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Providing Visual Context for This Nonsense

September 15, 2016

(Note: In the interest of fairness in presenting context, all photos on this entry were taken the same day – this afternoon.)

Because this Greenway is being promoted to outside, non-residents (because obviously their feedback is more important that those living on the impacted route!), we thought it would be a good idea to provide some context for those who have not yet seen the area.

First of all, let’s have a look at the 5 blocks currently impacted with this “pilot” greenway project:

The impacted blocks are colour coded to match the ridiculous neon paint that they have been sullied by.

A few notes:

– The left of the side is the south of the route, Folwell Park is at the north side of it.

– Every second horizontal white line represents a street. The rest are the back alleys for those streets.

– Every block on the impacted route has 2 sidewalks: one on each side of the road. That is to say, there is a safe route to each end of the impacted area that does NOT require walking in the street.

– As you can see, just 3 blocks to the east lies a very long neighbourhood route with a wide, dedicated bike lane.

As you can also see, those 5 short blocks are literally bookended with public parks. Both of these parks feature paths for pedestrians and/or cyclists. Let’s have a look at Folwell park, as I just went and took a few photos of it:

Note how green and lovely it is! Lightly rolling landscaping, well manicured, beautiful spaces. Again, bike paths throughout!

Notice that not only are there garbage receptacles, they are not overflowing… Unlike the few on the temporary greenway installation. (To be fair: today they were not overflowing. However, this is a rare case)

Now, back to that map, above. The northernmost section of impacted area – the neon green block – is the one which is completely cut off to motorized traffic:

Yes, the block literally right next to one of the biggest, nicest parks in the area is the one being sold to you as being “needed” because people “have no access to parks”.

Yes, while an elderly cancer patient was taking falls in her back yard – which was NOT intended as main access to her house – to get out her narrow, uneven back alley access, and being forced to throw her walker over the back gate in order to get to her chemo treatment transportation, we’re supposed to believe that people who are able bodied enough to make use of a greenway, are somehow not able bodied enough to go to the end of the block and cross the street. (There’s even a marked crosswalk!)

We’re told that people “don’t use the parks”. Well, looking at the photos, that may be true … however, they’re similarly not using the greenway (see photos below, and videos on our Youtube page):

We’re told that – although people apparently don’t use this gorgeous park – the “Greenway” (we tend to think of it as the “Blightway”, around these parts) will someone be more welcoming of a space, and encourage people to be more active.

Click here to see actual video of several of the blocks in question.

NO ONE with a pair of eyes and/or two brain cells to rub together would buy any of this.

There is no need to dump millions of dollars into this project, encroaching on residential streets, violating the ADA, and taking away homeowner’s access. If the parks are not being used, why not use the money to develop programs that would entice people to use those parks?

Further, should we REALLY be encouraging people to spend more time outside, engaging in activities that encourage deeper breathing… in the neighbourhood with the highest concentrations of lead in the air, in the state? (Click here for a Google search with MANY links addressing this issue). As we noticed when canvassing, the incidence of cancer patients along this route is much higher than any neighbourhood has any right to be, with many young patients as well. Given the percentage of them that were lung/airway related, is it REALLY hard to imagine that the toxic air here may play a role?

Surely addressing the ridiculously high amount of heavy metals in the air specifically in this neighbourhood should be a higher priority than encouraging kids to play in traffic?

This is not a matter of access. This is a matter of crooked politicians, cycling activists, paid lobbyists and poverty pimps taking advantage of an area with very little in the way of resources, to line their pockets and further their own interests.


Joel Baird
September 16, 2016 at 3:56 am

Wait! Your map missed the Emerson Dedicated Bike Path next to the Fremont Dedicated Bike Path and it doesn’t show the Theodore Worth and Victory Memorial Parkway systems several blocks further west or the 4th st Dedicated Bike Path. It doesn’t disclose that another dedicated Bike Path will be in the works as part of the new riverfront development (which several leading bike proponents have already seized a Board position of) and it doesn’t reveal plans to turn Queen Ave into a sister Greenway to parallel Penn. And if you want to cross the Lowery Bridge on that Dedicated Bike Path you can access a whole network of other Dedicated Bike Paths on the other side of the river.

September 16, 2016 at 2:25 pm

I’d like to add that the proposed route is in an area in which a lot of shooting occurs. It is beyond irresponsible to encourage residents to go out in the street and play and bicycle in the name of health, when the real health threat is being shot by stray bullets. Especially when they can already use the existing street and sidewalks for exercise. Nobody NEEDS a greenway to live a healthy lifestyle and nobody needs to “learn” how to use one either. Having an event to “teach people how to use the greenway” as posted on North Minneapolis Greenway Pilot Facebook page is like the city hosting lessons for residents on how to use the sidewalk.

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