When our office was on the East Side, unless I had a meeting, I rarely drove anywhere during the day. I could step outside my office and be at Whole Foods in two minutes, Qdoba in three and Beans in Barley in about one.
Now that our office is Downtown, I have even more walkable options, which is good, since parking in a garage really cuts down one's spontaneity for driving around for lunch.
However, when it's really cold out, walking anywhere is a pain, and only now am I coming to appreciate Downtown's extensive skywalk system.
For example, from the moment I left my desk until I set foot in the Grand Avenue Mall's food court (review on the new Jake's Deli coming soon), I was outside for a mere 38 seconds. That's barely enough time to get cold.
I entered through the 100 East Wisconsin building, walked up the stairs, crossed the skywalk over the Milwaukee River, then took the one south over Wisconsin Avenue, and finally west into the mall.
On the way back, I wanted to deposit a check in a US Bank ATM, so I took the skywalk east to the ASQ building, then stepped outside only because the bank had already closed. Couldn't be easier.
Of course, our skywalk pales in comparison to the one in Minneapolis, which spans eight miles and connects 69 blocks. Best I can tell, ours connects eight blocks with two links over the Milwaukee River, and there are a few links to the east, as well. According to an old article I found, the city had set aside some money in the '80s to connect them all, but then Mayor John Norquist killed that plan in 1988.
Still, I'm becoming a big fan of the skywalk system, and I'd like to see it expanded, both in length and usage. How about a happy hour bar crawl, or organized themed parties on each span?
Because even critics who say skywalks keep customers out of the shops on street level have to admit that walking when it's so cold outside isn't fun, either. At least this way, you can get a nice walk in without freezing your butt off, too.
The folks at UrbanMilwaukee did a nice job mapping out the skywalk. Take a look below.
View Milwaukee Skywalk Map in a larger map
Yes andy, the skywalks are handy and much warmer than walking the cold, concrete canyons of Milwaukee. They are so handy that Historic Milwaukee has conducted a winter walking tour of downtown Milwaukee from them for years. Starting at the statue in the Plankington building on Saturday morning, one of our volunteers will show visitors the highlights of downtown architecture and relay some of her history. Check our website for times and other winter events. www.historicmilwaukee.org
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Sept. 18, 2016
Typically, my annual early reviews of the Apple's new flagship phone are called "24 hours with the new iPhone." That tight time frame wasn't possible this year, because the new iPhone 7 took more than a day and a half just to update all my apps, photos, videos and iCloud data. I only started to really see it work as promised by Saturday night.
Published Sept. 16, 2016
When Katrina Cravy signs off from FOX 6 on Oct. 12, it will mark the end of a 20-year chapter in her life, but another one is about to open. While the 46-year-old anchor, reporter and host has been a fixture at her station for almost 18 years, she's preparing to embark on a career at a media relations consultant, speaker and author.
Published Sept. 14, 2016
On Thursday, Rahny Taylor returns to Milwaukee radio as morning host at 97.3 NOW, replacing the syndicated "Elvis Duran Show." It's been a secret Taylor's been keeping for a while. Unlike his last gig in town with Wes McKane and Ally Faith, he's doing this one solo.
Published Sept. 2, 2016
In 2004, Tim Schneider opened The Shop in Bay View's Hide House. Fast forward to 2016, and the motorcycle repair/customization shop - that only works on Japanese and European bikes - averages a 6-8 week waiting list, and their phone rings off the hook. It was time to move.
Published Aug. 31, 2016
Former Brewers pitchers Dave Bush and Seth McClung spent a lot of time standing for the national anthem during their careers. Like their teammates, rising was expected of them before every game, so when Colin Kaepernick made a statement by refusing to stand before an exhibition game last week, ex-players took note.
Published Aug. 29, 2016
Today, Verizon data speeds got faster. Verizon just rolled out its LTE Advanced technology to bring 50% faster peak wireless data speeds to more than 288 million people in 461 cities, including Milwaukee.
Published Aug. 22, 2016
I've said it for years. Door County means different things to different people. Whether your idea of this magical peninsula is nature or adventure, shopping or relaxing, friends or family - or a mix of everything above, one storyline arcs above all the rest: Door County is what you make it.
Published Aug. 19, 2016
My friend Drew Olson has a new work address. The veteran Milwaukee sports journalist / broadcaster - and former OnMilwaukee.com senior editor - ended an 11-year run as a talk-show host at ESPN Milwaukee (540 AM) last week and will begin a new chapter with The Big 920 (WOKY) on Monday.
Published Aug. 18, 2016
This Saturday, Priscilla Presley - actress, activist and, perhaps most notably, widow of Elvis - is coming to Milwaukee for "Elvis and Me," an open conversation at The Pabst Theater about the life and experiences of the original First Lady of rock 'n' roll.
Published Aug. 3, 2016
I didn't really even know I was interested in driving a motorcycle until the House of Harley invited me to take a Riding Academy New Rider course. In three days, I checked something off my bucket list that I didn't know was on it. I took it seriously, and it was hard. But also really satisfying.