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The Pine River City Council voices support of bike lanes

At the July 9 regular meeting of the Pine River City Council, Quinn Swanson of Pine River Revitilization (PRR) and a group of supporters asked the council to approve a resolution supporting bicycle lanes along Barclay Avenue in Pine River.

The project would involve restructuring the four lanes and two parking lanes on Barclay Ave. In this proposed project, there would be a center turn lane with one lane of traffic on either side flanked on both sides by directional bicycle lanes, parking, and then sidewalks.

Council member Tamara Hansen said her biggest concern was for the cost of the project. It was mentioned that bicycle lanes would require that the current stripes on Barclay Avenue would need to be removed and repainted. Those lines would need regular retouching as well, though the Minnesota Department of Transportation might be responsible for some or all of those costs.

Swanson explained that the resolution was not asking for monetary contributions, but was just intended to show that the council supports the idea of bike lanes. Swanson explained that MnDot was less willing to discuss the project with PRR without the support of the city. She said that with the resolution the group would be able to pursue more information regarding the project.

Mayor Jim Sabas expressed his support of the subject.

“I think they’re a great idea to get that congestion of bikes off the sidewalks. I don’t think there’d be any problems with traffic on the street,” Sabas said. “Right now it’s shaped for a four lane highway through town and I think we can get by with just the two major lanes.”

John Wetrosky of PRR and the Pine River Chamber of Commerce also spoke out in support of the bicycle lane project.

“I’ve had a lot of bikers this year going off the trail going downtown, and I think we need to look at this as an investment as well as a cost. If we’re going to invite these people, they eat at the Cottage Café, they eat at Jr’s, they eat at the coffee shop. I think we’re looking at an investment to bring more people down there to use that dam. We’re all paying taxes as business owners, so it makes me want to bring those folks down there in a safe manner.”

A motion was made to approve the resolution by Tony Desanto. The motion was seconded by Patty Melby and the resolution was passed.