The new tower got me thinking about some other ways our Twin Cities could make improvements to the skyway. Here are my ideas, and some rough visualizations of the new improvements. Let me know what you think, and let's keep making Minneapolis and Saint Paul better places in which to live and avoid the weather!
#1: Skyway Trampoline
One of the problems with the skyway system is that it can be hard to escape. Also, working and walking around the skyway system of downtown Minneapolis can occasionally be boring, lacking what the French call "joie de vivre." The skyway trampoline will solve those problems while injecting much needed suspense and excitement into downtown Minneapolis street life.
An opening in select skyways will be carefully positioned above large trampolines placed on the sidewalk. Skyway users will be able to escape from their skyways in an elegant motion, bouncing a few times, perhaps performing acrobatic tricks before landing neatly on the sidewalk.
(Note: Skyway trampoline can also be useful in case of fire or bear tranquilization.)
#2 Skyway Firepole
Have you ever been in the skyway, glanced out the window, spotted a food truck on the street, and been suddenly overcome with a need to escape? Carefully placed skyway firepoles will provide this easy, carbon neutral opportunity to descend to the sidewalk below.
In addition, firepoles hearken back to a lost past of fire-fighting, reliance on gravity, and the movie Ghostbusters. Picture a be-numbed skyway goer who, in a moment of clarity, imagines herself as a fire fighter and, filled with courage, leaps into the nearest firepole and escapes. The skyway firepole will be a catalyst for adventure and derring-do, while providing needed egress for those trapped in the skyway on a nice day
#3 Sidemounted Water Bottles
Minneapolis and Saint Paul are eco-friendly places, and nothing says "I hate the planet" more than expensive bottled water shipped from tropic islands. At the same time, many Twin Cities' skyway denziens suffer from dehydration due to the harsh sun and the skyway's fenestrated "greenhouse effect."
These innovative sidemounted water bottles will solve two problems with one elegant gesture. Parched skyway goers will be able to drink nutritious Twin Cities vitamin fortified water without breaking their stride.
[Nod to Shanai for this excellent suggestion.]
#4 Inflatable Exit Slides
Safety first! Sometimes it's imperative to get as many people out of the skyways as quickly as possible. In this project, skyways in downtown Saint Paul and Minneapolis will be fitted with inflatable emergency exit slides in case people in the skyways realize that the weather outside is lovely and dangerously try to flee, lemming-style.
A skyway goer need only pull the emergency cord, and a doorway in the skyway opens up, unfurling an inflatable exit slide. Skyway goers can then slide to safety and pleasant outside air, free to wander the downtown streets without having to walk on skyway carpeting.