News & Events

News & Events

June 2015 Newsletter

Commuter Connection June 2015 Newslettercommuter connection newsletter fall 2013
 Commuter Connection’s June 2015 Newsletter includes:

Nicollet Mall Bus Detour Starts July 6

        With the final design approved, the $50 million remodeling of Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis will see construction starting in mid-June.  The initial focus will be on utility work and much of Nicollet Mall will remain open to cyclists and pedestrians during this phase. Buses and taxis, however, will be detoured from the mall.How does that impact the folks who bike, walk and work near Nicollet Mall? At least one side of the street will remain open for pedestrians to have access to all mall businesses.  Sidewalk dining will remain open at the discretion of individual restaurants.  Food trucks and vendors have moved off the mall to other nearby streets. The Nicollet Mall Farmers Market has been relocated to Hennepin Avenue.  Bikers can use the mall for the remainder of this year,  but starting in 2016 when the heavy construction starts, no cyclist will be allowed.Metro Transit announced that they will begin rerouting Nicollet Mall buses onto 3rd Ave South for the next two years. Renovations on the city’s signature thoroughfare will begin with spot utility work this summer and a ramp up to a complete street replacement next year. Taxis will be cut off during construction and not allowed back on the majority of the mall after construction.

For construction updates and concept drawings:

BookmarkOpen Streets This Summer


For the past five years, streets in Minneapolis have transformed to allow residents to experience their city in a whole new way — by bike, by skateboard, on roller skates. It’s called Open Streets Minneapolisand it has grown from one event in 2011 to eight in 2015 events all across the city!

Open Streets started this season with Lyndale Ave South this past weekend.  Next on the list is Northeast Minneapolis on Sunday, July 12 from noon – 6pm, when Lowry Ave N will be closed to car traffic.

Open Streets Minneapolis is the perfect chance to promote healthy living, local businesses, sustainable transportation and civic pride in Minneapolis. On multiple days throughout the year, Open Streets creates miles of safe, car-free streets so that residents of all ages can walk, bike, shop, participate in spontaneous play activities, and get to know one another.

Check out Open Streets in your neighborhood, and enjoy it from a different perspective. Come wander the Open Streets and have some fun! You can even bring your dog.

And of course, it’s free!

Bookmark“Urban Boomers” Movin’ Downtown

According to an independent study released by Zipcar, the attraction of urban living is not limited to the millennial generation. “Urban Boomers” are a segment of the baby boomer generation ages 50 to 69, that are moving back to the city.  These baby boomers might have moved away from the city when they first married and started families in the 70’s and 80’s. After spending a couple of decades raising kids in a house on a cul de sac, they find city lights are calling them back. Many are now “empty-nesters”, nearing retirement, and are looking for ways to downsize and simplify.

The survey identified the appeal of city life for Urban Boomers:

  • Urban Boomers often have small households.  Only 43% are married. They also believe that there are more opportunities to dating in the city.
  • 84% of Urban Boomers surveyed want to be more active, especially walking and biking more.
  • 90% are seek more cultural experiences, with easy access to a variety of restaurants, shops, and fitness facilities.
  • Only 32% are retired, those still working want a short commute to their jobs.
  •  Urban Boomers are tech-savvy. 69% regularly use mobile apps, 81% use social media.

The trend demonstrates the appeal of trading a large suburban lawn for a condo balcony with planters, and ditching the 2nd car (or, both cars) for car-sharing, a bicycle and bus pass. Urban Boomers finding more in common with First Avenue, the newest micro-breweries and Nice Ride bikes than country club memberships, strip malls and SUV’s.

BookmarkPride & the Rainbow Bike Rack Giveaway

Some folks give away bikes – at Commuter Connection, we give away BIKE RACKS! For the 3rd year in a row, enter to win a rainbow colored, heavy duty Dero bike rack that will look fabulous in front of your home, business or school. The bike rack is large enough to secure several bikes. Fill out a pledge to help clean air – part of the Breathe Easy campaign (see below) and be entered to win.

Visit the Commuter Connection booth in Loring Park for Pride at the Beer Dabbler on Friday evening, June 26th, or at Twin Cities Pride all-day Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28th. We’ll be dolling out kazoos, talking up clean air,  taking pledges and entering folks to win the bike rack or a Minneapolis Staycation package.

BookmarkCyclehack Comes To Minneapolis


CycleHack Twin Cities is part of an international CycleHack event which originated in Glasgow, Scotland last summer. CycleHack focuses on bringing people and their places together to discuss and generate solutions to barriers that stop or inhibit people from cycling.

The Ideation ride will be on Friday, June 19, 7pm to 9pm. Join us for a pre-hack brainstorming bike ride! We will be taking a leisurely, relaxed-pace ride with various stops to discuss barriers to cycling and ways we might address them. The ride will be from 7pm to 9pm. More details coming.

The main Hack Day will be on Saturday, June 20, 9am to 9pm at the Hack Factory. More details coming, but expect lots of fun and plenty of time to hack.

BookmarkBreathe Easy – Air Quality Index (AQI)

Only 27% of the air pollution in the Twin Cities is from industry and power plants.  The other 73%  comes from things we impact as individuals. These are sources like; car exhaust, wood burning, dry cleaners, airlines and lawn equipment…just to name a few. The good news is that we can reduce air pollution through simple actions. Little things done as individuals add up to make a big difference.Commuter Connection partners with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for an air awareness campaign called “Breathe Easy”. The tagline is “Enjoy The Ride” – meaning that actions taken to impact air quality, like commuting by bike, bus or car-pool, can be enjoyable too.

Look for the Breathe Easy campaign at dozens of downtown Minneapolis outreach events this summer. Outreach efforts target face-to-face conversations with over 7000 folks to reduce drive-alone trips, sign up for air alerts, and to shop local.

Take a “Breathe Easy” pledge, sign up for Air Alerts and get rewarded with a Chinook Book 60-day access pass mobile app. The pass provides access to over 400 discounts at local businesses that offer sustainable products, services and activities.  The Chinook Book pass makes sustainable choices easier and offers hundreds of opportunities right in the Twin Cities. Make a pledge in person or online:

Added bonus! All pledges are entered into a drawing for a Minneapolis STAYCATION package that includes:  1 night at the Westin Minneapolis Hotel,  dinner at Spoonriver, an evening at the Guthrie Theater and Nice Ride passes to connect you to all three.

Sign up for Air Alerts and get notified when AQI levels are harmful.