June 14, 2011
In Minnesota, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the final segment of a bicycle/pedestrian trail in the Minneapolis area. This late-afternoon ceremony formally marked the completion of the Cedar Lake Regional Trail after two decades of planning and construction. Those taking part in the festivities included Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis and members of the Cedar Lake Park Association.
The Cedar Lake Regional Trail originates in downtown Minneapolis and for the most part runs parallel to the Wayzata Subdivision line of the BNSF Railway. The trail is approximately 4.3 miles (6.9 kilometers) in length altogether. The final portion to be opened was a one-mile (1.6-kilometer) stretch that extended the trail to the West River Parkway, located along the western bank of the Mississippi River.
The trail had the distinction of being the first federally funded bicycle commuter trail in the United States. The trail is also widely considered to be the nation’s first bicycle freeway. For most of its length, the trail consists of three free-flowing lanes: two one-way lanes for bicycle traffic; and a third parallel lane for two-way pedestrian traffic.
For additional information, please check out the 4 June 2011 Star Tribune article “Cedar Lake Regional Trail is completed at last” at http://www.startribune.com/cedar-lake-regional-trail-is-completed-at-last/123166158/.