Lake City

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12, -41.5555, 141.4842
Lake City, Minnonigan
CountryFlag of the FSA.svg Federal States
 • StateMinnonigan Flag.png Minnonigan
 • CountyLake
 • MayorRandall Stephens
Elevation209 m (686 ft)
 • Estimate (2018)2,143,886
Telephone Code55-90 (downtown), 55-91 (east side), 55-92 (west side)
MetroLake City Transit Authority

Lake City, officially the City of Lake City, is the most populous city in the state of Minnonigan, with an estimated population of 2,143,886. The city and its corresponding metropolitan area straddles the Stone River along the shores of Lake Sauganash, colloquially known simply as "The Lake".

Lake City is a transportation hub of the southwestern Federal States, at the eastern end of the Ondassagam Waterway system of rivers, lakes, and canals connecting the westernmost two Grand Lakes for large freight vessels. The city is also a major railroad hub connecting railroads heading to the northwest with railroads from the east. By going through Lake City, trains are able to conveniently connect to the Grand Lakes and both coasts without traversing the XX mountain range in the northwestern Federal States.


Fort Drummond

The first non-Native Archantan settlement in the Lake City area occurred in 1804, when Federal States expeditionary forces identified the mouth of the Stone River as a strategic asset, controlling waterborne transportation between the fertile Stone-Thomas basin that comprises most of central Minnonigan to the shipping corridors of the Grand Lakes and with it an important trade route to the East Coast of the country. Fort Drummond, as the fort was initially named, was located on the low western bluff overseeing the Stone Rapids. A small trading post near the fort prospered for several years, with the assistance of friendly Native Archantan tribes nearby. The most influential of the Native Archantans was Sauganash, an elder of the Winnemac tribe who spoke fluent Ingerish.

In 1817, the Federal States government approved a massive public works plan to build a canal between the Thomas and Canton Rivers that would allow larger lake vessels to sail directly between the two western Grand Lakes without unloading and transferring their cargo to boats small enough to navigate the Wyche River to the south. To finance construction of the canal, two new communities were platted: Canton, at the western end of the canal itself, and Lake City at the mouth of the Stone River opposite Fort Drummond. This plan to plat out Lake City did not sit well with the Winnemac, who saw the canal project as a harbinger of native relocation. In 1821, at the height of the fervor between the Federal States citizens and the Winnemac – and exacerbated by an extended drought – Fort Drummond mysteriously burnt down to the ground overnight. The settlers assumed it was an attack by the Native Archantans and subsequently raided and sacked native settlements. Sauganash pleaded with the settlers for peace to no avail. The mob continued terrorizing the native population for five days until a unit of the Federal States Army deployed from Wallawaukee arrived to restore the peace. However, by that time, the damage had been done: Sauganash and the Winnemac fled to what is now Wychelle for safety.

Days later, conclusive evidence was found that determined the Fort Drummond Fire started from a lightning strike, not arson. While the rebuilt fort would be named Fort Sauganash in honor of the Native Archantan guide, an official apology to the Winnemac tribe would not be made until 180 years later at the dedication of the Native Archantan Relocation Memorial in Obigamide Park in 2001.

Ondassagam Waterway and the Railroads

Following several failed starts, the Thomas and Canton Canal opened in August of 1838; Lake City would be incorporated on December 3 of that year. The canal was successful for only ten years when it was made functionally obsolete almost overnight by the opening of the Sauganash and Northern Railroad between Lake City’s West Bank Station and Ondassagam in 1848. While goods would still need to be offloaded from ships, the trip from Lake City to Ondassagam generally took 14 hours by canal but only three hours by train. The railroad was also more reliable, with winter cold freezing the canal and requiring frequent ice breakers to maintain a navigable channel.

As railroads expanded across the Federal States, Lake City quickly became a focal point in the national railroad network. Trips from Lake City to the northwest up towards Jundah were more efficient, avoiding much of the mountainous terrain in the northwestern Federal States; trips toward the eastern seaboard were able to run fast and smooth along the water-level routes near the Grand Lakes; and the railroads could avoid building expensive major spans over most of the larger rivers in the region by crossing the Stone River in Lake City. This chokepoint at the Stone River was of crucial importance and was the location of intense competition between the various railroads. This competition reached its peak in 1871. The Sauganash and Northern Railroad began constructing a bridge to enter downtown Lake City from the west, which would significantly increase competition for the Minnonigan Central Railroad, which at the time was the only railroad that served both the northwestern Federal States and downtown Lake City on the east bank of the Stone River. On the night of October 29, 1871, Minnonigan Central Railroad workers snuck onto the under-construction bridge and dynamited the main span, sending the bridge tumbling into the river below. Citing the wreckage in the river as an obstruction to interstate commerce (and as an excuse to keep the peace), the Federal States Army was once more called to Lake City.

