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City of Minneapolis – Summary of Feedback Received

Back on August 26, the city of Minneapolis held yet another “Open House” meeting for residents.  (That was the meeting mentioned in THIS post).

As part of this open house, they presented attendees with a limited number of copies of a 37 page document: “Summary  Report of Resident Feedback”.  They said that the document would be available on the Greenway website.

Well, a month later, and we’ve finally got a copy of this report.  You can download it by clicking HERE.

A few notes:

 

1. At the meeting, the city of Minneapolis representatives claimed that the report contained ALL feedback received up until a certain date.  As we were BCC’ed on several emails sent to their department, we know this to be false.  There are several emails we were copied on that were NOT in the booklet, despite being sent before the cutoff date mentioned.

2. As you will see, the feedback is overwhelmingly negative, even with leaving out some of the feedback they’ve received.

3.  To this date, the Greenway Council and City of Minneapolis continues to spew a narrative about them having “overwhelming support” from the community.  How they can do so with a straight face, while also publishing this report is beyond us.
4. As previously mentioned, there have been multiple reports of dissenting feedback NOT being recorded at multiple in-person feedback gathering sessions.

 

5. We appreciate that the City of Minneapolis is finally acknowledging that their data collection standards have been less than acceptable to date.

6. Some of the language contained in the report is NSFW.

It’s Official: The Neighbourhood Does NOT Want This!

After many months of misleading promotion tactics from the Greenway Council, being ignored by the city, and the media presenting an INCREDIBLY inaccurate, one-sided view of what residents in our neighbourhood are living with… It’s with GREAT pleasure that we share the news we received this morning:

 
Last night, the Folwell Neighbourhood Association passed an official resolution, demanding the immediate removal of the temporary greenway installation.

 
To say that those of us who have been fighting this ugly, dangerous encroachment are jubilant right now would be quite the understatement!

 
Of particular note: Not only did the neighbourhood association demand the removal, they also acknowledged the reality that so many of us have been trying to bring attention to: that what was implemented is NOT what was promised, and is not what is being promoted to outside interests.

 

 

It is SO empowering to see that our neighbourhood association is joining us in pointing out the reality of this situation.  It’s one thing to point out that “the emperor has no clothes”, ourselves…  but it sure feels great to have official backing on that.

 
If you would like to read the official resolution, CLICK HERE.

 

 

Editing to add: If there are questions regarding this action please contact the Folwell Neighborhood Association. Roberta@folwell.org or 612-521-2100.

A Look At Who Is Running The Show Here, Part 2

This blog entry has been a long time coming, and it’s going to be a difficult one to write. When talking about the subject of Willie Lumpkins, deceit, and lack of transparency with regards to the Greenway project… there’s almost TOO MUCH subject matter to cover.
Misrepresentation has been the name of the game for those promoting the Greenway encroachment, and no one has exemplified “misrepresentation” quite like Willie has.
To start at the beginning, Willie was a board member of the Greenway Council, before he… wasn’t. Popular rumour has held that he was fired, yet no one seems to want to clarify WHY exactly he is no longer on the board.
All we know is that whenever Willie has gotten out of line, various board members have been quick to point out that Willie does not speak for the board, as he is no longer a member.
Why is it, then, that any time there is a news piece on the Greenway, Willie is still selected to be one of the mouthpieces of the project?   Why does the Greenway council take great care to distance themselves from him when he acts out, yet routinely turns to him as a spokesperson?
Additionally, if distancing themselves from Willie, WHY has the official Northside Greenway Council had Willie in charge of their official Facebook page   (recently renamed “Northside Greenway Now”)?

will

 

will1

 

will2

 

Now, you’ll note in that last image, the corresponding Will post is by a name other than “Will Lumpkins”

 

That is because this is one of his fake accounts, as he recently outed himself on:

will3

By Willie’s own accounts, he’s not only a (former?) board member, but someone who is paid to “engage the community” with regards to the Greenway project.
On the subject of that “community engagement”… Will uses this fake account to “engage” residents on a local Greenway Facebook group:

will6

 

will4

 

 

 

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… It was only recently that he outed himself as being the same person with a fake account, and that came around by accident.  In the months leading up to it, he not only posted under the fake account to support the Greenway – making it appear that the Greenway has more support than it does – but also went so far as to reply to his own posts with his fake account, “converse” with his fake account, etc.

