Tim’s history with bicycle transportation planning and visionary work began in 1992 when he co-founded the Midtown Greenway Coalition.  He then served as its Executive Director from 1995 to 2011.  The Midtown Greenway is a barrier-free 5.5 mile-long biking and walking trail in an old railroad corridor spanning Minneapolis east-to-west featuring wide east- and west-bound cycling lanes and a separate walking lane.  It is lit at night, snowplowed in the winter, and open 24/7. The Midtown Greenway is Minnesota’s busiest off-road bikeway, serving up to 5,000 bicyclists per day as measured at just one location. Characteristics:

  • Runs east-to-west through a 100-foot-wide railroad corridor about one mile south of downtown Minneapolis
  • Seven-foot-wide lanes for each direction of bicycle travel
  • Six-foot-wide walking lane
  • Combined 20-foot width of the travel lanes
  • Grade-separated from the surrounding street grid for most of its 5.6 mile distance across the city
  • For its middle segment, the Greenway occupies a gorge where trail users pass under bridges carrying streets overhead.
  • On its east and west ends, the Greenway is above grade and city streets pass underneath it




The grade-separated feature affords barrier-free bicycle and foot travel, making cross-town bicycle trips faster than going by car. 

The creation of the Midtown Greenway was a collaborative effort among an advocacy organization, the Midtown Greenway Coalition, and public agencies at Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis.  The Coalition began its advocacy work in 1992 and the first of three trail segments was constructed in the year 2000.  The third and final segment was constructed in 2006.  Funding for trail construction came primarily from federal grants. 

Visioning session participants believe that a network of greenways here could and should improve many aspects of their lives, and planning them must be resident-driven.  For example, greenways should make neighborhoods safer, provide inexpensive transportation, catalyze public art and learning, offer everyone something healthy and fun to do, usher in a growth industry with new jobs, and increase pride and community.  Yet all these benefits will not happen unless the bicycle thruways are well used and safe. 

Planning and building the envisioned greenways and getting people out to use them will take many years and a level of resident engagement and empowerment perhaps not seen before, and the energy to make it happen is growing.   

In 2011 and 2012, The Greenway Guy served as a subcontractor to Toole Design Group serving Transit for Livable Community to design 12 cutting edge on-road and off-road bicycle facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul.  As a part of this project, Tim served as the lead consultant on a feasibility study of a new north-south greenway in south Minneapolis on or near the longitude of 10th Avenue.  The concept behind this proposed greenway is to vacate roadways to motorized traffic, thereby creating a car-free greenway offering FAST, SAFE, AND PLEASANT bicycle travel.

Detroit has the potential to become the world’s greenways capital, the number one bicycling city, and a model for equitable redevelopment by taking advantage of its unique assets.  These assets include underutilized roadways, railroad corridors, and passionate people.  The first step is the creation of a clear vision. 

The Greenway Guy assisted the Detroit Greenways Coalition in taking the first stab at presenting a 50-year vision for a network of greenways by creating five hand drawings of greenway examples, and a map showing approximately how far apart these greenways should be. A video of visioning session participants and a written report accompany the drawings and map.  The drawings reflect the interests of Detroit residents and activists who participated in visioning sessions. 

The bicycle transportation network within the greenways will be made up of Bicycle Thruways allowing non-stop bicycle travel through intersections, at times like highway interchanges.  This is how Detroit can leap frog beyond current practices like protected bike lanes on opposite sides of a roadway to provide the best level of service for bicycling anywhere.


the MIDTOWN greenway


concept planning for a new north-south greenway,

minneapolis, MN