Projects & Programs
The Midtown Greenway Coalition's programming is designed to help fulfill our mission of protecting and enhancing the Greenway.
Currently, we have six main program areas:
- Public Safety, which includes our Trail Watch bike patrol program and our Safety Task Force, which works to get more lights, cameras, and other safey measures in the corridor.
- Greening & Cleaning, featuring our GreenSpace gardening and greening committee, as well as our Adopt-A-Greenway program, Adopt-A-Garden program, and annual Arbor Day tree-planting activities
- Public Art, featuring our ArtSpace Committee, which focuses on bringing more temporary and permanent public art to the corridor. We also organize the largest annual arts festival on the Greenway, the Greenway Glow in June.
- Transit Advocacy, which encompasses our advocacy efforts to bring a turf-track streetcar into the Greenway to better accomodate the transit needs of the surrounding community. We also support better bike facilities that connect to the Greenway, as well as protected bike lanes throughout the city.
- Greenway Improvements, which includes our efforts to help guide development along the corridor, improve trail crossings, increase access, improve signage, and more.
- Community Outreach, which works to encourage use of the corridor for biking, walking, relaxation, and transportation. We partner with local nonprofit agencies to engage families of color in activities that let them know the Greenway is for everybody.
2015-2016 Programs and Projects
Lake Street-Greenway Connections Study
We are a leading partner and funder (thanks to a Great Streets grant from the City) for an in-depth study of how to better connect the Greenway to Lake Street and surrounding neighborhoods. The study, which will conclude this spring, will recommend investments in wayfinding and placemaking; ways to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety; and strategies for engaging underserved communities in utilizing the Greenway. The partners for this study are Hennepin County, the Midtown Greenway Coalition, The City of Minneapolis, and the Lake Street Council.
Reopen Nicollet Avenue Project and Midtown Greenway Streetcar Plaza
We recently partnered with the Whittier Alliance to host a series of five workshops to create a neighborhood-based vision for the reopening of Nicollet Avenue and development of the Kmart and SuperValu sites. The resulting plan reflects the Whittier neighborhood’s preferences for land use and development, and includes designs for a new streetcar station and plaza at the Greenway level. The plan also includes images of a streetcar in the Greenway, which we will use to advance our vision for a turf-embedded, off-wire rail line in the corridor.
We continue to support the SWLRT and the Kennilworth alignment. While we have taken no recent major action on the project, we monitor it closely, because line would connect to the future Greenway streetcar.
35W Transit/Access Project
We are working to encourage a better design for the area of Lake Street under the transit station. The current design looks a lot like the failed design for the Hiawatha-Lake intersection, which is dark and unsafe for bikes and pedestrians. Our concern regarding the design has been covered by the Star Tribune and the Southwest Journal.
Harriet Avenue Apartments on the Greenway
We worked to convince the developer to remove the gates to the proposed public walkway along the Greenway, and to keep the walkway open 24/7 to enhance safety and create more “eyes on the Greenway.” We were pleased to partner with the Whittier Alliance on this project, which was successful. The developer agreed to remove the gates and keep the walkway open 24/7.
Rana Village at 29th & Pleasant
We are watching plans for a new development at 29th and Pleasant along the Greenway. The most recent design has a significant amount of shadowing. We are hoping the new design will allow for much more solar access to the trail.
Mill and Overlay for the Greenway
We have asked Public Works to put the Greenway on the schedule for a full mill and overlay re-paving. We asked for and received a resolution from the Bicycle Advisory Committee Engineering sub-committee to recommend that the repaving be included in the capital improvements budget for the City of Minneapolis.
Removing the Black Fence
We have been working to remove sections of the black fence in the west sections of the Greenway. While some sections are open currently, we will continue to advocate for more Greenway access for residents by removing more sections and/or at least taking locks off the gates.
29th Avenue Closure at the Greenway
We worked with neighbors and organizations from the Seward neighborhood to support a test closure of 29th Avenue at the Greenway, to calm traffic and create a safer connection to the Greenway. This project has generated much support and we have joined others in asking that the closure be permanent.
Stop Signs in Uptown
We worked with the East Isles neighborhood in support of an effort to remove stop signs for cyclists on the Greenway at the at-grade crossings between Hennepin and the Lakes, in order to improve safety and reduce uncertainty for bikes and cars. (This project has not advanced, but we will continue to advocate for this safety improvement.)
Minneapolis Park Board: Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan
Our Improvements Committee chairperson is a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee that has been working on improvements for Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, including better bike facilities and better connections to the Greenway. We have submitted recommendations, and are supporting a CIDNA-led effort to get a new trail installed that would connect Lake Calhoun to Lake of the Isles.
We have nominated one of our board members to sit on this task force, which is working to create a new Greenway that would connect downtown to south Minneapolis, crossing the Greenway along 10th Avenue.
We are monitoring the developments at the proposed Water Yard at 28th, to see if any new buildings are being proposed or there are other impacts for the Greenway.
Our ArtSpace Committee meets regularly to discuss how to get more art into the Greenway. Recently, they helped write an MRAC grant for $10K that requests funding for a mural, which would be created by an artist of color from a Greenway neighborhood (focus on Midtown). They also manage the call for artists for the Greenway Glow.
Greenway Glow Arts Festival on June 18th
We will once again be organizing the Greenway Glow Arts Festival, which also includes a 5K Run and a 10-Mile Bike ride. The Glow is the largest event on the Midtown Greenway and one of the largest outdoor arts festivals in the City. More than two-dozen local artists will install glowing art and conduct live performances all along the corridor. Having events in the Greenway helps bring more people to the corridor, and the Glow helps people see the Greenway as a cultural corridor too.
Murals for the Greenway
We are partnering with MCAD and Little Earth to seek funding for a mural in the Greenway, created by youth from Little Earth, with mentoring from MCAD artists.
Our Trail Watch volunteers continue to patrol the Greenway several nights a week, with patrols increasing in the summer. Volunteers are always needed, so please contact the Coalition if you would like to join them!
Safety Task Force
Our Safety Task Force meets regularly to identify physical improvements for Greenway safety, including recommendations for a safer crossing at Minnehaha, locations for new lights, and Greenway pavement repairs.
GreenSpace volunteers have helped sustain several gardens in the Greenway, including the garden in the median at the 28th Street crossing.
We currently have 45 organizations that are part of our Adopt-A-Greenway program. They conducted more than 60 Greenway clean-ups in 2015.
We launched a new pilot program in 2015, offering garden space to organizations that agreed to plant native flowers and plants. Volunteers installed 4 gardens in 2015, including a special pollinator garden for bees.
Arbor Day on May 7
We help plan and support the annual Midtown Greenway Arbor Day event, which has planted hundreds of trees and shrubs in the Greenway over the past 15 years.