Hennepin Ave S letter to Metro Transit & the Met Council

Our Streets Minneapolis sent a letter to members of the Metropolitan Council urging the agency support 24/7 bus lanes in the Hennepin Ave S layout. We also extend an invitation for members to join us canvassing to hear from community members most impacted by this project. Read the full letter below:


Dear Members of the Metropolitan Council,

I am writing to ask you to support the approval of  the proposed layout — including full time 24/7 bus lanes — for the Hennepin Avenue South reconstruction project. In recent days, Minneapolis Public Works has watered down the proposal to remove dedicated bus lanes from the corridor. This new layout will mean that buses cannot run 24/7 on day 1 after the reconstruction of the street has been completed. This is an equity issue for those who are dependent on transit to access jobs, healthcare, school, groceries and recreation.

Local businesses are an important part of our community and will also benefit from the new design layout. This layout should not be at the expense of the marginalized members of our community.

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.

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 on June 9th (PWI Committee vote) and June 16th (full City Council vote). 

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, disabled people and transit-dependent people who need faster and safer options for walking, rolling, biking and taking transit on Hennepin Avenue S.

Our community is counting on you to make the 24/7 bus lanes a reality.

Sincerely,


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