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Safety Issues: Painting the Greenway.

June 22, 2016

Given the fact that this whole deal is sponsored by BlueCross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, and the idea – according to the bicycle activists pushing it through – is to promote healthy living, you’d assume that would come into play in the planning and creation of this greenway project, right?


On Saturday June 11, the Greenway council held a “Paint the Pavement on the Northside Greenway” event, co-hosted with theNorth Minneapolis Bicycle Advocacy Council . Employees from BC/BS were on hand to help paint, and children were present – and painting – for photo ops (Which have since been removed from Facebook).

The problem?

This is the paint they were using:

… and here is what that personal protection warning – per the paint’s MSDS – means:

(Thanks to Phillip Murphy for the previous 2 photos)

Now, look at some of the photos posted by Greenway Council chairperson, Alexis Pennie:

No goggles, gloves, aprons, or respirators to be seen, even though the warning on this paint is the second worst level, stopping JUST short of needing a full suit and air line mask/hood!

The thing is, the chemicals needed to make that paint adhere to pavement and withstand the elements are some pretty nasty stuff.. hence the warnings.

When this was brought up to members of the Greenway council, the City of Minneapolis HEALTH DEPARTMENT and Public Works representatives at the June meeting, we were all told:

“It’s just latex” – Public Works rep

“Well, EVERYTHING has an MSDS sheet…” – Health Department rep

“I guess we’ll have to look into that for next time…” – Health Department rep

… and other comments just shrugging it off. The Public Works rep actually LAUGHED when this was brought up that this put neighbourhood kids in danger.

Even when you look past the ugliness that these awful colours bring to our neighbourhood, the safety issues and poor planning issues go on and on. No one thought to look up what the warning meant, and plan for safety equipment.

Add that onto the Fire Department issue.

And the Hammocks issue (which were removed around a WEEK after installation, because kids were getting hurt!)

And the Driving issue..

And the fact that the police officers in attendance at the June meeting were *against* the project, telling us residents about how it’s going to hamper them from doing their jobs, increase response time, and congregate crime along the route…

The Greenway Coucil, City of Minneapolis Health Department, City of Minneapolis Public Works, and Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Minnesota have all made it PLAINLY clear that safety is not a priority.

Of course, none of them live on the route. Posted in Contempt for Residents, Greenway Council Meetings, Safety Concerns


Tina K
June 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

As someone who lives in the Victory community and is always paying attention to the crime statistics, I find it surprising, embarrasing and really horrible that a team of professionals thought this was the most important thing for the community of which they don’t live to create biking paths. There are far more important things that need to be addressed. In addition; planning appears to be very poor in the fact that fire; police; emergency vehicles were not supportive; were not informed; and voiced concern about being able to respond in the professional manner that they need to for public safety. Clearly, the Department of Health was not involved either as they use toxic chemicals with no protective measures at all. Seems like all the way around, it has not been done well. I’d like to see efforts going towards more important things like safety.

Carolyn Hazen
June 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm

I work in a lab all day. I work with health rated level 2 stuff all the time as well. What I regularly work with is 2N H2SO4, that is 2 normal sulfuric acid. If everyone remembers back to school chemistry, you wore goggles and gloves EVERY TIME you worked with that stuff. And my job also provides me those, plus a long lab coat with elastic wrist sleeves. Safety is very important with all chemicals. Wearing nothing while painting the street is idiotic.

Pissed Off
June 22, 2016 at 8:32 pm

I am firmly and vehemently against this mockery. From day one. Now because of the way they’ve done this rinky dink thing FD and EMS can’t get by on the 3100 block of Irving…and people being butt hurt prone continue to park on the street despite signs saying “NO PARKING”.

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