Category Archives: Greenway Council Meetings

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.

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.

Notes on the June Greenway Council “Meeting”

After a last minute cancellation of May’s meeting (Which was to “respect how busy everyone is these days” – just WEEKS before the installation!), June’s meeting was … bizarre.
About a week before the scheduled meeting, one of us happened across information on the Greenway Council website (not on Facebook, not being promoted) that said that the meeting would be starting a half hour earlier than usual, and that this would be done to allow for time to hear resident concerns.
… would have been nice for them to put that out to the public, right?

 

So, we got the word out. We had many people lined up to attend… and curiously, they never did put out word.

 

… and then they changed the information on the site back to a 6:30 meeting start.

 

The day of the meeting, one resident emailed to double check.  She was told that they were initially going to have it at 6:00, they decided to start at the regular time and have the whole meeting be about receiving resident feedback.  Again, this change was not put out to the public, though MANY people would have wanted to know that there would be a whole meeting for resident feedback.  Many of us decided to show up at 6, as the entire thing felt incredibly sneaky and dishonest at this point.

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Safety Issues: Painting the Greenway.

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?

WRONG.

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:
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Privilege: Racism, Ableism, Classism, and Sexism with the Greenway Project

Rather than recap this month’s Greenway council meeting (Which can be summed up as “More of the same disorganization, lack of direction, ‘I didn’t bring that information with me’, etc”), I’d like to address a major problem with this entire project – privilege.

This greenway manages to be a perfect storm of many of the biggest forms of privilege/isms, all in one.  The entire project is based in privilege: Classism, racism, ableism, and sexism. It’s to the point where I’ll feel the need to yell “bingo!”, should homophobia present itself at some point.

Where should I start?  Let’s go alphabetically.

 

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Greenway Council Meeting Notes – 3/8/16

Several homeowners got together to attend a Greenway Council meeting this week.  

At first, they seemed happy to have new people there – board member (now secretary) Nate Pentz was all smiles… until he overheard us talking, and realized that we were homeowners along the route.  From that point forward, his face twisted into the deepest frown I have ever seen in my life.  So very welcoming!

Shortly after the 6:30 scheduled start time, we were asked to introduce ourselves.  There was a very clear divide between the special interest groups there, and the homeowners along the route.  Most of those on the board were not from the area, all of those opposed lived on the route. Those on the route specified “Homeowner, I live on the proposed route” or some variation thereof. Pro Greenway special interest reps / cycling activists that happened to also live in north (though not on the route) would state “I am also a homeowner”, but without the designation of specifically being along the route affected.

As the meeting started,  we couldn’t help but be shocked at the lack of organization.  The woman running the meeting (Sarah, whose last name doesn’t seem to appear on any of the paperwork. I believe she said she was from the City of Minneapolis? Maybe Stewart?) was almost completely incapable of finishing a thought.  Almost every time she was asked a question, she started a thought, stopped herself, started again, and went off in a completely different direction.  She couldn’t answer even the most basic of questions about the project.

Let me transcribe my notes from the meeting.   I’ll try to group them into relevant categories

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