 

THIS is the “transparency” we’ve come to expect from him, the Greenway Council, and the City of Minneapolis. Fake accounts, misrepresentation of the level of support, and more.

 

… who pays Willie?   This is an answer that many of us on the Stop the Greenway group have been asking, but  – much like many other questions we have about the project, particularly with regards to money, where it’s coming from, and to whom it is being paid – we are left without answers.

 

Is the city paying his salary / fees?  Is this abuse and deception coming from our tax money?

 

How exactly can the city claim to be a “neutral party” in this (per Lara Pratt, on many public occasions), while paying extremists to alienate those against the greenway, and basically act as a crass cheerleader for the project?

 

How was Willie hired for the “Community Engagement”?  What vetting was in place?  Was he truly the best choice for such a role, given that he’s blocked basically everyone involved with fighting against the greenway?

 

Wouldn’t “engaging” the detractors, trying to win us over be a smarter plan of action?

 

Can we really not expect that our tax dollars – especially when actively being used AGAINST us – to be used to hire someone of some degree of professionalism?

This IS, after all, the person that publicly stated that we were in the wrong for being concerned about “1 old lady with cancer”, rather than “the future”.

Resident Concerns – Marie & Michael P.

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.

 

Dear Councilperson

I am writing to you today with some of my concerns about the North Minneapolis greenway temporary installation, and – by extension – plans for a permanent installation.

I live on the XXXX block of XXXXX ave N. My block was one of those included in an earlier proposed greenway installation, and – for all I know – could still end up with a greenway on it. I am speaking both as someone potentially affected directly, as well as someone currently affected by means of additional traffic diverted from the next street over.  I am also speaking as someone with a great deal of empathy for those currently being affected by this poorly planned installation.

We’ve all heard the council touting the supposed benefits of this greenway, and that’s well and good.  The fact is, however, that it’s all pie-in-the-sky dreaming, given the realities of the temporary greenway installation.  This installation has been problematic in both conception and rollout, and promises to cause further problems as it progresses.

 

Throughout the lead up to this rollout, those of us who happened to hear anything about it had to go searching for information. The entire time, it seemed that those behind the project were more concerned with obtaining the feedback of cycling organizations from outside of the actual area, rather than residents on the route.  To this day – almost a month and a half after installation – I am still coming across people who had no idea what was happening, until it happened.

 

As you well know, this area is disadvantaged in many ways. It’s one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city. It’s one of the least educated areas. It’s basically used as a dumping ground for the “undesirables” (see: sex offenders) that the rest of the city doesn’t want to deal with.  Still, there are many of us who work hard, live honourable lives, and just want quiet enjoyment of our homes, as safely as possible.

 

It seems beyond predatory for outside lobbyists, city employees, and cycling activists to be able to impose their will on this area, knowing full well that the neighbourhood is ill equipped to fight back against it.

 

The greenway council has misled people from the start, with dirty data collection practices. Combining data from multiple collection attempts, across several platforms, with no attempt to catalogue/rule out duplicate info, or even so much as verify residency of those replying.  I have personally seen multiple appeals for “feedback” on early polls sent out to non-north Minneapolis cycling groups, encouragement for people to mark themselves as being residents even if this is not the case, and more.

 

I have personally provided feedback at the Open Streets festival – with the representatives NOT recording it – only to see them record feedback from a supporter.  When I brought this up at a meeting, my experience was mirrored by another person.  This was in a very sparsely attended meeting, with very few residents present.

 

At these meetings, they have repeatedly refused to present actual numbers for anything, whether it be budget, expenditures, or what their definition of “majority support” actually means.  “I don’t know” and “We don’t have that information” are the most common replies they have had for residents in attendance.

 

Even the promotion of the meetings themselves have been lacking in transparency.  Many of the anti-greenway residents have reported that they have NOT been added to the email lists they sign up for at each meeting. Several were removed after receiving just one email or two, having to find out information from those still receiving information. For an initiative that has been claiming to be about community, they have taken great strides to keep the community in the dark.

