Category Archives: Resident Impact Statements

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

 

Resident Concerns: David Court

I am writing to express my disgust with the greenway project.

 

Not only has access to many homes along Irving Ave been disrupted, the design is beyond gross, it’s a bigger eyesore than the abandoned dilapidated houses the city owns and is not taking care of.

 

If the city cannot take care of the abandoned properties, keep the terrible landlords in check by properly inspecting properties, and ensure our streets are safe from stray bullets, how can I  be assured the upkeep on this project will be maintained?

 

How can we as residents of North Minneapolis be assured these residents will receive timely access to emergency response vehicles, access to metro mobility, or even the ability for the residents on these streets to have visitors over to their homes?

 

Unless you’ve solved the teleportation issue, I urge you to remove this eyesore and give these residents their street back.

Thank you!
David Court

Resident Concerns: Mark Wallek

The “greenway” is not wanted by the residents of the neighborhood, that much is obvious. I live a block away and having lived here off and on equally since 1952, I can say that this obnoxious abomination is NOT any contribution to what was once and I would hope would be again a peaceable neighborhood of single family, owned by resident, homes. The choice of colors is idiotic and sophomoric. “Greenway” implies something organic, of the natural order. A cow watering trough and colours to upchuck to are such an incredible waste of money that it sickens me. The fact that the vast majority of resident owners don’t want this, and the ignoring of this, is disgusting. But the ridiculous execution is enraging because it’s absolute rotting tripe and no boon to this area. I won’t even go into issues of policing and emergency response or handicap accommodation. Ryback shoehorned in a sloppy and ill executed biking system that’s years away from viability here northside, where as a teenager I could bike anywhere in the Jordan and surrounding neighborhoods at any time of night. Today? No, we do not need an amateurish and ill executed abomination so people can have a feel good adventure on the northside during the daytime. We need crime reduction based on a demand for a change in how many resident behave. We need ordinance enforcement relative to property upkeep and vehicle maintenance and numbers. We need sloppy uncaring absent property owners to cease inflicting themselves on our neighborhood with their placement of bad tenants. We need the mayor and our council representatives to state clearly that they are for our single family home neighborhoods and will actually do something to help we residents protect these homes for future families to grow up in.

Resident Concerns: Arthur Dent

Green Way Or The Highway – Or – Misogynistic Salutations From Those Who Know What You Need

 

The Visit Greenway project or experiment is loaded with irony: in concept, Blue Cross Blue Shield is donating funding with beautiful aspirations for society, yet the idea that part of my premium, or the premium of a hospice patient that I work with is somehow embedded with this mishmash of color and cattle troughs – meandering from one point to another; with neither a destination of purpose, is tragic and whimsical. You see, this community is not healthy, and this action is like putting colorful underwear on a dying cancer patient who is in pain and delirious. Helping is based on good intentions, and it is necessary to be acute and functional, and at best have a strong science to reinforce what you are doing, but NOT IN THIS SCENARIO.

 

There’s an irony in the participation of the city of Minneapolis, which is not able to take care of the parks, infrastructure, or true needs of it’s people. Please refer to the $50 million dollar mud vein once known as Nicollet Mall, or the weeds growing through the tennis courts at Folwell Park. There’s a greater irony in an institution such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, which demands specific science and documentation presented for any chance of reimbursement, proselytizing the future with a happy north-south Greenway without any solid research or investment of assessment within THE MILEU OF THIS COMMUNITY. Imaginary thoughts of functional wonderment like that must mean I will be able to write in order for reflexology for a bilateral lower extremity amputee. That was cruel to say and frames the ridicule.

 

Last night I had the privilege of mingling with a small disproportionate group of white people (7:2,… White: Others), most of whom were vehemently opposed to this greenway project. Many of the proponents, all four that I talked to, were not from North Minneapolis, and although one worked in North Minneapolis, the others lived in South Minneapolis, and one lived in Southeast. Barb Johnson joined us, and carried out her role exceptionally well because she listened to, and acknowledged the feedback from her constituents. She reinforces her support for this trial, and also acknowledged a wide array of frustration.

 

Now it’s time to pull things apart.

 

From a social and psychosocial perspective, this community needs far more human engagement, and I am sure Blue Cross Blue Shield could be far more effective; exponentially more effective, by rethinking this investment. This community needs better parenting, better mental health support, and our children need better care. Unemployment is high here, and basic shelter and nutrition is a daily challenge for many people that live in North Minneapolis. Crime is well-known as a distress in our community, and I can’t help but feel that there’s a Blue Cross being painted on a sinking ship. This part of the demographic is very complex. North Minneapolis is more an amalgam than a community in that we are an attracted and combined while holding our own matrix of separate components: racial, ethnic, economic, renter, property owner, criminal, victim , affect, despair and hope. This project is wonderful on paper and in concept. This project, in isolation of benefit would make sense: however, we need to remember our good friend Maslow and the hierarchy of needs: the basic needs of safety, health and well-being are not being met, and fall far below the engagement threshold this project requires.

 

 

One of the supporters shared excitement that kids could ride their bikes from North Minneapolis to a “better place” like activities in South Minneapolis, or “perhaps catch a show at first Avenue”. Well, hammocks and play stations in the street are an invitation for disaster when a four-year-old child, or for that matter 30% of our nine-year-olds, don’t exhibit cognitive framework skills for discrimination of setting. In other words a four-year-old that learns to play in a Greenway Street zone is not likely to go to the next parallel street and recognize that that area is NOT a play area. We already have a problem with kids running into the street. It was suggested to me that a 12-year-old would be “fine” riding a bike from North Minneapolis to South Minneapolis. Again, a good heart is found in the best of all idiots (it is not, but could be a great Shakespeare quote).

