This was the question of the day posed by MPR earlier this week. Well I think the answer is obvious, but some good conversation happened in the comments section. Here are some quotes:
The bicycle is a much more healthy, lower cost, sustainable mode of transport than the automobile and should be promoted. A comprehensive transit system that works with bikes would make a much more livable, healthy, sustainable city. Most people, especially those in their cars, don't realize what we've given up for the automobile.
Yes. We have an opportunity to address issues relating to public health, creating community, and improving infrastructure for all modes of transportation by supporting more bike lanes. I would also add that we need to make sure we address the maintenance of these improvements from plowing and upkeep, to safety and enforcement.
On that note, if it comes between money for light rail and money for bike lanes, I vote light rail.
So, all the plumbers, carpet cleaners, couriers, and UPS/Fedx drivers not to mention all the semi-trucks that deliver food to grocery stores, paint to hardware stores, clothing to clothing stores won't be able to do their job as efficient thus driving up costs of everything we buy. Its a feel good measure.
Does it make sense to reduce car lanes for the benefit of bikes? I like to think of it as much broader than the "benefit" of bikes - but more aptly the benefits of us all. Actively creating alternate transportation options for the residents of Minneapolis is a smart and forward thinking move. I think this expansion will ultimately be viewed as a great achievement, much in the same way the Minneapolis Parks System is viewed.
Does it really or are we being too short sighted and not taking the bigger picture into account?