City celebrates grand opening of Samatar Crossing

City leaders and residents celebrated the opening of Samatar Crossing today — a new connection for people walking and biking between the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and downtown Minneapolis.

The City’s Public Works Department has repurposed the former Fifth Street ramp to downtown Minneapolis into a welcoming pathway for people walking and biking. Samatar Crossing is named after the late Hussein Samatar, a former Minneapolis School Board member and the first Somali-American elected to public office in Minneapolis. His widow Ubah Jama and her children joined City leaders in celebrating the new crossing.

“Samatar Crossing is a very important new connection between the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and downtown Minneapolis. Neighbors now have a beautiful place for biking and walking,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “This new crossing provides a much more welcoming and direct route to downtown Minneapolis — something Cedar-Riverside has been lacking for far too long. It is very fitting that this connection is named in honor of the late Hussein Samatar, a man who inspired so many in the community.”

“Samatar Crossing represents Hussein Samatar’s lifework, which was connecting people. He was an inspiration to many in the City of Minneapolis,” said City Council Member Abdi Warsame. “We hope this crossing brings people together, connects cultures, and engenders confidence in future generations.”

Samatar Crossing features separate pathways for people walking and biking and new pedestrian-scale lighting. There are also plans for additional landscaping and public art along the crossing between 11th Avenue South and 15th Avenue South. The City has issued a call for artists and is seeking up to three artists to collaborate on the design of an iconic public artwork for the crossing.

The City’s Health Department and several community organizations are also holding a celebration for Samatar Crossing tonight, 5-8 p.m., at Currie Park, 500 S. 15th Ave. The event will feature many family-friendly activities, including music, art and face painting.
 

Published Aug 23, 2018

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