Take a tour through Minneapolis’ urban core

I spent a quick two-and-a-half days in Minneapolis in mid-January to study their light rail system and explore the city’s urban core.

During my stay I was able to explore Midtown, Lowry Hill East, Downtown, Warehouse District, Loring Park, Uptown and some other areas very briefly. The city was expectedly cold, but I quickly learned why Minnesotans are such a hearty and down-to-earth bunch. The winters humble and challenge you.

The Hiawatha light rail line was small but well executed. The system utilizes modern rolling stock that includes low floors and is ADA accessible. The stations are nice, although suburban and off the beaten path in many locations. The best element, of the system, is that it connects major nodes with one another. The Mall of America, airport, football stadium, ballpark, arena, central business district, nightlife and government operations are all connected. The system will be vastly improved when it is expanded to St. Paul in the near future.

I will discuss specifics on Minneapolis’ transport network in a forthcoming op-ed. But for now, enjoy this brief collection of 37 photographs from my trip to the upper Midwest in the dead of winter.

  • Dale Brown

    I had some snide comment about the lack of people in your pictures, but having been to Minneapolis in the dead of winter, I can’t blame people for not being out 😉

  • Yeah, it was bitterly cold the day I was walking all over town. The temperature was in the single digits and had a wind chill below zero. Many coffee breaks were had that day.

  • AJ Knee

    I love the Hiawatha. Did you happen to go to the Warehouse District station on a Friday or Saturday night? It’s on the sidewalk in front of a popular bar and the drunk college kids stand on the tracks. It’s a near disaster every time.

    Terminal 1 Station is fantastic, and I love how they reached Cedar-Riverside without taking some circuitous route.

    Also, I have my opinions on how the train enters the Mall of America, but I’d like to hear your thoughts. Did you find any reason for the tracks to wrap around that large field and enter the garage from the South?

  • AJ:

    I did not go to the Mall of America on my visit to Minneapolis, so I did not get to see that station. I really have no desire to go to a place like that honestly.

  • AJ Knee

    WHAT!?! The Mall of America is pointless and I don’t blame you for not going there, but if you’re going to study the light rail system you’ve got to go to the end of the line. (Unless you’re studying Seoul…I completely understand missing a few stations there.)

    Check out the end of the line on Google and tell me why they didn’t go down E. 82nd St to get to the garage.

    Side note, I’m on my way down to Cincinnati right now. What do you think is the best place to celebrate Bockfest on a Saturday night?