Pilot design experiments connect Midtown Greenway and nearby destinations

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Lisa Middag, Community Works – Midtown, 612-348-0134
Julie Caniglia, Communications, 612-348-6883
Carolyn MarinanCommunications, 612-348-5969


Pilot design experiments connect Midtown Greenway and nearby destinations

Colorful signage and other temporary design experiments have been attracting the attention of bicyclists and pedestrians at four key access points on the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis:

  • 26th Avenue South
  • Bloomington Avenue South
  • 10th/11th avenues (at the adjacent greenspace)
  • Nicollet Avenue South

Developed by the urban design team at the City of Minneapolis in collaboration with staff from Hennepin County, the Midtown Greenway Coalition and the Lake Street Council, the pop-up improvements include:

  • Creative wayfinding signage on fences and bridges over the greenway
  • Painted icons and other designs on the pavement
  • Bike racks
  • Seating and games

eat street
Food icons and fence signage at the Nicollet Avenue access point

The installations, which went up in August and September, are designed to point greenway users to destinations along Lake Street and in nearby neighborhoods. The main goal is to build on the success of the greenway, which has more than 1.5 million users annually, in order to enhance and strengthen nearby residential and business communities. Other goals include making greenway spaces more welcoming and friendly, and helping people in neighborhoods navigate to the greenway.

“Riding or walking on the greenway, especially where it’s below street level, can be disorienting,” says Lisa Middag, a Hennepin County planner. “But so many destinations are literally just a minute away, which makes it convenient to hop off the greenway to grab a bite, run errands, or do other activities. We are working on effective strategies to support and encourage that.”

Data and feedback about the installations will be collected through October through various means, including an online survey. This information will be put to use in developing recommendations for permanent improvements and a wayfinding strategy all along the greenway.

cepro stairs
Painted designs lead greenway users up the stairs at 10th Avenue.

About Hennepin County’s Midtown Community Works program

Over the past 20 years, the county has partnered with the City of Minneapolis, the Midtown Greenway Coalition, the Lake Street Council, and other organizations to develop and support the Midtown Greenway, and to plan for and leverage economic growth in the area. Midtown is the longest-running program of Hennepin County’s Community Works initiative, a collaborative approach to redevelopment in key county corridors that launched in 1994. 

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Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at www.hennepin.us/news.