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Providing Visual Context for This Nonsense

(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:

 

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

 

A few notes:

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The Boys Who Cried Racism.

Recently, pro-greenway activists have adopted the habit of accusing those opposed to the greenway of racism.  This tends to happen randomly, whenever questions are posed about the greenway, upkeep, who is in charge, etc.  So, we would like to say a few things.

 
1. The implementation of the North Minneapolis Greenway is a HUGELY racist thing.
When we are talking about taking away access to homes, potentially reducing home values, and generally causing a huge upheaval to those who affected, approach matters. When we are talking about doing all of that, in one of the poorest, blackest neighbourhoods in the city, details matter even more.

 

 

Details such as appearance.  This pilot project was erected as cheaply as possible, using inappropriate materials (Horse troughs as planters. Plants need drainage – they’re all moldy and dead now!), ugly paint, etc.

 
Does anyone honestly believe that such a big project – a 1 YEAR pilot project – would look like this only a couple months in, if installed anywhere else in the city?:

 

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No reasonable person would be able to imagine this mess anywhere else in the city, even at the end of a 1 year trial.  The fact that it is SO run down just a few months in is extremely telling.

 
Details such as contact.  When canvassing the route, many people had no idea what was going on, and stated that they had not been contacted prior to the temporary pilot being installed.  Many expressed feelings of having been kept in the dark.   Of those who had heard of it ahead of time and had at least a vague understanding of what was up, most expressed feelings of “they don’t listen to us”.  Additionally, a large number of people we spoke to did not have access to the internet.  Many brought up the view that it all felt racist to them.

 
This is problematic on many levels… and, again, are not issues that would necessarily be in place, had this been implemented elsewhere.  The lack of direct contact with those on the route, when seen through the lens of “Many of the people here do not have internet” seems predatory on the part of the greenway council.  It seems like they are taking advantage of the lack of resources – specifically, access to information – in this area, specifically.  Would this happen in a predominantly white neighbourhood?  Probably not.

 
Then, there is the matter of the Greenway Council specifically wanting to hire a person of colour as a consultant, for pennies on the dollar.  Click here to read all about THAT.
Admittedly, a lot of the problems we’re seeing that appear to be racism share a huge overlap with issues of classism. Whether rooted in race or class, they are important issues that are being outright ignored by those in charge… or worse, exploited for their own benefit (lack of communication)

 
2. To the best of our knowledge the only people of colour in support of the greenway are those being paid to promote it. This is based on attending many Greenway council meetings and events, and canvassing door to door along the route.  Will Lumpkins, Alexis Pennie, Ebony Adedayo, Lawrence Lee, etc. are paid consultants, employees of nonprofits, lobbyists, etc – not all of whom even live in the area, and NONE of whom live on the proposed route.

 

 

Taking a look at pro-greenway events paints a very clear picture of who is supporting them.  From the “Northside Greenway Now” Facebook page’s (Formerly the official Northside Greenway Council page, has been renamed) recent post about a talk they gave in the impacted area:

 

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… This is every photo they posted from that event.  As a rough guess from our canvassing, the residents of the blocks that are currently being subjected to this nonsense are probably around 2/3 people of colour.   So, where are they?

 
They’re not in the photos here.  They aren’t at any of the meetings we’ve been to. If you exclude people with a financial interest (actual salary,   freelance contract, and/or representing a bike shop), they aren’t even on the Greenway Council board.

 

 

3. One of the two people quickest to call greenway detractors “racist” when they ask questions he doesn’t have the answers for is not only a white guy, he’s a white guy that doesn’t even live in North Minneapolis.

 
Oh, and he’s a white guy – again, who doesn’t live here – that draws cartoons like this and posts them to Facebook to belittle women who raise safety concerns:

 

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We’ve done two posts about his antics, here and here.

