Minneapolis mayoral candidate wants futuristic new skyway-like system for bikes, scooters, wheelchairs

Bob Carney Jr., who’s among the 10 challengers running for mayor in Minneapolis against incumbent R.T. Rybak, offers as one of his planks a plan for a new “Sky-Bi” system — “an all-weather, enclosed bike, Segway, scooter and electric wheelchair skyway system for downtown Minneapolis and nearby neighborhoods.

He has prepared a 9-plus-minute video about the proposal, which, in these times when governments can barely afford to keep the roads and bridges in working condition, seems quite a stretch.

It would be above the existing skyway system and use elevators to get to ground level. He said a special assessment district could be used to pay for it. For the overall cost, Carney offers what he describes as “a very preliminary and possibly somewhat low estimate” of $50 million.

He says the system would connect such places as:

  • The downtown Minneapolis central business district
  • The milling district, including the new Guthrie
  • The University of Minnesota
  • The University of St. Thomas
  • Northwestern University and Augustana
  • The Convention Center and the Metrodome
  • “Twinsville” and Target Field Station (the MTC intermodal transit hub)
  • The Minneapolis Art Institute
  • The Greenway, from the Hiawatha to the new Southwest lines
  • Many ground level links to our park system
  • Ground level links to the Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Phillip Koski on 10/01/2009 - 10:57 am.

    Average cost per lineal foot of skyway is $10,000. The $50 million low ball estimate would yield an elevated skyway system approximately 5,000 feet long, or 15 downtown city block faces.

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