Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Latest on the North Minneapolis Greenway Project

Since 2012, the City of Minneapolis has been exploring the idea of converting a low-traffic street in north Minneapolis into a greenway or a park-like space for bicycles and pedestrians. The idea for a greenway came from a community organization called Twin Cities Greenways (TCG). Using community input, the City has developed a proposed route for the greenway and proposed greenway types along the route. The proposed route runs north-south primarily along Irving and Humboldt avenues north, starting at the Shingle Creek Trail on the north end and ending just north of Plymouth Avenue North. Most of the route is proposed to be a full “linear park” greenway with no motorized traffic or a “half and half” greenway with both a trail and car traffic. In 2013, the City, along with the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, received funding from the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to continue to explore the greenway concept and to conduct further engagement to reach a more diverse group of residents.

Extensive outreach in 2014 was conducted. The outreach reached 2,040 people compared to 371 who responded to a 2013 survey. The City, working with the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and a community-based steering committee, asked members of the community to propose their own ideas for conducting outreach. Youth organizations, faith-based organizations and community-based organizations responded and received funding to carry out their ideas. All outreach partners collected feedback by asking residents to complete a survey. Techniques included:
  • A group of young basketball players organized a three-on-three basketball tournament to get community members together and talk to them.
  • Students at Henry and North high schools and Hmong International Academy reached out to their peers and families.
  • Neighborhood organization representatives and resident volunteers knocked on doors along the proposed route.
  • The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition solicited surveys at the North Minneapolis Greenway Experience Open Streets.
  • Groups held more than 27 meetings and events.
Results
The City and its partners will continue to explore greenway options and conduct outreach in 2015 for a deeper understanding of what residents on the route would want to see. Efforts will include:
  • More outreach to target the opinions of underrepresented groups including African-American residents and Latino residents.
  • Exploring connections at the southern end of the route.
  • Exploring the possibility of a short-term greenway pilot on some of the blocks of the proposed route to demonstrate how a greenway would affect traffic, parking and the ways people use the space. 
  • Smaller neighborhood-based meetings.
For more information about the greenway project, including a full report of the survey results, visit www.minneapolismn.gov/health/living/northminneapolisgreenway.

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