Sidewalk of the Week: Nicollet Avenue

This week’s SOTW is located on Nicollet Avenue at around 24th Street (?) in South Minneapolis. It’s a great sidewalk, very walkable, and there are a few interesting shops along this stretch including a corner store, a pizza by the slice joint, and a large Asian grocery. But what makes this sidewalk so nice?

Looking North, you see a large sidewalk that’s probably over 20 feet wide with a solid, steady buffer of trees, signs, and lampposts between the sidewalk and the street. On top of that, there’s an almost consistently layer of parked cars separating the moving traffic from the pedestrians. There's lots of safe, secure room to work with, and plenty of windows to look into while you walk around.

Looking the other direction is less idyllic. The sidewalk gets smaller by about six feet, but retains a nicely landscaped frontage. There's a parking lot along the street, but because it's fairly narrow, and there's a large, lovely tree at its entrance, the lot doesn't greatly disrupt the feel of the avenue.

This kind of sidewalk is what makes Nicollet between Franklin and Lake some of the most vibrant, resilient streetspace we have in the Minneapolis. However, you can see how this street's walkability might wax and wane as parking lots get bigger closer to the giant street-killing K-Mart or Interstate-94 North of Franklin.


I am sooooo stupid. This is Nicollet, not Lyndale. This is what I get for blogging about Minneapolis while in North Carolina...


This is exactly why a buffer between the sidewalk and the street is so important... Girl injured when car runs onto sidewalk in St. Paul


Anonymous said...

While the wide sidewalk is nice, the design of the street is still not right.

The buildings are too short relative to the width of the street. Ideally, buildings should be as tall as the street is wide. At a minimum, they should by 1/3 as high as the street is wide.

1 story buildings simply have no place in a legitimate urban setting.

Ryan said...

That would be Nicollet there.

Nicollet is the best planned street in the city, but it is still a disaster. The new lane striping is a nice traffic slowing device, but there are still far too many parking lots.

ldfs said...

This sounds and looks like Nicollet, not Lyndale. The corner of 24th and Lyndale is not bad, but it doesn't have an Asian grocery store. It has the Muddy Waters cafe and Leaning Tower of Pizza.

Wm said...

mea culpa!

Jeremy said...

...and interstate i94 and k-mart are pretty far from eachother.

I think the whole post should be rethought and republished.


I'm a weekly reader.

Nicollet is a great street from the back of K-Mart all the way to downtown. Buildings DO NOT have to be taller than 1 story to invite street activity -- its just nice to have residents reside above the shops to keep business steady.

Also, as soon as K-Mart vacates Nicollet's ROW, the street will once again intersect with Lake St.