Tevlin: Dear mayor: Try to trump these ideas for Nicollet Mall

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 23, 2013 - 10:39 PM

Minneapolis leaders are eager to do a makeover of the tattered Nicollet Mall, and they announced last week they are tapping four consultants to offer their visions of the city’s most important street.

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mplsjoejoApr. 23, 13 8:33 PM

Here are a couple ideas I have; One get rid of all traffic running down Nicolette Mall. Putting buses or any non-emergency traffic is just a huge distraction from the pedestrian feel of the mall. Any mass transit can easily be diverted to adjacent streets and there can be stops along perpendicular streets for stops at the Nicolette Mall. Two, use the expanded space to have more outside presence of shops, restaurants, and special days like farmers market, art shows, etc. As for the ideas in the article, ADA will not let you put in "rumble strips" as they are a trip hazard and they are a big trip hazard for women in high heels. The cantilevered decks wont work, due to the structural problems, Sky way structures cannot take that kind of moment load at least for any deck larger than about 4-6 feet out. As for the stairs coming down from them, it may work, but you could run into ADA issues and who will keep them clear of ice and snow, plus stairs would only be possible if you closed down the traffic (stairs will take up a lot of sidewalk space. Flooding for ice sounds like a nice idea, but it is a huge mess and problem for pedestrians crossing the commons (slipping and falling) and will be problematic when it starts to melt and for emergency vehicle access.

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foobarApr. 23, 1310:57 PM

Have any of these people held a real job? Wind harps and wind flutes at street level? Like your neighbor's wind chimes don't drive you insane already. Enclosed, modular meeting spaces where people from various industries could convene year round? So you'll take your client to meet in a bus shelter instead of in your furnished office. That sounds like the perfect way to seal a deal. A 'Speaker's Corner' where people passionate about topics could give talks? We have that already, it's called any street corner downtown, and the people are ignored by everyone walking by. Free cable cars and a flooded street, with a floating skyway-level bandshell that showers free music on the street below? This reads like a parody of someone who has never worked or paid taxes. Here's an idea: we let the grownups talk about this.

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plummpjApr. 24, 13 7:36 AM

I second Mplsjoejo. Get rid of all vehicle traffic on the mall. Has anybody been to Pearl St in Boulder Colorado? It's a traffic free mall with lots of restaurants with outdoor seating, has shopping that is very popular. And Boulder is not a tropical climate and yet it works year round.

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swmnguyApr. 24, 1312:59 PM

Get rid of all motorized traffic on the Mall. Let the restaurants expand their seating areas out into the street. Leave some streets as they are, for farmers markets and other portable stalls, but take out the pavement and turn some of the street blocks into green space with trees. Maybe flood one block in the winter and turn it into an ice rink. Rather than creating some high-concept Design project that would win an award but never be used, restore all that space to areas that people would use, as they see fit, as makes sense seasonally. What downtown Minneapolis is missing is open, unprogrammed, unplanned space that people can use as they like, rather than as planned by somebody who doesn't ever use the space in the first place.

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nshoreApr. 24, 13 1:24 PM

In one of the Nicollet Mall reincarnations they planted trees all along the Mall and then promptly let them all die. People love to talk about ideas, but nobody wants to plan for/pay for maintenance after the fact.

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thedanmanApr. 24, 13 7:26 PM

And I like unicorns and rainbows. I'm glad they'll put serious thought into the pros & cons of their vision for the street.

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dtmonkeyboyApr. 24, 1310:40 PM

At one point the city proposes simply fixing the lighting, pavement etc. but the business community wanted something more grand. I love what they did on state street in Madison.

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verndaleApr. 25, 13 7:41 AM

More retail, cheap parking and safety, safety, safety. And dump the non-electric buses, far to many empty ones rumbling up and down the mall.

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triamcApr. 25, 13 8:48 AM

I echo the previuos comments - I ordered my food exhaust free, please.

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