Minneapolis survey shows strong desire to reopen so-called ‘autonomous zone’ in Minneapolis

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For nearly six months, barricades, put up by the city of Minneapolis, have closed off vehicle traffic in a four-square-block area surrounding George Floyd Square.

The boundary of the barriers are from 37th Street to 39th Street and from Elliot Avenue to Columbus Avenue.

The city’s Public Works Department surveyed over 900 residents who either live or work in or near the so-called "autonomous zone."

Sixty-five percent of the respondents said they wanted the area reopened to traffic immediately, 24% said the barriers should stay up until justice is done in the George Floyd case, and 19% said they want the area closed indefinitely.

Willy D owns Finish Touch Boutique on 38th Avenue and he told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he wants to see a proper memorial for George Floyd, but he also said the businesses in the neighborhood need the streets open to traffic as soon as possible.

"It’s not hurting our business, it’s killing it," said D. "I mean you can look around and you can see it, the lack of traffic is definitely killing the business and if they are not going to reopen the streets then they need to get some events in here to help pick up the traffic."

The City Council’s Transportation Committee has not yet set a specific date for the reopening of the so-called autonomous zone, but has indicated a plan, with several phases to reopen, should happen sometime before winter weather takes hold.

Editors note: The total for the poll adds up to more than 100% because a small portion of respondents checked more than one box. The poll was conducted online.

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