The new walking and biking hub located in the “Mayor’s Courtyard” on the corner of Main and Robert streets in downtown Crookston is moving closer to completion with recent input from the Downtown Crookston Development Partnership (DCDP). The DCDP has been communicating with members of Bike Crookston and the City of Crookston as the project has moved forward.

    In the latest developments, the DCDP added $700 to the fund for a bicycle repair station at the Mayor’s Courtyard, which will complete the major features of the project. The Crookston Running Club also donated to this project last winter.

    Earlier this year, the Crookston Rotary Club funded the water station and two benches for the project, and the City developed the site, adding plumbing and concrete to make it safe and accessible. In the process, the City also repaired the sidewalk in front of the Courtyard and fixed a water leak underground.  

    Once the repair station is installed, a bike rack will be added. Other improvements being planned are another bench supplied by the Crookston Rotary and a wayfinding sign system being developed by various partners including Bike Crookston and the DCDP.

    According to Bike Crookston, there is a growing percentage of the population of Crookston for whom walking and biking are either a part-time or full-time transportation choice. This is true for more than young non-drivers.  Business and professional people, industrial employees, families and university students increasingly choose non-car options to access the community. Research from around the state and nation indicates that this is a growing trend and a lifestyle choice for more and more people. When communities invest in low-tech, low-cost initiatives to improve multi-modal access, it is an attractant to the new residents needed to meet growing workforce demands.

    Bike Crookston, the DCDP, the Crookston Running Club, Crookston Rotary, Polk County Public Health, the University of Minnesota at Crookston, Riverview Health, the Crookston Police Department, and Tri-Valley Opportunity Council have all had input into the various initiatives that have been completed or are being developed to make Crookston a safer, more walkable and bikeable community for everyone. The City of Crookston has been a consistent partner in developing these improvements and in supplying expertise and assistance in moving them forward, says Tim Denney of Bike Crookston.