May 31 event will showcase the proposed North Minneapolis Greenway
Minneapolis, Minn.—The first of this summer’s Open Streets Minneapolis events will take place in North Minneapolis and will showcase the potential of a Greenway in the location of the event.
The North Minneapolis Greenway Experience will take place on Saturday, May 31 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and will close Humboldt Avenue North and Girard Avenue North from West Broadway Avenue to 42nd Avenue North to motor-vehicle traffic to allow families and neighbors to walk, bike, skate, have fun and shop in a safe, car-free environment.
Open Streets events are designed to help promote environmentally friendly transportation choices such as walking, bicycling and mass transit. They also help promote good public health by encouraging active, healthy lifestyles.
The location of the North Minneapolis Greenway Experience is where a Greenway is currently being considered. The Greenway would provide a safe, accessible route for bicyclists and pedestrians. A network of 12 neighborhood, community and culturally based organizations are conducting outreach activities to engage area residents to gauge their interest in developing the Greenway. They have door-knocked on and near the proposed route, held meetings with congregations and faith-based communities, worked with Hmong youth to create media materials to do outreach within the Hmong community, and held meetings at a public housing site. They are also engaging students at Henry High, North High, and Hmong International Academy.
“We are proud and excited to have the kick-off Open Streets Minneapolis event in our neighborhood,” says Will Lumpkins. “We are equally excited to share with neighborhood residents and visitors alike a vision of what a Northside Greenway could look like.”
The North Minneapolis Greenway Experience will feature a pop-up roller rink, a portable playground, an urban farm fair, a BMX stunt show, a 3:3 basketball tournament, gardening demonstrations, live bands, a bike scavenger hunt, an old North Minneapolis history display and a pop-up flower park, as well as other activities and displays.
The first Open Streets event in Minneapolis was held in 2011 on Lyndale Avenue South and drew more than 5,000 participants. The next year a second event was held on North Lowry Avenue in conjunction with Harvest Fest. Last year, four events were held and this year six events are scheduled.
“Open Streets Minneapolis has become an integral part of summer in the city,” says Colin Harris of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, which is helping to oversee this year’s six events.
Open Streets Minneapolis events are now officially sanctioned by the City of Minneapolis. The Minneapolis City Council authorized the Department of Public Works and Police Department to provide in-kind services for the events.
Open Streets Minneapolis has a number of financial and in-kind sponsors including the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, City of Minneapolis, Metro Transit, 89.3 The Current, car2go Minneapolis and Peace Coffee.
For more information on this year’s events, visit the Open Streets website at www.openstreetsmpls.com. To learn more about bicycling in Minneapolis, visit the City’s bicycling website at www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles. More information on the North Minneapolis Greenway project can be found at www.minneapolismn.gov/health/living/northminneapolisgreenway.