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Bike Trail | by Me in ME
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Bike Trail

When I was in Minnesota recently, my son and I rented bikes and rode this trail. The Midtown Greenway is on an old railroad bed (Soo Line) that was excavated to go below the street level and generally runs east and west. We stopped for a drink and this is the view east. We were returning from the West River Drive that runs along the Mississippi River.


The Midtown Greenway is a 5.5-mile long former railroad corridor in south Minneapolis with bicycling and walking trails. For most of its distance across the city, the corridor is grade-separated from the street grid, either in a gorge passing under bridges carrying streets overhead, or on a levy with traffic passing underneath it. This offers barrier-free bicycling that can make cross-town trips faster than going by car.


To the west, the Greenway connects with paths around the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and the Southwest LRT Trail extending to the western suburbs. To the east, the Greenway connects with paths along the Mississippi River.


The original bridges were constructed between 1912 and 1916 as the Midtown Greenway gorge was dug to put the active freight rail line down below street grade. This was done to eliminate safety issues related to the trains crossing streets at-grade every block in what were then the new and growing neighborhoods of south Minneapolis. The simple concrete art deco design of these bridges, and their regularity every block, are a defining characteristic of the Midtown Greenway. In fact, the Midtown Greenway corridor has been determined to be historically significant because of these bridges, the configuration of the corridor and its embankments, and the industrial history of the corridor’s use and adjacent buildings. The longest stretch of the Greenway where many of these original bridges remain intact is from 11th Avenue to Cedar Avenue. [website for Greenway]

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Taken on September 29, 2015