Nicollet Mall

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
Wedgeguy
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Wedgeguy » May 29th, 2015, 10:26 am

I'd say it makes you feel guilty for not doing more in your life to help the unfortunate! I too walk along the mall and rarely feel uncomfortable with the people that are on the mall. You, Yourself, are the one with the problem if you can't handle the realities that are out there in the world!! MPLS is not a Utopia!!

amiller92
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby amiller92 » May 29th, 2015, 11:17 am

acs wrote:http://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2015/ ... andoned-it

It's really funny/sad how history repeats itself. I'm sure we'll be back at this in 2045 asking why retail sucks downtown and how many millions we need to spend to make it better. Nicollet isn't coming back until the two most critical flaws are taken seriously; the bums and the skyways, in that order.
Downtown retail needs people who live downtown, and they are coming.

The homeless aren't really an issue at all. They may scare suburban visitors, but we should be done catering to them anyway.

amiller92
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby amiller92 » May 29th, 2015, 11:20 am

acs wrote:You won't get the public street to skyway connection that is really needed until you clear out the bums and make it safe to do so. That's been the narrative from the building owners for over 30 years.
And for 30 years, that's been a really silly argument. The homeless who spend all day downtown know how to get in and out of the skyways. They even know where they can spend the night out of view of a security camera.

It's people without the time or inclination to explore that are kept out of the skyways by the lack of connections, and those are exactly the people the building owners claim to want to attract.

Silophant
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Silophant » May 29th, 2015, 11:52 am

The thing is, though, there isn't a lack of skyway connections on Nicollet. There's an easy (defined as an escalator up to the skyway level that is visible as soon as you step inside the front door) on almost every block. It's just that there's generally not a good way to find them from the sidewalk. We don't need an expensive stair tower that will help in only one place. We just need comprehensive wayfinding signage. If Des Moines, of all places, can do it, surely we can too.

Wedgeguy
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Wedgeguy » May 29th, 2015, 12:52 pm

Some smart tech savvy person should have created an app for that by now to help you thru the skyways and the city!

MNdible
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby MNdible » May 29th, 2015, 12:59 pm

Most of the truly treacherous twists and turns of the Skyway are well off of the beaten path in locations where casual visitors and tourists have little chance of finding themselves. If you work downtown, it should take you all of about a week to get your bearings straight.

Wedgeguy
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Wedgeguy » May 29th, 2015, 1:13 pm

MNdible wrote:Most of the truly treacherous twists and turns of the Skyway are well off of the beaten path in locations where casual visitors and tourists have little chance of finding themselves. If you work downtown, it should take you all of about a week to get your bearings straight.
I'll agree with you there. I think that there are only a few segments that I still have not gone into after all these years. But I'M good with 90% of the skyway system. I do wish they had more maps posted through out the system, besides the main corridors.

sushisimo
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby sushisimo » May 29th, 2015, 1:29 pm

Eh, I don't know. I think North Star, for sure the Baker Center block, and maybe into TCF is pretty cluster-effy. I've seen fairly obvious tourists and Twins fans bumbling and turning around in this stretch. And of course, that's where it's the oldest and most narrow. It seems the skyways west of Nicollet seem better.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 29th, 2015, 1:59 pm

There's definitely a mismatch between urbanists' love for old windy streets with terminating vistas, random dead ends, bends that obscure sightlines (all of which add "mystery" to an urban environment) vs. hatred of skyways because they're not super accessible and follow a non-rigid grid.

That said, while Nicollet may be the pedestrian center of downtown, a few staircases as entry points only on the mall does very little for making the skyway easier to get into if you happen to get off a bus/bike/parking garage anywhere else in downtown. I agree a wayfinding system throughout downtown's sidewalks is a much better strategy.

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby PhilmerPhil » May 29th, 2015, 2:06 pm

Is it possible that tourists have trouble with our skyways because they don't even realize you're supposed to go in them, stairway or not?

In most other cities, aren't the only reasons you enter a building to shop, work, or conduct some sort of business? If I weren't familiar with the system, I'd feel pretty uncomfortable walking into some private office tower without a reason.

MNdible
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby MNdible » May 29th, 2015, 2:38 pm

To be clear, I'm not saying that the Skyway public interface shouldn't be improved, or that wayfinding is unnecessary (although I will note that the Skyways actually do have a pretty decent wayfinding program). But I think at some level, short of blowing up downtown and starting from scratch, making the Skyways "easy" for first timers will be unachievable.

