Grove Heights has eliminated multiple gaps highlighted by the study. The study is reviewed on a regular basis by engineering and parks and recreation departments during redevelopment, development, and street reconstruction projects.
The Cambridge-Isanti Bike Walk Trail completed in 2010 created a connection between the City of Isanti and the City of Cambridge along with Isanti Township and opened a network of other trail connection possibilities to the community.
In 2013, the City of Minnetonka approved Binger Crossing Second Addition Subdivision. This subdivision has a cul-de-sac end to the development, but added a trail connection from to the dead end road of the subdivision to the Minnetonka trail system. This trail system connects to various parts of the city including Civic Center Park and the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail.
Besides New Ulm's paved off-road bike trail, there are other locations within city limts that were developed for bicyclists. Such is an example on South Payne St. to South Garden St. through North Garden St. This on-street route allows bicyclists to safetly access three schools and the Vogel Fieldhouse. In addition, there is an underpass for walkers-bicyclists so they need not cross Highway 14 to access grocery, hardware, and other retail stores. The streets have markings for bicyclists and signage for motorists to share the road.
Rochester recently remedied two street segments. The first was the addition of a bridge crossing highway 14, to allow pedestrians to safely cross the highway. The second is underpass near Kutzky Park that allows pedestrians to cross 16th street. The Douglas Trail is also a very expansive bike trail that leads from Rochester out to Douglas, MN. This trail is very popular with residents
The 2015 Trail master plan shows both existing and proposed Saint Peter trails. Currently, there are both state and local trails available to the Saint Peter community. Upon the installation of the Washington Link connector street, the abandoned right of way between the Davis street and Sunrise Drive has remained and is now utilized as a walking and biking trails within the city. Local trails run along portions of Sunrise Drive and County Road 5 (Broadway Avenue), Dodd Avenue, County Road 15 and Nicollet Avenue. Saint Peter is working with DNR, Mankato, North Mankato, Blue Earth County, Nicollet County, Le Sueur County and Kasota focusing on the functional and recreational movement of pedestrians and bicyclists.
In an effort to reduce future disconnections in the city's alternative transportation network the city amended its subdivision ordinances to require a sidewalk on at least one side of every new development (No matter the Zoning). Pinecone Central Park like many of Sartell's parks is accessible by trail. The park is also connected to the elementary, middle, and high schools through trails. The city has identified gaps in its network through its sidewalk and trail map and within various plans including the Comprehensive Plan. The city has in the past and continues to look for applicable grant funding opportunities to further remedy the existing gaps.
The 2015 Trail Plan maps out all the existing trails and bike paths, and then identifies gaps and areas of oppurtunity to add trails and bike paths in the future. An example of how Stillwater has has remedied street-trail gaps between city streets and off-road trails to better facilitate biking and walking is the Mulberry Ravine Trail. This trail provided connectivity between the north-west side of town and downtown. It also provided additional connectivity to the Browns Creek trail.
A bike lane was added on Bel Air and County Road D that connects open space areas. A sidewalk was added on Hazel Avenue to connect schools. A trail has been added to McKnight Road to connect the trail to Lakewood Park.
The City plans on expanding the trail on McKnight to go over 694, and connect the city to Maplewood trails.
The Buffalo Hills Trail completion in 2013 has created a network of connected local and state trail in the community by linking the Spur Line Trail to Kiwanis Park. In May of 2016, the City of Brainerd completed a draft form of the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan which seeks to increase "walkability/bikability" by constructing new sidewalks and multi-use trail systems.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
A Buffalo Hills/Cuyuna Lakes Sate Trail loop now exists that provides a 5 mile multiuse opportunity in the city.
Burnsville has filled in many gaps along MN Highway 13 to allow for contiguous walking and biking on a separate trail. This trail connects to off-road trails through River Hills Park and into trails in Eagan (as seen on the attached map). Burnsville has secured a grant to build a section of the Black Dog Regional Trail between 35W and Cedar where there was a large gap.
Crystal has implemented a street reconstruction program for all local streets. As streets are reconstructed, sidewalks are constructed to connect existing sidewalks and to create safe pedestrian access to parks, schools and other facilities.
In the summer of 2010, the City identified a trail gap on Gold Trailm and installed a new trail to connect Woodhaven Park to the Cedar Grove (redevelopment) area.
The City also constructed Northwood Overpass (including a new trail) in 2009, which provides connectivity over 35-E and is part of the City's ring road concept, providing a new trail and connectivity to Eagan residents.
