What's open when in the human maze

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March 28, 2005 // UPDATED 1:53 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Greg Corradini
Greg Corradini

When Jose Velez leaves work at 3:30 a.m. to catch a bus on Nicollet Mall, he doesn't use the skyway system to get there.

Velez is a supervisor at Panchero's Mexican Grill in Block E, 600 Hennepin Ave. S. Thursday through Saturday, Panchero's is open until 2:30 a.m., and Velez often cleans into the morning's wee hours.

He said that when he leaves work, closed skyways are quite a setback for him. "I have to walk to Nicollet through the streets," Velez said.

Although the skyway can make brutal weather bearable and help people getting from point A to B feel safer Downtown, Velez's experience is evidence of the system's quirks.

Some skyway sections do not have their operating hours posted at all, such as the skyway from Block E to City Center crossing 6th & Hennepin Avenue South.

And some don't stick to the hours that are posted. Even when the adjustments were made to meet business and consumer demands.

About seven years ago, Val Johnson had a problem with the skyway connecting 6 Quebec, which is now a mix of condos and businesses at 601 Marquette Ave., to the Rand Tower, 527 Marquette Ave., where her store, Val's Quik Mart, resides.

Like most, the skyway opened at 6:30 a.m. However, Johnson's store opened at 6:15 a.m. and she wanted the Rand Tower owners to open the skyway earlier. "I kept harping and harping [at] them," Johnson said.

A few years later, she said the Rand Tower hours changed and the 6 Quebec skyway crossing South 6th Street started opening up at 6 a.m. Yet, the posted hours at the 6 Quebec skyway still read: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

At the borders of the Downtown skyway, buildings with less foot traffic post a wide range of hours.

Take The Crossings at 250 2nd Ave. S., for example. Of the four skyway entrances into the building, three have different operating times on the weekends, two open an hour apart on weekdays and one skyway has unpublished hours.

Keith Erickson, owner of Dagwood's restaurant, has had a business in the building for 20 years. He's said eight years ago, he was in the coffee business and recalled waiting for the skyway doors to open. "There would be a few people waiting to get through the doors when the guard came down," he said.

Currently, Dagwood's is open for lunch during skyway-compatible and high foot-traffic hours, weekdays, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Of course, for many businesses and users, the hours do not pose a problem. Main Street Gallery in Baker Center, 733 Marquette Ave., is surrounded by corporate businesses. Main Street Gallery Manager Margie Belkin said this "works very well for our marketplace," she said.

Belkin said they chose the store location in Baker Center because they wanted a five-day gallery, adding that the store's location at the confluence of several office buildings offers a steady traffic pattern.

"We are delighted with the way things are here," Belkin said.

SKYWAY HOURS EXCEPTIONS: THE LIST

Most skyways go with the uniform system hours, which are:

- Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

- Saturday, 9:30 a.m-8 p.m.

- Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

However, according to the hours posted in specific skyways, there are many exceptions:

Spanning South 2nd Street

The Churchill to 100 Washington Square (between Marquette and 2nd avenues)
Monday-Friday, 5:45 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Spanning Washington Avenue South

The Crossings to 100 Washington Square (between Marquette and 2nd avenues)
Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Spanning South 3rd Street

The Crossings to Towle Building (between Washington Avenue and South 3rd Street)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Spanning South 5th Street

Plymouth Building to Lumber Exchange (between Hennepin and Nicollet Mall)
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

Soo Line (or 501 Marquette) Building to 100/150 South Fifth Street (between Marquette and 2nd avenues)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, closed

Spanning South 6th Street

Thrivent Financial to Hennepin County Government Center Ramp (between 4th and 5th avenues south)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Spanning South 7th Street

IDS Center to Saks Off Fifth (between Nicollet Mall and Marquette Avenue)
Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

Roanoke Building to Northstar West (between Marquette and 2nd avenues south)
Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Spanning South 8th Street

US Bancorp to Marshall Field's (between LaSalle Avenue and Nicollet Mall)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Midwest Plaza to IDS Center/Crystal Court (between Nicollet Mall and Marquette Avenue)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Spanning South 9th Street

LaSalle Plaza to University of St. Thomas Opus Hall (between Hennepin and LaSalle avenues)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-1:30 a.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

International Centre II to TCF Bank, 801 Marquette Ave. (between Marquette and 2nd avenues south)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sundays and holidays, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Spanning South 10th Street

Hilton Hotel to Kinnard Financial Center (between Marquette and 2nd avenues)
Daily, 6 a.m.-1:30 a.m.

Spanning South 13th Street

1221 Nicollet to the Hyatt Regency Hotel (between Nicollet Mall and Marquette Avenue)
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, closed

Spanning Grant Street

Minneapolis Convention Center to Plaza Municipal Ramp (between Marquette and 2nd avenues south)
Daily, 6 a.m.-midnight

Spanning Nicollet Mall

Marquette Place to the Hyatt Regency Hotel (on the 1200-1300 block)
Daily, 6:30 a.m.-9:45 p.m.

Spanning Marquette Avenue

Orchestra Hall ramp to Orchestra Hall (on the 1100 block)
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3p.m.; Sunday, closed

Spanning 2nd Avenue South

The Crossings to Wells Fargo Operations Center (between Washington Avenue South and South 3rd Street)
Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

100/150 South Fifth Street to Qwest (on the 400 block)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday, closed;

TCF Bank to St. Olaf Catholic Church (on the 800 block)
Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Spanning 3rd Avenue South

Gateway Ramp to Wells Fargo Operations Center (between Washington Avenue South and South 3rd Street)
Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Campbell Mithun Tower to Energy Center Parking Ramp (on the 900 block)
Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 7a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

Spanning 4th Avenue South

Hennepin County Government Center to Opus Ramp (on the 500 block)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

701 Building to Accenture Tower (on the 700 block)
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.