The North Minneapolis Greenway Project
The City of Minneapolis is exploring converting low-traffic streets into a greenway in north Minneapolis. The greenway would improve residents' access to a place to be physically active. Studies show that the closer people live to parks, the more likely they are to get exercise.
The project is in the community engagement phase, and is focused on informing residents about the project and collecting input to help define a new transportation and recreation corridor. The city and its partners completed the most recent round of engagement activities in July 2014, and a report summarizing the results can be found below.
No final decisions have been made about the proposed greenway, and this phase of gathering community input is important because it will inform future decisions. The City is also conducting a feasibility study, which will also help inform future decisions. A community-based Northside Greenway Council is leading outreach efforts, and a Technical Advisory Committee is overseeing the feasibility study. The Departments of Public Works and Health are collaborating on this project.
The idea for this project came from residents who wanted to see a greenway in north Minneapolis. An all-volunteer group called Twin Cities Greenways partnered with Bike Walk Twin Cities (a program of Transit for Livable Communities) in 2011 to collect input from residents about the concept, and found that residents supported the idea. In fall 2012, the City gathered community input on greenway route and design options. Based on that input, the City developed a map showing a proposed route and designs, and in 2013, residents completed surveys to provide input on the map. Based on the input, the City made some small changes to the proposed greenway map. In 2014, the City worked with many community based partners to collect additional input from a much larger number of people and found overall support for the idea of a greenway, along with some common questions and concerns. Much of this information can be found in the reports listed below.
- 2012 Fall Community Engagement Report (PDF) (Word)
- 2013 Winter Community Engagement Report (PDF) (Word)
- 2014 Community Engagement Report (PDF) (Word)
- 2015 Community Engagement Report - Underway
In 2014, the City of Minneapolis also worked with a consultant, SRF Consulting, INC., to conduct additional technical studies of the greenway. The following report and appendices summarize their findings:
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a greenway?
Greenways are safe, accessible routes for bicyclists and pedestrians. They are designedto be user-friendly for people of all ages and abilities and are a free space fo recreation, commuting, and physical activity.
- Where would it go?
The proposed greenway would be a north-south route starting at the Shingle Creek Trail in the north and continuing on beyond Plymouth Ave N. Based on resident input, the city is exploring the greenway route at the southern end, including connections to the Van White, Cedar Lake and Bassett Creek Trails. The proposed route would priarily follow Humboldt and Irving Avenues north and connect Crystal Lake Cemetary, three schools, and four parks.
- What about safety?
Resident's concerns with safety in North Minneapolis are contributed to thoughts about increases in crime compared to other areas of the city. Some residents are concerned that there will be an increase in crime if a greenway is built, while other residents feel that a greenway will reduce crime. Research has shown that green space generally decreases most kinds of crime. As greenway plans are further developed, the City will work with its partners to establish continuity, and create an enormous partnership with the community, establishing safety goals that promote the Northside Greenway is safe for residents and vsiitors prior to construction.
Greenway crime as a whole is very rare, but crimes do happen on greenways. Evidence from other, similar trails and greenspaces show crime levels either stayed the same or improved. When the greenway was installed on 37th Ave N, there was no clear change in crime, according to police officers. The Midtown Greenway in south Minneapolis has less crime on it than the surrounding areas. More traffic means more safety, so having the neighborhood use the greenway also increases safety. Your community involvement means a safer greenway, so engagement is pivotal to how the Northside Greenway can be built with safety in mind, rather than a crime mentality. Reseearch finds that wasys to reduce or eliminate repeatable crimes are to call 911 when criminal behavior is suspected, stop or turn around when a situation feels threateining, never ride alone at night (bike in pairs), and be vigilant using caution when entering all the way through, to exiting the greenway. Safety depends on your level of comfort, but crime is something that has the potential to occur.
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
To view additional frequently asked questions, follow the hyperlinks available. (PDF) (Word)
Types of Greenways
Bike Boulevard Greenway
A bike boulevard greenway is a lower-volume, lower-speed street that has been designated as a bike route on a quiet street and is marked with large bicycle symbols with the text "BLVD". Select street intersections feature traffic calming measures to encourage lower traffic speeds.
Half & Half Greenway
A Half and Half greenway introduces a diagonal diversion into the intersections. On-street parking is clustered to one side for North-South streets. The off-street bikeway traverses the intersection.
Full "Linear Park" Greenway
Amnety options include recreation and community elements (basketball court, community garden/orchard, playgrond), infrastructure elements (trail rest stops, benches, bicycle racks), and stormwater and habitat elements (rain gardens, enhanced landscaping).
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Last updated Nov 6, 2015