Downtown Bikeways at Whittier Día del Niño

The Downtown Bikeways crew recently attended Whittier International Elementary School’s Día del Niño Celebration. Día del Niño was a fun, carnival-like event with a potluck dinner, games, music, and all sorts of activities for the school community. One of the teachers told us that about 400 people usually attend, which makes sense because it felt like we talked to well over a hundred students and their adults! In the process we gave away several hundred red and white bike lights, which were a huge hit with the students.

When the students came to our table, we asked them to draw what their street would look like if they were in charge of it. 81 students shared their really great ideas with us. The student’s drawings showed that they wanted their streets to have skateboard ramps, basketball hoops, candy stores, or even an outdoor stage for Cardi B and Beyoncé.

Hand drawn person with long hair with a cat in the middle of the street on a printed streetscape template

Hand drawn person on a bike in the middle of a streetscape template

Hand drawn people walking on the sidewalk and being abducted by aliens in the street on a streetscape template

Hand drawn building with 'Candy Factory' written on it in the middle of the street on a streetscape template

Hand drawn grass in the middle of the street on a streetscape template

Hand drawn bike and rainbow in the middle of a street on a streetscape tempalte

In addition to talking to the students, we also talked to their adults about our advocacy work to show city of Minneapolis officials that a lot of people want and need the Downtown-Whittier corridor to be protected as soon as possible. One parent that we talked to said that she supported protected bikeways on Blaisdell because a high-speed crash on Blaisdell had killed someone that she knew just a few years ago.

We collected sixteen postcards, on which we asked adults why they support adding protected bikeways to LaSalle-Blaisdell and 1st. A few of the quotes were:

“I (bike) commute all the time from downtown to Whittier, and I have to ride on the sidewalks b/c it feels safer.”

“It’s my commute and I want to feel safe.”

“So we can get to school and work safely.”

“These are heavily biked roads, and are among my favorite to ride on.”

“All riders should have a safe space. Encourage limiting our carbon footprint. Encourage healthy, safe habits for all.”

Thank you again to the Whittier community for letting us share in the joy of Día del Niño! Hopefully, the next time we come back we will be able to celebrate safer streets all of the way from Downtown Minneapolis to the Whittier neighborhood!

If you would like to share your support for a safe, protected bikeway that will connect downtown Minneapolis with Loring Heights, Stevens Square, Whittier, and neighborhoods to the south, please fill out this digital postcard.

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