The Midtown Greenway features a biking and walking trail that runs 5½ miles east to west in south Minneapolis, connecting the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes to the Mississippi River. Built in a former railroad trench that is below street level, most of the Greenway is completely free of car traffic. Users access the corridor via ramps, staircases, and the few places where there are street crossings. The Greenway also connects to many other trails.
While many people use it for walking and running, the Midtown Greenway is best known as a hugely popular bike trail, with more than 5,000 people using it each day in the warmer months, and more than 1.5 million estimated bike trips taken on it each year. It has become the spine of the bike commuter network in Minneapolis, and helped spark the biking renaissance in the city, leading Minneapolis to become known as one of the top cities for biking in the U.S.
The Greenway has spurred hundreds of millions of dollars of economic development along its edges. $750 million dollars of building permit activity occurred within a quarter-mile of the Midtown Greenway from 2005 to 2014. More than a dozen condo and apartment buildings have been built along its edges, and it continues to be one of the hottest areas for development in the city.