 

Even today, the community has no idea if there is a meeting or not.  Folwell park says there is one booked, but there is NO information out there.  After cancelling the May meeting at the last minute (“because everyone is so BUSY!”, no less!), and the nonsense they pulled at the last minute for June’s “meeting), we’re all very wary of this.

 

The way the Greenway project was marketed and rolled out has been lacking in transparency from the get-go, and – I’ll be honest with you – as a supporter of it, this reflects on you.

 

As far as the implementation:

 

– It’s dangerous.  Home owners are reporting damage to their vehicles as a result of using the back alleys (odd side of the road, 3500 block specifically).  The 3 blocks south of that try to shoehorn 2 way traffic into a slalom course that narrows to the width of a single car at the beginning and end of each “play area”, and  – most bewildering – there is NO bike path at all. The bikes (if there were any, more on that later) would have to fight for that single car width lane, as the imaginary “bike lane” would be superimposed on that single car lane.

 

It teaches kids to play in the street, adding even more risk for drivers already trying to navigate that slalom course and avoid other drivers (and hypothetical cyclists).  On top of that, between the slalom course and the bright colours, drivers have apparently been treating it as a race course.  When I canvassed the route, the term “Mario Kart” came up on multiple occasions.
– It was poorly planned.  Aside from the issues above, the council never bothered to notify or consult with the fire department ahead of time.  It’s very disturbing to know that the fire department only found out by “happening upon” it while out on a call.  It’s extra disturbing to know that the fire department themselves were telling residents that they were unable to turn onto the 3500 block of Irving from either of the cross streets, because the planters and such made the tight turn impossible.  Many residents of the b lock recounted to me of the time they watched a fire truck try repeatedly to turn onto their block, to no avail.  How is this “healthy”?

 

– On the subject of not consulting with a response agency, they similarly did not consult with the police. At multiple greenway meetings, the council assured residents of “increased patrols” on the street, as well as supposed patrols for the back alleys.
This was fine and good, until the – surprised! – police were asked about it at the June meeting.  They had not heard anything about the greenway before that, and actually LAUGHED when residents asked about these stepped up patrols. Not only were they never consulted, it was something that WILL NOT happen.  They cited being understaffed as it is.
– It’s cheap, and it’s ugly.  Neon pink, orange, yellow, green, and blue paints are in NO way representative of a “green space”, and they devalue the homes on the route.  The cheap metal horse troughs that they are using as planters not only never had their sales stickers removed (tacky!), they were dented with in days, and are currently rusting and slimy.  Just a month and a half in to a year long installation, and it looks like an utter disgrace.  We have to live with these conditions for another 10.5 months, knowing they’ll continue to degrade.

 

Given that they are meant to hold water and NOT to plant in, I also have concerns about standing water, eventually. When they become waterlogged, they will mold and will also become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. With the Zika virus being such a concern this summer, that is absolutely unacceptable…. especially in an area where people already can’t afford decent medical care as it is.

 

In addition to the actual installation being a disgrace to look at, it is also turning into an urban landfill.  Garbage is accumulating on the route, both in the street, and in the very few – neglected – garbage bins on the route.  Those bins are overflowing – did the council not plan for removal?

 

These conditions would NOT be tolerated in any other community in the city.  They would be laughed out of many of the communities, long before installation.  That this was permitted to happen in the first place – and allowed to continue to degrade before our eyes – is an insult.
– No one is using it.   Even on the advertised grand-opening (with the draws of food and activities, as well as beautiful weather that day), protestors vastly outnumbered everyone else until just before the ribbon cutting, where there was probably an equal number.  For the bulk of the afternoon, it was basically just protestors and greenway council volunteers, with the odd kid here and there.  Our own city councilors couldn’t be bothered to show up!

 

Residents along the route are often reporting entire weekend afternoons without a single cyclist to speak of.  Why, exactly, are these people being denied full access to their homes, to host an empty street?

As I’m sure you’re aware, alley entry to the house doesn’t count as legal “access”.

