Earlier this spring the City released a draft Transportation Action Plan. Once a final version is adopted, this plan will guide transportation projects in our city for the next ten years. At Our Streets Minneapolis, we’ve been following how the the Transportation Action Plan takes shape very closely. And, we think this draft is pretty good.
However, we are disappointed that the plan does not include steps for the City to remove snow or ice from sidewalks, even on the proposed Pedestrian Priority Network. The Pedestrian Priority Network is a connected grid of streets across Minneapolis where walking improvements will be prioritized, according to the plan. Not including a plan for the City to clear this network is a serious omission. Sidewalks in Minneapolis are covered with snow and ice for a large part of the year, making our pedestrian network unreliable.
Our current system of relying on property owners to clear sidewalks is not working. If just one property owner does not clear their sidewalk, the entire block can become inaccessible--especially for folks with limited mobility.
This needs to change. If we are to become a City where walking is easy and comfortable year-round, we need the City to invest in clearing snow and ice from sidewalks. We make sure that our car lanes are cleared quickly and efficiently after snow storms. So why can’t we do the same for people walking?
Since the Transportation Action Plan will guide transportation projects for the next ten years, not including winter sidewalk maintenance is a huge missed opportunity.
Please use this template to contact your City Council Member and ask them to include clearing snow and ice from sidewalks in the final transportation action plan. Find which City Council Member represents you, and their contact information, here.
Dear Council Member _____,
I am a resident of your ward. I am disappointed that the City’s draft Transportation Action Plan does not include a strategy or action for the City to clear snow and ice from our sidewalks.
To truly make Minneapolis walkable year round, we must clear snow and ice from sidewalks. Please urge Minneapolis Public Works to include this as an action item in the Transportation Action Plan.
Read our previous posts on winter sidewalk maintenance at these links: