In its January, 2015 Board Meeting CIDNA proposed a pedestrian-bike connector trail between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. Our initial vision and design concept is presented here.
During the past few months we have been refining the details of the proposed tunnel under the Midtown Greenway. Two designs are being considered. The first option would proceed through the eastern edge of the pocket park adjacent to the Greystar project. (Initial design and elevations are presented here.) The second option would locate the tunnel on the western edge closer to the apartment project. (Please see design and elevations here.)
The second tunnel design offers a number of advantages:
- There would be more vertical separation between the top of the railroad berm and the Met Council’s new force main below.
- It would eliminate the descending ramp in the first tunnel design that was necessary to access the tunnel on the south side of the Greenway.
- The second design would require minimum use of HCRRA property. The first tunnel design located the ramp on railroad property in order to protect the force main.
- The second design would take trail users along the quieter north side of the Greenway berm away from Lake Street traffic where wetland nature could be observed. We are recommending a boardwalk to preserve the wetland. (The wetland was created as mitigation for Lake of the Isles restoration a few years ago. CIDNA contributed $100,000 to help re-create this wetland and the adjacent soccer field.)
- The second design would preserve easy connection with (a) the Greenway to the east by the dog park, (b) the dog park itself, and (c) the congested park intersection at East Calhoun and Lake of the Isles Parkways.
CIDNA is working with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to include this trail in a pending Lakes Area Regional Park study. We are also working closely with the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.
The trail would add a new connection from the Midtown Greenway and the dog park to Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun. The trail would offer a more peaceful and safe crossing of West Lake Street for pedestrians and cyclists (compared with Dean Parkway and Market Plaza). Preliminary design and engineering has been provided on a pro bono basis by ESG Architects, Kimley-Horn, and Greystar. We hope to coordinate this project with construction of the Greystar project. The trail would access the sidewalk in front of the Greystar project on West Lake Street. Interim at-grade crossings of the Midtown Greenway are also being considered.