 

Given what people have to go through – obtaining majority approval from surrounding homeowners – to get a CHICKEN for their backyard, I am blown away that this didn’t require anywhere near that kind of approval from those affected.
Also, given the myriad issues and slapped together implementation, why should anyone on the route trust this council – or the city – to implement such a project in a PERMANENT fashion?
I hope the city has a HUGE budget for offering fair market value buyouts to those on the route, for paying for homeowners to install tall fences in their front yards (it’s only right!), and/or to compensate for the expensive renovations needed to make back yards, back doors, and back alleys accessible as a main entryway.
I hope the city’s insurance covers the inevitable lawsuits, as I am not impressed with the idea of that coming out of our taxes.
This is getting long, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing from others.  I encourage you to take some time to read through www.stopthegreenway.com for more details on the issues, as well view the comments on the accompanying petition at :
https://www.change.org/p/city-of-minneapolis-stop-the-north-minneapolis-greenway/c
Marie & Michael P. 07/12/16

PS: Just as residents can be organized for fighting this, they can also be organized come election season.  Given general voter apathy, it won’t even take that many motivated voters to send a clear message about this abomination

Resident Concerns – W.R.

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)

 

3. SAFETY

 
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

 

IrvingHome

Resident Concerns – Ivy & John

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.
Hi I’m a home owner ,my husband has owned this house for 16 years. We live on the 3400  block of Irving Ave north.

 

I’m writing this hoping to be heard. I want to say right off that we have both said NO Greenway from the start. I’ve said no at open streets, the door to door servey, and I’ve even attended a meeting after my neighbor came down very upset and said “they are going to take away our parking.” That was the first I’ve heard of meetings going on. Even after all that no one ever heard no. I was asked questions like,  what are you biggest concerns about the greenway?, What’s so bad about parking in the ally?, What I hear you saying is……..& What can I do for you right now?

 

 

So now let me tell you what it’s like to live here. Yes think about it,  I deal with the following every moment at my home. Read more »

Resident Concerns – Meta C.

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.

 
To whom it may concern from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota,
I am writing to bring to your attention, if you were not aware of it already, the issues regarding the Greenway that’s being planned for Irving in North Minneapolis.

 
While I was initially in great support of this it’s painfully clear that, in the two years of polling and interviewing of residents, this Greenway board has not listened to or even formed a response to most of the concerns of people living on or near the Greenway. Not only is this test Greenway NOTHING like what people had described to them, but the responses from the Greenway board towards any concerns arising from it have been extremely dismissive if not downright offensive.

 

My concerns are primarily in regards to how this goes directly against the ADA. New construction to public streets NEEDS to provide access to housing for the disabled. Two of the three “options” proposed in the test would completely remove parking access and access to mobility transport. There is one woman currently on this route that’s been blocked off that must go through the back yard and into the alley to get to her transport that brings her for her chemo treatment. Backyards are not set up to be main entrances and exits, especially for wheelchairs or large transport vehicles, not to mention it would be impossible to have visibility of these areas, making seeing when transport arrives impossible. Upon being told these concerns the response was along the lines of “we shouldn’t let one sick woman stop our bettering of the community” or “they can just reconstruct their backyards to allow for their accessibility needs (on their own dime of course).”

 

This is an exceptionally offensive, apathetic, and out of touch response. It’s not simply about one woman. Not only can any person find themselves with either a permanent or temporary disability, or with a child or other loved one with a disability they must care for, but everyone in their life eventually needs a little more help in regards to accessibility and mobility. This is why the ADA was created: for those that find themselves in positions where they can’t speak up for themselves. This is why when things like the Greenway are forced upon communities that do not want them lawsuits happen with good reason.

 

Other concerns, just as valid, were also pushed aside as well as belittled. Concerns of safety when alleys become main access for houses, especially considering recent repeated rapes that had occurred in the very alley proposed to become a main access for these residents, have been called “highly unlikely” (along with a little offensive drawing of a hoodie wearing blackened faced grinning figure holding a knife) in the Greenway councils notes and then were also flat out ignored. Concerns that the proposed benches and picnic tables cause an environment for loitering in a neighborhood that already has trouble with loitering was also ignored, even among people entering residents yards to take flowers, signs, and dump trash under their trees as if it was part of the rest of this “park” during this test closure. Residents also are not keen on this being made into a place that children should feel they can play, as is being insinuated by many of the installments and pictures. Children do not belong by the road.

