Open Streets Minneapolis
Open Streets Lyndale had a record turnout at 58k people, with 45k being the previous record. The Our Streets Minneapolis booth was busy and collected over 100 postcards for winter maintenance. The next Open Streets Minneapolis event is Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha on Sunday, July 21st.
The City of Minneapolis is drafting a Transportation Action Plan that will create a 10 year vision for transportation policies and infrastructure. The City plans to release a draft of the plan for public comment by the end of the year. The Transportation Action Plan is a good opportunity for us to weigh in on what we want to see in the plan.
The Pedestrian Work Group would like to make a list of what we would like to see in the Transportation Action Plan, in addition to the priorities Our Streets Minneapolis set for the plan.
The City will release a draft of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan soon--likely in July. This plan will provide guidelines for the City to improve street infrastructure so it works for folks with disabilities. Improvements will include accessible curb cuts and filling sidewalk gaps.
Winter Sidewalk Maintenance
Staff from the City of Minneapolis Public Works Department presented to City Council on the proactive sidewalk inspection pilot in mid June. This winter the City plans to have the same resources but double the areas they inspect. Given that the same resources will be used, it doesn’t seem there will be increased budget for winter sidewalk maintenance this winter.
As a reminder, Our Streets Minneapolis does not think proactive sidewalk inspection is a good solution to keep our pedestrian transportation network clear in the winter. The system isn’t working. Folks should not have to rely on individual compliance to get around. Learn more about why Our Streets Minneapolis does not support this strategy by reading our statement on enforcement as a sidewalk clearing strategy.
Next Steps for the Pedestrian Work Group’s winter sidewalk advocacy:
- Have a standard definition of what a cleared sidewalk is. The City’s definition seems to be different than our’s. While there was a 96% compliance rate according to the City, the experiences of folks who walked and rolled this winter were that compliance was much lower.
- The City has a public hearing scheduled in July for folks who receive fines as part of their proactive sidewalk pilot. It’s an opportunity for them to have their voices heard. If work group members have time, they will go to identify priorities based on these hearings.
- Consider a campaign to encourage neighbors to share sidewalk clearing among themselves. Encourage the City to lead.
- Find out when Mayor Jacob Frey will host his next budget hearings. Attend these hearings, bring up winter sidewalk maintenance, and see which priorities are most important to other folks in our community. Renew our ask that Mayor Frey include increased funding for winter sidewalk maintenance in the 2020 budget.
Ash will finish up a document with specific asks and send it out to the group.