Nicollet Mall

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
mulad
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby mulad » June 16th, 2012, 11:58 am

One improvement I'd like to see made to Nicollet Mall itself is the addition of pedestrian bump-outs/bulb-outs at the street crossings. Most of the cross streets are effectively 5 lanes wide because of parking, and I always feel like I have to peer around some fairly large vehicles to make sure the coast is clear.

Of course, part of the reason why bump-outs are desirable to me is because so many people cross the street when the "Don't Walk" signal is lit already. The signal timing for buses and pedestrians along the mall seems atrocious during most periods of the day -- I hope that's getting fixed as Minneapolis upgrades the citywide signal system, but I don't know how much effort is getting put into the Nicollet Mall area specifically.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 16th, 2012, 9:10 pm

heat lamps and/or heated sidewalks...a MUST if you ask me! Also on 1st and Hennepin.

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Wedgeguy » June 17th, 2012, 2:47 am

John wrote:
Nordeastmpls wrote:I think they could re-do the facade of just the 4 story retail portion and leave the tower alone. Its my least favorite tall building downtown, but the street level at the base of the tower is not as bad as the street level of the retail portion. Of course I would love it they did something with the exterior of the whole place, but that would take a massive investment.
I agree with you. The lower levels are the most important to renovate. But there are many office towers in th US they are reskinning to update the look of the building. Its very possible to do. They need a good tenant who wants a good public image.
They resurfaed the Aon Tower in Chicago when the marble was failing on the facade. IT might mean doing some major office flor reshuffle while they work their way down the tower to get the facade changes. The base is my major problem. Making the building something you want to go in and explore would in the long run enhance their bottom line.

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Chef » June 17th, 2012, 4:43 pm

If you get rid of the buses on the Nicollet Mall you will also get rid of a lot of the people too. It is probably the biggest transfer point in the entire Metro Transit system. Does anybody else remember when the Nicollet buses were rerouted down Hennepin last spring for construction? I was photographing downtown when that was happening and the foot traffic on Hennepin was off the charts compared to how it usually is.

Most pedestrian malls in the US failed. I think the fact that the Nicollet Mall is a transit mall is part of why it has been sucessful. It adds a lot of extra foot traffic.

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Lancestar2 » June 17th, 2012, 7:29 pm

Chef wrote:If you get rid of the buses on the Nicollet Mall you will also get rid of a lot of the people too. It is probably the biggest transfer point in the entire Metro Transit system. Does anybody else remember when the Nicollet buses were rerouted down Hennepin last spring for construction? I was photographing downtown when that was happening and the foot traffic on Hennepin was off the charts compared to how it usually is.

Most pedestrian malls in the US failed. I think the fact that the Nicollet Mall is a transit mall is part of why it has been sucessful. It adds a lot of extra foot traffic.

I agree, It would hurt the activity on Nicollet Mall with no buses! getting rid of Taxis would be a plus that is if each block on the cross street had a taxi zone, but that would decrease parking a tad. Better to have a traffic clogged road instead of a dead zone

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby MSPtoMKE » June 20th, 2012, 9:08 pm

Rerouting buses off Nicollet Mall also results in some circuitous routings, which adds to travel time and cost, and often walking distance. Plus, to some it may seem like removing buses is a way of pushing "those people" who ride buses from Nicollet Mall to the periphery.
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Aville_37 » October 1st, 2012, 5:05 pm

Not a whole lot of info, but a glimpse of what the city may have in store for Nicollet - curbless, no buses/taxis, a new streetcar, more green.

http://kstp.com/news/stories/s2772997.shtml

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby seanrichardryan » October 9th, 2012, 11:06 pm

Denver, searching for icon, celebrates downtown mall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/us/de ... ml?_r=1&hp
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helsinki
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby helsinki » October 10th, 2012, 3:07 am

I have always thought that Helsinki is a good model for Minneapolis. It is about half a million people, relatively isolated, with cold weather, a diversified economy (but still dependent on a few major employers - they have Nokia we have Target), sprawling and auto-dependent but conscious of the benefits of transit, and with generally low density like MSP.

I have also always thought that the main shopping street in Helsinki - Aleksanterinkatu - is a good model for Nicollet Mall. They are both mixed pedestrian/transit streets about 10 blocks long (Nicollet is a bit longer, but it is about 10 blocks from the library to Peavey Plaza - the main part), they are important transit routes, they both have department stores, cultural institutions (Orchestra Hall, Senate Square) offices, banks, other retail and restaurants, but few residents and little nightlife.