 
Also, when he was asked if he planned to buy property on the Greenway at a recent Open House event, he recoiled in horror – as if living here is completely beneath him. I wonder why that is, exactly?  I suppose I could make some assumptions, based on his little “artwork”.

 
Oh, and for the record, the second person calling detractors “Racist” is Willie Lumpkins.  Yeah, the guy from our last entry, here.

 

 

4.  Racism is a HUGE problem in today’s society.  It’s all around us – in the neighbourhood, in our government, on the greenway council, and  literally any time we watch the news or go on Facebook.

 
To be fair, there are more than likely racists who oppose the greenway, also.  People of ALL backgrounds oppose this thing, so it would be naive to assume otherwise.

 
The thing is, racism is an important and serious enough issue, that false allegations of it should never be used to shut people down when it comes to completely non-racial issues.  It’s crying wolf, and it detracts from the very real issues of racism that this neighbourhood – and those affected by this project specifically – face.

 
When a resident asks why the garbage bins aren’t being emptied, why the paint looks like crap, why there are no plans for upkeep, and who is even in charge any more – such questions have no root in racism.  To accuse anyone asking such questions of racism is not only a coward’s way to shut down the conversation, it’s also distracting from the ACTUAL racism involved with this project.

 
… Then again, I suppose it is in their best interest that people NOT focus on things like their aim to pay a person of colour pennies on the dollar, take advantage of a lack of resources with the residents here, etc.

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”)?

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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:

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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:

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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”.

A Look at Who is Running the Show Here…

A few days ago, we wrote about a disturbing “joke” that Alexis Pennie – chairman of the Northside Greenway Council – made at the expense of the residents affected by the greenway. (See HERE)

 

After that entry was posted, we received an anonymous tip: it advised us to contact the Folwell Neighborhood Association.  The tip said that Alexis had been a board member of the association, before being removed because of conduct issues.

 

We emailed to request the information – which is available to the public at the Folwell Office – and received it this afternoon.  We have redacted the identifying information of the business involved, as it was clear from the file that they had not wanted that to be public. You can download the 5 page pdf file, HERE.

 

 

We’ve written before about the toxic “isms” involved with the Greenway Council, and with their implementation of the greenway thusfar. (Racism, Ableism, Classism, and Sexism with the Greenway Project).    This new information is truly egregious.

 

Why has the City of Minneapolis continued to allow this person to helm the project?

 

 

Why is it in any way appropriate that someone who gets themselves banned from a neighbourhood establishment – and kicked off a neighbourhood association – for THAT kind of behaviour be in charge of a project that so hugely impacts this very neighbourhood? Again, he doesn’t even live even adjacent to the proposed route, much less the currently impacted area.

 

Would this nonsense be tolerated – not to mention being SUPPORTED by the city – in any other neighbourhood in Minneapolis?

 

Minneapolis, you need to do better by your residents.  We  deserve better than to have this greenway nonsense foisted on us by an organization run by someone who reportedly can’t keep his hands, mouth, racist language, and sexual harassment to himself… ESPECIALLY when acting as a representative of a neighbourhood organization.

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

Slap in the Face from Chairman of the Council

I have a bunch of notes from tonight’s “open house” meeting, but I’ll get to that in a day or so.  One thing really stood out to me from the whole meeting, and it really needs to be addressed.

 
When one local resident brought up a concern about drug dealers merely being pushed to adjacent streets, Alexis Pennie (chairman of the Greenway Council) replied – and this is a direct quote –

 

“Well, people still have to make a living!”

 

Was it a joke?  I hope so.

 

 

Was it in ANY way appropriate for the chairperson of the Greenway Council to make such a joke about a very legitimate concern posed by a resident?

 

 

Absolutely not.

 

 

The thing is, he CAN joke about it.  He has the privilege of not living on the affected route, nor on the adjacent streets.  He doesn’t have to deal with the blightway, nor does he have to live with the consequences of migrating crime from the temporary installation being added to crime those on nearby streets already have to deal with.

