When: Saturday, November 7, 2009
How: Bus/Bike/LRT/walk/carpool. The group met at Gold Medal Park, located right along the Mississippi River in Downtown Minneapolis and conveniently adjacent to multiple transit lines.
From Where: Attendees arrived from all around the metro area: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Crystal and Anoka.
How Long: Commute length was dependent on trip origin, mode and connections made.
Ease: The centrality of the outing location (downtown Minneapolis) made this outing one of the most easily accessible outings we have conducted. Downtown Minneapolis is well connected by frequent and proximate bus and light rail service- even on weekends! Further, trail connectivity for bikers and walkers enhanced the multi-modal accessibility for outing attendees.
Worth doing: Definitely; ease and frequency of transit services make the Mississippi Riverfront one of the most accessible green spaces to metro area residents and visitors. A plethora of trails, bridges, museums, historical structures, theaters and (seasonal) weekend farmer’s markets further enhance the downtown Mississippi Riverfront experience for visitors.
November 7th turned out to be a beautiful fall day that attracted bikers, walkers and transit riders to this outing. Our riverfront tour was graciously guided by Minneapolis Parks Commissioner Scott Vreeland. Commissioner Vreeland guided the group along the riverfront explaining area environmental, historical and economic significance. The river’s ecological habitat, water quality, power, industry and amenity values are so vast that we ran out of time for discussion after just making our way across the Stone Arch Bridge! Our formal organized outing lasted for 2 ½ hours. Many people stayed after wards to enjoy the Riverfront or other amenities present in the area. When visiting, we recommend allotting for more time to take in are views, culture and the myriad of informational boards located through the Mississippi Riverfront area.
Outing attendees arrived via multiple modes. Popular bus routes (the 4 and 6) brought attendees from South Minneapolis to the park. Windy and Rich each traveled from Anoka and then made their way through Minneapolis. Lynn rode the Hiawatha LRT over to the Metrodome Station and walked a few short blocks to join the group. A lot of attendees rode bikes- Tom receiving the distance award as he biked from Crystal. Ken took the opportunity to enjoy the fall weather and walked along the Mississippi Riverfront trails from the Prospect Park (Minneapolis) neighborhood. Finally, a group of students from Como Park High School carpooled to join us- bringing great insight and energy to our tour. Overall attendees’ experiences in arriving at our meeting point were quite easy. Whether via bus or LRT transit, biking, walking or carpooling, the Mississippi Riverfront’s central location, high level of transit and trail accessibility and wide-ranging resource values made it our most widely attended and easily accessed outing yet. We welcome your comments on experiences in accessing the Mississippi Riverfront and hope that you will join us in 2010 for more Transit to Green Space adventures!