Legacy

City

Design

Minneapolis, MN
Midtown Greenway
Midtown Greenway

The Midtown Greenway features a biking and walking trail that runs 5½ miles east to west in south Minneapolis, connecting the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes to the Mississippi River. Built in a former railroad trench that is below street level, most of the Greenway is completely free of car traffic. Users access the corridor via ramps, staircases, and the few places where there are street crossings. The Greenway also connects to many other trails.

While many people use it for walking and running, the Midtown Greenway is best known as a hugely popular bike trail, with more than 5,000 people using it each day in the warmer months, and more than 1.5 million estimated bike trips taken on it each year. It has become the spine of the bike commuter network in Minneapolis, and helped spark the biking renaissance in the city, leading Minneapolis to become known as one of the top cities for biking in the U.S.

The Greenway has spurred hundreds of millions of dollars of economic development along its edges. $750 million dollars of building permit activity occurred within a quarter-mile of the Midtown Greenway from 2005 to 2014. More than a dozen condo and apartment buildings have been built along its edges, and it continues to be one of the hottest areas for development in the city.

Project Details
  • Region
    • Midwest
  • city
    • Minneapolis, MN
  • neighborhoods
    • West Calhoun
    • Cedar-Isles-Dean
    • East Isles
    • Lowry Hill East
    • Whittier
    • Phillips West
    • Midtown Phillips
    • East Phillips
    • Seward
    • Longfellow
    • Cooper
  • project size
    • 5.5 miles
  • project cost
    • $36 million
  • project status
    • Completed
Strategies Implemented
Design
  • Provided better access to the corridor through a series of ramps for pedestrians, bicycles and public safety vehicles
  • Opened the corridor to provide more visibility and space for pedestrian activity where possible through grading and the construction of retaining walls.
  • Used the piers supporting the bridges over the corridor to reinforce the separation of the trail types and provide some visual interest to the corridor. Public art was implemented on some bridges.
  • Added safety lighting, security phones and cameras to the corridor to improve the feeling of safety in the corridor.
  • Selective improvements along the edges of the corridor allowed for better visibility from bridge and areas overlooking the corridor.
Process
  • Assembled technical and neighborhood advisory committees to direct community meetings
  • Numerous design workshops and charettes were held with the design team, community stakeholders and sponsoring agency representatives
  • Broad inclusive participation included open houses with each of the neighborhoods along the corridor
  • The project design team met regularly with a public advisory committee that provided direct input on the design process
Funding
  • TOTAL PROJECT COST: $36 MILLION
  • Federal Transportation Enhancement Funding
  • Local: City of Minneapolis
  • Local: Hennepin County
Policy
  • The Midtown Greenway has a land use and development plan that guides development along its edges

Minneapolis, 2010

2010
Pop. Loss Since Peak
Peak year: 1950
0 75
27.0%
2010 Unemployment
0 75
9.0%
2010 Poverty
0 75
16.0%
2010 Res. Vacancy
0 75
8.0%
2000–2010
Population Change
-30 0 15
0.0%
Unemployment Change
-30 0 15
3.0%
Poverty Change
-30 0 15
5.0%
Res. Vacancy Change
-30 0 15
4.3%