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Cities face new urban problem: their own skywalks

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Cities face new urban problem: their own skywalks

Officials are improving key streets to draw people outside, but they acknowledge whatever they do, many people will prefer the elevated walkways

Cities face new urban problem: their own skywalks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Des Moines and Minneapolis are seeing tremendous downtown development, but both also have pockets of the city core that are strangely quiet.

One reason is the walkways that pass overhead, enabling workers and residents to stay in cozy skywalks and off city streets.

The two cities have the country’s largest skywalk systems, and while they’ve been effective in some ways, they also hurt street life. Officials are improving key streets to draw people outside, but they acknowledge whatever they do, many people will prefer the elevated walkways.

Cincinnati and Baltimore have removed much of their skywalk systems and Spokane, Washington, is turning away from further expansion.

Still, they’re likely here to stay in Des Moines and Minneapolis.

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