Maze of Minneapolis skyways: A dead end?

  • Article by: ERIC ROPER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 22, 2012 - 8:19 AM

Once the pride of Minneapolis, the city's 8 miles of skyways have become a villain in the vision for downtown's future.

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cindystratt1Jan. 22, 12 2:42 AM

Hasn't any one noticed that parking is impossible in down town Minneapolis, and strolling the streets in Jan or Feb is miserable.

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rthepoetJan. 22, 12 4:21 AM

Duh...how about just putting some "Enter Skyway Here" signs on the street doors? This is a classic "grass is always greener" situation. We have this absolutely wonderful system where we are able to live, work, walk or shop away from the Minneapolis elements and some dopes are worried that the streets aren't crowded enough. When the weather is nice there are plenty of people on the street. I would keep expanding the skyways forever.

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mred58Jan. 22, 12 5:15 AM

its time to replace them,with some of them being close to 50 years old,and being used every day.not like a stadium used 10 times a year.so ziggy our priority is going to have to shift to some thing a little more important.to the sky way system and even the buildings downtown they also getting up there in age.

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danscJan. 22, 12 5:40 AM

The people who are complaining about Skyways fail to realize that most of the downtown buildings were not built with retail on the 1st floor. There is no 1st floor, street facing retail to stir up "street life." Skyways work really well in making a vibrant downtown for the six months each year we have winter and two months we have hot summer. Skyways are paid for the buildings, not by taxes. Skyways are filled with retail and well used by thousands of people. I work downtown and I can't imagine life without the Skyway system. It is like the tunnels in Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, Atlanta, and Chicago - unique, but very successful and popular. Skyways are actually better, since they have sunlight. Downtown might be cold and dead without Skyways. These complaints sound funny to me, like people from other places complaining about something they don't see or use on a daily basis. A little reinventing is always good, but tearing them down or not building any more Skyways sounds silly. These Leaders are showing our Minnesota inferiority complex. Minnesotans assume that what we have is not as good as somewhere else - when really it is often better.

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jsens3Jan. 22, 12 6:02 AM

I had my office in a building connected to the skyway from 1988 to 2001 and loved it. I parked in the attached garage and could get to the office and everywhere else I needed to go without a coat even in subzero weather. Also, walking in the skyway is safe and clean compared to fighting vehicle traffic on the streets (no mud splashing.) A negative social aspect is that skyways separate by economic class. Grossly, the impression from casual strolling is that poor people walk on sidewalks and catch the bus; rich people park in heated garages and use the skyway. A mix would probably be preferable.

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dorkeemnJan. 22, 12 6:56 AM

I was in Minneapolis in the 60's and 70's left in the 70's, 80's and came back in the 90's here's the difference - In the 60's a mother with young children could walk the street without getting run over by a car, propositioned or offered drugs...or mugged. There were stores downtown at street level. Dayton's had display windows that you wanted to see. JC Penny, Powers, Woolworths, etc... where all there. Now that is gone. No one cares about Macy's boring windows... You can't walk the street in peace. The downtown is a 9-5 office park. The retail and restaurants close when the offices are closed. The bars, etc...cater to the 20 somethings. there is no reason for mom to bring the kids down - unless it is to scare them.

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jbhall56Jan. 22, 12 7:13 AM

Those that seem to complain about the skyways are the ones that rarely are downtown. There are maps online for the skyway systems in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, use them if you're not a regular visitor. I haven't worked in downtown Saint Paul in years and have to reference the skyway map before I go now so I don't get lost. Why doesn't the city recognize that street level is no longer where the action is and admit it has moved to the skyway level? It's not as though people do not go to Nicollet Mall, the Greenway or the parks when it warms up because of the skyway system. I think the mayor is upset about an earlier poster's comment about how the skyway system seems to segregate life.

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tinyf70Jan. 22, 12 7:32 AM

The Mayor must not leave his office. "I don't think we need any more skyways," Mayor R.T. Rybak said. "I don't think that they help at all." The skyways are a savior from Minnesota's seasonal elements from the swampy summer days to the artic cold air in the winter. Winnepig, in Ontario Canada built their downtown businesses underground to keep people comfortable. The skyways are needed and have businesses.

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mingo21Jan. 22, 12 7:49 AM

It would be nice if some of these building owners would turn on the heat in their skyways. some of the older, very narrow skyways should also be replaced with new ones.

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bizsmithJan. 22, 12 8:03 AM

I worked downtown for 13 years. I loved the skyways.

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