The Midtown Greenway Coalition and the Phillips West Neighborhood Organization undertook a community involvement process in 2008 and 2009 to create concept plans for a public walkway on the north rim of the below-grade Midtown Greenway between Chicago to Portland Avenues. The final drawings are being used to advocate for implementation of the walkway. For background information, see the text below.
In Phillips West, there are no streets or walkways on either the north or south side of the Greenway between Portland and Chicago Avenues, but land exists to put in such a walkway without moving any buildings. A walkway here would allow neighborhood children and others to access nearby Greenway trail entrance ramps without traveling north to 28th Street or south to Lake Street in order to traverse east or west along the Greenway. A walkway here would also provide better access for residents within a block of the Greenway to get to Midtown Exchange and a future rail transit station in the Greenway at Chicago Avenue.
The proposed rim walkway in Phillips West is the third location where such a walkway will hopefully be implemented. The Midtown Lofts on the Greenway between Bryant and Colfax Avenues has one, as does Murals of Lyn-Lake on the north edge of the Greenway between Lyndale and Garfield Avenues where Tiger Sushi 2 opened up a restaurant overlooking the Greenway circa 2009. These publicly accessible walkways make the Greenway safer and more accessible.
Promenades such as this have long been supported by the Midtown Greenway Coalition, the City of Minneapolis (see the Midtown Greenway Land Use and Development Plan, 2007), and the Midtown Community Works Partnership. In the future there will likely be additional locations where the Greenway’s edges are enhanced with public ways, such as incorporation into new developments or by installing a new sidewalk along 29th Street tracing the south edge of the Greenway between Fremont and Lyndale Avenues or between 10th and Cedar Avenues. Another exciting scenario to make Minneapolis more pedestrian-friendly would be the removal of motorized traffic from 29th Street in Uptown (the stretch from Fremont to Lyndale referred to above), offer more ways for the public to enjoy and access the Greenway, and support the public market that happens on this roadway on selected summer days. There is a window of opportunity right now in 2011 related to achieving this, as the pavement is in disrepair and 29th Street must be reconstructed--now is the time to do it right! If you think this is a great idea, please let the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association and/or your elected officials at the City of Minneapolis know about your support for this Uptown segment of 29th Street and for public promenades along the Greenway's rim through its entire trench segment from Hennepin Avenue to Cedar Avenue.