An innovative agreement was made following the incident: the State of Minnonigan passed the Stone River Bridge Act of 1872, which would only allow one railroad to cross the Stone River south of the confluence with the Thomas River. That charter was given to the newly-formed Belt Harbor Railroad, a railroad jointly owned by the State of Minnonigan and the City of Lake City. The Belt Harbor Railroad would build the massive Stone Rapids Bridge and two major freight yards to be shared by the freight railroads serving Lake City: the Westbridge Yard immediately west of the bridge, and the massive Flagler Yard in the Port of Lake City.

Rapid Expansion and Rapid Transit

Lake City's strategic location combined with Minnonigan's open expanses of flat land led to a population boom at the turn of the 20th Century. Land was quickly platted and sold off to developers and homesteaders based on the Minnonigan Land Survey, which gives Lake City its strong gridded street system. To aid in developing and selling land, rapid transit was often constructed alongside streets and public utilities. Since many of the transit lines were constructed alongside the neighborhooods they served, to this day most of Lake City's rapid transit operates on elevated structures rather than underground in subways. Four private elevated railroads were organized to serve Lake City in addition to the steam railroads which provided commuter service to and from downtown:

  • Stone River Elevated Railroad Company, 1891
  • East Side Elevated Railroad Company, 1891
  • Southeast Elevated Railway Company, 1894
  • Metropolitan West Bank Elevated Lines, 1894

In 1898, the Stone River, East Side, and Southeast Elevateds agreed and received approval from Lake City to construct the Joint Loop in downtown Lake City over Boone and Hancock Streets and over 2nd and 8th Avenues. The Joint Loop allowed all three railroads to bring trains into downtown to serve shared stations and allowed the companies to turn trains around without requiring large amounts of land for terminals. Following the opening of the Joint Loop, the network of elevated railways became known simply as "The 'J'".

Since the Stone River Bridge Act of 1872 prohibited any additional railroad bridges over the Stone River, the Metropolitan West Bank Elevated was unable to use the Joint Loop. Numerous private ferry companies were formed to shuttle passengers from the West Bank Terminal to downtown Lake City. This led to significant congestion for seafaring traffic in and around the mouth of the Stone River, negatively impacting both commuters and freight vessels. In 1936, as the various private elevated lines found themselves in varying degrees of financial instability, the Minnonigan State Legislature created the Lake City Transit Authority to take over all public transit serving Lake County. This legislation also exempted the LCTA from the Stone River Bridge Act, which allowed the LCTA to construct the Stone River Subway connecting the West Bank lines to the Joint Loop in 1938. To relieve congestion on the Joint Loop with the West Bank lines now serving downtown, the LCTA also opened the City Circle Subway line in 1946 to allow two crosstown lines (what are now the LCTA Green and Blue Lines) to avoid the Joint Loop entirely.

A Century of Progess

To celebrate Lake City's first centennial and the city's transformation from a swampy trading post to a transportation hub of the Federal States, the Lake City Chamber of Commerce hosted a world's fair in Exposition Gardens in 1938. The fair, which ran from September 1937 to May of 1938, attracted an estimated four million people to Lake City from around the world. Themed "A Century of Progress", the fair's legacies to Lake City include the international gardens with representative plant species from all eight continents; what is now the Lake City Zoo; the famous Lake City Public Market; and the Sporting Coliseum (now the Lakeside Bank Coliseum), which today hosts the Lake City Minutemen gridiron football team and the Lake City Centurions baseball team.

Tensions in the Tapestry of Neighborhoods

Given Lake City's explosive growth in the early 20th Century and the need for large amounts of unskilled labor, the city was a common destination for new immigrants to the Federal States. While many of these immigrants assimilated into the culture of the Federal States, small pockets of homogenous immigrants emerged as new immigrants sought out neighborhoods with large amounts of other immigrants from their homelands. Neighborhoods such as Little Ispelia prospered in South Point as waves of Ispelian immigrants arrived. However, not all immigrants were welcomed by the community as a whole; neighborhoods such as Little Mecyna, Sloughtown, and Little Commonia quickly became regarded as slums. In the 1950s, as Lake City and Lake County began planning their first superhighways, some of these neighborhoods were explicitly targeted for "urban renewal", with the new superhighways seen as a convenient excuse to disrupt entire neighborhoods and encourage "undesirable" residents to assimilate into other parts of Lake County. While some superhighways were planned to separate wealthier neighborhoods from poorer neighborhoods, some superhighways were placed with nearly surgical precision to disrupt undesireable neighborhoods as much as possible. This movement reached its climax in 1961 with the opening of the Lake Shore Highway, which nearly singlehandedly wiped Little Commonia off the map. The opening of the Lake Shore Highway triggered a backlash against this kind of "urban renewal", which led to two important moments: the cancelling of the Airport Freeway through Montrose and Superior Square in 1966, and the Minnonigan State Legislature's Transportation Equity Act of 1969, which required all new superhighways in southern Minnonigan to reserve right-of-way for rapid transit to serve local neighborhoods.

