| Commuter Connection’s July 2015 Newsletter includes:
The Neiman Marcus department store that closed in 2012 was located on South 5th Street and Nicollet Mall – a prime downtown corner just steps from one of the busiest LRT stations. Last winter the former store was converted into CenterPoint Energy’s regional corporate offices. In the northeast corner a space is sectioned off for another use. This corner has huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Nicollet Mall on one side and the LRT station on the other. The space will be shared by Meet Minneapolis, Commuter Connection and a store operated by St Croix Promotions & Retail to form the yet-to-be-named Minneapolis visitor center.
The visitor center creates a unique partnership between three organizations to serve the needs of commuters, the downtown business community and residents while providing a gateway for thousands of visitors to Minneapolis. Along with selling bus passes, registering carpools and ZAP tagging bikes, our combined staff will enhance the Minneapolis experience for out-of-town guests and offer locally themed goods for sale. The new space also includes a “social media command center” where staff members can post information and answer questions, particularly during major events. 5th Street and Nicollet Mall will be a very busy corner indeed!
The visitor center is undergoing construction and is schedule for completion in early fall. Commuter Connection will remain open at the current US Bank Plaza location until at least September. Meet Minneapolis retains their offices at 250 Marquette Ave S while adding their footprint to the visitor center. St Croix Promotions and Retail, who also operate retail stores at the airport and Mall of America, will manage the retail store. Stay tuned for updates and a grand opening date.
So, you’ve pedaled into downtown on your commute this morning and noticed your tire is nearly flat. Don’t worry, you’re not stranded. For those little bike crises when tires need air, a cable comes loose, or the handle bars need an adjustment – a free repair station is close by. These mini-repair stations provide basic tools (on cables), air pumps and a bike holder to get the job done. There are over two dozen FREE public repair stations or air pumps in the Twin Cities.
Here are the closest to downtown Minneapolis:
· Bobby & Steve’s Auto World – 1221 S. Washington Ave (Downtown East)
· Lake St. LRT station – 2310 East Lake Street (S, Mpls)
· Town Hall Brewery – 1430 S. Washington Ave (West Bank)
· Venture North Bike Shop – 1830 Glenwood Ave (Bryn Mawr)
· Uptown Bus Terminal – 2855 Hennepin Ave (Uptown)
· Pillsbury Public School – 2250 Garfield Ave NE (Nordeast)
· HCMC – 701 Park Ave (at S. 7th St & Park Ave, at bike corral)
· U of M West Bank – In front of the Wilson Library (West Bank)
· U of M Bike Center – 401 SE Oak St (East Bank)
· Seward Co-op – 2823 E. Franklin Ave (Seward neighborhood)
· West Greenway, near Lake Of The Isles – (behind Calhoun Village)
The “Tour De Fat” returns to Loring Park Saturday, July 25 from 11AM – 5PM with its version of a beer-fueled two-wheeled circus. While the event is focused on the immense bike culture within the Twin Cities, sponsorship from New Belgium Brewing Company ensures plenty of steam-punk tinged “bemusement.” Activities include a costume fashion show, a slow ride race, and a 1,000-person dance contest! One lucky rust-bucket owner will be awarded a new bike by pledging to go car-free for a year. There will also be live music, food trucks, and Belgium’s taps as far as the eye can see. Did I mention admission to this event is free?
The METRO Blue Line Extension project will host a series of open houses in July and August 2015 where the public can learn more about the project and provide feedback about proposed stations, parking and pedestrian/bike access.
The goals for these open houses are to:
The Blue Line Extension Project Office will also present information on the next steps in the LRT development process.
Anyone who requires assistance attending these meetings should contact Blue Line Extension Community Outreach Coordinator Juan Rangel: Juan.Rangel@metrotransit.org or 612-373-5338. Requests for special assistance should be made at least five business days in advance of the scheduled open house.
Each open house will run from 5:00–6:00 p.m. and 6:30–7:30 p.m., with presentations from 6:00–6:30 p.m.
July 27:Crystal Community Center, A&B Meeting Rooms, 4800 Douglas Drive N., Crystal, MN 55429
July 28:Robbinsdale Middle School, 3730 Toledo Ave. N., Robbinsdale, MN 55422
July 29:Harrison Recreation Center, 503 N. Irving Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55405
Aug. 11:North Hennepin Community College CBT Grand Hall, 7411 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
Aug. 12:Golden Valley City Hall, 7800 Golden Valley Rd., Golden Valle y, MN 55427
Bikes, buses, trains, car-share, bike-share, walking, carpooling – all transportation modes promoted by Commuter Connection to get you into Minneapolis. How about a kayak? Why not! America’s original highway – the mighty Mississippi River, flows right through downtown Minneapolis. While the bike and running trails on either bank are heavily used, the river itself does not see much canoe and kayak traffic. Of course, the dangers of St Anthony Falls keeps paddlers from venturing too close to the Mill District area. The river above the Hennepin Avenue bridge, however, is much more boater friendly.
200 years ago the Voyageurs and Native Americans paddled these waters. Today Above the Falls Sports seeks to reintroduce the river with guided kayak tours out of downtown Minneapolis. This thrilling urban boating experience demonstrates the beauty of the river as well as the historical significance of the birthplace of Minneapolis.
Located at 120 3rd Avenue North, Above The Falls Sports is just a couple blocks from the boat launch on the Mississippi. Their staff works with beginners and experienced paddlers alike to explore our urban waters in the shadow of downtown.
2,000 Local Deaths
Scientists have released a study to estimate the impact that air pollution is having in the Twin Cities. This new report found that air pollution contributed to about 2,000 deaths, 400 hospitalizations, and 600 emergency-room visits in the Twin Cities in 2008. The July 2015 report, “Life and Breath: How Air Pollution in the Twin Cities Affects Public Health” was prepared by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
The good news is that air pollution can be reduced through simple, everyday actions. Small things, like stringing car trips and using mass transit on bad air days, add up to make a big difference. Commuter Connection partners with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for an air awareness campaign called “Breathe Easy”. Look for the Breathe Easy campaign at dozens of downtown Minneapolis outreach events this summer.
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: www.breatheezmpls.org
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.