USA Today names Midtown Greenway a top urban bike path

If Twin Cities bike paths were compared to highways and freeways in the cities, then some might say that the Midtown Greenway is a little like 94: high trafficked, ideal for many commutes, and essential to city transportation. USA Today seems to agree, as it has named the path one of the top 12 in the nation.

Related stories: Top 5 trails in the Twin Cities

The criteria for the list ranged from practicality to aesthetics, and included consideration on whether routes were mostly away from traffic, if the path was something tourists and cycling enthusiasts could enjoy, and whether or not the "city takes pride in it." All but one path is a "rail trail," old railway lines that have been paved over for cycling purposes.

The Midtown Greenway got glowing reviews as a trail offering a straight-shot through the Minneapolis free from traffic, its year-round maintenance, and safety amenities:

Exhibit A in why Minneapolis is considered the best bike city in America: the Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile bicycle highway through the center of town. Following a sunken rail corridor with no major breaks in traffic, this path is almost entirely separate from pedestrian traffic and is busy with commuters year-round. That's right: it's plowed in the winter. The Greenway is also lit at night, so it's functional 24/7, and has emergency call boxes, police patrolling on bike, and even its own suspension bridge.

Other paths that made the list, which is set in no particular order, include Seattle's Burke-Gilman Trail, Chicago's Lakefront Trail, the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, and Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail in Austin, TX.

For the complete list, visit USA Today's website.

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