Technical Track for P.E.s & Public Works Professionals

Winter maintenance and engineering streets so they can be more easily cleared of snow and ice are major themes at the Winter Cycling Congress. Check out the track below recommended for professional engineers and other public works professionals.

Plowing on the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis. Photo by Ben Hovland.

Plowing on the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis. Photo by Ben Hovland.

Tuesday, 2 February

Breakout 1

A year in the life of a protected bike lane **

Minneapolis has a variety of new bike facilities to maintain in winter. Learn about a two-way protected bike lane on an arterial street near the University of Minnesota from feasibility and design, including community engagement, through construction and the beginning of the first winter. Then hear about the city’s new protected bikeways plans other infrastructure improvements.


  • Matthew Dyrdahl, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works
  • Mike Kennedy, Director of Transportation Maintenance & Repair, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works

Breakout 2

Designing protected intersections in support of year-round cycling * **

Bikeways succeed or fail based on the comfort and safety of their intersections. Learn about intersection safety concerns, conventional treatments to mitigate risk, and the latest from on-the-ground installations of protected intersections. With simple geometric and operational adjustments, designers can raise the bar for designing safer and more accessible streets.


  • Simon Blenski, Transportation Planner, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works
  • Nick Falbo, Senior Planner, Alta Planning + Design
  • David Kemp, Senior Transportation Planner, City of Boulder
  • Steve Mosing, Traffic Operations Engineer, City of Minneapolis

Street design for winter cycling (Workshop) * **

How can we design streets that are safe and inviting for cyclists year-round but also efficient to maintain? Individuals interested in urban design and bicycle infrastructure will exchange ideas on street design and maintenance strategies. The workshop will begin with a presentation on cycling infrastructure design and maintenance challenges and will be followed by a practical exercise.


  • Bartek Komorowski, Project Leader, Research & Consulting, Vélo Québec
  • Brian Patterson, Principal and Active Transportation Practice Lead, Urban Systems
  • Timo Perälä, CEO, Navico Ltd. | President, Winter Cycling Federation

Wednesday, 3 February

Breakout 3

Breaking the ice with winter maintenance policies & practices for cyclists * **

Gain a better understanding of the weather variables that really influence cycling habits as well as policies for planning around the weather. Learn about how new cycling facilities are being maintained in Chicago during the winter and the way good management and communication result in high-quality winter maintenance in Nordic countries.


  • William Hyerle, Technical Sales Consultant, Eco-Counter
  • Kaisa Karhula, Project Manager, WSP Finland
  • Kristen Maddox O’Toole, Transportation Planner, Alta Planning + Design

Lessons from Montréal: Building a better réseau blanc * **

Montréal is often recognized as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in North America, despite it’s famously snowy winters. The presentations in this session will look at the state of winter cycling in Montréal and the challenges the City faces in operating a four season cycling network. Recent improvements to maintenance practices and street design, and plans for further improvements in the future, will be discussed.


  • Marc-André Gadoury, City Councilor – Official in charge of cycling in the Coderre administration, City of Montréal
  • Bartek Komorowski, Project Leader, Research and Consulting, Vélo Québec

From Finland: Best practices for winter maintenance **

Get a behind-the-scenes look at winter maintenance preparations, methods, machinery, quality standards and requirements in Oulu, Finland, the world’s best winter cycling city. Then hear about examples from several other Nordic cities in a presentation defining and describing the process of high-quality winter maintenance and highlighting the factors that lead to success.


  • Minna Raatikka, Project Manager, Network of Finnish Cycling Municipalities
  • Pekka Tahkola, Planner, Navico Ltd | Vice President, Winter Cycling Federation

Denver’s push to provide comfortable bike facilities: Snow or shine! **

The expansion of Denver’s bicycle network has given birth to a new maintenance program to keep bike lanes up and running year-round. Learn about how street maintenance works with bike planners to design infrastructure in consideration of maintenance requirements. Gain insight into details like new snow removal equipment; training for plow/sweeper drivers; public education and more.


  • Doug Legg, Manager of Street Maintenance, Denver Public Works
  • Heather Burke, Marketing & Communications Specialist, Denver Public Works

Breakout 4

Keeping people walking and biking despite the snow and ice * **

There is growing evidence that people are not only already bicycling and walking year-round but that they want more opportunities to stay active during the cold winter months. Panelists will explore the challenges of providing good pedestrian and bicycle access year-round in cold climate cities from an agency’s perspective and also from a facility design perspective.


