Some time in recent years, Minneapolis changed the texture of the ramp in their sidewalk cuts. The above photo is an example of what the city is using these days. I happened to grab this photo at 46th Ave S & Lake St E but I’ve seen them used throughout the city in areas with new streets and curbs.
Before using this style, the ramp down to the street from sidewalk height was relatively smooth. In some cases, it was poured concrete. In others, it was a slightly rough surface made up of small rocks.
So, why is the new version with golf ball sized pimples lame? Because it’s difficult to rollerblade over. Small wheels and big bumps don’t mix.
This is particularly problematic on the Northern section of the Grand Rounds. Over the weekend, Carly and I looped from the Stone Arch bridge up past the U of MN, Diagonal Trail, Stinson, St. Anthony, Weber, Victory Memorial, and Wirth Parkways, then back on the Cedar Lake trail on blades.
The new Grand Rounds paths are awesome . . . with one exception. Every road crossing sucks on rollerblades because you have to deal with two of these bumpy sidewalk cuts. Frankly, for most rollerbladers, it’s enough to make the otherwise awesome paths unusable.
I imagine there were some decent reasons for the change to this particular surface. If you know, I’d love to hear it.