Midtown Greenway, Minneapolis, MN
The Midtown Greenway is the spine of Downtown Minneapolis’ non-motorized transportation network. The 5.5-mile corridor is separated from the street grid, giving bicyclists a barrier-free route that often enables them to travel across town faster than drivers. It connects to many other pathways and serves an ethnically and economically diverse community.
The project was spearheaded by the Midtown Greenway Coalition (MGC) as a way to improve quality of life and increase active, green transportation in Minneapolis. The organization is headquartered next door to the Freewheel Bike Center—a shop, café, and commuter station that opened to meet the needs of cycling traffic on the path. Several other commercial and residential buildings have also been built along the corridor to take advantage of the transportation and recreation opportunities the Greenway provides.
The Midtown Greenway is plowed in the winter, lit at night, and traveled by more than 3,500 cyclists every day (including the city’s Mayor R. T. Rybak.) It supports more traffic than 77% of the city’s roads. To help encourage even more people to utilize the facility, the MGC launched Green Way to GO, a program funded by the Medica Foundation to introduce underserved groups such as recent immigrants to the health, recreation, and joy the Greenway provides.
• 5.5 miles of paved trail
• 50 miles of trail connected
• Main trail opened in 2005
• 1.5 million trips/year, including 15,000 trips/month in the winter
• City population: 390,131
• Freewheel Bike Center employs 25 people and serves up to 1,500 customers/day
• Greenway beautification projects protect and improve local water, soil, air, and biodiversity
• Home values increase $510 for every 400 meters closer they are to off- street facilities like the Greenway
• 700 jobs created by construction
• $7.5 million in Transportation Enhancements grants; $3 million congressional earmark for bridge
• $10 million from state and local sources
• $10,000 advocacy grant from Bikes Belong
View and download a PDF of the project.