Walking West River Parkway

Walking West River Parkway

West River Parkway can be an ideal route to walk, bike, or drive. The speed limit is 25 mph with mostly proper bike and walk lanes, safe crossing and even some zebra stripes. Yesterday with the mobile and Google Maps and Reviews in pocket I strolled up and down the downtown part of it to check out the safety and localization of newer riverfront condos.

This looks pretty safe with warnings for cars at the north end of the Cedar Lake Trail, when they follow the warnings. Many of us have seen cars zipping up and down the parkway while ignoring pedestrians, runners and bicyclists. IMO, this is one of the safer parts mostly due to a park and playground just up ahead.

pkwy cedar lake trail

W River Pkwy & Cedar Lake Trail

Just passed this area is a 360 photo of a family-friendly park.

Just a bit down river by Mills Ruins Park, cars are in more of a hurry despite a group of students legally just crossing the Parkway within zebra stripes. IMO, there could be even more signage on nearby Portland alerting drivers that they’re not the only ones sharing the road over here.

Cars on W River Parkway

Cars on West River Parkway

Past Mills Ruins Park and up the hill past the Guthrie sits Gold Medal Park. It’s one of those peaceful places that’s perfect to go just sit/stand and think. There are bike lanes on or off the streets around it including a Nice Ride station.

Gold Medal Park

Gold Medal Park in the morning

IMO, the next area is even better. A couple blocks further, jump on the Bluff Street Bikeway which turns into the Dinkytown Greenway Trail. Bike or walk right to the East Bank U of M campus without so much as hitting a stop light and little traffic. There’s no road rage when there are no cars.

Dinkytown Greenway

Dinkytown Greenway – no cars

It was time to turn around and go back to Downtown West and walked by the Legacy Condos which seems to being under construction forever.

Legacy Condos

Legacy Condos

I’ve always been interested in the true localization of these newer condos in the Mill District. Certainly they use local companies like RJM Construction for at least the core and shell, plus adding local architects and engineers. To my surprise the developer (Shamrock Development) is local too and has a story behind this project.

The last housing development I passed by was the MCQ Apartments. Right off the bat, a plus is they have a Nice Ride station directly in front of the property.

MCQ Apartments

MCQ – Affordable Apartments

MCQ’s Woonerf

This would be cool. A Netherlands-style Woonerf for pedestrians and bicyclists going from the property to West River Parkway. They’ve gone as far as starting it going through a couple properties and even created a Project Overview (PDF). What they haven’t done is create a start to a European-style Woonerf.

Not a Woonerf.

Woonerf from 1st St Bridge

Woonerf from 1st St Bridge

Not a Woonerf

Not a Woonerf

Or, I could be missing plenty of interesting newer housing developments, or pedestrian safety features/issues on West River Parkway. Let me know in the comments!

Paul Jahn

About Paul Jahn

Ward 3 Mpls resident, virtual tours and 360 photographer, and you can find him at LocalMN, also on Twitter and Facebook. Volunteer for Streets for People and love urban walks. Music grad at Central Washington University.

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