In Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language, he explains how raised paths literally elevate its users to a status above the automobile. I suggest doing this for the entirety of the trail along Old Central Avenue, from it’s split from MN-65 on the south end to 81st Ave. NE on the north. It is an important bicycling and pedestrian connection that is also serviced by Route 10.
It would not require any changes in existing traffic controls – there is only one traffic signal on this route (seen at map marker “A”):
Since this signalized intersection is at a T it really bears no relevance, the trail is not intersected by the road. All of the other intersections are 4-way stops. A raised path would provide smooth passage for bikers & walkers, with their newly elevated status. At intersections, the raised path would remain as the crosswalk, effectively becoming a giant speed-bump to calm traffic and make people more aware of pedestrians. Similar to these types of raised “zebra” crossings:
For cyclists, gone would be up-and-down whoops of the endless curb cuts. A smooth, straight ride to bring you down the road. This also is a benefit for people in wheelchairs or scooters, as the ADA recommends a straight of a path as possible.
I don’t expect something like this would happen right away, but it should at least be on the city’s radar for when the path is repaved.
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