I guess I think of it as analogous to The Knowledge -- understanding all of the tricks and shortcuts of the Skyways are something only obtained by using them for a while.

amiller92
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby amiller92 » May 29th, 2015, 4:13 pm

Silophant wrote:The thing is, though, there isn't a lack of skyway connections on Nicollet. There's an easy (defined as an escalator up to the skyway level that is visible as soon as you step inside the front door) on almost every block. It's just that there's generally not a good way to find them from the sidewalk. We don't need an expensive stair tower that will help in only one place. We just need comprehensive wayfinding signage. If Des Moines, of all places, can do it, surely we can too.
I'm grant you that Nicollet is a lot better than the rest of downtown in terms of connecting to the street, but I personally thing more and better never hurts.

You're 100% right about wayfinding signage.

amiller92
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby amiller92 » May 29th, 2015, 4:16 pm

MNdible wrote:To be clear, I'm not saying that the Skyway public interface shouldn't be improved, or that wayfinding is unnecessary (although I will note that the Skyways actually do have a pretty decent wayfinding program). But I think at some level, short of blowing up downtown and starting from scratch, making the Skyways "easy" for first timers will be unachievable.
As someone who is not a regular in downtown St. Paul: St.Paul's signage is vastly superior to Minneapolis's.

helsinki
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby helsinki » May 29th, 2015, 4:28 pm

amiller92 wrote:
acs wrote:You won't get the public street to skyway connection that is really needed until you clear out the bums and make it safe to do so. That's been the narrative from the building owners for over 30 years.
And for 30 years, that's been a really silly argument. The homeless who spend all day downtown know how to get in and out of the skyways. They even know where they can spend the night out of view of a security camera.

It's people without the time or inclination to explore that are kept out of the skyways by the lack of connections, and those are exactly the people the building owners claim to want to attract.
Exactly; the gripe about homelessness has always rung hollow. I'm sure homeless people use the skyway system all the time and nobody really seems to mind.

The whole discussion is ridiculous anyway, given how few homeless people there really are downtown. As far as I know, there is not a single place downtown where there is such a critical mass of homeless people that the atmosphere is truly uncomfortable. Cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles, and of course San Francisco have this problem in earnest in their downtowns. Minneapolis doesn't.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby min-chi-cbus » May 29th, 2015, 11:13 pm

HiawathaGuy wrote:
mattaudio wrote:"Clear out the bums?" I'm not going to take social justice / equity angle because that would just be too easy. But I've spent plenty of time on Nicollet Mall over the years, and I've never felt threatened by "bums" even when I was a high school punk growing up in the distant burbs. Sure, I've seen some shouting matches between cars and people at bus stops, and I've seen that hate group that shows up Friday nights with their loudspeaker, etc. But folks that are just hanging out on the street, maybe with a sign, maybe not, don't seem to be a problem.
I couldn't agree more! If homeless people, or people begging make you uncomfortable - that says more about you, than it does about them.
It's one thing to not mind them, it's another thing entirely to advocate on their behalf....that's PC to the extreme!

LakeCharles
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby LakeCharles » May 30th, 2015, 6:34 pm

It's extreme to advocate for the downtrodden? That ought to be a mainstream position.

robotlollipop
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby robotlollipop » May 30th, 2015, 7:15 pm

Would love this argument to be moved somewhere else.

grant1simons2
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby grant1simons2 » June 8th, 2015, 3:12 pm

Can someone help me understand why they're lifting the pavers out and filling in asphalt in some parts of the mall? I've seen it happening all along Nicollet today.

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Nick
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby Nick » June 8th, 2015, 3:39 pm

I think they're doing prep work for the 2040 rebuild

kyl
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Re: Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project

Postby kyl » June 8th, 2015, 11:28 pm

I honestly think this project will be a waste of my tax money. The demographics in the renditions do not represent reality. I can't imagine a white woman working on her laptop after dark outside of the Gap store. Nicollet Mall is a bus lane and it will remain so after millions is spent. The growth of North Loop is organic, but I don't see how putting up trees, outdoor seatings and mundane art display will bring people to Nicollet Mall during the weekend unless you're there for bus transfer. You need nice restaurants and stores to draw people in. I doubt a new Walgreens would help. People living in the north end of downtown will continue to head towards the river, instead of the outdoor seatings along a bus lane. People who will take advantage of the new seatings on Nicollet Mall will continue to be the same group of people today.

I absolutely don't understand why I would be assessed for the reconstruction of a street that I rarely use. I'm all for building up downtown, but I think this project is a total waste.


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