 

 
Alongside this concern was a very valid concern about the trash cleanup. Who would empty the trash cans proposed, or pickup the wrappers, bags, rotting food or diapers (all things left on the Greenway shortly after the councils events)? When asked this the Greenway council either shrugged or that the residents should pick it up. Snow and leaf removal is also something they had no answers for (would they make the plowing of the alleys a priority and would the plows be able to even fit down the alleys without damaging the uneven pavement or running into garages?). This is not acceptable. No answer after so long of a time to get these answers is in no way acceptable. When asked if emergency services would be able to get to residents it was simply stated “yes” with no explanation of how, and yet when the test closure happened the meetings were flooded with angry and concerned police, firefighters and EMTs who had not even been told of the closure in advance.

 

 
Throughout all of this we’ve had to put up with very rude treatment for our concerns. Meetings have been canceled last minute or moved up right before the meeting is supposed to start “out of respect for peoples schedules.” People have been removed from the Greenway mailing list or blocked from Facebook groups just for sharing their concerns. Residents who went to the Grand opening which was stated to be “for everyone to voice their opinions” about the Greenway had been told, once they share that they have some concerns of course, that the food (which was paid for with public funds) is only for supporters of the Greenway. This was told to multiple people, including an 8 month pregnant woman on what was a fairly hot day, by representatives of the Health Department. This is abhorrent behavior, especially from representatives for a city department and yet residents have been subjected to it repeatedly.

 

 

Again, I am not against a bike path. My suggestion from the beginning, as well as the suggestion of multiple people, has been a straight one-way road with a dedicated parking lane and a combined bike and walking path on both sides with a gradient slope towards the street that would allow anyone access at any point along the way. This would not be a “Greenway” but what is currently being proposed is far from a proper Greenway and should not be called as such unless the buying and demolishing of houses along the path is also proposed. Any part of our suggestions have not been incorporated, in any way, in this test closure and they continue to go unaddressed.

 

Please help us stop this badly planned project that’s damaging both peoples property values and relationships within our community, and help stop the inevitable lawsuits towards the city and board that allowed it to happen that will follow after these violations against the ADA become permanent structures. A bike safe road can happen and is a great idea but THIS Greenway is not going to happen and is not being received well in any sense of the word. By ignoring peoples concerns it only damages the goal bettering our community further.
Thank you much for your time,

Meta C
Resident of North Minneapolis

 

Resident Concerns – Anonymous

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 am a homeowner on the 3500 block of Irving, where there is no car traffic or parking for ten more months.

 
I think if bicycling enthusiasts or the City Health department are interested in adding new amenities to the North Side, that is wonderful and welcome, but it should be projects that don’t require taking away vital things citizens and residents need – like our streets.

 
Streets are for driving on, for parking, to provide direct access to our homes in a crime-heavy neighborhood. And this greenway robs residents of all those things while actually adding very little of value or need to our neighborhoods. I see very little in terms of added value or beauty in this current greenway, and I see little use of it from residents or non-residents aside from occasional people sitting on picnic tables and very small children riding training-wheel bikes.

 

There is a park literally right next to where people are sitting on these picnic tables and riding their tricycles. Can they not just sit on those park picnic tables and ride their tricycles on the ample paths inside Folwell Park so that we residents of Irving may have our streets back for their intended uses of transportation, parking, and access?

 

The neighbors are quite divided on the issue of this greenway – it doesn’t feel like it has the proper amount of full-hearted support to be robbing all of us of our use of our streets. The way the greenway has been subjected upon us all doesn’t feel right, fair, warranted, or properly beneficial.

 

Since the trial greenway is not attractive and is receiving such little use, I would hope you could look into ways to take it down early, since I understand from the health department that that is indeed an option.

 

Thank you for inviting resident feedback. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and reactions to the greenway.

– Anonymous (Name was provided to politicians contacted), 08/01/16

Resident Concerns: L.D.

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.

 

My family and I have owned a home on the proposed Greenway, 4000 block of Humboldt Avenue North, for over 4 years. I had concerns from the time I received a letter regarding the proposed plan and responded twice by email and have attended one planning meeting.

 
I take exception to the results of the surveys as my household was never contacted to be interviewed.  Someone is at home 90% of the time and no one contacted us, nor if they tried, did they leave any information.

