St. Paul to add 163 miles of bike lanes over 15 years

Cyclists can expect to get around St. Paul easier and safer in the coming years.

The St. Paul City Council updated its bike plan last week to add 163 miles of protected bike lanes over the next 15 years.

The original version of this plan was released back in 2015, and since then, 59 miles of bikeways have been built across St. Paul.

The city is now set to add another 163 miles throughout the next 15 years. This is part of their long-term goal to reach a total of 335 miles of bike lanes by 2040.

These new lanes would be either off-street, or separated from traffic by installing physical barriers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 41,000 cyclists were injured on the roads in 2021. They also accounted for 2.2% of total traffic deaths that year. 

St. Paul's senior city planner says adding these protective lanes is also partly in response to this nationwide trend of serious injuries and fatalities involving pedestrians.

"A lot of people are out there who want to bike more, but maybe don't feel comfortable or safe biking when all they have is just like a painted line," said St. Paul City Planner Jimmy Shoemaker. "You know, that's a bike lane. A lot of people don't feel safe just biking and traffic in a bike lane so separated spaces are exciting because we think and the industry thinks and other cities think that that will attract new people to biking."

The project is only in the beginning stages right now.

The first five years will include lots of work being done to streets, sewers and sidewalks.

City workers and planners will then look at recommendations on the bike plan and start getting the community involved.