Urban Fold

Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis: Successful, But Buses Need to Go

Minneapolis' signature street has fulfilled its promise as an urban oasis. But belching buses and sidewalk cafes don't mix.

For a few weeks in May, the buses were gone from Nicollet Mall, and sidewalk diners could hear each other talk. But street repairs are over and the noisy, belching buses are back.

Almost 40 years old, the mall is Minneapolis' signature street, the place where office workers promenade, the Holidazzle parade illuminates winter's darkness and a bronze Mary Tyler Moore throws her tam into the air. On a spring day, the pedestrian swarms, sidewalk cafes and hanging flower baskets all speak to Nicollet Mall's long-term success.

The heart of the mall, between 5th and 12th Streets, offers places to sit, walk, lunch, meet and talk. It is the city's outdoor room.

But like any urban environment, it faces challenges. Busses are annoying, some spots are more active and attractiver than others, and maintenance is a challenge. The Star Tribune website contains a video of locals explaining what they like and don't like about the Mall.

Full Story: Looking for Balance on Nicollet Mall

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