Walkability in Greater MN

Korh
Nicollet Mall
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Walkability in Greater MN

Postby Korh » January 4th, 2020, 6:47 pm

I've been thinking about this idea for a while now.
I'm pretty sure everyone here agrees that promoting walkabilty and other smart growth related ideas (Mixed land use, sense of place, TOD, etc.) in the metro is a good thing, but I wonder if the same could be said about Greater MN. And when I say Greater Mn I don't just mean the bigger cities like Duluth, Rochester, etc. but the smaller cities/town that dot the state.
Obviously there is a challenge given that most thing require a decent size population, although speaking form a personal perspective, driving through western MN, I have seen a few towns improve some of there sidewalks and crosswalks a decent bit and in some cases are as good if not better than some of the suburbs.

go4guy
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Re: Walkability in Greater MN

Postby go4guy » January 5th, 2020, 12:15 pm

Detroit Lakes is a town that has really improved. They are in the final stage of completely redoing the main street through town. Washington Ave. And there is a lot more density in the core as well as many new 4-5 story apartment buildings going up in the core. An old 100+ year old department store that is 3 stories is being converted to smaller retail bays on the main level, and loft style apartments on the upper levels.

MNdible
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Re: Walkability in Greater MN

Postby MNdible » January 6th, 2020, 11:54 am

It's an interesting question, because in many cases, the town's Main Street is one and the same as the highway that goes through town. (This isn't the case with Detroit Lakes, which makes it much easier to make the kinds of improvements you're talking about.)

EOst
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Re: Walkability in Greater MN

Postby EOst » January 6th, 2020, 1:14 pm

An interesting contrast is the MN-28/29 (Minnesota Ave) project in Glenwood, which 4-3'd the highway and added protected bike lanes.

twincitizen
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Re: Walkability in Greater MN

Postby twincitizen » January 9th, 2020, 10:04 am

MNdible wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 11:54 am
It's an interesting question, because in many cases, the town's Main Street is one and the same as the highway that goes through town. (This isn't the case with Detroit Lakes, which makes it much easier to make the kinds of improvements you're talking about.)
It seems like the towns where "Historic Main Street" (actual name varies) runs perpendicular to the highway/through-route have fared better in terms of preserving & revitalizing the historic core, compared to those where main street got widened if not outright decimated. This seems especially true for very small rural towns (<2,000 pop.)

Osakis is one example that I'm familiar with. There's not a lot going on economically (mostly farming and summer tourism), but the cute, one-block downtown is actually seeing a small resurgence with a new coffee shop, renovated bowling alley, and additional restaurants augmenting the antique-heavy business mix. Osakis also benefits from the I-94 freeway interchange being too far from town to have pulled development away from town (e.g. no Walmart a mile away from town at the highway interchange) https://www.google.com/maps/@45.8686418 ... a=!3m1!1e3


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