In this article, we shall be talking about the various roads within the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. We will also talk about the various modes of mass transit here in the city. Now, without further ado, let us begin.
Residents use Interstate 35E running north-south and Interstate 94 running east-west. Trunk highways include U.S. Highway 52, Minnesota State Highway 280, and Minnesota State Highway 5. Saint Paul has several unique roads such as Ayd Mill Road, Phalen Boulevard and Shepard Road/Warner Road, which diagonally follow particular geographic features in the city. Biking is also gaining popularity, due to the creation of more paved bike lanes that connect to other bike routes throughout the metropolitan area and the creation of Nice Ride Minnesota, a seasonally operated nonprofit bicycle sharing and rental system that has over 1,550 bicycles and 170 stations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Downtown Saint Paul has a five-mile (8 km) enclosed skyway system over twenty-five city blocks. The 563-mile (906 km) Avenue of the Saints connects Saint Paul with Saint Louis, Missouri.
The layout of city streets and roads has often drawn complaints. While he was Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, and remarked that the streets were designed by “drunken Irishmen”. He later apologized, though people had been complaining about the fractured grid system for more than a century by that point. Some of the city’s road design is the result of the curve of the Mississippi River, hilly topography, conflicts between developers of different neighborhoods in the early city, and grand plans only half-realized. Outside of downtown, the roads are less confusing, but most roads are named, rather than numbered, increasing the difficulty for non-natives to navigate.
Metro Transit provides bus service and light rail in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. The METRO Green Line is an 11-mile (18 km) light rail line that connects downtown Saint Paul to downtown Minneapolis with 14 stations in Saint Paul. The Green Line runs west along University Avenue, through the University of Minnesota campus, until it links up and then shares stations with the METRO Blue Line in downtown Minneapolis. Construction began in November 2010 and the line began service on June 14, 2014. Roughly 45,000 people rode on the first day; an average 28,000 riders are expected per day.
Metro Transit opened the METRO A Line, Minneapolis–Saint Paul’s first arterial bus rapid transit line, along Snelling Avenue and Ford Parkway. The A Line connects the METRO Blue Line at 46th Street station to Rosedale Center with a connection at the Green Line Snelling Avenue station. The A Line is the first in a series of planned arterial bus rapid transit lines and is set to open in early 2016.
Amtrak’s Empire Builder between Chicago and Seattle stops twice daily in each direction at the newly renovated Saint Paul Union Station. Ridership on the train increased by about 6% from 2005 to over 505,000 in the fiscal year 2007. A Minnesota Department of Transportation study found that increased daily service to Chicago should be economically viable, especially if it originates in Saint Paul and does not experience delays from the rest of the western route of the Empire Builder. Saint Paul is the site of the Pig’s Eye Yard, a major freight classification yard for Canadian Pacific Railway. As of 2003, the yard handled over 1,000 freight cars per day. Both Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe run trains through the yard, though they are not classified at Pig’s Eye. Burlington Northern Santa Fe operates the large Northtown Yard in Minneapolis, which handles about 600 cars per day. There are several other small yards located around the city.