By Colin Smith, WCCO Radio

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The City of Minneapolis wants your opinion: How would you improve the Nicollet Avenue corridor?

City leaders will host two open houses Wednesday and one Thursday to ask the public for ideas and input on how to upgrade transit service.

The events will provide an overview of the Nicollet-Central Transit Alternative Study, which is a potential framework for simplifying transportation options along the corridor, which extends from the 46th Street/Interstate 35W Transit Station and Nicollet Avenue on the south, through Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, over the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, and north along Central Avenue Northeast to the Columbia Heights Transit Center on Central Avenue at 41st Avenue Northeast.

“It’s been 40 years since Mary Tyler Moore tossed hat up in the air, and Nicollet Mall wasn’t even new then,” said Downtown Minneapolis Council President Mark Stenglein. “It’s going to be reworked and rebuilt and there will be some kind of transportation along that corridor — whether it’s buses, I don’t know.”

Light rail is not an option along the corridor but Stenglein said they might consider a streetcar.

“If you go places like Portland, they make great use of circulated streetcars which would be an excellent idea for the mall and that has a pretty good chance of happening,” Stenglein said. “(We) think about the great cities in Europe that have a pedestrian mall that turns into something more special at night with retail and restaurants and boutique shops.”

Open houses are being held:

— Wednesday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall
— Wednesday, Sept. 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 5th Precinct Police Station, 3101 Nicollet Avenue S
— Thursday, Sept. 27, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Eastside Food Co-op, 2551 Central Avenue NE

Click here for more information on the Nicollet-Central Transit Alternatives Study.


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