Hennepin Ave S letter to Mayor Frey

Our Streets Minneapolis sent a letter to Mayor Frey urging him to approve the Hennepin Ave S layout and join us to hear from working class people who use transit along the corridor. Read the full letter below.

Title: Invitation to Canvass | Hennepin Avenue S. 24/7 Bus Lanes

CC: Mayor’s entire staff; Our Streets Minneapolis Staff; Partners

Good morning Mayor Frey,

I am once again writing to ask you to approve the proposed layout — including full time 24/7 bus lanes — for the Hennepin Avenue South reconstruction project as soon as possible. Local businesses are an important part of our community and will also benefit from the new design layout. But this layout should not be at the expense of the marginalized members of our community.

Because of this, we would like to extend an invitation to join Our Streets Minneapolis, led by our Community Engagement Specialist Raquel Sidie-Wagner, to canvass the Hennepin Avenue S. And Uptown Station and hear directly from transit riders. In addition, we will also collect signatures of support this week and bring them to your office Thursday and Friday morning.

As sent and reinforced by concerned community members and city council members last week:

  • A majority (55 percent) of Metro Transit riders are people of color
  • As of 2021, 21% of Metro Transit riders have a disability. This is up 5% from 2016
  • Nationally, adults with disabilities are twice as likely as those without disabilities to have inadequate transportation (31 percent vs. 13 percent)
  • 17% of households in Minneapolis are transit-dependent
  • 64% of Metro Transit riders have an annual household income of less than $35,000 per year

A survey launched by Our Streets Minneapolis on January 31st indicates that over 70% of respondents would spend more time shopping, walking, biking and rolling on Hennepin Avenue S. once the proposed redesign is completed.

More than 70% of respondents said that they regularly use other modes of transportation aside from driving to visit businesses along the corridor, traveling from over 10 different neighborhoods across the city.

This design will make it easier for working class members of our community to shop, buy groceries and eat along the corridor. It’s needed for the thousands of renters, people with a disability and transit-dependent people who need faster and safer options for walking, rolling, biking and taking transit on Hennepin Avenue S.

For these reasons, I urge you to approve the recommended design for Hennepin Avenue S — if approved — as soon as it is approved by the full City Council on Thursday morning. Our community is counting on you to make the 24/7 bus lanes a reality

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