New codes intend to make skyways more accessible for all Minneapolans, but some say that no improvements can go far enough to make Minneapolis as walkable and lively as it would be without them.
In some ways, the cold is a defining feature of the city of Minneapolis. It shapes the city and has inspired the tunnel and the skyways. These shelters from the elements are inextricably tied to the popular conception of downtown Minneapolis, Next City's Jen Kinney writes, "One thing is certain: In the ’60s, the burgeoning network of skyways likely saved downtown."
But, Kinney reports, the Skyways have their detractors, "Some argue they create a divided city: the haves, floating, warm above, and the have-nots cold below," Kinney reports. They can be difficult to navigate, and while new guidelines for building skyways aim to simplify wayfinding. Still some, particularly shop owners, complain, " …consequences of continuing to use the skyways: disappearing retail on the dead street below," Kinney writes. Time will tell if the updated guidelines can assuage the concerns of the Skyway's detractors.
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