Cycle Track Approved in Bike Friendly Richfield

Russ Lowthian

With widespread community pride in being a bike-friendly city, the Richfield, Minnesota Transportation Commission approved Concept 4B, including a Cycle Track (protected bike lanes) for the 66th Street project between 35W and Cedar Avenue, last night.

All ages and levels of bikers can find comfort riding on a cycle track. Photo from


With much debate amongst the forward thinking Richfield commissioners, many open house events and surveys were conducted to help them come to a unanimous vote to approve Concept 4B. Now with the roadway design defined, engineers from both the city of Richfield and Hennepin County will look at the best use styles for intersections running along the 66th Street corridor. Then it is on to the city council for final approval.

CycleTrack_vs_Lane-5“This is a huge step forward as we nail down the future for 66th Street,” stated Sean Hayford Oleary, Richfield’s bike advocacy chair.

What is a cycle track or protected bike lane you ask?

It is a lane(s) for bicycles that is a part of the roadway and separated from motorists by painted boarders with plastic or metal poles and sometimes by a row of parked cars as the barricade. That puts the cyclists between parked cars and the sidewalk. The protected lanes can also be a raised bed (Cycle track) next to the street, as proposed in Richfield and planned for a short segment of Washington Avenue, in Minneapolis, next year. According to many experts throughout the U.S and Europe, the protected bike lane adds a level of comfort while bicyclists gain confidence to riding on streets. See the two styles provided by the Richfield Bike Advocates below:

Option 4B

This option is a one-way protected cycle track lane on both sides of the roadway, separated from the roadway by the grassy boulevard. There would be no bike lanes in the 66th Street roadway itself. It would look something like this, although the roadway itself would be wider

  Option 2

This is a traditional bike lanes in the gutter pan on both sides of the roadway, plus a wider shared-use path on one side. It would look much like 76th Street bike corridor in Richfield today, although all sections would be wider and have a higher speed limit.

According to national supporters like the People for Bikes, Green Lane Project, which has supplied technical help to a dozen cities nationally including Minneapolis, the number of protected lanes has quadrupled nationally since 2010. In those cities where designated cycle track lanes have been established more and more people are riding their bikes to local schools, patronizing more neighboring businesses, etc. with confidence.

Richfield is located on the south side of Minneapolis, near the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. On October 15, 2013, the city of Richfield was honored by the League of American Bicyclists for its commitment to improving bicycling, by naming it a Bicycle Friendly Community. The designation means Richfield improved conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.


One thought on “Cycle Track Approved in Bike Friendly Richfield

  1. Steve Brandt

    As I recall from reporting a recent Strib story, the Green Lane Project told me it rejected an application from Mpls for technical assistance.

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