Active Living Blog

MnDOT talks bicycling in Bemidji

Posted: Mar 2, 08:41 AM

BEMIDJI, MINNESOTA (March 2, 2012) – Statewide bicycle survey is being conducted by MnDOT. Public meetings are being held throughout the state of Minnesota and last night (Thursday, March 1, 2012) was the public meeting in Bemidji. Leading the charge are MnDOT folks: Tim Mitchell, Greta Alquist, and Joe McKinnon, along with a third party enlisted to assist with the study.

WHAT WAS DISCUSSED: Last night’s public meeting set out to accomplish the following: gather information from the group on what our relationships to bicycling are, share a video message from MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel, present the group with an overview of the Statewide Bicycle Planning Study (policy, bikeway registry, bikeway map, and performance measures), gather a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis from the group, prioritize the SWOT, and then share the next steps of future meetings taking place in other districts throughout the state of Minnesota.
This meeting was purposed to set a foundation for future work.

WHO ATTENDED: Folks in Bemidji attended in numbers, with 26 people sitting around tables and a few others standing along the perimeter of the room. Lakeland Public Television attended with a camera and notepad, to tell the story, indicating air time on this event would be covered in the local news later in the evening.

WHAT’S NEXT: Thursday, March 22 is the next date to remember, being the scheduled date for the next meeting – which will be conducted remotely through the internet. Details to follow from MnDOT. Although not explicitly stated, I’m assuming both a computer and internet connection will be required to participate. For more information contact: Greta Alquist, Office of Transit – Bicycle and Pedestrian Section, #651-366-4164, greta.alquist@statemn.us.

I was happy to see a great turnout at this bicycling meeting. Bemidji is an excellent bicycling destination, located along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) and offering an opportunity for cyclists to ride their bicycles through Bemidji, “the first city on the Mississippi”, and over the Mississippi River on a bridge right in the heart of the City of Bemidji between Lake Irving and Lake Bemidji. Spring is going to be upon us shortly, which brings along with it bicycling events in Bemidji, such as activities taking place for National Bike Month in May, and a warm welcome for tourists to see our vibrant, bicycle-friendly city – by bicycle!

Our beautiful Lake Bemidji loop is 17.1 miles. Hit me up and let’s roll!

Natalie Gille, Bemidji resident and outdoor enthusiast