In October 2015, I attended a conversation on re-visioning 38th Street in South Minneapolis to be a safe, inclusive and actively developed “20 minute neighborhood” (where things you need are no more than a 20 minute walk away). This conversation about exploring options of growth and change on 38th Street has been taking place since February 2015, with the leadership of Ward 8 Council Member, Elizabeth Glidden.
This conversation in visioning a safer 38th street began with support of the City of Minneapolis Council Member Glidden. Her voice and initiative related to making 38th St. a better street for all residents, set us on a positive direction for the rest of our discussion that morning.
The days session was very empowering; facilitators met residents and stakeholders where they were at in relation to safe neighborhoods, biking and walk infrastructure along 38th St, but they also pushed the attendees to dream further on how our streets could promote active living, just based on how they feel and are structured.
The AARP and Walkable and Living Community Institute walked us through national and local views of streets that promote healthy active living, and underlined that it is in our hands (and feet) to make this powerful change. They shared with us tactics for community engagement and elevating community voices in order to affect change to our streets.
This workshop did not shy away from issues such as gentrification, issues around high property taxes, and keeping the elderly in their homes in south Minneapolis.
In 2016 I look forward to engaging residents, stakeholders, local organizations, and businesses in support of a vision of an active, healthy, community-based bike infrastructure along 38th Street in South Minneapolis.