 

 

I happened to be sitting across from Matt Hendricks, a Greenway Council board member. He appeared  – rightfully – horrified by the “joke”.

 

 

Matt pointed out that the Greenway council is dormant right now, and that no one has any idea whether or not it will reactivate at some point in the future.  That Alexis was not speaking on behalf of the project, when he made the joke. It was very clear that he wanted to distance Alexis’s comment from the project.

 

 

The thing is, though… Whatever the actual status of the Greenway Council, the fact remains that Alexis is/was the chair. He was the name and face of this project to all of those who have been impacted it, who have been presenting our concerns, who have been ignored, and – yes – who have been disrespected by members of the greenway council.

 

 

For him joke about such a big issue in OUR neighbourhood speak VOLUMES about the lack of respect that our concerns are being met with.  He – and the Greenway Council – owes the residents of this neighbourhood an apology.

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

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words – I’ll try to use fewer words than that, to explain the significance of this particular picture:

 

 

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This photo of a house for sale on the temporary greenway route is so very representative of a main issue with the entire greenway plan: Those that fight for it are not those that have to live with it.

 

 
We have a “Greenway Council” that is entirely composed of people who don’t live on the affected route.  Not one single member will have their parking, access, property, and safety negatively impacted by their plans, as their homes are all far enough away to avoid the fallout.

 
Not only that, but most of the greenway council doesn’t even live in the neighbourhood.

 

 
At the May Greenway Council “meeting” (the meeting that wasn’t), one council member was asked if they intended to purchase property along the greenway installation. They responded with a horrified “NO!”, as though living here was very much beneath them.

 

 
At least 4 of the homes with pro-greenway signs are owned by people who want to sell their homes in the very near future. One of the loudest, most obnoxious supporters on the route has declared their intention to flip their house in a year or two, and that they are looking for the greenway to be a windfall from them.

 
They are people who have bought into the propaganda that this greenway will increase home values, when it is clear that this is not the case.  We’ve already heard from one homeowner who has had to decrease his asking price by $10,000, because of the negative impact the greenway is having on his attempts to sell.

 

 
People who don’t live here, and people who are looking at the greenway as a way for them to profit on their upcoming departure are not the people who have to live with the negative impact the greenway will have.

 

 
The selfishness and the greed that we have seen from the pro-greenway people has been utterly mind boggling. With so much grant money on the line, the city and the council are quick to throw the entire neighbourhood under the bus, to line their own pockets.  Residents who are moving out are willing to financially cripple their own neighbours, just for the *possibility* of turning a higher profit on their own sale.

 

 

 
What this area needs is EMPATHY, not to be further disadvantaged for the benefit of those who do not live here.

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.

Hazardous Alley Neglect on the Greenway Route

This morning, a resident posted the following photos to our Facebook group, and gave us permission to share:

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These photos were taken in the alley adjacent to the temporary greenway setup.

 

This is one of the alleys that are expected to be used not only as a main thoroughfare for those along the temporary greenway installations, but for parking for both residents and their guests.
Obviously this is an unsafe situation for both homeowners and those forced to drive through/park in that alley… and it’s apparently been this way for more than a few weeks, at this point.

 

 

Where is the supervision for this project?  Why are such hazards not being addressed in this area in ANY case, never mind on a surrogate thoroughfare?

 

Isn’t it amazing that this is the same city who worked hard to ban anyone but the immediate homeowners from accessing these very alleys?   Apparently alleys are sacred when the city losing revenue to metal scrappers is a possibility, but not so much when $600k – 18mil in grants are available.

 

As is usually the case in this city, residents – especially those in low income areas – are the first to be sold out.

 

This is shameful, and would never be tolerated in any of the more well-to-do areas of the city.  This split is at eye level, and there’s no way any of the city councilors, workers, greenway council reps, etc would overlook such a hazard if it occurred on THEIR “thoroughfare”.

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