Regional Bicycle Barrier and Barrier Crossing Area Updates

The Met Council is now considering requests from local and state government agencies in the seven-county metropolitan area to update regional bicycle barriers and regional bicycle barrier crossing areas.

RBBS Updates Public Comment Period Now Open 

Regional bicycle barriers are being updated to align with evolving local agency bike plans. They are established in the Transportation Policy Plan as the region’s most significant physical barriers to everyday bicycle travel and include freeways and expressways, railroad corridors, and secondary rivers and streams. Regional bike barriers are applied as a criterion in the Regional Solicitation project selection process for federal transportation funding. Current updates to these barriers, as proposed by local agencies are highlighted in the “Changes Only” and “Updated Regional Bike Barriers” map tabs of this web page; comments on these proposed additions can be submitted through Met Council ( Final maps incorporating these updates are intended for adoption into the Transportation Policy Plan by early 2022


Successful applications to add a regional bicycle barrier or barrier crossing location will be consistent with the following definitions:

Regional bicycle barriers are defined as follows:

  1. Freeways include the interstates and U.S., state or other highways that are completely grade-separated with no crossing highway intersections
  2. Expressways are highways that have at least four through lanes divided by a center median with posted speeds of 45 or more miles per hour.
  3. Secondary and third-order streams are the streams that flow directly into the Mississippi, Minnesota, and Saint Croix Rivers and their direct tributaries.
  4. Railroad corridors

Planned bicycle facility improvement locations are locations that are described or mapped in an adopted local bicycle or transportation plan, an adopted sub-area or corridor study, or a funded improvement project in a capital improvement plan.

Regional bicycle barrier crossing areas are shown in the online interactive map as tiered (prioritized) circles that vary in diameter according to the preferred spacing distances based on the Thrive community designation group shown in Table A. These areas define the specific barrier segments across which future improvements are desired.

Table A

Thrive Community Designation
Preferred Maximum Distance between available Regional Bike Barrier Crossings1
Urban Center 1/2-mile
Urban 3/4-mile
Suburban/Suburban Edge/Emerging Suburban Edge 1 mile
Diversified Rural/Rural Residential/Agriculture 2 miles

1 As determined through the Regional Bicycle Barrier Study’s technical work group.

About regional bicycle barrier and barrier crossing areas

Regional Bicycle Barriers were established in the 2018 update to the Transportation Policy Plan as the region’s most significant physical barriers to daily bicycle travel. These barriers, based on the 2018 Regional Bicycle Barriers Study, included the region’s freeways and expressways, rail corridors, and secondary rivers and streams.

The 2019 Technical Addendum Update to this study provides the most recently updated bicycle barriers and defined barrier segments known as regional bicycle barrier crossing areas. These results were added to the 2020 Update to the TPP and included as a new alternative criterion in the 2020 Regional Solicitation for prioritizing bikeway projects for federal transportation funds.


Steve Elmer, Bicycle Planner