I haven't been blogging much in recent weeks, but thought this was notable. There will be a ribbon cutting for the new Midtown Greenway bridge over Hiawatha on Thursday November 8 from 4 to 6PM. I expect there'll be the usual huge ribbons, oversized scissors and speeches. It's a good moment for the Greenway Coalition and the politicians who supported and funded this. The bridge is really nice.
I can say this from personal experience, as on the way home from church this morning (Karla plays two services, I just sing in the first one and then ride my bicycle home, having taken it on the car to church) Henry and I rode up Bryant and onto the Midtown Greenway. There were signs up along the path about the Thursday grand opening. When we got to the end of the Greenway where it turns right onto the sidewalk to go across Hiawatha you could see the end of the bridge ramp approach with huge TRAIL CLOSED signs. However, there was some guy who'd overtaken us a couple of minutes before riding up there. It didn't look that closed. Signs are for motorists and other losers, let's go take a look. So, Henry and I rode between the two TRAIL CLOSED signs and up the west approach.
It looks really nice, all landscaped now with streetlights in place. It curves up to the big support pole that holds the whole bridge up. There are a couple of benches facing towards this pole, which seems a weird thing to sit and look at. Then, over Hiawatha, across the light rail tracks and swoop back down to the trail on the east side of the street. Other cyclists there were coming up the trail and dutifully queuing up to cross on the crosswalk. I thought about calling out to them and suggesting that they use the bridge, but figured I'd leave that up them, they'll know soon enough.
This is really nice. No more riding on the sidewalk, no more crossing on a crosswalk, just up and over all that traffic. We rode on eastwards to the end, where you can see how wonderful the Short Line bridge would be to cross the Mississippi and connect into Saint Paul, but had to get off and move over to the Lake/Marshall bridge.
Maybe you can't get across during the week if there's lots of construction guys around finishing up work, but on a late Sunday morning there was no problem, and a week from now it will be officially open.