The pandemic has launched a worldwide boom in bicycling and walking, both for commuting and exercise. Duluth is no exception. Despite our hills, the cold, and other obstacles, we have turned to the outdoors in record numbers. It was — and continues to be — the perfect way to enjoy time with families and friends.
People who discovered Duluth’s trails will continue to use them for recreation and transportation. We have both good and bad news for all users.
The bad: we will lose one of the sections in the Cross City Trail (CCT) during the Twin Ports Interchange (“Can of Worms”) reconstruction. It will close the Cross City Trail’s Lower Michigan Street section in the Lincoln Park Business District for up to three years.
The good: the city of Duluth designed and the Minnesota Department of Transportation helped fund the city’s first protected bike lane on West Superior Street. During construction, this route may be the best way to navigate the congestion and resulting traffic delays. On-street protected bike lanes provide minimal barriers between drivers and bike riders.
The CCT Coalition, made up of the Friends of Western Duluth Parks and Trails, the We Walk in Duluth group, Zeitgeist, and others are grateful to city staff, MnDOT, and Lincoln Park businesses for making this option possible.
Protected bike lanes are becoming a common addition to vibrant cities’ transportation options. This one allows the continued use of the Cross City Trail as a safe route, making it easier to support businesses in Lincoln Park during a stressful time.
We look forward to seeing more of these creative partnerships between the city, business districts, and advocates, as we work to make Duluth a truly sustainable city for all of its residents — regardless of how we move around the city.
The writer is chairman of the group Friends of the Western Duluth Parks & Trails. Also contributing to and signing this letter were Alice Tibbetts of the group We Walk in Duluth and Zeitgeist Community Development Manager Andrea Crouse.
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