The snow is melting, and potholes are multiplying faster than bunnies, so it's time for Nice Ride's lime green cruiser bikes to hit the streets again. And this spring, stations are being opened in North Minneapolis for the first time, after activists in neighborhoods there agitated to be included in the hugely popular rental network.
Eight new stations are slated for North Minneapolis. Exact locations will be published along with a new system map soon, but based on Phase 2 expansion plans last year, stations will likely pop up on Broadway, at Summit Academy, International Market Square and elsewhere.
There was never any intention of leaving the north side out of the Nice Ride expansion plans, but extra attention was paid to expanding there after community meetings over the winter. And while overall the number of rental stations will expand from 65 to more than 100 over the course of the spring and summer, into South South Southwest and Northeast Minneapolis, the first new stations will go up on the north side very soon, Nice Ride executive director Bill Dossett says.
Most of the existing stations will be in the same places they were located last year -- downtown south to about Lake Street and Uptown. But some will be moved to accommodate Central Corridor light rail construction at the University of Minnesota. Eventually, the system will stretch all the way into St. Paul.