Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Looking Out at the Cold

With the temperature dropping way down into the single digits (and going subzero once it gets dark), every day that I walk from my bus to my work building I am more and more thankful for the Minneapolis skyway system. It's pretty amazing that Minneapolis is really the only US city to have such a large, climate controlled connection system between buildings.

I wouldn't even want to think about having to walk in the outdoors of Chicago or New York or Boston as the cold, winter winds whip through the spaces between buildings. When I've been in Chicago during the winter, walking between my hotel and my company's offices gets to be pretty frickin' cold. I really wonder why the concept hasn't caught on in some other cities. It might be hard in Chicago with all of the train lines being on the second floor level of buildings, and the construction of a skyway system would probably entail a complete overhaul of some buildings' floor layouts, but I bet people would love it.

Then again, the skyways might be unbelievably packed. Since Minneapolis isn't nearly as populated as other big US cities, the skyways never get too flooded with people. They get busy, yes, but never so much that it's a pain in the ass to get anywhere. I know that some Canadian cities have tunnel systems in their cities, but I think that would be impossible in most US cities.

Any way you look at it, though, I love our skyways. It keeps me from having to walk in the cold in the winter and keeps me out of the heat in the summer. I'd even go out on a limb and say that it's one of the big reasons I love working in Minneapolis and wouldn't want to move to another big city to work in. Minnesota for life for me.

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