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Missed opportunity; plus: who broke the elevator - Peter Hentges

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November 13th, 2006

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01:39 pm - Missed opportunity; plus: who broke the elevator
Returning from lunch today, I passed a sign advertising parking at the lot next to my building for $50-65 per month. What they didn't note on the sign was a selling point I would have included: two blocks from light rail! This got me to thinking of the light rail and that led me to the following epiphany of the greatest missed opportunity for the light rail line: Elevated rail line with skyway-connected stations!

Check out the following map of the skyway system
Mpls skyway map

The light rail currently runs into downtown on 5th Street. There are three skyway crossings on 5th Street. Current stops on the light rail are at Chicago (just off the map), between 4th and 3rd Avenues, at Nicollet and an Hennepin. Replace the last three with two stops at the current skyway crossings at the US West and Lumber Exchange buildings and remove the crossing between. Add a crossing from the 5th Street Towers to the US West building to allow skyway travel to the 5th Street Towers.

What could be cooler than riding the train to downtown and debarking into the skyway?

Bonus content: When I left for lunch today, the elevator was working. When I returned it was not. The elevator was out on Thursday as well. I spent a big chunk of my day opening the locked stairwell door for people that didn't have keys. The disadvantage of the elevator breaking while I was at lunch was that I didn't take my keys with me. So, upon returning, I had to knock and hope someone nearby would hear and care enough to let me in. Thankfully, my door knocking skills were honed canvassing from door-to-door in the Minnesota winter; you really don't want to be left out in the cold because someone didn't hear you knock.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
The map is dated 1/97. I'm pretty sure there are more skyways. You're correct in that there isn't a direct entry to the skyways from the light rail stations. That would require more urban planning than normal for Mpls. Heck, way out in the Mall O' America the original plan called for light rail to stop outside the building. At virtually the last minute wiser heads prevailed and the stop is inside the transit station... at a cost of $2 million more. I don't know if there would have been savings if the transit station stop had been part of the original plans, but clearly it's worth the cost for the retail mecca. I think it's worth a bit for downtown.

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