Making Minneapolis Winters Walkable!
After adding pedestrian advocacy to our mission in 2017, the Our Streets Minneapolis board chose winter sidewalk maintenance as our first campaign focused on walking and rolling. We’re working to make Minneapolis winters accessible for everyone.
Sidewalks and crossing areas are not cleared of snow and ice promptly, and are not maintained in a consistent manner for people who are walking or rolling.
Snow and ice are cleared promptly from sidewalks, corners, and crossing areas so people can get around in the ways that work best for them.
Hey, Minneapolis! How are those winter sidewalks treating you these days?
With a whole lot of recent snow and ice, it’s been hard to get around on our sidewalks. Whether we’re walking, rolling, or using transit, we need our sidewalks to be better cleared of snow and ice, and in a much more timely way.
Our systems and norms are still prioritizing the movement of cars and trucks over people. We’re still clearing streets ahead of clearing sidewalks.Read more
As the Lutheran Volunteer Corps volunteer, my year with Our Streets Minneapolis is coming to an end. I wanted to write a blog post about my year with Our Streets Minneapolis and what I’ve learned about pedestrian and bicycle advocacy.Read more
In the December Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting, on December 20, the committee discussed a presentation from public works about four safe roads programs.
The presentation discussed the Sidewalk Gap program, Safe Routes to School program, Pedestrian Safety program, and ADA Curb Ramp Replacement program.Read more
We’re creating some momentum around making Minneapolis winters walkable and you can help keep it going!
We’ve got some exciting news to report and some advocacy actions for folks to take.
Here’s a little background information and a previous blog post on this topic if you’re just now joining us on our journey to make Minneapolis winters walkable for everyone.Read more
When it comes to bike-friendly rankings, Minneapolis has long outperformed our climate, even before we began serious investment in safe spaces to bike. That’s a result of the incredible Minneapolis Park trail network. The Park and Recreation Board got an early start building bike trails along Kenwood Parkway in 1895 and along Lake Harriet in 1896. (Check out more of our city’s early bikeway history in this chapter of the Minneapolis Master Bike Plan.)
The Grand Rounds was created as a recreational network. Because it circles the whole city (save the unfinished section in northeast/southeast) and connects to Downtown along the river, it puts most Minneapolitans close to a continuous protected bikeway with access to every corner of the city. When I moved to Minneapolis in 1996, the parks were great, and the streets… well, while rideable, they weren’t for the timid.
Making Minneapolis Winters Walkable
At Our Streets Minneapolis, our volunteers, board, and staff have been hard at work making Minneapolis winters walkable.
In September we announced our top three advocacy priorities to improve winter sidewalk maintenance in Minneapolis. At that time, our priorities were:
- Implementation of the City’s planned winter sidewalk maintenance pilot
- Demonstrated improvement in corner clearing during this winter season
- Increased assistance for folks who aren’t able to clear their walks & further education on what the sidewalk clearance rules are
The next month our advocacy led to the Minneapolis City Council Transportation and Public Works Committee discussing winter sidewalk maintenance for 90 minutes--an unprecedented focus on this issue.
I think a lot about the future of our city. Will we choose to address our worst-in-nation racial disparities? Will we plan proactively for our changing climate? Will we invest heavily enough in safe transportation choices that everyone has real choices? If we don't, what does that mean for our children's health, access to opportunity, and lives?
That's the reason I advocate for a better city. I'm thinking 20 years out, doing my part to shift from old habits to calling out racist policies and creating a community equitable for every single person.
That's also why I think Minneapolis' Comprehensive Plan, branded Minneapolis 2040 is important. It's our city envisioning the future we want, planning a path to get us there -- and inviting all of us who live, work, or play to weigh in.
So, what's the big deal with the plan?Read more
The way we build our streets and neighborhoods shapes our days. It determines whether we have a real choice to walk, roll or bike as we run errands, go to work, or visit friends and family. It ups (or eliminates) the odds of bumping into our neighbors, or chatting with passers by.
All images from https://minneapolis2040.com unless otherwise noted
- Are our neighborhoods complete, with access to employment, retail services, healthy food, parks, and other daily needs via walking, biking, and public transit?
- Can all Minneapolis residents afford and have access to a quality home throughout the city?
- Do people of color and indigenous peoples feel safe [re: police and from crime] in every neighborhood? Is the air safe to breathe in every neighborhood so human-powered travel is safe?
- Does a well-designed physical environment in Minneapolis foster positive interactions? Does it promote commerce, pedestrian activity, safety, and health?
These are questions Our Streets Minneapolis works on.Read more