In April of 2019, ULI Minnesota worked with MNDOT to examine current and future uses of the ABC ramps in Downtown Minneapolis. The emphasis of the TAP was to identify 1) What MnDOT can do to support and encourage the activation of vacant, unused or underused areas to create a more attractive, safe and pedestrian supportive mobility hub. 2) Any barriers/restrictions to reusing MnDOT space in the Ramps, and how MnDOT can encourage public, non-profit and private interest and investment. 3) What types of place making activities and initiatives in and around the Ramps could be undertaken by MnDOT or in partnership with the public, non-profit and private sectors to help make the area more attractive and vibrant, and 4) How to improve pedestrian connections, both at street and skyway level, and from the Ramps to nearby destinations including the North Loop?
The panel recommended MnDOT 1) build a new brand, 2) focus on user experience (with a pedestrian study, improvements to skyways and open spaces, and consideration of services for those experiencing homelessness), 3) explore design alternatives and cost estimates for the utilization of different, specific ABC Ramp areas, 4) determine the process & procedures, engaging different professionals to implement and manage redevelopment and branding, and 5), develop a five-year plan. They suggested MnDOT embrace and brand the Ramps as a mobility hub, reinforce connections to the North Loop, and consider long-term major redevelopment efforts such as a large food/retail court facing the light rail stop, and workforce housing on the top of Ramp B.
To read the full report, click here.