Modern Lake City

Today, Lake City remains a crucial transportation hub for the southwestern Federal States. In addition to the modernized Ondassagam Waterway network that still moves millions of tons of bulk freight annually and the numerous freight railroads serving the Port of Lake City, Lake City International Airport is one of the Federal States's busiest airports for both freight and passenger flights. Former industrial areas including the Warehouse District and the Westbridge Yards are finding new life with new residential and commercial development. While the population of Lake City remains relatively flat, the larger metropolitan area continues to grow and expand.


Lake City lies entirely within Lake County, except a small portion of Lake City International Airport in Rush County. Lake City officially has an area of 546.37 square kilometers, but 158.68 square kilometers are open water portions of Lake Sauganash. Lake City’s population density (non-Lake portions) is 5,529.90 persons per square kilometer, which is somewhat in the middle relative to other major cities in the Federal States.


Under the Köppen climate classification, Lake City has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa), with a variety of weather throughout all four seasons. Breezes off the lake help moderate temperatures generally inside the Outer Beltway.

Climate data for Lake City, 1972–2016
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.0
Average low °C (°F) 19.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 102
Average snowfall cm (inches) 0
trace 0
Source: University of Minnonigan at Lake City


Lake City Public Schools oversees public education throughout Lake City, including elementary schools, high schools, libraries, and community colleges.



Street Grid

With a few exceptions, Lake City’s street network follows a strict grid, due to the flatness of Lake County’s topography and the speed in which most of the city was platted to accommodate rapid growth in the late 19th and 20th Centuries. In the interest of speed and consistency, Lake City’s streets were initially all numbered, increasing moving away from Lake Street on the east-west axis and Stone Avenue on the north-south axis. This led to significant confusion throughout the city and by the 1920s was seen as detrimental to growth and commerce. In 1924, based on the recommendations of the Street Simplification Committee, the following changes were made:

  • North-South avenues east of the Stone River would remain numbered, increasing from Stone Avenue east to the state line. This was done to avoid as many impacts on downtown businesses as possible.
  • North of Lake Street on both sides of the Stone River, numbered streets were renamed in alphabetical order: 1st Street became Adams Street, 2nd Street became Boone Street, 3rd Street became Clybourn Street, etc. After all letters were exhausted, streets were renamed for other states and large cities in the Federal States.
  • South of Lake Street and east of the Stone River, the street grid was originally numbered moving north from South Point. This was additionally confusing, since street numbers increased from South 1st Street near the ferry to South 48th Street just south of Lake Street, then reset to 1st Street just north of Lake Street. Instead, South 1st-26th Streets were renamed to lettered avenues, starting with Avenue A and moving up to Avenue Z. North of Avenue Z, the street names from the Bunker Hill and Schatteman Villages subdivisions – which had never been numbered – were extended east. Numbered streets near the port district were given names from sailing (Porthole, Galley, Sail, etc.) and commodities (Iron, Ore, Copper, etc.).
  • West of the Stone River, the numbered north-south avenues were renamed alphabetically, similar to streets east of the Stone River. Note, however, that blocks are twice as long on the West Bank.
  • The “slanted” grid in Lakeview was similarly renamed converting numbered streets to alphabetically-named streets.

There are three breaks in the grid naming system, since downtown Lake City was initially platted with slightly larger blocks than the Minnonigan survey. 10th Place (Kendall Street) was located between 10th Street (Kane Street) and 11th Street (Logan Street). For north-south streets, Trinity Avenue is between 7th and 8th Avenues, and Temple Avenue is located between 10th and 11th Avenues.


Originally planned and designed by Lake County, the Lake City Superhighway System is currently operated and maintained by the Minnonigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) as part of the 900-series freeway network.

Expressway Removals

Following the construction of the intitial expressway network, there was significant city-wide backlash to expanding the network through the urban core due to the significant disruptive impacts the first few expressways caused, dividing neighborhoods and furthering Lake City's racial and class segregation. The Montrose Creek Expressway, which was intended to better connect the West Bank to Lake City International Airport, was officially cancelled in 1978 following intense opposition in the Village of Montrose and western Lake City (although significant land acquisition had already been executed).

