What changes would you like to see over the next 15 years in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul?

A new design plan for Minneapolis calls for doubling the number of downtown residents in the next 15 years and making other changes to sports, arts and shopping districts. Today’s Question: What changes would you like to see over the next 15 years in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul?

  • Jeff S.

    Better comfort and ease of traffic flow entering and exiting the downtown area.

  • Mark G

    I would like to see light rail extended to Rochester, St. Cloud, Mankato, and Duluth, but I realize that this may be cost-prohibitive. Otherwise, I would like to see the downtown areas being more devoted to footways and bikeways and less being devoted to motor traffic. But again, the cost may make this only a pipe dream.

  • Larry M.

    I would like the see the completion of the SW light rail corridor into Minneapolis, this could benefit me directly, especially if they run it through downtown towards the river. For the area, I believe light rail from the airport to downtown St. Paul is going to have the most positive economic impact since the University rail project will be done.

  • Alex

    I would like to see an emphasis on public transportation. The light rail is great and adding more lines would increase ride-ability. Better connectivity between Minneapolis and St. Paul.

    More housing, as of right now there is not enough rental housing in Minneapolis.

    More green space.

    Better parking options. (wouldn’t be needed as much if there was better public transportation)

  • GregX

    single pay transit passes – so you can take a train, bus, taxi within downtown. Electric taxis downtown. Bike “clubs” with bike lockers, showers, bike cleaning booths, bike-repair shops – … Hey REI – lets do this. Way more people living space –

  • Got to run to a meeting…but here’s my stream of consciousness / progressive rant:

    More trees and plants, public benches, intimate outdoor concert spaces, bike-racks, public restrooms,

    farmer’s market improvements and proliferation of farmer’s markets in neighborhoods, public library satellites with coffee shops,

    publically funded collocated workspaces for indy workers and indy entrepreneurs, public art, mural spaces, removal of all billboards,

    renaming corporate-named stadia after historical figures of Minnesota (e.g., Target Field could be

    Wellstone field), free high speed internet for all city residents, outdoor skating rinks, continued non-commercial enhancement

    of both cities’ river front, banning of all chain restaurants, chain drugstores, and chain retail, tax incentives

    for one-of-a-kind Minnesota made retail vendors, solar conversion of public facilities and buildings, etc.

  • Craig

    The skyways are brilliant; increasing their range to cover more of the city it would be nice. Whenever I am in another city on a rainy or snowy day I really miss our practical and convenient way of getting around.

  • Joseph T

    Completion of Union depot as a hub for transit and an important part of downtown to balance out the river center and Science museum and more around the Rice Park area, by adding to the lowertown and Mears Park areas. Completion of a HighSpeedRail system and commuter rail system with the RedRock, NorthernLights, and more leading into the central cities.

    (Perhaps using the Ford Plant’s rail lines to build a LRT line to meet up with the Hiawatha Line, they’re not going anywhere needed for industry…)

  • Marcus Becker

    Nothing much, just streets that are more pavement than pot hole.

  • John P II

    – improve public transit (safer, cleaner, friendlier buses and bus stops) less car traffic downtown (trolleys!)

    – more housing/residential development downtown (affordable senior/assisted-living housing, linked to skyways?)

    – creative solution to skyway vs street level issue (this is a tough one; better street level access to skyways?)

    – connect Rice Park, Mears Park, and river in green, pedestrian friendly fashion

    – would support a ballpark for Saints in St Paul if true community-owned, multi-use facility (outdoor theater?)

  • This is NOT lucy

    I propose all charitable donors-philanthropists- remain charitable donors and not have the luxury or percieved ‘owed to’ rights that buy access to a seat on any Committee or Commission or other political entity.

    Usually when I give something as a gift, I expect nothing in return.

  • Minny Paul

    Bulldoze downtown St Paul. Move anything worth saving to Minneapolis and create a single, world-class downtown.

    Or vise versa.

  • GregX

    mail box services ( for physical mail drops, packages) with Daily office rental for small “officeless” companies. ………… I could envision large corporate presences providing their conference rooms for a fee – maybe ones they have on street/skyway level floors – that could be leased by the hour for registrered small business folks. Profit c for the big guys – convenience/qulaity for the little guys. Maybe tier the services – WiFi, Full VidCon, etc.

  • JasonB

    I’d like to see a realistic, flexible template rather than a far reaching and specific design intent.

    I’m not familiar with the overall details of the plan, but based on past plans I would caution against being too concrete on broad reaching design schemes, and particularly against individual designs.

    The best cities came about from accretion, growing from the natural activities and desires of the people who use them over time. Big ideas like the Gateway District or the large shopping complexes like Riverplace or the Conservatory failed to maintain relevance or a user base. Imagine having a whole city based on a singularly conceived design scheme. Sometimes large scale, all-in-one constructs never achieve their intended success.

    Rather than having big redesign plans I would advocate design rules that do not dictate specific constructs, but do establish proven, flexible frameworks for pleasant and livable environments. Look at Paris; like Minneapolis they also have buildings, streets, sidewalks, vegetation, etc. But with subtle planning rules for setbacks, building scale, styles, densities, etc., based on how people actually want to live as opposed to just using something for utilitarian purposes, you get a world class city.

  • dennis johnson

    Make downtown friendly for family eating and shopping. Macy’s is the only business that provides for the downtown as a destination. I brought my family to the parade with a ride on the train from Big Lake. Once again I feel unwelcome, when the only place to eat costs

    so much. What happened to Brigemans, The courtyard cafeteria, and DeNapoli.

  • Goldie

    I wonder if a future plan will incorporate a facility to house the suspected terrorists once the military kicks in National Defense Authorization Act in the Paranoia on Terrorism, I mean the War on Terrorism. It would be one way to open houses up for sale that are in hot locations and have a nice view.

    Can we talk about the National defense Authorization Act tomorrow? I think it would be fun!

  • emgee

    Access to public transportation is a huge issue; in order for Downtown to be a vibrant, profitable center in Minneapolis, there needs to be an enormous drop in vehicle traffic, less reliance on buses, and more efficient modes of transportation. Hennepin Avenue is down to one lane if a cyclist or bus is in the designated lane; how are we supposed to view Downtown as a destination when it’s painful to be there?

    The key, though, in my mind at least, is to get small business to thrive Downtown. When Macy’s was Dayton’s, there was at least a worthwhile place to shop. Now, though, it’s chain store next to chain store next to chain restaurant, none of which are appealing to a consumer who enjoys a Downtown atmosphere. Minneapolis should encourage small, local businesses to come to the Downtown Corridor, and I know there would be a renewed vitality in the district. I’d be a regular Downtown shopper if only there were something other than the big chains from which to choose.

    Add more green space or some sort of courtyard with native Minnesota grasses and plants and my picture of Downtown would be near perfection.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I think Minneapolis, St.Paul, and the principle suburbs should all be merged into one big city, so as to make it easier to explain where I am. Depending on who I’m talking to and what sort of ambiguity they might perceive, it’s either the Twin Cities, or The Cities, or the Minneapolis-St.Paul metropolitan area. It would be so much easier if it were something simple, like LA or DC or NYC or Chicago or Atlanta. Maybe call the merged city “Minneapaulis.” (Just kidding.)