For Minnesota Vikings, a stadium without skyways?

Is it time to wean ourselves off the skyway culture?

Sam Newberg at the excellent blog writes today on the ways to make the coming Vikings stadium more friendly in an urban environment.

One way, he says, is to get rid of skyways:

There are an alarming number of skyways. It is my understanding that for new stadiums the NFL requires one climate controlled access for VIPs from a parking structure to the stadium. Can someone confirm this is true and for how many spaces? Although the number of new skyways seems fluid, I find it disturbing that any must be built at all, and furthermore that millions of dollars are proposed to be spent to connect the stadium via skyway through the proposed Ryan Companies development and to the downtown core.

I’d prefer zero new skyways, as they are proven to suck the life off of sidewalks, which generally goes against plans for the city to be a more walkable place. But at a minimum, I think a source of revenue should be found so that an equal amount of dollars are spent on pedestrian improvements to sidewalks in the area.

“The Vikings wanted to build their stadium downtown; in return we should expect them to be a good neighbor and fit well in to the urban fabric,” he writes.