I’m in Minneapolis for a convention – my wife’s convention, I’m the spouse free to explore the city while she works. It is ironic that I have traveled 900+ miles to get my first experience with bike share when we have the best bike share system in the nation right next door to my Silver Spring home, in the D.C. Capital Bikeshare.
The Washington Ave. Bridge is in the background
The Nice ride system appears to be the same as our own Capital Bikeshare system, except that the bikes are lime green. I’m impressed with how well the system works, at least for a tourist just trying to see the sights. I’ve taken 10 rides in two days, and have found the system to be very easy to use. I’ve never found a bike station that had no bikes or no empty spaces. The only glich so far has been one station kiosk that balked briefly when I tried to exchange a bike that was nearing its 30 minute free limit for a fresh bike – and that was quickly resolved by a phone call to the trouble number displayed at the kiosk. I’m impressed, and I’m starting to think our own Capital Bikeshare system can work in Silver Spring if it has the right distribution of stations.
The upper deck has an enclosed pedestrian walkway and a bike path,
Light rail construction is underway on the lower deck, left (south) side
And I’ve found yet another CCT in Minneapolis, to confuse acronyms with our own Capital Crescent Trail and the Corridor Cities Transitway. Minneapolis will soon have its own CCT in the Central Corridor light-rail Transit now under construction. Minneapolis already has the Hiawatha light-rail that extends from downtown Minneapolis south through the airport to the Mall of America. This new light-rail line will share the rail and stations with the Hiawatha line in downtown Minneapolis, then will head east across the Mississippi River on the lower deck (south side) of the Washington Ave. bridge, through the center of the University of Minnesota, and continue on to Saint Paul.
The enclosed pedestrian walkway is on the left
If you are ever in Minneapolis, you should explore the Mississippi River bridges by bike. Almost all the bridges are very accessible by bike, and several have full width bike paths. The views are spectacular. We talk about “complete streets” that provide for bike and ped traffic. Minneapolis has “complete bridges”.