Introducing Saint Paul’s Capital City Bikeway

Mayor Coleman announces name and route for downtown bicycle network, which will modernize streets and outdoor spaces in downtown Saint Paul 

Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, City Council members, the downtown business community and bicycle enthusiasts gathered today (October 5, 2016) to celebrate the near completion of the first segment of Saint Paul’s downtown bicycle network. Named the Capital City Bikeway, this two-way, off-street bike trail and separated pedestrian sidewalk connects residents and visitors to downtown attractions and the existing regional trail network.

“The Capital City Bikeway is an important project that will make downtown Saint Paul more accessible, vibrant and attractive for this next generation of talented workers,” said Mayor Coleman. “Keeping our city thriving in a 21st century economy means putting people first, and there is no better way to do that than by activating an innovative bikeway that enlivens our outdoor spaces and connects residents to work, businesses and entertainment.” 

A part of Saint Paul’s effort to build vibrant places and spaces, the Capital City Bikeway will feature:

  • Two-way, off-street bike trail and separated pedestrian sidewalk
  • Scenic landscaping separating the bikeway from streets and sidewalks
  • Sustainable pavement and porous asphalt, which will help collect storm water runoff and keep pathways dry, increasing the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Aesthetic features including benches, street lights, directional signage and public art

“The Capital City Bikeway will be an important asset in Saint Paul, as it will meet the pent-up demand for safe biking in and through downtown for commuting and recreating purposes,” said Saint Paul City Council President Russ Stark. “The more opportunities we give people to get around safely without a car, the more we improve our air quality and sustainability practices.”

Capital City Bikeway route

The Capital City Bikeway will run along Jackson Street, Kellogg Boulevard, St. Peter Street, 9th Street and 10th Street. The route covers some of downtown Saint Paul’s oldest streets, allowing them to be reconstructed and modernized for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists and to enhance economic activity in the downtown core. The route was chosen as a part of a comprehensive visioning and master planning process, which included significant public input.

“The Capital City Bikeway will make our city more aesthetically pleasing, easier to get around, healthier and more vibrant,” said Saint Paul City Council Member Rebecca Noecker. “The bikeway was informed by significant public input, and it is an example of the amazing things that can get done collaboratively.”

The remaining Jackson Street segment will be completed in 2017. As funding is allocated, the city will construct additional segments of the bikeway. Interim bike and pedestrian treatments may be implemented on some of these streets to quickly connect more of the downtown to the bikeway.

“It has been 50 years since Jackson Street was last reconstructed, so I welcome this forward-thinking facelift to our downtown infrastructure,” said Matt Kramer, president of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. “The modernization that the Capital City Bikeway brings to downtown will serve residents well into the future, whether they take advantage of biking on the trail or simply benefit from it being in place. When we build forward-thinking infrastructure, it leads to economic development.”

The installation of bikeways and trails across the country has proven to bring economic benefits to cities, including job growth, increased retail sales and property values, and fewer vacancies. For more information on how bikeways enhance the vitality of cities, visit stpaul.gov/bikingbenefits.

About the Saint Paul Bicycle Plan

In the City’s 2015 budget, Mayor Chris Coleman dedicated more than $27 million of the 8 80 Vitality Fund to road reconstruction, including a significant expansion in off-street bike trails – the largest investment in bike infrastructure in Saint Paul’s history.

The Saint Paul Bicycle Plan, which was adopted by City Council in March 2015, will guide the development of a safe, effective and well-connected network of bicycle facilities to encourage bicycle transportation, and more than doubles the mileage of bicycle facilities throughout Saint Paul over the next several decades. Included in the plan are the Grand Round and the Capital City Bikeway. The Grand Round’s full route will connect people to Saint Paul’s outdoor landmarks such as the Mississippi River, Lake Phalen, Como Lake, and more than a dozen parks. The Capital City Bikeway will connect to existing regional trails and place a majority of downtown within three blocks of a bikeway.