The City is currently working on the Eastern Area Trail and Mobility Improvement project. The City is adding trail segments to complete missing gaps and adding pedestrian facilities to better serve the commuter rail station, this will increase residential connectivity to the Northstar Rail.
There are no gaps in the City's paved trail system at this time. This system connects cycling and pedestrian trails throughout the city and the Park Plan dictates that these connections continue to be made as trails are developed around area parks and lakes and as general property development occurs.
Widen a city street (Pleasant Avenue) to accomodate increased pedestian and bicycle as an approach to the construction of our new connection trail to Grand Rapids and to eventually make a connection to the redesigned and rebuilt CSAH road which will have a pedestrian corridor. In 2013, the city obtained funding to add a trail along Fraser Street that will increase trail connections. The result will be that loop will be completed that will increase the connectivity to the college and to the Mesabi trail.
Remedied a street –trail gap by constructing an 11 ft trail, that is one mile long to accommodate pedestrian and bike traffic. The trail was constructed to provide connectivity to the larger Mesabi Trail system. 1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Greensteps Committee made the recommendation to city council and on March 19 voted to include this project in the RFP's for the trail construction. This project has been completed and provides a safe walking,biking area alongside Pleasant Avenue to accommodate transportation to a trail connection. The Laprairie Ave trail will connect to the Pleasant ave trail which connects to the City of Grand Rapida, the college and the Mesabi Trail. The design work is complete and construction will occur in 2015.
The new Central Park of Maple Grove is scheduled to open the summer of 2015. The park will offer a network of trails which will connect the park to the greater community and walks that provide excellent walking and biking opportunities as well as easy access from the surrounding residential neighborhoods. The Central Park is located just east of the Town Green and Library and north of the Arbor Lake Shopping area. The first phase of this park will include trails, a multi season park building, open lawn and some year round recreation opportunities.
The City has identified and remedied a street-trail gap between Hazelwood Street and Bruce Vento trail that runs along the south side of Highway 36. The City of Maplewood did complete the Lakeview trail on the north side of the City. Maplewood also made connections to the City of Oakdale, through Joy Park and to the west beyond, extending past the Maplewood Mall and onto the existing Bruce Vento Trail. This will also extend into the City of White Bear Lake.
The Gateway Trail also connects the city of Maplewood to the Metro area with many access points near schools as well as public parking available near trail entrances.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Identifying and remedying a street-trail gap between Hazelwood Street and Bruce Vento trail allows for better facilitation of biking and walking.
Hansen Park offers a network of bituminous trails which connect the park to the surrounding neighborhood areas and bicycle-friendly roads. For bicycle commuters who come from further north, Long Lake Road has a dedicated bike lane and links the south border of Mounds View to Pike Lake Trail Park and Long Lake Regional Park. The Rice Creek North Regional Trail is a bituminous path located in northeast New Brighton links to Irondale High School and Edgewood Middle School.
New Brighton also addresses the need for more bicycle pathways that remedy gaps within the city system in the 2008 Parks and Recreation Strategy Plan. The city is working to increase connected pathways with surrounding communities and the regional trail network. The 2018 Comprehensive Plan will include possible future trails and connections.
The City of St. Anthony has recently connected to the Northeast Diagonal Regional Trail. The City is also working on improving connectablity to Silverwood Regional Park.
The City has developed an Adopt-a-Bench program that allows residents to place park benches along sidewalks improving pedestrian accomidations.
In 2014 the City will install an 8’ wide bituminous bike trail along the east side of Lexington Avenue from Royal Oaks Drive to Hamline Avenue. Correcting this gap in our trail network will allow residents to access the Ramsey County Rice Creek Park/Regional Trail area to the west, and students in the adjoining neighborhoods safer access to Turtle Lake Elementary School to the south. Without this project, students or trail users have to cross Lexington Avenue without a designated streetlight. (As you can see in the image - only striped crosswalks are available on a curved road with traffic moving approximately 35-50pmh.) With an additional subdivision of 25 new homes along this trail, the City recognizes the importance of connecting new streets to our trail system.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Offering an additional trail connects neighborhoods to open spaces, schools, additional trail networks, and lessens the need for pedestrians cross at uncontrolled intersections.
South St. Paul completed its bicycle and pedestrian Plan in 2014 which identified Wentworth Avenue as a challenging walking and bicycling route. As a result of this study, Wentworth Avenue was determined to be an area of importance to address street-trail gaps. After receiving money from a Safe Routes to School grant, the City was able to put a sidewalk in along Wentworth Avenue in the summer of 2019.