Welcome To North Mankato, MN
Dedicated Bicycle Lane
North Mankato Bicycle Commission Chair Jon Andersen announced today that the North Mankato/Mankato area's first dedicated bicycle lane has opened. This lane is located on southbound Sherman Street from Belgrade Avenue to the North Star Bridge, connecting lower North Mankato's "share the road" bicycle system with the bicycle/pedestrian trail over the Minnesota River. The North Mankato Bicycle Commission hopes this first of its kind dedicated bicycle lane will serve as a template for additional safe biking opportunities throughout the greater North Mankato/Mankato area.
Move Mankato, our area's convention and visitor's bureau, is making a concerted effort to increase bicycle tourism to the greater Mankato area. Millions of dollars have been invested locally in the Red Jacket, Sakatah and Minnesota River trails. Move Mankato, with the help of the Greater Mankato Bike Walk Advocates and Mankato Multisport Club are busily promoting these trails. Events like the River Ramble and River Valley 100 are shining spotlights on our bicycle infrastructure and attracting riders from around the state and beyond.
To ensure safety of our bicycle guests, our recreational riders and bicycle commuters, it is important that we show them the safest routes to ride within our cities. The City of North Mankato, in conjunction with ISD 77 and Region 9, will be conducting a "Safe Routes to School" study this fall to improve the bicycling and walkability of the North Mankato hilltop for our student population and citizens. The City of Mankato is also currently evaluating potential intercity bicycle routes.
This new dedicated bicycle lane is delineated with a solid white line and sharrows indicating it is for exclusive use by bicyclists. Bicyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic and follow all traffic laws established for automobiles. If a biker encounters an obstruction within the bicycle lane, they may merge into car traffic to go around the obstruction. When riding next to parallel parked cars, bicyclists should ride in the left half of the bicycle lane, if safe and possible. This will help keep bikers further away from opening car doors.
Both auto and bicycle drivers should always signal their planned movements. They should also operate their vehicles defensively. The single most important rule is to remain alert and be prepared for unpredictable moves or mistakes by others. However, the bottom line is avoiding distractions while operating a vehicle, whether this is a bicycle, motorcycle or automobile. Please share the roads safely!
The North Mankato Bicycle Commission held a ribbon cutting to officially open the dedicated bicycle lane Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at the southeast corner of Belgrade Ave. & Sherman Street.