  • K.C. Atkins, Civil/Traffic Engineer, Toole Design Group
  • Tom Huber, Senior Planner, Toole Design Group
  • Arthur Ross, Pedestrian-Bicycle Coordinator, City of Madison, Traffic Engineering Division

The future of bicycling & transit * **

Learn what Metro Transit has done to accommodate cyclists in the past, projects being planned in the present and where the Agency will go toward the future. A part of this work is to identify obstacles for combining cycling and transit, estimating demand, and defining goals.


  • Allison Bell, Project Manager of Everyday Equity, Metro Transit
  • Tony Drollinger, Programs Specialist, Metro Transit
  • Carol Hejl, Landscape Architect, Metro Transit

Salt for skid control on cycle paths: benefits and drawbacks **

Results will be presented from studies of a method for snow clearance and salt for de-icing cycle paths in Swedish municipalities using a front-mounted power broom. Friction measurements, road condition observations and the experience of maintenance operators will be discussed along with salt measurements and strategies to reduce the environmental impact of using salt.


  • Göran Blomqvist, Researcher, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Anna Niska, Researcher, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)

Breakout 5

Winter maintenance of multi-use paved trails: 2 agencies, 2 sets of challenges, 3 solutions **

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Three Rivers Park District operate over 200 miles of bicycle trails throughout Minneapolis and Hennepin County. During this panel discussion with field staff, discussion will cover the cost of doing business and examine how the Minneapolis region maintains this extensive network of off-road facilities.


  • Ginger Cannon, Park Planner, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • James Field, Operations Supervisor, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
  • Danny McCullough, Regional Trail Manager, Three Rivers Park District
  • Eric Nelson, Engineer, Three Rivers Park District
  • Kelley Yemen, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, Hennepin County

Maintaining innovation on campus: planning & design for active transportation * **

Universities are often places of innovation, no less so when it comes to planning and maintaining facilities for biking and walking. Learn how campuses with harsh winter climates are adapting best practices for network design, promoting cycling and dealing with snow and ice removal.


  • Aaron Fodge, Alternative Transportation Manager, Colorado State University
  • Ian Hall, Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Manitoba
  • Dylan Harris, Campus Planner, Campus Planning Office, University of Manitoba
  • Doug Lauer, Landcare Supervisor, University of Minnesota
  • Charles Strawser, Pedestrian & Bicycle Transportation Planner, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Transportation Demand Management Unit

The need for follow-up methods for winter maintenance of cycle paths & sidewalks **

The workshop includes four short presentations and a discussion drawing on the experience of the audience. The need for follow-up methods and lack of tools and measures currently available to those charged with maintaining cycle paths and sidewalks in the winter will be discussed along with test results of anti- and de-icing salts and their effectiveness. An open-source portable device for calculating salt dose needed will be introduced and a final presentation will discuss follow-up needed from the point-of-view of cyclists.


  • Göran Blomqvist, Researcher, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Ida Järlskog, Research Assistant, Swedish National Road and Transport Institute (VTI)
  • Emelie Karlsson, Research Engineer, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Anna Niska, Researcher, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)

Thursday, 4 February

Breakout 6

Measuring winter cycling traffic: Implications for policy and management * **

Making the case for winter bicycling starts with demonstrating that the activity is significant and that changes in weather may deter but do not prohibit bicycling. Learn about data collections practices in the Twin Cities, City of Minneapolis and State of Minnesota, plus research from University of Manitoba-Winnipeg and the legacy of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program – Bike Walk Twin Cities.


  • Simon Blenski, Transportation Planner, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works
  • Tony Hull, Nonmotorized Transportation Planning Consultant
  • Greg Lindsey, Professor, University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Thomas Mercier, Research & Evaluation Coordinator, Three Rivers Park District
  • Michael Petesch, Non-Motorized Transportation Researcher and Planner, University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Hilary Reeves, Strategic Advancement & Communications Director, Transit for Livable Communities

Lessons about low-density bicycle planning **

Suburbs can be bicycle-friendly too. Learn lessons from increasingly bicycle suburbs in the Twin Cities area – like Richfield a suburb of Minneapolis. Then learn about approaches to land use planning that are making winter maintenance easier in low-density areas of Finland, where mode share for cycling is comparatively high.


