How the program has changed (2011 --)
First Open Streets Minneapolis event
The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition hosted the first Open Streets Minneapolis event. It happened on a two-mile stretch of Lyndale Avenue South.
We held Open Streets Events on Lyndale Avenue South and Lowry Avenue North.
There were four Open Streets Minneapolis events. We hosted one in each quadrant of the City:
- Southwest (Lyndale Avenue South)
- Northeast (Central Avenue)
- South (Minnehaha Avenue)
- North (Lowry Avenue North)
Over the next two years, the initiative continued to grow. There were six Open Streets Minneapolis events in 2014.
There were eight Open Streets Minneapolis events in 2015. An estimated 65,000 people attended in 2015.
Council resolution (December 2015)
We discussed how to make Open Streets Minneapolis more sustainable and transparent.
City Council discussions led to the following actions:
- Establishing Open Streets Minneapolis as a City-hosted event
- Developing a Call for Open Streets Organizer for the 2017 season
- Creating an application for route ideas and/or hosts
Open Streets Minneapolis decisions made on December 1, 2015
The City Council resolved that the City will support Open Streets as City-hosted events in Minneapolis.
This was to help further the following policies:
- Ten-Year Transportation Action Plan
- Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan
- Pedestrian Master Plan
- Climate Action Plan
- Comprehensive Plan
- The goals of the Health Department
Other City Council actions
It was further resolved that the Minneapolis City Council will
- Approve the number of Open Streets events
- Their locations
- Any partners in supporting the events each year
The 2016 season of Open Streets Minneapolis had eight events throughout the City.
Open Streets Minneapolis requires a yearly organizer that
- Manages the program
- Delivers the program
The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition has been serving in this role.
The City becomes more involved
Compared to the past, the City helped planned the 2017 season of Open Streets a lot more.
The 2017 season of Open Streets Minneapolis had eight events throughout the City.
Call for Open Streets organizer
The City of Minneapolis released a formal call for a partner.
We sought someone to
- build on the success of the Open Streets Minneapolis initiative
- act as the Open Streets Minneapolis Organizer for the 2017 season.
Bicycle Coalition became our organizer
We choose the Bicycle Coalition to organize the 2017 season. The Coalition worked with us to provide an application for routes and hosts.
This did the following:
- Increased public participation
- Further engaged the City in planning for the new season
We tasked the Organizer with managing all parts of 2017 Open Streets Minneapolis.
- assisting in route selection
- volunteer coordination
How we picked the organizer
We used many factors, including
- an understanding of the role of active transportation in economic vitality
- community cohesion and public health
- experience organizing community events with many stakeholders
- an ability to partner with the City
- an ability to attract and manage large numbers of volunteers
- an understanding of (and experience with) Open Streets initiatives
- experience encouraging and incorporating diversity in event attendees and programmers
Application for Open Streets route ideas
The Organizer worked with us to put out an Application for interested parties to
- Suggest a desired route or
- Host a route
We did this to get more locals to partake in in Open Streets Minneapolis initiative. We also wanted to make this initiative more sustainable and increase outreach.
The selection process
A selection committee (of both internal and external partners) reviewed the applications.
Each member scored routes based on many factors, such as, if the route:
- Supports the primary goals of Open Streets Minneapolis
- Connects many neighborhoods
- Includes a major urban corridor with strong destinations
- Has evidence of local support
- Addresses equity considerations
- Can complement other community engagement opportunities
After gathering to review scores, the section committee decided on the top routes. They then contacted applications to further discuss interest and qualifications.
Changes due to the pandemic
The 2020 season of Open Streets Minneapolis had seven events throughout the City.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to the City and Open Streets Minneapolis.
This included not knowing if and when we could gather for large public events. In response to this uncertainty, we made a few changes to our typical event season:
- We didn't host any Open Streets events in June 2020. We explored the possibility of moving Open Streets Lyndale and Minnehaha to October.
- We prepared to cancel any event that poses a significant health risk. We prepared to make data-driven cancellation decisions at least eight weeks ahead of each event.
Our first priority is the health of our community.
In a time of social distancing & economic uncertainty:
Open Streets Minneapolis events were powerful spaces for community healing. We made the best decisions to increase the chances these events can happen without compromising community health.
350 Fifth St. S.Room 203
Minneapolis, MN 55415
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