 

 

There are people who need access to the street because they have disabilities, and Minneapolis Public schools need to pick up and drop off children, often using wheelchair lifts. My nurse practitioners visit hospice patients, and carry equipment and pharmacy, and it is unreasonable for them to park half a block away from the house at 3 o’clock in the morning during an emergency visit because of this Greenway fantasy. United Parcel Service and Federal Express don’t utilize the alleyways, and frankly this neighborhood is not inviting people to the back door. This neighborhood has had too much backdoor activity as it is – perhaps some ex leadership of the urban league will soon find their own backdoor activity in prison. (I had to get that in)

 

 

This Project: Property owners will lose value, and many people can’t afford or are not able to expand parking in their backyards, nor should they be expected to. The idea that guests to my home would be required to walk a block to my house is ridiculous. The city of Minneapolis could find itself in a legal battle solely on loss of property and passage, and risks the liability of restricting necessary services such as police, fire department, and emergency medical support. Increased traffic on other parallel streets is likely. The reason the city of Minneapolis would fall under liability is because they are the entity that approves, and they have to follow federal and state statutes that determine impact on projects like this. Why? Because federal funding is in our road systems, and even in the public housing which authorizes certificate based on a reasonable assessment of functional living property. Somehow the city of Minneapolis forgot that there are both federal and state statutes that have not been identified and assessed with in this model of Greenway. There are violations against the Americans with disabilities act, and one could make a civil liberties case through proximal isolation.

 

 

The real bother to me is the lack of science. Proponents express that the Greenway will also unite the community and help people travel to and from work. There is no evidence that this is true, and the cost to dollar ratio is obtuse to this argument. Just six blocks east Is Fremont Ave., North, which is constructed and determined to be a bike way to meet this goal (notice the green interchange markers and signage). Blue Cross Blue Shield is being very generous and I do feel we should applaud this, but the health benefits of the Greenway are touted with no evidence as it relates to the demographic of this community. Ultimately, the city is in collusion with an external corporate entity, and there is a lack of trust here in North Minneapolis: we are not safe, we are not supported through actions that are accurate: identifying goals and objectives with functional measurement, and we are not cared for.

 

 

The majority of this community is not being engaged, and I heard a comment, “we’ve put notices out about these meetings and about this project”, and people know. Hello, did you accurately measure to make sure you are effective in your communication? Show me, show us. The majority of this community is suspicious. Oh, 6:00, 6:30 wish and no structure agenda….

 

Would Blue Cross Blue Shield consider expanding these design ideas within our city parks where there could be an opportunity for higher supervision and expand our park programs? Blue Cross and Blue Shield might spend its money better by creating a training center in customer service here in North Minneapolis. How about building a facility within walking distance of a large percentage of our citizens. That would be heart healthy in action and support the economy. Perhaps increasing job training opportunities in healthcare professions.

 

 

I do need to apologize for writing with a muted tone, because I prefer to eviscerate when impassioned about a topic. I really do appreciate the effort that people are trying to put into this community.

 

Lastly, this afternoon a nine-year-old girl rode he bike by one of the hammocks, it snagged her jacket, pulled the hammock from the road fasteners, and sent her flying headfirst into the pavement. She did not have a helmet, her grandmother provided first-aid, and loving care that included a purple icy pop. We all got lucky.

 

Think this through please,

 

Arthur Dent..

 

Also, there are many organizations that donate bicycle helmets for those in need

Resident Concerns: Meta Carpenter

Poorly thought out and definitely not listening to OUR concerns. They’ve been ignoring them all the way.

MY concerns, for anyone that cares which doesn’t include supporters of the Greenway Project-

ACCESS to buses for people with special needs: If this was my sister she would not be able to get to her bus in the morning or evening and going through the alley, like they suggested is OH SO SIMPLE would imvolve building a ramp, and having a girl who can’t walk without someone holding her hand to squeeze between the two cars that then have only the option of parking in the garage. And THEN we’d have no way of WATCHING for the bus. Alleys are NOT meant to be the main entrance and exit rout. If they wanted to buy up a whole row of houses like they did before and do this.. SURE! Go ahead… but then there’s still my OTHER concerns that haven’t been addressed AT ALL!

MAINTENANCE: Will the park board be in charge of mowing and plowing this as well? How about fixing of the paths when they crack? If so I’m not very confident that it will get done! As in I’m calling bullshit on that. Will they also plow the alleys so people don’t get stuck while using their ONLY access to their house? I’m also going to call bullshit on that.

FLOODING: These people obviously don’t live here since they don’t even know the history of this location. This used to be a lake next to a swamp. We have trouble with flooding WITH our nice open sewers and drainage grates, what is this going to do to peoples basements? What will this do to the water table for the rest of the neighborhood? Will it retain water in the nice spongy dirt? Will it affect their sewers?

SEWERS: How will residents repair/access the sewer lines should they need to be fixed? Are you going to pay to have them rerouted to the other side? Would that cause strain on their neighbors sewer lines? Are you just going to bury them and pretend they don’t burst or clog ever? I mean that’s what you’re doing to all of North so hey, why not the sewer lines?

CRIME: What will you provide as security? Will there be horse and bike riding police all over this stretch? Seeing as it’s difficult to even get police where we want them in CARS I’m doubting this as well. You’re goingto create a LARGE strip of land that’s near impossible to access by vehicle, and very easy to access by a-holes on foot/bike, possibly even aholes that LIVE on this Greenway. Trouble douchebag neighbors (thanks to the previously mentioned police issue I expect that number to rise as well when police don’t want to meander through long unmaintained alleys and hike through yards to go to calls here) get EXTREME access to vulnerable bikers/runners. Great, just what we needed in North. No one is going to use this bike path for recreation, at least not unless they’re not packing and EXTREMELY ready to use.