The Minnesota Sports Complex, like an inferiority complex, plagues the state. If we in Greater>>MSP lack one pro sports team in the Big Four, we are inferior to big cities who have all four teams, like Los Angeles, or New York (er. New Jersey).
But I am not here to talk about psychology, I am here to talk of urban form. The image above, apparently from the Vikings, looking eastward towards the sadly named Minnesota Sports Complex because naming rights have yet to be sold, makes some very significant proposals about urban form.
(1) The LRT will run on a car-free mall with new pavers. This is unlike today. 5th Street will join the Washington Avenue Mall on campus and Nicollet Mall as pedestrian/transit mall. I am cool with that.
(2) The two blocks just north of 5th street will have surface parking lots. Seriously? After this level of investment, the Vikings don’t believe that there will be demand for structures, even structured parking? What kind of redevelopment is this? I am not cool with that.
(3) There will be meandering sidewalks south of the parking but north of fifth, despite the straight pedestrian mall. Why? Is this because it resembles the edge of a football?
(4) I see some open-air transit-like vehicles (lollies in Century Village East retirement community terms). This is for the oldsters who can’t walk a couple of blocks? Why can’t this run on the transit mall? What becomes of the paths the other 357 days a year?