Hennepin County's Penn Ave N Community Works Metroquest survey tool seeks to inform the public, but fails to include critical information pertaining to the project.
The Penn Avenue Community Works project is a collaborative effort between the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and Metro Transit to develop a plan to create economic revitalization along Penn Avenue through enhanced Bus Rapid Transit service, re-envisioning Penn Ave N as a complete street, and promoting economic opportunity, stimulating private investment, and enhancing livability along the corridor.
When using the survey tool, the most glaring error is the absence of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station information. Not only does it fail to mention BRT and survey participants on this major component of the Penn Ave Works Community project, it also only presents two out of the three roadway concept designs that Hennepin County is using to solicit feedback from Northside businesses and residents. The missing third design concept presents Penn Ave N with bike lanes and one parking lane alternating (on either the east or west side of the street) throughout the corridor.
With this omission, the survey presents a false choice to residents regarding the roadway design concepts. All three roadway concepts, put together by Hennepin County and the consulting team, SRF, must be presented to the public for us to have an accurate picture of what the possibilities are. Presenting partial or no information on aspects of the community works project does not allow for an informed discussion, enhance the level of understanding residents have for this project, or promote transparency.
We all want to see local government do an excellent job of keeping it residents informed on projects its working on. Keeping that in mind will go a long way in showing residents that the County and consulting team values the opinions, input, and feedback of community members and stakeholders impacted by this important project in North Minneapolis.
There are two upcoming open houses happening for the Penn Ave N Community Works project.
Thurs., Nov. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Harrison Recreation Center (Multipurpose Room), 503 Irving Ave N, Minneapolis
Wed., Nov. 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. at North Regional Library (Meeting Room), 1315 Lowry Avenue North, Minneapolis
Please attend one or both of these two open houses to let County staff and the consulting team know that you would like to see all of the project information (especially the third roadway design concept) placed on the project's Metroquest survey.
North Minneapolis has been underserved for far too long. Residents deserve to see more opportunities for safe biking and walking on Penn Ave N, and increased access to health and recreation amenities in North Minneapolis.
For more info on the project or to preview the survey, please visit: http://www.hennepin.us/residents/transportation/penn-avenue-community-works
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