On Wednesday, January 27th at 5pm, a group of 40 residents, local business owners, other stakeholders, and community members gathered at Precision Grind Coffee in Seward to hear a presentation of the plan for the 2016 redesign of the Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha and give feedback. Bob Byers from Hennepin County Transportation Planning and Kelley Yemen, the County’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, presented the plan. Thank you to the local businesses, residents, the County, and our local partners who were there to made this event so successfully attended, and Precision Grind for hosting.
For full details on the project, check out this blog written about the plan in full detail.
The Bicycle Coalition live tweeted the event, to keep community members who were unable to attend in the loop. Using #communityvoices and #Franklin2016, tweets included questions from the community and answers from Hennepin County representatives Bob Byers and Kelley Yemen.
The Coalition hosted the event so that community voices could be heard by the County, and bicycle and pedestrian concerns were communicated and safe solutions could be reached. The Coalition is feeling worried about how bicyclists and pedestrians are going to safely cross Minnehaha with the newly blocked off space north of Franklin. A concern also exists for pedestrians crossing from Minnehaha to 20th Ave, there is no planned crosswalk here, but pedestrians do need a safe way to make this connection. In addition to these concerns, community members brought up a concern about bike priority signals:
In addition to bike and pedestrians concerns brought to the table, a community member brought up that fact that there were not enough people of color in the room, and that the room was too white to be fully representative of the actual neighborhood demographics:
Cycles for Change and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition did door knocking, calling, and outreach in the neighborhood to try to bring out more POC, but there is much more work to be done. Which is why we need YOU to spread the word and be at the next meeting!
The next community meeting on the intersection is on Tuesday, January 9th at Matthews Community Center and is hosted by the Seward Neighborhood Community Development Committee. The meeting officially starts at 7:00pm, but attendees are invited to arrive as early at 6:30pm to view the plan and have their questions answered by Hennepin County Staff. At this meeting, Seward residents can vote on whether to let the project proceed or not. We highly encourage you to attend this meeting if you can, your feedback is incredibly important. Residents and local businesses are essential to this meeting. Every voice needs to be heard to create a safe intersection.
If you cannot attend the February 9th meeting, e-mail Bob Byers at Hennepin County with your concerns, especially around the safety and comfort issues of bicyclists and pedestrians at this dangerous intersection. (Bob’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org)