By 1997, Lake Shore Drive, Lake City's first expressway, was due for a total reconstruction east of the Lakeview Expressway. Lake Shore Drive, which wrapped around the east side of the West Bank Terminal, was significantly under-capacity due to the closure of the West Bank Ferry Terminal, which ceased auto operations following the opening of the LCTA's three-track Stone River Tunnel. In an effort to "reopen the lakefront" and open up the former ferry parking lots for development, the City of Lake City petitioned MDOT for the removal of Lake Shore Drive entirely. While MDOT refused to abandon the facility entirely, the Department did agree to a significant downgrade: west of Sunset Boulevard (SR 3), Lake Shore Drive was transformed from an 8-lane expressway into a 4-lane avenue on the previous westbound-only lanes; three of the eastbound lanes were removed and the remaining lane was repurposed into a high-speed bike bypass of the congested Lakefront Bikeway. Near the West Bank Terminal, the old overpass over the former ferry parking lots was removed and replaced with a ground-level promenade, facilitating the development of the Skyline Entertainment District. (North of Spit Island Road, the structure was mostly rebuilt with fewer lanes to serve the active industrial areas along the riverfront.)

Reaction to the expressway removal was almost unanimously positive, with the City of Lake City winning several urban planning awards for the project. In the late 2010s, the City of Lake City went further and planned to actively dismantle two urban expressways: the Inner Belt Freeway on Lake City's east side, and the Lakeview Expressway on Lake City's west side. The first project, the Inner Belt Freeway, was split into five phases and completed in early 2019:

  • Phase I: Reroute SR 900 via the Cicero Freeway and Outer Beltway; extend SR 991 to West Daviston and SR 900 to West Larkwood, eliminating SR 911
  • Phase II: Improve 27th Avenue and remove the Green Valley Freeway between Northeast Highway and Trenchent Highway
  • Phase III-A: South of Lake Street, downgrade the South Point Freeway to a modern boulevard
  • Phase III-B: Reconstruct the Belt Junction Interchange
  • Phase III-C: Improve 34th and 35th Avenues; remove the Inner Belt Freeway between the Exposition Expressway and Belt Junction
  • Phase IV: Reconstruct the Rochester Interchange including downgrading the Inner Belt Freeway to Trenchent Highway
  • Phase V-A: Landscape the Inner Belt Parkway (34th/35th Avenues) between Vermilion Street and Edgar Street
  • Phase V-B: Construct the Green Valley Bikeway between 27th/New Penquisset and the West Larkwood Transit Center

Following the overwhelming success of the Inner Belt Removal, the scope of the second project was greatly expanded to also remove the North Side Expressway and remove the Stone Rapids Bridge from the 900-series freeway network. (Ironically, in broadening the scope of the project, the decision was made to maintain part of the Lakeview Expressway as a grade-separated capped trunk road.) This complex project is being broken down into several distinct phases to reduce impacts to the high number of motorists using the Stone River bridges.

  • Phase I: Downgrade Lake Shore Drive (SR 993) between Bradford and Gallinipper Avenue to match existing Lake Shore Drive (SR 301) east of Marina Park Circle
  • Phase II-A: Remove the Lakeview Expressway (SR 993) between Dock Street (SR 3) and Lake Shore Drive (SR 301)
  • Phase II-B: Remove the existing Eastland Avenue overpass, replace with a new roundabout at Canton Street and improve local streets between Eastland/Canton and Marina Park Circle
  • Phase III-A: Replace the Lakeview Expressway (SR 993) between Dock Street (SR 3) and Putnam Street as a capped trunk road
  • Phase III-B: Downgrade the Lakeview Expressway (SR 993) between Putnam Street and the Old Sauganash Interchange to a trunk road, removing the Putnam Street interchange and adding a new at-grade intersection at Northwest Highway/Richland Street
  • Phase IV-A: Reconstruct the Cherry Avenue Expressway (SR 902) into a double-decked expressway between Stanton Street and Quincy Street
  • Phase IV-B: Reconstruct the east approach to the Michael C. Hutchinson Toll Bridge (SR 903) to complete the existing interchange at the Cherry Avenue Expressway (SR 902)
  • Phase V: Reconstruct the existing interchange at the east approach to the Stone Rapids Bridge, including double-decking SR 902 to Vandalia Street
  • Phase VI: Reconstruct SR 992 north of the Old Sauganash Interchange as an extension of Old Quarry Road, maintaining ramps to the Stone Rapids Bridge
  • Phase VII: Remove the North Side Expressway (SR 2/992) and replace with an extended Bridge Street

Public Transportation

Public transportation in and around Lake City is operated by the Lake City Transit Authority. Within Lake City, the LCTA operates 11 heavy rail/metro lines, three light rail/streetcar lines, several bus rapid transit lines, and dozens of local bus routes. The LCTA also oversees SMARTbus and SMARTrail, which provides local bus service and commuter rail service to suburban parts of the region. (SMARTbus/rail is an acronym for Southern Minnonigan Area Regional Transit.)


