Skip to main content

City to consider installing bird-safe glass in Minneapolis' skyway system

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It didn't happen with the Vikings stadium, but the installation of bird-safe glass will now be considered for Minneapolis' skyway system.

City council members Cam Gordon (ward 2) and Linea Palmisano (ward 13) want to change city rules so that new or renovated skyways are equipped with bird-friendly glass in the future, according to a council agenda.

"Skyways pose a large threat than people would imagine," Gordon said, according to the Star Tribune, with Palmisano saying that the skyway system's 50-foot height puts it at the same level as bird migratory patterns, yet appear safe for them to fly through.

But the newspaper notes that changing city ordinances for such a reason could increases costs for downtown developers, and "change the aesthetic," airy feel of the city's 8-mile skyway system.

Gordon and Palmisano intend to raise the issue at the next city council meeting.

It follows a lengthy and controversial battle over the glass used on the $1 billion Vikings Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, which conservation groups wanted to be built using bird-safe material.

This was opposed by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and ultimately rejected as it argued it would drive up the cost of the project by $60 million, although bird advocates argued the cost would be as little as $1 million.

Minnesota's Audubon Society says that birds are vulnerable from glass buildings during the day as they do not always appear as obstacles on flightpaths, while lit-up glass buildings attract those flying at night.

Over the past eight years, the society has been monitoring a handful of glass buildings in Minnesota, during which time it has found more than a 100 species of bird dead near them.

A study by the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History found that 44 percent of all bird deaths in St. Paul were caused by just two buildings along the migratory path it was monitoring, while in Minneapolis two buildings accounted for 67 percent of deaths.

Next Up

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.26.20 PM

Man makes 'vague comments' about Jewish people, smashes own car with club

It happened at a course that was founded as a Jewish country club 100 years ago.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.59.07 PM

4 abandoned puppies found in a bucket in Willmar

The puppies were in good health when they were discovered.

Minneapolis police

Suspect of home invasion, murder in Minneapolis arrested in Wisconsin

There have been 57 deaths reported as homicides in Minneapolis this year.

Carson McCoy

Charges: Man stole handgun from house, fired at motorcyclists from car

A chaotic scene that led to a police chase unfolded after an alleged burglary in Ham Lake.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

BCA's Uniform Crime Report shows violent crime in MN spiked in 2021

The report details violent crime trends in the seven-county metro and Greater Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 4.49.22 PM

Search for vulnerable man, 66, missing from Brooklyn Park

Alex Ramirez was last seen in the early hours of Thursday morning.

St. Cloud Times

St. Cloud Times writing staff hit by Gannett budget cuts

Mass layoffs were expected at Gannett-owned outlets across the country.

PoolScammerLawsuitAG

Pool company sued by AG for allegedly scamming homeowners out of $1M-plus

According to the lawsuit, 17 Minnesota homeowners were affected by this scam.

Related

Minneapolis skyways -- burden or blessing?

Prominent downtown business leaders say the eight miles of elevated walkways in the downtown area are "leaving sidewalks barren and storefronts empty." Mayor R.T. Rybak told the Star Tribune that he "would not support the development of any new skyways in the city." Many acknowledge the maze of walkways helped save Minneapolis once threatened by suburban offices and malls. But improving the skyways for the downtown's future is proving to be a complicated task.

Twin Cities taxi companies consider installing cameras following fatal shooting in North Minneapolis

The president of the Minneapolis Taxicab Drivers and Owners Association told the Star Tribune he thinks the video cameras should be a state requirement. According to OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, driving a cab is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country.