Given these similarities, I am confident a tram alone (without buses) would work very well on Nicollet (meaning, there would still be sufficient transit access for the street to remain lively). It is true, many pedestrian transit malls have failed (Buffalo has the most depressing example I have ever seen), but Nicollet has many advantages that those cities do not. For instance, the main transit arteries of Marquette and 2nd are very close and run parallel to Nicollet. Also, the skyway system (whatever its other deficiencies) does make Nicollet an easier destination to access than might be the case for other pedestrian malls. And, let us not forget, there is tons of parking nearby.

Check out Aleksanterinkatu:

http://lumilux.org/568/aleksanterinkatu-at-night

They have also found a way to cheaply heat the sidewalks to avoid the snow and ice problems that apparently plague us. This would be a good innovation to implement on Nicollet (especially given how all the news articles describing the need for renovation mention the havoc wreaked by the freezing/unfreezing process on the granite pavers).

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby mplsjaromir » October 10th, 2012, 6:35 am

helsinki wrote: They have also found a way to cheaply heat the sidewalks to avoid the snow and ice problems that apparently plague us. This would be a good innovation to implement on Nicollet (especially given how all the news articles describing the need for renovation mention the havoc wreaked by the freezing/unfreezing process on the granite pavers).
How do they achieve this? From what I have seen in the U.S. the way to cheaply melt snow and ice is to have waste heat. Waste heat generally comes from electricity production, I do not foresee a new power plant near downtown. Hopefully there will be a way to efficiently melt snow and ice from Nicollet Ave sidewalks, and city leaders find a way to do it.

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Tcmetro » October 10th, 2012, 9:07 am

Incinerator at 7th and Olson...

mnmike
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby mnmike » October 10th, 2012, 9:14 am

I am pretty sure that Nicollet Mall originally did have heated sidewalks in some form? At least I thought so...surprised nobody brought that up.

helsinki
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby helsinki » October 10th, 2012, 9:19 am

They installed "underground heating pipes two centimetres in diameter laid 15 centimetres apart underneath the paving. Return water from the district heating system is utilised in heating the water-glycol mix that runs in the pipes."

See the local newspaper article: http://www2.hs.fi/english/archive/news. ... 031007IE15

This may mean that they use the wastewater from a form of municipal heating system that Minneapolis does not possess, in which case an imitation of this system might be impractical on Nicollet.

A benefit that I had not thought of, however, is the substantial reduction in cleaning that is required - and not only snow and ice removal (or even pavement replacement). The article continues: "In the spring, there should be appreciably less annoying dust in the air, as the street does not have to be gritted any more. For the shops along Aleksi, this means less cleaning."

The entire street renovation project of Aleksanterinkatu cost 10 million euros. The heating system cost 1.2 million euros.

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby seanrichardryan » October 10th, 2012, 9:29 am

Minneapolis does not have a municipal steam heating system. The University of MN and downtown Duluth have central steam plants and could utilize that type of system.
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woofner
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby woofner » October 10th, 2012, 9:50 am

It's private, but there is a district heating scheme downtown:

http://www.nrgthermal.com/centers/mpls/index.htm

I'm guessing they'd be amenable to the use of their wastewater in exchange for some sort of monetary compensation.

Heated sidewalks is the number one item I see come up in plan after plan for DT Mpls that has never come close to reality (a people mover is #2).
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Tcmetro
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Tcmetro » October 10th, 2012, 9:59 am

Downtown St. Paul came very close to having a people mover though!

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Avian
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Avian » October 10th, 2012, 12:41 pm

mnmike wrote:I am pretty sure that Nicollet Mall originally did have heated sidewalks in some form? At least I thought so...surprised nobody brought that up.
That is correct. The Nicollet Mall sidewalks were heated in the original design by Lawrence Halprin. The heating elements were removed in the disastrous (in my opinion) remodel in the '80's.

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby martykoessel » October 10th, 2012, 12:58 pm

By then the heating elements had failed in any case. Salt from the roadway penetrated through cracks and corroded the heating elements. Even with a heat source, heated sidewalks here will have serious life cycle problems with so much salt around. And it's not just salt from the Mall roadway. Plenty gets splashed up or tracked in from the cross streets.

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Nathan » October 10th, 2012, 1:18 pm

Some might say that in 2012 we could find a way to salt proof a heating system. Our climate has proven a challenge, but has also proven that we can create innovation. If we wanted to figure it out we could.

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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby seanrichardryan » October 10th, 2012, 10:57 pm

Or lessen our salt usage. Aren't we at some kind of salinity tipping point in our watersheds?

How about boot spikes for everyone using that slippery mall in the winter instead.
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