Map of the Day: The Rail-volution Guide to Transit Accessible MSP

From the Rail-Volution “Self-Guided Tour book“, part of the annual Rail-Volution conference that is here in Minneapolis and Saint Paul this week, the “transit accessible” parts of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.


It’s interesting to see a map made from a TOD planner’s viewpoint. To me, it seems like the cartographers made some odd choices about which geographic areas to include and exclude. Why these areas? Do they have anything to do with actual transit patterns or travel times?

9 thoughts on “Map of the Day: The Rail-volution Guide to Transit Accessible MSP

  1. Bill LindekeBill Lindeke Post author

    Also, it’s worth noting that “lowertown” is East (not West) of the Union Depot. I’m not even a big fan of the downtown/lowertown distinction, to be honest. Does it make any sense to have two separate names for a geographic area so small in the first place?

    Also also, it seems like they have the warehouse district/north loop in the wrong place?

    1. Matt Brillhart

      I agree on Downtown/Lowertown St. Paul: It’s too small of an area to have two names and there is little distinction of which is which. What if we just started calling all of Downtown St. Paul “Lowertown”? When people say “downtown”, you can almost be assured they are talking about Minneapolis. “Lowertown” would give all of Downtown St. Paul a strong brand identity to build around. The geographic area currently defined as “Lowertown” is so small it seems you could just call it “Mears Park”.

      1. Alex

        I always thought that Lowertown was the warehousey area, whereas Downtown was more officey. Personally I would fight for the ability of distinct areas to be as small as necessary.

  2. Joey SenkyrJoey Senkyr

    There’s a line from the “Warehouse District/North Loop” label to approximately the right location.

    I’m confused that they apparently don’t consider the Blue Line to be transit.

    1. Adam FroehligAdam Froehlig

      It’s labeled on the map. Why wouldn’t there be?

      If you’re referring to why they don’t include neighborhoods along the Blue Line, it’s likely they either A) don’t have conference functions or events along there, or B) don’t think there’s anything worthwhile for meeting attendees to go to, though I’d dispute that at least with Minnehaha Park, which makes me think that it’s reason (A).

  3. Jeff Peltola

    Good thing they didn’t show MOA, given the Blue Line train derailment and all. (And what about Snelling Ave?)

  4. Faith

    Where’s Eat Street? It’s very surprising to see Lake Harriet which is not very easy to access via transit much less walking but not Eat Street or Midtown Exchange.

  5. Matt Horton

    The caption is a bit of a misnomer. Easy access via biking, walking or transit was a requirement for an area to be highlighted in the Self-Guided Tour Book, but for obvious space constraints, EVERY area of interest that met these conditions could not be included like Eat Street, Lake Street, and other neighborhoods along the Blue Line.

    The geographies that are shown are neighborhood boundaries included in the individual sections of the SGTB. For example – there is an “Uptown” section in the book, so the “Uptown” that is labeled on the map above is just the boundary of the various official city neighborhoods (ECCO, LHE, etc.) that contain specific locations identified in that section.

  6. Matt Horton

    St. Paul was done more arbitrarily and just tried to show the areas that were shown in the book. Because DT St. Paul and Lowertown had different sections in the book, we tried to show them separately on the map above.

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