 
The only thing I like about the proposed Greenway is the name – but where is the “green?”  I have visited the demonstration project…Easter egg colored paint on the road, orange cones, barricade sticks and more signs…it looks like a children’s birthday party obstacle course – gone wrong.  I have sympathy for the people who have to look at it out their front doors.  It has benches – yes, but I can’t imagine wanting to sit on a bench in the hot sun and stare at your own houses.  Basketball hoops might be added?  Again, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to hear basketballs bouncing right outside their living rooms or bedrooms.  (Some people don’t have central air and keep their windows open for air.)

 
The main negative feedback seems to be the parking issue, an issue of concern for me as well.  I don’t think the details of how this would negatively impact me and my neighbors have been considered. On the posted page of FAQ, the question of where to park was condescendingly addressed by saying we could park in our garages, driveways and parking pads (whatever that is). (I’m glad they mentioned it as no one would have thought of that!)  On Saturday morning, I counted 35 cars parked on Girard (the next street over) and 17 cars parked on my street.  Please say you do not expect 17 extra cars (from Humboldt) to find parking spots on Girard).  And this is summertime; in the winter there are issues like no parking allowed on plowing days or worse, one sided parking only.

 
I don’t even use my driveway as it full of broken glass and nails. I have picked up 7 nails in my tires in the last 3 years.

 
On the 4th of July, my next door neighbor had a party.  About 15 guest arrived by car.  Most had children walking with them or were carrying babies and food.  Can you imagine how difficult it would be to have them park a street over and have to walk to their destination?  Now imagine it is winter.

 
My daughter uses Metro Mobility which I see concessions have been made for front door pick up.  Metro Mobility also has a taxi service that clients can use and Metro Mobility pays all but $5.00 for a ride.  We have already contracted for a privacy fence for our backyard and once built there will be no sight access to who has arrived in our driveway.  Will taxis be allowed to pick up at the front door?  I also see an exception has been made for large delivery trucks – here again, what is considered large – Fed EX, UPS U-Hauls, pickups?  It doesn’t seem like anyone has thought through all the details.

 
I also have concern about safety.  I certainly wouldn’t let my child play in the street designated only by paint and cones.  If connecting the parks is an objective, what is wrong with the sidewalks that are already in place?  I have read there will be enhanced lighting, trash pickup and snow plowing.  Of course this would be an extra tax burden to homeowners.  The curious thing is if this plan comes to fruition, taxes will go up and certainly home values will go down.

 

 
Last week, yards on the demonstration block were trespassed on and vandalized – “Stop the Greenway” signs were destroyed.  This “project” has now become a divisive issue – in light of the other issues our community faces, please don’t let another one make us hate our neighbors.  It is extremely hard if not impossible to insinuate a “greenway” into an already established neighborhood.  The successful greenways have not had the space issues that we face here.  We already have the Victory and Theo Wirth Parkways in North Minneapolis.  They were planned before houses were there.  They are well used and beautiful.  The question was asked, “Why can’t North Minneapolis have anything nice?”  This is not the answer.  This is being seen as another insult to an economically challenged area.

 

 

– L.D, 7/19/26

 

All Quiet on the (Neon) Greenway Front…

Things have been pretty quiet with the Greenway lately… in more than one way.
With the apparent disbanding of the Greenway Council, no further meetings planned… and borderline silence from our elected representatives, we’ve had little to report.

 
Additionally – and this comes as a surprise to no one who lives here – the temporary  “greenway” installation has gone all but unused. Residents are reporting street barren of everything but garbage and  abandoned children’s cycles.  Even on days with gorgeous weather, the cyclists are nowhere to be found!

 
The odd time a human ventures out onto the “greenway”, it’s children playing in the street… with a large park less than a block away.

 
We recently started up a Youtube account for this site, and are welcoming submissions from residents.  The main channel is HERE, but we’d like to show a couple videos that are representative of an average day on the greenway.

 

These videos are about 2 and 4 weeks old, respectively.  Aside from additional buildup of garbage and general blight, the lack of use depicted is accurate for current conditions, as well.

 
Why are homes being devalued and residents subjected to inconvenience and dangerous conditions, for a street that is not even being used?   This greenway is not only not wanted, it’s not needed AND not utilized.

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