Lake City's metro system includes 11 separate color-coded lines and is colloquially referred to as "The 'J'", which is short for the "Joint Loop" that serves downtown Lake City. Unlike many other metros, The 'J' is primarily elevated, although there are also significant sections underground and at-grade. As part of Lake City's 900-series expressways, many lines also operate in the medians of expressways in Lake and Jasper Counties.

The 'J'
Line Name Rush-Hour Service Off-Peak Service Late-Night Service
LCTA Red Line Lakeshore Line  Kimball Harbor  South Point   Kimball Harbor  Obigamide Park 
LCTA Orange Line Exposition Line  Dodge City  South Point Ferry   Gallinipper Av  South Point  No late-night service
LCTA Yellow Line Central-Lake Street Line  North Riverside  127th/State Line   North Riverside  Expo Gardens 
LCTA Gold Line Jasper County Line  Anderson Road  West Bank Xfer   Anderson Road  Montrose  No late-night service
LCTA Green Line Northwest-East Line  St. Lucy Hwy  Gunnison Airport 
LCTA Teal Line Daviston Shuttle  Loop  Harbor St   Obigamide Park  Harbor St  No late-night service
LCTA Blue Line West-Northeast Line  LCX  Winnemac Park 
LCTA Purple Line West Larkwood Shuttle  Loop  Monmouth   Trinity/Expo  Monmouth  No late-night service
LCTA Pink Line Dodge Line  Dunes Hwy  Loop   Dunes Hwy  West Bank Trml 
LCTA Brown Line Temple Line  90th St  Loop  No late-night service
LCTA Silver Line Outer Belt Line  Dodge City  Gunnison Airport   GNN Shuttle [note 1]
  1. Late night service between Gunnison Airport and Larkwood Transit Center is provided by the LCTA Green Line's Larkwood Shuttle, which operates only when LCTA Silver Line trains are out of service.

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Surface Transportation

The Lake City Transit Authority also operates urban and suburban transit bus lines and light rail throughout the Lake City region. Urban buses are simply branded as "LCTA Bus" and have 1- or 2-digit route numbers; suburban buses are branded "SMARTbus" and have three-digit route numbers. The LCTA also offers bus rapid transit lines, which are lettered along with light rail lines.

LCTA Bus Rapid Transit/Light Rail Routes
Letter Route Name Hours of Operation Notes
D Dodge Streetcar Mon-Thu 0600-2359; Fri 0600-Sun 2359
E East Side Light Rail Daily, 0600-0100
F 45th-47th BRT Daily, 0600-0100
G GNN Monorail All times Fully automated; operated by the Lake City Aviation Authority
S South Point Streetcar Mon-Thu 0600-2359; Fri 0600-Sun 2359 Operates late night for events at The Venue at Docklands Casino
X LCX Monorail All times Fully automated; operated by the Lake City Aviation Authority
LCTA Bus Routes
Number Route Name Hours of Operation Notes
25 25th-27th 24 hours
63 63rd/Gunnison 24 hours South of Finnigan Park, offers late-night service when LCTA Orange Line trains are not operating

Commuter rail

The Lake City Transit Authority operates nine numbered SMARTrail commuter rail lines serving Lake, Jasper, and Rush Counties. Lines 1-3 serve the West Bank Terminal; Line 4 serves Central Station; and Lines 5-9 serve Union Station.


The Lake City Aviation Authority oversees both of Lake City's airports, Lake City International Airport in western Lake City and Gunnison International Airport in eastern Lake City.



Lake City hosts several professional sports teams, and is currently in negotiations to be a host city for the 2019 Unity Cup.

Sport Team Name League Venue
Baseball Lake City Centurions Lakeside Bank Coliseum
Baseball Lake City Navigators BriteSpot Stadium
Football (gridiron) Lake City Minutemen Archantan Gridiron League Lakeside Bank Coliseum
Basketball Lake City Lancers Axcess Arena
Hockey Lake City Rivermen Axcess Arena
Soccer Lake City Blue Stars MWireless Stadium