Resident Concerns – W.R.
August 26, 2016
We recently invited those opposed to the Greenway to email their concerns to a list of politicians and others involved with forcing this fiasco on us. With permission, we are sharing some of those that have been forwarded on to us by the author.
If you have sent such an email to the powers that be, and would like us to post it, please send a copy to us at fightback at stopthegreenway dot com. Please include information on how you would prefer your name to appear: Full name, initials, anonymous, etc.
I wanted to share my frustrations and concerns as a resident and home-owner on the Greenway in North Minneapolis.
There is growing frustration amongst my neighbors on Irving Ave N. about how this unattractive, unnecessary, unsafe greenway has been imposed upon us from outside interest groups and non-North Minneapolis residents.
1. MISLEADING OUTREACH
Outreach to the community about the proposed greenway was extremely leading and subjective:
– Outreach materials mentioned only the pros of a greenway and never mentioned the downsides or losses associated with such a greenway
– The materials depicted beautifully rendered mock-ups of a theoretical greenway which bares no resemblance to the cheap, unkempt, unattractive greenway we’re now burdened with
– Information regarding community meetings and events related to the greenway including dates, details, cancellations, to time/date changes has been consistently unclear and miscommunicated.
Residents now feel misled and duped and continually unheard.
2. DEVALUED PROPERTIES
We’ve owned our home at Irving Ave N. for over 10 years now. With the recurring crime and violence, we’ve wanted to move away for many years now – but we were under water with our mortgage, and still are – by $80,000.
I’m attaching below a photo of our home as it now looks with the greenway encroaching on our property, and the Nice Ride station plopped right in front of our front door, which neither the city nor the Greenway Council bothered to inform us about or request our feelings about. (Folwell Park is huge and right across the street – couldn’t the Nice Ride station go anywhere inside Folwell Park instead?)
We were finally hoping to put our home on the market this year – a sale/transaction we’d already be losing money on – but the violence is just too much.
This temporary greenway and massive Nice Ride bike station do not add beauty or value to our property, as the Greenway Council and Blue/Cross Blue Shield kept promising residents. The greenway and all its elements are unattractive and will make our home even more difficult to sell, and at a lower price, to boot. (See photo below)
My 17 year old niece lives with us currently – and, what with the crime and violence, including those two toddler girls who were shot just blocks away on Penn/Lowry last week – I am not comfortable with my niece coming home from her job at 10 at night and needing to fuss around and find far-off parking that isn’t right near our front entrance.
For what is all this fuss and fear? Why does she have to do this, be more unsafe? Walk in the dark longer on our bullet-ed streets? So bicycling enthusiasts, the majority of which don’t even live in my neighborhood, can cycle down Irving Ave N? Cyclists already could bike down Irving last year, on Humboldt, on any street really, prior to this greenway.
Parks are parks. Streets are streets. Parks are for being active and enjoying nature. Streets are for driving and parking and access to our homes. It’s unrealistic and unfair to turn residential streets in densely populated neighborhoods into parks.
We have not gained much of anything here on Irving, we have only lost things – access, safety, input, respect. Litter and abandoned tricycles now clutter the greenway. I look our my window onto it, multiple times a day and it’s a mostly un-used, confusing, no-man’s land, that no one feels they own or have any say in, and so anyone can just wander in and abuse it, and our front lawns, and wander off again.
We all do appreciate new ideas to make North Minneapolis a healthier, more vibrant, forward-moving community – but this greenway isn’t practical or purposeful enough.
– W.R., 07/26/16