City Council adopts Racial Equity Framework for Transportation

March 9, 2023

The City Council has adopted the Racial Equity Framework for Transportation. The goal is to use the framework as a catalyst to improve racial equity outcomes in Minneapolis by investing in transportation, elevating existing and forging new partnerships, and uplifting voices historically excluded from the decision-making processes.

The development of the framework was identified as a key priority in the Transportation Action Plan, the City’s vision for safer, greener and more modern streets that serve all people and all the ways we want to get around. Staff partnered with the Cultural Wellness Center to create a Community Equity Workgroup (CEW) to collaborate on the framework’s development. Staff incorporated community feedback into the final version of the framework after taking input during a 51-day comment period that ended Jan. 20.

The Racial Equity Framework for Transportation contains an acknowledgement of historic harms and current transportation-related inequities. It confirms the City’s commitment to equity in transportation and aligns around four goals to guide the work of the Racial Equity Framework for Transportation:

  • Build organizational empathy: Staff will develop shared language and understanding about the importance of racial equity and how that focus impacts all parts of transportation work – from budgeting to planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance. 
  • Lead with a racial equity approach: The framework will guide the engagement, evaluation, and implementation work of transportation plans, programs, and projects.  
  • Build trust, cultivate partnerships, and share power with communities of color: The framework will clearly define strategies to engage diverse communities, increase collaboration, and identify ways to measure positive change and impact.  
  • Be accountable to data-driven reporting and adjustments: Staff will use data that shows results by race in transportation planning, projects, prioritization, and evaluation, tracking and sharing results with community and partners along the way. 

The framework includes 24 strategies and 64 actions aligned with the four goals above that will define the work of this effort through 2030, aligning with the Transportation Action Plan. The development of Transportation Equity Priority areas will replace Areas of Concentrated Poverty with more than 50% people of color (ACP50 areas) as the standard way to look at equity from a data perspective for transportation plan, programs and projects.

A Transportation Equity Dashboard accompanies the Racial Equity Framework. This online interactive dashboard allows both City staff and residents to engage and explore current equity data related to transportation in Minneapolis.

Next steps

The City will begin work on the actions identified as Year 1 as 2023 actions and will report back on progress made to date as part of the next larger Transportation Action Plan report back to City Council, scheduled for December 2024.