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Residents' Input Wanted for Proposed Greenway in North Minneapolis

Updated: 05/06/2014 6:47 AM
Created: 05/05/2014 10:00 PM KSTP.com
By: Beth McDonough

Does the Northside of Minneapolis need a Greenway? Now through June, the city of Minneapolis is asking people if they want a park-like trail installed on roads a little less traveled by cars. 

The idea is to improve health and cut down on pollution. The streets proposed are Irving and Humboldt avenues. 

Why North Minneapolis? “We actually see health disparities in North Minneapolis, people who live there are more likely to have chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease," said Sarah Stewart with the Minneapolis Health Department.

That's why lifelong Northsider, Michelle Davis, is out for a walk. She likes the idea of one day, walking right out of her front door to a pedestrian trail.

There are two proposals. The first would completely close off the streets to cars. "I see kids playing in the street a lot because there's not a whole lot of space there, if there's more grass and greener area, it might be nice to play there than in a dangerous roadway," Sarah Enninga said.

The second proposal is half and half, both trail and car traffic. "I am kind of worried about a bunch of random people going by my house," Davis said.

The proposed route cuts right through the middle of North Minneapolis connecting it on the northern end to suburbs like Robbinsdale, all the way to the southern end at downtown, connecting to the Regional Park System. 

Nearby homes won't be demolished and city leaders say all homeowners in the area could benefit. "Property values tend to go up," according to Ishmael Israel with the Northside Residents Redevelopment Council.

The city is looking at all options for funding, including assessments on homeowners in the area. 

That extra cost worries some, but the city is also searching for grants or other funding. Residents can take a survey online here, it's due by the end of June.

The Minneapolis City Council will have the final say.


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