  • Antonio Rosell, Founder & Director, Community Design Group (CDG)
  • Kalle Vaismaa, DSc., Leading Advisor, WSP Finland
  • Jack Broz, Transportation Engineer, City of Richfield

Bicycle transportation in winter destination communities * **

Winter cycling in resort communities isn’t only for sport. Parking and congestion are often exasperated in resort communities when the snow falls and the visitors and seasonal workers arrive, while trip distances are often short though lacking good wayfinding and pedestrian connectivity. This panel will feature mobility leaders from resort communities that have become bike-friendly by accident and by initiative.


  • Steve Durrant, Principal, Alta Planning + Design
  • Andy Esarte, Engineering Manager, Town of Canmore
  • Stewart G. Osgood, P.E., President and CEO, DOWL

Bicycle braking friction in winter conditions (Mobile Workshop) **

Friction measurements are one way to assess the service level achieved through winter maintenance. In part one, a portable friction tester (PFT) will be introduced and its application discussed and demonstrated. PFTs measure variations in skid resistance due to winter road conditions, paving materials and design features. Then, results about the grip of regular and studded bicycle tires and their grip on ice will be presented. In part two, an engineer will discuss the design of fat tires and the considerations made to perform in a wide variety of unique environments. In part three, participants will get a chance to try riding on different types of bicycles, including those with studded, fat and regular tires.


  • Mattias Hjort, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Anna Niska, Researcher, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Katja-Pauliina Rekilä, Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Directorate of Public Roads
  • Thor Shellum, Product Design Engineer, Quality Bicycle Products (Surly Bikes and 45N)

Breakout 7

Plowing through: Planning for bikes in snowy cities * **

Gain insight into trail use from a report covering 14 U.S. cities and understand how weather effects trail traffic in different parts of the U.S. Hear how Anchorage is implementing its bicycle and pedestrian plans, and learn from challenges faced there related to implementation and maintenance. Learn some dos and don’ts from Boulder’s experience implementing bicycle infrastructure and ideas for overcoming opposition to new bicycling infrastructure.


  • Greg Lindsey, Professor, University of Minnesota – Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Dave Kemp, Senior Transportation Planner, City of Boulder
  • Joni Wilm, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation

The bike as a disaster relief tool * **

Bicycles can perform emergency communication, transportation and evacuation effectively in winter. This session hosts emergency management experts and bike advocates who will discuss disaster relief preparedness and illustrate the role cyclists can play in the delivery of emergency services. Participating panelists are from Seattle, Minneapolis, Boston and North Dakota State University.


  • Casidy Anderson, Community Risk Reduction Officer, Minneapolis Fire Department
  • Sarah Bundy, Assistant Professor of Emergency Management, North Dakota State University
  • Barbara Jacobson, Programs Director, Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition • Steve Durrant, Principal, Alta Planning + Design

Smart and integrated solutions supporting all-season cycling

Public transportation and bike facilities can all help support multimodal transportation patterns in cities. Learn best practices for integrating bikes and transit more seamlessly. Learn about a low-budget, high-impact model bike station in Winnipeg that is providing space for sharing bicycling skills supporting better city cycling.

  • Monica Hutton, Architectural Intern, Peter Sampson Architecture Studio
  • Chris Iverson, Planner/Engineer, Kimley-Horn
  • Kevin White, Transportation Planner, Kimley-Horn

Winter maintenance/bikeway (Mobile Workshop) **

Minneapolis has a variety of bikeway types to maintain during the winter. This tour will feature a two-way protected bike lane, a contraflow bike lane, a bike/ped bridge, a bike boulevard, and standard bike lanes. Matthew Dyrdahl, the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator will lead the ride and City Public Works Maintenance Staff will join participants to discuss maintenance considerations of different bikeway types.


  • Matthew Dyrdahl, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works
  • Mike Kennedy, Director of Transportation Maintenance & Repair, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works

* AICP continuing education applied for.

** Please note, state laws and regulations for continuing education vary. Winter Cycling Congress courses and activities are not pre-approved in areas besides planning, however to the best of our knowledge this session meets the continuing education requirements of many state licensing boards for professional engineering. Final discretion is up to each board.